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15 high paid jobs in New Zealand you need to consider

Aoife O’Mara
Last Updated: 11 October 2021 • 6 min read

With plenty of high paid jobs in New Zealand, gorgeous landscapes, and friendly folk, it’s no wonder that New Zealand is a popular place to move to. 

The laid-back culture and attitude towards a work-life balance attract workers from all over the world. 

New Zealand’s post-study work visa allows graduates to remain in the country to work after graduation. The duration of the visa depends on your course, with some allowing you to remain for up to three years.

With opportunities to progress from a graduate to some of the top-paying jobs in New Zealand, there is no better time to put New Zealand on your radar while looking at university degrees. 

Here, we explore the 15 highest paid jobs in New Zealand, ordered by median wage from lowest to highest.

15 highest paying jobs in New Zealand 2021

  1. Information Technology Manager
  2. Building and Construction Manager
  3. Information Technology Architect
  4. Marketing Manager
  5. Procurement Manager
  6. Ship’s Master
  7. Ophthalmologist
  8. Mine Manager
  9. Senior Communications Specialist
  10. Financial Advisor
  11. Head of HR
  12. Pathologist
  13. Anaesthesiologist
  14. Managing Director/Chief Executive
  15. Judge

1. Information Technology Manager

First on our list of top-paying jobs in New Zealand is an IT manager. Responsible for coordinating, planning and leading IT-related activities within a business, as well as being responsible for integrating computer systems, this is a very vital role in any organisation.

Like a lot of roles in the IT industry, there are not many requirements, but a degree can be extremely beneficial. Such degrees include information technology and project management. 

Salary Range: NZ$107,000-$150,000 per year

2. Building and Construction Manager

The construction industry in New Zealand is constantly in high demand. Arguably, this is amongst the most important jobs within the construction industry as they are in charge of overseeing the entire project. They also liaise closely with engineers. With a relevant degree and experience in the construction industry, workers will be financially rewarded in this career. 

Salary Range: NZ$95,000-$170,000 per year

3. Information Technology Architect

IT architects have some of the best-paid jobs in the IT industry, even if you are just starting out. In charge of designing, implementing and overseeing security and business technologies, this job keeps the technology and software up to date. A Bachelors of Information Systems and a minimum of ten years experience is usually required to become an IT architect.

Salary Range: NZ$112,000-$155,000 per year

4. Marketing Manager

Those with a communications or marketing degree will be interested to know that a marketing manager is up there with being one of the highest paying jobs in New Zealand. Managing the promotional aspects of a business or brand, this job creates brand awareness. This role often offers great benefits including housing and transport. Many aspire to be a marketing manager.

Salary Range: NZ$80,000-$200,000 per year

5. Procurement Manager

While there are no requirements to become a procurement manager, having a degree in business or management is a great asset to have. As the primary point of contact between the supplier and business, they play a vital role in each business. Procurement is continuously in high demand in New Zealand and often comes with great benefits. 

Salary Range: NZ$85,000-$200,000 per year

6. Ship’s Master

With much of New Zealand’s trade entering the country via the ocean, those in charge of the ships are in demand and offered a very competitive salary. Also known as a ship’s captain, this person is responsible for the boat, crew, passengers and cargo. To become a ship’s master you must gain a certificate of competency after attaining the necessary experience and qualifications. 

Salary Range: NZ$42,000-$250,000 per year

7. Ophthalmologist

Performing eye surgery, diagnosing eye diseases, prescribing and fitting glasses are all part of daily life as an ophthalmologist. This role requires a Bachelor of Health Sciences or Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences, plus a minimum of two years as a junior supervised doctor. Specialised testing and qualifications are also required which can take upwards of five years. But, it’s all worth it when you see the salary!

Salary Range: NZ$58,000-$240,000 per year  

8. Mine Manager

Mining is an extremely lucrative business, and no degree is required to enter this industry. Instead, extensive experience in the sector is required to progress to this position. Mine managers oversee the operation of the mine as well as planning and organising staff and activities Those with an engineering degree are also looked favourably upon in mining roles. 

Salary Range: NZ$100,000-210,000 per year

9. Senior Communications Specialist

Degrees in business, journalism, communications and public relations are hugely beneficial in the communications sector, especially if you want to become a senior communications specialist. The job requires you to be extremely versatile, as you should be able to conduct marketing campaigns, create content as well as gather and disseminate data. With the ability to progress from account manager all the way to the top, this is a great way to get into a high paid role. 

Salary Range: NZ$70,000-$250,000 per year

10. Financial Advisor

Advising people on how best to use and manage their money is amongst the daily tasks of a financial advisor.  Although this isn’t the easiest of jobs to get into, Financial Advisors are some of the best paid in the finance sector.  You do require a relevant degree in business, finance or banking as well as a Financial Advice Provider Licence. 

Salary Range: NZ$72,000-$250,000 per year

11. Head of HR

By being the Head of HR, you will be responsible for the hiring process and acting as the point of contact for employee issues. Entry into HR is quite easy, as the department will usually accept someone with any degree. If you’re good with people and a great communicator, you will quickly find yourself climb the ranks of this department.

Salary Range: NZ$150,000-$250,000 per year

12. Pathologist

Conducting lab tests and carrying out autopsies are part of the job description. Pathologists need to complete a minimum of 13 years of training, which includes five years spent completing a Bachelor of Medicine or Bachelor of Surgery. However, a pathologist can make a pretty hefty sum.

Trainee Salary Range: NZ$97,000-$197,000 per year

Qualified Salary Range: NZ$164,000-$499,000 per year

13. Anaesthesiologist 

In surgery, the anesthesiologist is responsible for constantly conducting medical assessments of the patient and control the patient’s vital life functions. As the best paid of the medical profession, it is no surprise that anaesthesiologists are up there with the top-paying jobs in New Zealand. While training takes a minimum of 13 years, the pay cheque is definitely worth it!

Trainee Salary Range: NZ$47,000-$116,000 per year

Qualified Salary Range: NZ$151,000-$600,000 per year

14. Managing Director/Chief Executive

These positions include CEOs, CFOs and senior managers. These roles direct the activities of a business or organisation. To attain this role usually a relevant bachelor's degree is required, but it is not essential! Experience is key, with people working their way up the company over a number of years. 

Salary Range: NZ$120,000-$700,000 (USD$85,000-$707,000) 

15. Judge 

Unsurprisingly, judges top the best paying jobs in New Zealand. As impartial decision-makers in the judicial process, judges come with a substantial pay packet. To become a judge here you must have a Bachelors of Law and have completed a professional legal studies course. You must also have practised as a barrister for a minimum of seven years. 

Salary range: NZ$358,000-$525,000 per year

Interested in finding a university degree that will lead you to some of the best paying jobs in New Zealand? Let us help you find your dream course and university today!

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Aoife O’Mara
Written By
Aoife O’Mara

Aoife is a freelance writer and journalist based in Ireland. She is passionate about travel, education and culture.

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