The thought of going to New Zealand and looking for work might sound scary, but there are definitely good opportunities available for skilled people. Here’s the lowdown on the things you need to know about employment in New Zealand.


Salaries (per annum)

All salary details provided by Robert Walters Recruitment.

Banking and finance

Settlements manager: $70 – $90K
Settlements administrator: $35 – $55K
Senior credit analyst: $70 – $90K
Credit analyst: $50 – $70K
Fund administrator (1-3 years experience) $35 – $50K


Financial/management accountant $75 – $90K
Audit manager $100 – $115K
Auditor: $60 – $80K
Part-qualified accountant: $50 – $65K
Book-keeper: $60 – $80K
Financial accountant:
Accounts payable and accounts receivable: $40 – $55K

Human resources

HR manager (1-3 years experience): $90 – $125K
HR administrator: $45 – $60K

Office and administration

Office manager: $46 – $70K
Administrator (1-3 years experience) $39 – $50K
Receptionist (0-3 years experience) $35 – $42K
Data entry operator $35 – $42K


Sales manager $80 – $130K
Sales representative $45 – $60K
Key accounts manager $70 – $90K
PR manager $70 – $90K
PR officer $60 – $80K


IT manager $100 – $130K
Systems analyst $70 – $90K
Analyst programmer (3-5 years experience) $60 – $85K
Software engineer (3-5 years experience) $60 – $85K
Systems operator (1-5 years experience) $45 – $85K
Web developer $60 – $80K


What’s the job market like?

Like the rest of the world, the job market has shrunk in New Zealand over the past 18 months. Employment has risen to 6 per cent and is expected to hit 7 per cent, says Ian McPherson, director of Enterprise Recruitment and president of the NZ council of the Recruitment Consultants Services Association.

However, things are starting to look up with an increase in both permanent and contract opportunities. This is due to two main factors.

Firstly, as many companies have stripped down staff to a bare minimum, they have needed to recruit contract staff as cover.

“We think the contractor market will grow exponentially faster than the permanent market so there will be good opportunities there in the short term,” McPherson says.

On the permanent side, the market has started to improve and, according to McPherson, employers are responding.

Which industries are recruiting?

Opportunities have remained stable in the health, IT, trades and infrastructure industries over the past 18 months while insurance has shown improvement in the last few months.

“The likes of trades, engineering, administration, sales and marketing dropped to their lows about December 2008 and have remained stable since,” says McPherson.

Meanwhile, accounting as well as transport/logistics continue to struggle.

It’s all about skills

While there are jobs available, it’s important to realise that there are many more candidates, so competition is stiff.

“It has swung from candidate short to surplus of candidates,” McPherson explains.

However, there are still some areas struggling to find people with the right skills.

These include health, IT, infrastructure and construction and, more specifically, roles like quantity surveyors, engineers and carpenters.

For jobs in New Zealand see