What skills do new Zealand need right now?

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New Zealand is rebuilding its economy after the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason, New Zealand is in dire need of overseas professionals with engineering, IT, and construction skills.

New Zealand is also recruiting teachers from overseas as COVID-19 created a shortage of education professionals.

You can book your consultation call right away if you’re in one of these industries and you want to find out if you qualify for a work visa.

Once that’s done, continue reading to find more about working in New Zealand in each skills area.

1. Engineers

Engineering skills are in short supply in New Zealand. According to New Zealand Now, it’s estimated that New Zealand needs 1,500 engineers more each year just to match economic growth.

And it’s an exciting time to be an engineer in New Zealand.

The Government pledged NZ$12 billion in 2020 to infrastructure upgrades as part of its  Upgrade Programme. The Programme will focus on rails, roads, schools, and hospitals to future-proof New Zealand’s economy.

Engineering occupations on the Skills Shortage lists

New Zealand’s Skill Shortage lists include a wide range of engineering occupations, including engineers, draughting professionals, and technicians:

  • Chemical Engineer (233111)
  • Materials Engineer (233112)
  • Civil Engineer (233211)
  • Geotechnical Engineer (233212)
  • Structural Engineer (233214)
  • Electrical Engineer (233311)
  • Electronics Engineer (233411)
  • Industrial Engineer (233511)
  • Mechanical Engineer (233512)
  • Production or Plant Engineer (233513)
  • Environmental Engineer (233915)
  • Engineering Professionals nec (233999)
  • Civil Engineering Technician (312212)
  • Electrical Engineering Technician (312312)
  • Electronic Engineering Technician (312412)
  • Telecommunications Engineer (263311)
  • Telecommunications Network Engineer (263312)
  • Civil Engineering Draughtsperson (312211)
  • Electrical Engineering Draughtsperson (312311)

How much do engineers get paid in New Zealand?

You’ll find salary information for engineers in New Zealand on PayScale. To get you started, we’ve listed the salaries for chemical, environmental and industrial engineers below:




Finding engineering jobs in New Zealand

Engineering New Zealand, the professional body for engineers in New Zealand, is your first port of call when job hunting. Their website has a job section with available positions across all New Zealand regions.

You can also explore these job websites:

2. IT specialists

New Zealand’s tech sector comprises over 20,000 firms that employ more than 100,000 people. And it is renowned globally for being a flexible, resilient, adaptable, and entrepreneurial environment.

Traditionally, most tech workers lived and worked in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, but that picture can look different in the future, thanks to more companies offering remote work.

IT occupations on the Skills Shortage lists

New Zealand needs various IT professionals, ranging from web developers to security specialists:

  • Multimedia Specialist (Film Animator) (261211)
  • ICT Project Manager (135112)
  • Organisation and Methods Analyst (224712)
  • ICT Business Analyst (261111)
  • Systems Analyst (261112)
  • Multimedia Specialist (261211)
  • Web Developer (261212),
  • Analyst Programmer (261311)
  • Software Tester (261314)
  • Developer Programmer (261312)
  • Software Engineer (261313)
  • Software and Applications Programmers nec (261399)
  • Database Administrator (262111)
  • ICT Security Specialist (262112)
  • ICT Support Engineer (263212)
  • Systems Administrator (262113)
  • Computer Network and Systems Engineer (263111)
  • Network Administrator (263112)
  • ICT Quality Assurance Engineer (263211)
  • ICT Systems Test Engineer (263213)
  • Telecommunications Engineer (263311)
  • ICT Support and Test Engineers nec (263299)
  • Telecommunications Network Engineer (263312)
  • ICT Customer Support Officer (313112)

How much do IT workers get paid in New Zealand?

IT professionals get paid well in New Zealand. However, your salary will still depend on your occupation, skills, and experience.

Here’s what web developers, security specialists, and system administrators earn annually on average:




Finding IT jobs in New Zealand

There are plenty of IT jobs in the market. You can use any of the websites below to look for suitable positions:

3. Construction workers

New Zealand’s Upgrade Programme will not only benefit the engineering industry, as discussed earlier, but also the construction sector. It’s estimated that around 4,800 construction jobs will be created each year until 2028.

