Amazing landscapes, exceptional universities, and not to mention being listed as one of the safest countries in the world, it’s no question why many students decide to study and work in New Zealand.

If you’re taking courses in New Zealand for an extended time, finding a job there can help you cover living costs during your stay. For students learning English during their stay, working in New Zealand is also a great opportunity to improve proficiency in a professional setting and gain invaluable experience.

How to Work in New Zealand | 10 Steps

downtown Auckland, NZ

Not sure where to start your job search? Don’t worry! Our GrowPro team caters to students like you by researching and providing dozens of resources on how to live, study, and work in New Zealand. We’ll walk you through each step and explain everything you need!

1. Decide the type of experience you want in New Zealand

Before moving to New Zealand, it’s important to figure out what you intend to do once there. This is beneficial when starting your visa process, as it will help you to know what requirements to fill.

Here are a few questions to consider: Do you want to study while you work in New Zealand? If English is not your first language, are you planning to improve your proficiency? Would you like the additional time there to explore the country?

At GrowPro, we always recommend combining study and work options, since this can help you obtain a visa more easily. Take a look at some experiences you can do while in New Zealand that allow you to work simultaneously:

2. Select the city where you want to work

Next, choose a city that most relates to your quality of life. The most popular cities in New Zealand are Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown, and Christchurch. Each has a particular lifestyle and feel that attracts many tourists.

3. Get the visa that fits your needs

You will need to obtain a visa for New Zealand before planning your trip. There are several types of visas, so it’s important to select one in which you meet all of the requirements, and that allows you to achieve your goals. We’ll review the specifications of each visa in a later section as you continue reading.

4. Prepare a Resume or CV

Once you obtain a visa, dedicate some time before your trip to prepare your CV or Resume. The key is to keep it simple: condense all of the information into a single page, choose wording that focuses on the specific job position, and make sure your grammar is impeccable. Resumes in New Zealand generally do not include a photograph. Most importantly, make sure your CV or resume is in English since that is the official language of New Zealand.

5. Travel to New Zealand

Finally, it is the day you embark on your journey to New Zealand. Our GrowPro team can assist you in the process as well, which we’ll discuss more towards the end. Once you get settled, you can continue to the next steps.

6. Open a bank account

Although it is not a legal requirement, we strongly recommend that you open a bank account in New Zealand. Having a bank account within the country can help in your hiring process since most companies issue their payroll via bank transfer. Also, if you plan to be there long term, having a bank account can help you progress in other tasks, such as renting an apartment.

7. Get a phone number

Having a phone number in New Zealand will be useful when it comes to applying for jobs. It will be one of the first requests from your employer, and what you must include on your resume.

8. Obtain the necessary permits for the job position

Certain job sectors in New Zealand require titles or special permits. For example, many hospitality jobs require you to have an alcohol sales permit. Research the requirements for each job you apply to determine if you’ll need a permit beforehand.

9. Find a job

Now, you have everything you need to begin your job search in New Zealand. In the “job search” section of this guide, you will find a list of the most effective job search tips and job board resources.

10. Work and enjoy this wonderful country

Congratulations! At this point, you have found a job and are now earning an income in New Zealand. While you’re enjoying the “kiwi” lifestyle, make sure you’re budgeting accordingly for your course fees, accommodation, and any additional essentials.

Requirements to Work in New Zealand

office workspace with desk and chair

To work in New Zealand, you must have a visa that allows it. You also must be of the legal working age and have strong English proficiency. In the section below, we’ll review each requirement more in-depth.

Visas that Allow you to Work

Not every visa allows the individual to work, so it’s important to choose the right visa for New Zealand. Let’s explore the visas from which you can choose:

Student Visa

This is the most common visa and is ideal for students who intend to work while taking courses. It allows you to work in New Zealand for a maximum of 20 hours per week during the class semester.

Work Visa

This is for individuals who have found an employer that will sponsor them. The work visa allows you to work full-time, exclusively for the employer in New Zealand. You can also study for three months.

Working Holiday Visa

You can travel and work in New Zealand for up to one year under the Working Holiday visa. If you’re from Canada or the United Kingdom, you can stay in New Zealand for up to 23 months. Individuals with this visa must be between the ages of 18 and 30.

