May 22, 2024

Paying Pathways: Exploring New Zealand’s Top-Earning Careers

New Zealand is a beautiful island nation with stunning coastlines and breathtaking scenery; it also boasts a top-notch education system that provides diverse courses and exceptional employment prospects.

Over time, New Zealand has become a magnet for professionals from all over the world due to its excellent work-life balance, which benefits both local and international individuals. International students who complete their education in New Zealand have the opportunity to obtain a post-study work visa, allowing them to stay in the country and embark on their career journeys.

High-paying jobs to make it big in New Zealand

If you want to pursue a career abroad then New Zealand has a thriving job market. They offer excellent post-working rights for international students to pursue their career paths.

Here are eight high-paying jobs in New Zealand that will get you to the top of your career.

  • Ophthalmologist: To become an ophthalmologist, one needs a bachelor’s degree in biomedical science or health science, along with several years of experience as a junior doctor. While it may take time to establish a successful career as an ophthalmologist, the profession offers an attractive annual income ranging from NZD 58,000 to NZD 240,000.
  • IT Professionals: The information technology and software development industry in New Zealand offers some of the highest-paying jobs. IT architects, for example, earn between NZD 112,000 and NZD 155,000 annually with a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of ten years of experience. IT managers, who oversee IT-related activities within organisations, earn between NZD 107,000 and NZD 150,000 per year.
  • Lawyer: The demand for legal professionals is rapidly growing across all sectors in New Zealand, both public and private. With a relevant degree and a few years of practice, lawyers can earn an annual income of around NZD 84,500.
  • Procurement Manager: Procurement managers are essential in every industry, acting as the key link between businesses and suppliers. While there are no specific educational requirements, having a degree in business or management is beneficial. Procurement managers are well-compensated and consistently in demand in New Zealand, with salaries ranging from NZD 85,000 to NZD 200,000 per year.
  • Project Manager: In New Zealand, project managers are highly sought after. They are responsible for planning, resourcing, scheduling, and overseeing projects to ensure timely and cost-effective delivery. Depending on experience and organisation, project managers in New Zealand typically earn between NZD 65,000 and NZD 170,000 per year.
  • Marketing Manager: This profession ranks among the highest-paying jobs in New Zealand. With a marketing degree and excellent communication skills, completing higher education in New Zealand can open doors to becoming a marketing manager. This role involves utilising communication skills to enhance brand awareness and often comes with additional benefits such as housing and transportation. Marketing managers in New Zealand earn around NZD 80,000 to NZD 200,000 per year.
  • Building and Construction Manager: Working as a building and construction manager is a popular and in-demand occupation in New Zealand’s construction industry. These managers oversee entire projects and handle communication with engineers. With a relevant degree and some experience in the field, building, and construction managers can expect an annual income between NZD 95,000 and NZD 170,000.
  • Ship’s Master/Captain: Given New Zealand’s significant reliance on shipping for trade, the demand for ship’s masters or captains is constant. These individuals have the responsibility of ensuring the safety of the vessel, cargo, crew, and passengers. The annual income for ship captains ranges from NZD 42,000 to NZD 250,000, depending on qualifications and experience.

New Zealand stands as a highly sought-after destination for individuals aspiring to be part of one of the world’s emerging economies. By pursuing your studies in New Zealand, obtaining a bachelor’s or master’s degree, and gaining valuable experience in any of the highest-paying professions, you can pave a path toward a promising future.

Industries Suitable for a promising career in New Zealand

The following industries in New Zealand offer lucrative opportunities for students and job seekers:

