Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in New Zealand

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New Zealanders earn an average of $45,800 (£24,358) per year and are among the highest earners in the world. The question is, though: who are the highest paid professionals in the country, and just how much exactly do they earn?

Join us as we take a look at the 10 highest paying jobs in New Zealand, the home of Middle-Earth!



10. Information Technology Manager

Job Description: IT managers are tasked with implementing and maintaining an organisation’s technology infrastructure. This is one of the most common careers that graduates pursue in the growing IT industry, with professionals being in high demand.

Salary: IT managers typically get paid between $90,000 and $130,000 (£47,823 and £69,145) a year. Contractors, meanwhile, can earn between $90 and $110 (£47 and £58) an hour.

Entry Requirements: You’ll need to hold a relevant degree in a subject like information technology and have previous experience in the field.


9. Procurement Manager

Job Description: Procurement managers organise the storage and distribution of goods and services. Part of their job involves working closely with suppliers of raw materials, manufacturers, retailers and consumers.

Salary: They usually earn between $90,000 and $140,000 (£47,823 and £74,448) a year. Chief procurement officers can earn from $120,000 to $200,000 (£63,756 and £106,371) a year in large organisations and also enjoy lavish benefits like company cars and bonuses.

Entry Requirements: There are no set requirements, but a relevant degree in an area like business, management or logistics can be helpful.


8. Building and Construction Manager

Job Description: Building and construction managers are responsible for organising the work on civil engineering or building projects. Their general duties include planning work schedules, managing staff and monitoring building progress and costs.

Salary: There are many options available to you regarding a career in construction, but becoming a construction manager will be the most financially rewarding. These professionals usually make between $90,000 and $150,000 (£47,823 and £79,705) a year, depending on their role, experience, qualifications and the size and location of the project they are working on.

Entry Requirements: You’ll generally need a relevant degree in a subject like civil engineering or construction management. You’ll also need extensive experience in the field prior to employment.


7. Mine/Quarry Manager

Job Description: Mine and quarry managers are responsible for all activities on a work site. This includes coordinating production, monitoring site systems and managing staff.

Salary: Mine managers typically make between $100,000 and $155,000 (£53,131 and £82,353) a year. The average annual salary for quarry managers, on the other hand, is between $130,000 and $210,000 (£69,089 and £111,606).

Entry Requirements: Generally speaking, an engineering or geological background is required, as is extensive experience working in mines or quarry sites. You will also likely to need to hold several health and safety certificates.


6. Information Technology Architect

Job Description: IT architects primarily design and maintain computer networks for the companies and organisations they work for. These professionals are in high demand.

Salary: IT architects have the highest paying jobs in the IT industry, with starting salaries averaging $112,000 (£59,513) a year. With experience, they make $125,000 (£66,421) and have the potential to earn as much as $160,000 (£85,019).

Entry Requirements: A bachelor’s degree in a subject like information systems is essential, as is at least 10 years’ experience in the field, including work in a senior role.



5. Pathologist

Job Description: Pathologists mainly study and test body fluids, including blood and urine, as well tissues and cells of the body. They help to diagnose diseases, including cancer and diabetes, and forensic pathologists also perform autopsies.

Salary: Trainee pathologists can earn between $112,000 and $166,000 (£59,513 and £88,187) a year. Average salaries for experienced pathologists, meanwhile, range between $150,000 and $216,000 (£79,695 and £114,750).

Entry Requirements: It takes 13 years to complete the training to become a pathologist, which includes a minimum of five years at medical school, two clinical foundation years and five years of specialist training.


4. Anaesthetist

Job Description: Anaesthetists are medical practitioners trained in anaesthesia and perioperative medicine. They are responsible for administering anaesthetics to patients in surgery and emergency departments.

Salary: If you’re considering a career in medicine, becoming an anaesthetist is a smart choice. They’re among the highest earners in the medical field, with trainees earning between $112,000 and $166,000 (£59,513 and £88,187) per year. Qualified anaesthetists typically make $149,000 to $216,000 (£79,164 to £114,750) annually, while those at the top level in the private sector can make as much as $600,000 (£318,781).

Entry Requirements: Like pathologists, anaesthetists also require a medical degree, along with 8 years of additional clinical training to qualify. You’ll also need to meet the same practice requirements as a pathologist in order to become a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.


3. Managing Director/Chief Executive

Job Description: Managing directors are responsible for the running of an organisation or business. They plan and put into place policies to help their organisations be successful. They include CEOs, general managers and senior leadership managers.

Salary: In the public sector, they can earn between $120,000 and $700,000 (£63,756 and £371,911) a year. In the private sector, managing directors can make as much as $1 million (£531,297) a year, though yearly salaries ranging between $2 million and $4.5 million (£1.06 million and £2.4 million) are not unheard of.

Entry Requirements: A relevant bachelor’s degree can be useful, though not essential (just look at the success stories of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs who both dropped out of college and went on to become self-made billionaires). Prior experience in a senior management role, however, is a must.


2. Elected Government Representative

Job Description: Elected government representatives are are elected by the people of a specific area to help govern a city, region or even the country of New Zealand. They include city councillors, mayors, ministers and politicians.

Salary: Pay for members of parliament varies depending on their position. They usually start on $160,000 (£85,007) a year, while the Prime Minister commands an annual salary of $450,000 (£239,084).

Pay for local government representatives, meanwhile, depends on their responsibilities, hours and the size of their council. For example, community board members typically earn between $2,000 and $26,000 (£1,062 and £13,814) a year. Mayors, on the other hand, can earn anywhere between $49,000 and $270,000 (£26,034 and £143,455) a year.

Entry Requirements: There are no set educational requirements, but you’ll need to be at least 18 years of age, a New Zealand citizen, enrolled on the parliamentary electoral roll and either elected by your electorate or from a party list.


1. Judge

Job Description: Judges are appointed or elected to preside over a specific court. They listen to court cases, act as referees between litigating parties and make decisions on matter of law.

Salary: Judges have the highest paying job in New Zealand, though pay varies and depends on the court they preside at. They typically earn between $323,000 and $473,000 (£171,614 and £251,315) a year.

Entry Requirements: A Bachelors of Law (LLB) and the completion of a Professional Legal Studies course are essential. You'll also need a minimum of seven years’ experience as a practising lawyer.



Would you consider emigrating to New Zealand to pursue a career in any of these highest paying jobs, or one not listed here? Perhaps you’ve already moved abroad for work and would like to share your experiences and advice? Either way, join the conversation below and let us know!

Salary information is based on data compiled and published by Careers New Zealand, a New Zealand government website. New Zealand dollar – Pound Stirling conversions are based on rates from 5 May 2017.

This article was originally published in June 2015.

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