Partner Visa

For individuals planning to bring their significant other to New Zealand, the partner must have a Partner Visa. You can work full-time for any employee in New Zealand, as long as your partner’s visa is valid. For your partner to apply for this visa, you both will need to prove a genuine relationship.

Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa

Under Skilled Migrant Visa, New Zealand invites individuals with specific work skills to assist in improving their economy. With this visa, you will be able to work and live in New Zealand permanently. You will need to send an Expression of Interest (EOI) that outlines your work experience, skills, and type of employment you plan to work. To qualify, you must be under 55 years of age, in good health, and have a good character report.

Age Requirement

Under any visa that allows you to work in New Zealand, you must be at least age 18 during your employment.

Bank Account

Having a bank account in New Zealand is not a legal requirement, but it is essential. As mentioned earlier, most New Zealand companies pay their employees through direct deposit.

English Proficiency

If you’re coming from a non-English speaking country, keep in mind that English is the official language of New Zealand. Most jobs there will require you to have a certain level of English proficiency, even for unskilled jobs. If English is not your first language, or if you want to improve it, you can do so while you’re there! Being immersed in an English-speaking country is the best way to learn. Also, we have plenty of experiences that offer English-learning opportunities in New Zealand. Check them out:

How Much Can You Earn Working in New Zealand?

calculator with New Zealand money

Fortunately, New Zealanders earn high salaries in comparison to other countries. Of course, you must consider several factors, such as the city in which you live, the type of job, and the company for which you work. To get an idea of ​​how much you can earn in New Zealand wages, let’s review the minimum wage and average salary.

Minimum Wage in New Zealand

As of 2020, New Zealand has a minimum wage of NZ$ 18.90. All employees over age 16 will make at least this amount per hour. To calculate a better estimate, you’ll have to compare how much you’ll make full-time vs. part-time.

Average Salary in New Zealand

The average salary in New Zealand is NZ$ 77,090 as of 2020. Keep in mind, this weighs heavily on the profession and city. For example, The city of Wellington has the highest average gross salary, at NZ$ 84,854. Also, the highest paying job in New Zealand right now is an I.T. Manager, having an average gross salary of NZ$ 104,000.

New Zealand’s Most In-Demand Jobs

resumes and CVs to work in New Zealand

It’s important to know that the New Zealand government publishes different lists each year of certain professions that are in high demand. Below are the three types of job lists:

Regional Skill Shortage List (RSSL)

This list is divided into 15 regions to fill qualified positions across the country. The RSSL is updated annually and caters to foreigners who meet a specific professional profile. Those who meet the profile and requirements will have easier and quicker access to work in New Zealand.

Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL)

Professional skills that aren’t necessarily urgent, but are generally in demand year-round, will be under the LTSSL. Individuals who meet the requirements for jobs on this list can obtain a visa to work and can request a residence permit after two years.

Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List (CISSL)

The CISSL lists occupations in the construction industry that have a critical shortage throughout New Zealand. If you meet the requirements for a skill on the CISSL, you may qualify for an Essential Skills temporary work visa.

How to Find a Job in New Zealand

laptop for online job search

Now, we’ll discuss the most important part of working in New Zealand: the actual job search! You will find the majority of job opportunities there online. You just need to know exactly where on the internet to look for them.

Job Search Websites

While networking is a great method of finding a job, there are certain websites dedicated to posting specific jobs available in New Zealand. Below is a list of helpful job boards to use:

General job boards:

  • Working In – caters to individuals planning to move to New Zealand
  • WorkHere – connects users to jobs that match their skillset
  • New Kiwis – provides advice and resources for job seekers in addition to job postings 

Specialized job boards:

Facebook pages to find a job in New Zealand

Facebook is another convenient platform for finding work in New Zealand. Here are a few to get you started:

How GrowPro Can Help You Work in New Zealand 

Here at GrowPro, we’ve helped thousands of “growers” like you to study and work in New Zealand. From assisting in paperwork to providing transportation at the airport, we’re here for you! Check out the rest of our website to see numerous experiences that may interest you. Each allows you to complete an information form and create a budget for the trip. Come work in New Zealand and receive the experience of a lifetime!