If you are moving to NZ for work or permanently it is useful to understand how NZ salaries compare to elsewhere around the world. Of course, NZ wages vary by industry and job type. However, the median income in New Zealand is just under NZ$27 per hour as of mid-2021 (NZD$56,160 per annum based on a 40-hour week). NZ also has a legal minimum wage to protect workers.
Generally speaking, the average salary in NZ lower than that of the UK and US (in 2012 the average salary for those working in New Zealand, based on the Purchasing Power Parity scale was $2,283, compared to $3,263 for the US and $3,065 for the UK), but being an average, some sectors do offer comparable salary rates.
2020 Median Pay in New Zealand and Pay Ranges by Job Category
|Job category||Median pay||Pay range|
|Accounting||$65,000||$48,000 to $125,000|
|Agriculture, fishing and forestry||$55,000||$40,000 to $95,000|
|Architecture||$75,000||$50,000 to $125,000|
|Automotive||$60,000||$40,000 to $85,000|
|Banking, finance and insurance||$65,000||$45,000 to $125,000|
|Construction and roading||$60,000||$40,000 to $135,000|
|Customer service||$48,000||$40,000 to $65,000|
|Education||$60,000||$42,000 to $75,000|
|Engineering||$75,000||$48,000 to $130,000|
|Executive and general management||$85,000||$48,000 to $195,000|
|Government and council||$70,000||$40,000 to $145,000|
|Healthcare||$55,000||$40,000 to $85,000|
|Hospitality and tourism||$50,000||$40,000 to $65,000|
|HR and recruitment||$65,000||$48,000 to $122,000|
|Information technology (IT)||$105,000||$50,000 to $200,000|
|Legal||$65,000||$45,000 to $125,000|
|Manufacturing and operations||$48,000||$40,000 to $75,000|
|Marketing, media and communications||$70,000||$45,000 to $135,000|
|Office and administration||$50,000||$42,000 to $75,000|
|Property||$85,000||$50,000 to $150,000|
|Retail||$48,000||$40,000 to $65,000|
|Sales||$65,000||$42,000 to $115,000|
|Science and technology||$65,000||$42,000 to $115,000|
|Trades and services||$55,000||$40,000 to $85,000|
|Transport and logistics||$50,000||$40,000 to $80,000|
The above pay rates don’t include overtime or bonuses, or parts of salary packages such as cars. Many NZ companies offer more non-monetary benefits to their employees when compared with businesses in other countries. Company cars, company telephones, paid meals or fitness centre registrations are all often included in remuneration packages. Paid annual leave, however, may be slightly less than is common in the UK, with the average being 20 days per year.
Effect of Education on Income
Higher qualifications usually lead to higher incomes. According to Ministry of Education research:
- In the first years after qualifying, those who have done apprenticeships and have a Level 4 qualification tend to earn more than university graduates.
- In the long term, university graduates tend to earn more than those with trade qualifications.
- Subject choice also affects income – in general, performing and visual arts graduates tend to earn less than those with qualifications in areas such as engineering, law, accounting, banking, computer science and medicine.
Other Factors Affecting Income
Pay may also be affected by:
Factors that may impact your salary
Mohamed Anas Sirajur Raheem
BA (Political Studies), LLB (VUW)
Mohamed is a New Zealand Immigration Consultant with VisaEnvoy and an enrolled Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.
He is a former New Zealand Immigration Officer (Visa Services) and Border Officer at Auckland International Airport. He has several years of experience working in various Government Departments in New Zealand and has also worked as a Licensed Immigration Adviser at a prominent New Zealand Immigration firm.
His areas of expertise and interest are in the fields of General Skilled Migration, Temporary Work (Long and Short Stay), Business visas, Partner, Parent and Child Visa streams.
Mohamed was inspired to pursue a career in immigration by his own migration experiences. Over the years he has assisted individuals, families, large corporations, Professional sportspeople, and Entertainers (singers, speakers, and actors) to come to New Zealand.