  • Business Analysis: A management degree equips individuals with practical knowledge of business communication, problem-solving skills, analytical abilities, and a deep understanding of business ethics. Business analysis skills are highly sought after in almost every sector, making graduates valuable assets to companies and opening up extensive employment opportunities.
  • Nursing: New Zealand continually seeks qualified and well-trained healthcare professionals, resulting in a continuous demand for nurses. This sector offers competitive pay scales and a multitude of job opportunities. Pursuing a master’s degree can lead to even better salaries and benefits at leading hospitals in the country.
  • Engineering: The demand for competent engineers remains strong worldwide. With increasing investments in various sectors such as construction and data analytics, there is a growing need for skilled professionals to develop, manage, and enhance every aspect. An engineering degree in any field offers promising prospects for those seeking long-term career opportunities in New Zealand’s evolving workforce.
  • Education: Education is a highly respected industry globally, including in New Zealand. This sector provides excellent employment prospects, particularly for those with academic qualifications and strong communication skills. Besides teaching roles, there are also administrative and accounting positions available in educational institutions, offering attractive remuneration packages.
  • Construction: If you hold a degree in architecture or civil engineering, the construction industry in New Zealand is worth exploring. There is consistently high demand for civil engineers and construction workers, making it one of the highest-paying sectors in the country.
  • Hospitality: After a challenging period, due to the pandemic, the hospitality sector in New Zealand is gradually recovering. The revival of the tourism industry has increased the demand for skilled professionals dedicated to ensuring an exceptional visitor experience. Additionally, starting from April 2023, the median wage in this sector is set to increase, providing better compensation for employees.

Landing a job after completing studies in New Zealand

The Post Study Work Visa allows individuals with a degree level 7 qualification or higher to work for any employer. 

The NZQF or New Zealand Qualification Levels comprises ten levels of qualifications. Each level reflects a varying degree of complexity. Level 1 represents the least complex qualifications, while Level 10 denotes the most intricate ones. Here, Level 7 denotes a bachelor’s degree, graduate certificate, and graduate diploma. 

Furthermore, those who have completed a non-degree level 7 or below qualification, may still be eligible for the Post Study Work Visa if their qualification is listed as eligible. However, the job they secure must be related to their field of study. For instance, if you’ve studied civil or highway engineering, you can apply for the position of construction project manager. Likewise, if you have studied Quantity Surveying, you can apply for the position of Quantity Surveyor.

Stepwise guide to applying for a job in New Zealand: 

Step 1: Find out about jobs in New Zealand

        Determine if your current job aligns with opportunities in New Zealand.

        Seek advice from someone already working in your desired field in New Zealand to learn about potential job options.

        Research job vacancies, reach out to recruitment agencies, and explore job profiles to get a better understanding of available opportunities in different regions. 

Step 2: Write or update your CV

        Compile a list of your skills and provide examples of when and how you utilise them.

        Keep copies of awards and certificates received.

        Create a concise New Zealand-style CV, emphasising work experience over qualifications.

        Include contact details of previous employers who can serve as references. 

Step 3: Search and apply for suitable jobs

        Network with friends, family, and acquaintances to uncover potential job leads.

        Register on job vacancy websites and directly contact employers.

        Consider enlisting the assistance of a recruitment company at no charge. 

Step 4: Prepare and practise for job interviews

        Anticipate potential interview questions and practise your responses.

        Conduct mock interviews with friends to enhance your interview skills.

        Prepare questions to ask employers and research their organisations beforehand. 

Step 5: Attend job interviews

        Dress neatly and arrive promptly for interviews.

        Bring a notepad with your questions and take notes during the interview.

        Have a realistic salary expectation based on the job’s nature. 

Step 6: Get a job offer

        Be patient during the job hunting process as it may take time to receive a job offer.

        Review the employment agreement carefully before signing it, seeking advice if needed.

        Ensure you understand the agreement’s terms, including salary, working hours, leave allowances, and performance reviews. 

Step 7: Begin working

Identify your supervisor and workplace buddy, if assigned, to help you settle into the job.

        Determine the commuting time from your residence to the workplace to ensure punctuality.

        Bring a notebook to jot down essential details, and don’t hesitate to ask questions if needed.

What are your chances to study in New Zealand and pursue a career? Find out with our professional and friendly Expert Education team.

  • How convenient is it to find a job in New Zealand?

The experience may vary depending on your skills and qualifications. However, Facilitating your job search involves ensuring that your CV is tailored to the specific job or industry you are applying for. Customising your CV and writing a compelling cover letter can help demonstrate to employers that you are the ideal candidate for the position.

  • What qualifications are necessary to work in New Zealand?

As an international student, you can work in New Zealand by obtaining a degree from a recognized university in the country. This qualification makes you eligible for a post-study work visa, allowing you to work in New Zealand for up to three years after completing your studies.

  • Is New Zealand a favourable destination for international students?

New Zealand is highly regarded as an excellent study destination for international students. With its small population, the country offers a welcoming environment for academic pursuits. Also, English is the primary language in New Zealand, making it easier for international students to communicate on a daily basis.