Most jobs will be in residential buildings in New Zealand’s largest cities and regions, mainly Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, the Waikato region, and Bay of Plenty.

The fastest-growing sector is projected to be infrastructure, specifically transport, water, and subdivision projects.

In short? It’s an excellent time to immigrate to New Zealand if you’re a construction worker.

Construction occupations on the Skills Shortage lists

New Zealand needs construction workers at all levels of the industry:

  • Construction Project Manager (133111)
  • Project Builder (including Building Project Manager and Site Foreman) (133112)
  • Quantity Surveyor (233213)
  • Surveyor (232212)
  • Construction Project Manager (Foreman) (Roading and Infrastructure) (133111)
  • Project Builder (including Building Project Manager and Site Foreman) (133112)
  • Building Associate (312112)
  • Surveying or Spatial Science Technician (Building Information Modelling Professional) (312116)
  • Building Inspector / Building Surveyor (312113)
  • Surveying Technician (Spatial Science Technician/Land Surveyor’s Technician) (312116)
  • Surveying Technician (Spatial Science Technician/ Hydrographic Technician) (312116)

How much do construction workers get paid in New Zealand?

Construction workers are paid well in New Zealand. Here are the average annual salaries for quantity surveyors, building inspectors, and construction project managers:




Finding construction jobs in New Zealand

You can find opportunities in the construction industry on these job websites:

4. Teachers

New Zealand has a great education system, and it’s one that’s well supported. The country has been spending one of the highest proportions of its GDP on primary to tertiary educational institutions among OECD countries.

New Zealand’s education system has also been recognised as one that prepares students for the future. Students aren’t only taught subject matter but also life skills such as critical thinking, creativity, communication, entrepreneurship, and digital skills.

You can thus expect to teach in an exciting environment and in a country that supports its schools and teachers.

Teaching occupations on the Skills Shortage lists

New Zealand’s Skill Shortage lists include these teaching occupations:

  • Early Childhood (Preprimary School) Teacher (241111)
  • Primary School Teacher (241213)
  • Secondary School Teacher (241411)

How much do teachers get paid in New Zealand?

You can expect to earn these average annual salaries when teaching in New Zealand:




Finding teaching jobs in New Zealand

New Zealand’s Ministry of Education’s website has a vacancies section with public sector teaching jobs. You can search by region, sector, learning area, and position type. It’s an excellent place to start your job search!

Can’t find a job there? Then you could try Seek and Trade Me.

What are the work visas for which skilled workers can apply?

As someone with an occupation on a Skills Shortage list, you could qualify for a Skilled Migrant visa, or an Essential Skills work visa.

1. Skilled Migrant visa

The Skilled Migrant Visa is a residency visa that allows you to stay in New Zealand indefinitely. In your residence application, you can include your partner and dependent children who are 24 and younger.

To apply for a Skilled Migrant visa, you must:

  • Be 55 or younger
  • Have an offer of skilled employment
  • Get at least 160 points in your skills assessment
  • Pass your English test
  • Meet New Zealand’s health and character requirements

2. Essential Skills Work Visa

The Essential Skills Work Visa is a temporary visa that allows you to live and work in New Zealand for up to three years. Your partner or dependent children may be able to apply separately for visas based on their relation to you.

To apply for an Essential Skills work visa, you must meet these requirements:

  • You must have a full-time job offer from a New Zealand employer.
  • Immigration New Zealand must be satisfied that there are no suitable New Zealanders to fill the position.
  • Your remuneration must be according to the ANZSCO level of your occupation.
  • Your occupation must appear on a Skills Shortage list, and you must have the necessary skills and experience to carry out this occupation.

Please note that the Essential Skills work visa will get replaced by the Accredited Employer Work Visa from 4 July 2022.

Want to find out if you qualify for either work visa?

If you work in engineering, construction, or IT, or you’re a teacher, you can find out if you can apply for a work visa by completing an eligibility assessment.

Our licensed immigration advisor can do such an assessment with you. You’ll get personalised immigration recommendations based on the outcome.

Sound good? Then go ahead and book a consultation call. You’ll also get to ask any questions you might have during your consultation.


* All salaries derived from PayScale.

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