Demand for Engineers in New Zealand

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If you have ever considered immigrating to New Zealand and are an engineer, now could be your chance.

New Zealand is currently experiencing a shortage of skilled workers in the engineering fields and the Government has identified that employers need to recruit people from overseas to help meet the demand for your skills.

This is your opportunity to bring your skills to New Zealand and enjoy unique professional opportunities along with a lifestyle you just won’t find anywhere else.

In this article, I’ll take about the outlook for various engineering positions in New Zealand.

The Job Listing Outlook for Engineering Industry Positions

You’ll find lots of engineering jobs on the employment skill lists. Skilled engineering workers that are desired include:

  • Chemical engineer – We kiwis call these Process Engineers
  • Engineers including the following subtypes – civil, construction, electrical, electronics, environmental, geotechnical, industrial, instrument and electrical, materials, mechanical, mining, petroleum, production, structural and transport specialties
  • Draughts persons in the civil, electrical and mechanical disciplines
  • Technicians in the civil, electrical and electronic disciplines

Civil Engineer Opportunities In Infrastructure Projects

The NZ Government is investing in infrastructure and this is creating great job opportunities for people working in various aspects of the engineering industry.

The NZ government has committed to a long-term National Infrastructure Plan that cover

  • Transportation
  • Telecommunications
  • Energy
  • Water

The Government is forecasting approximately $110 billion forecast to be spent on infrastructure over the next ten years. This includes a massive $13.9 billion land transport program expected to complete in 2018.

The government has been active in infrastructure in the last seven years. They have

  • Added over $46 billion of property, plant, and equipment
  • Spent $1.8 billion on local infrastructure
  • Spent $2.2 billion on government assets for rebuilding Christchurch
  • Spent over $1.7 billion on rolling ultra-fast broadband.
  • Spent $400 million for rural broadband

The earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 in Christchurch and the surrounding Canterbury region have created extra work in the engineering industry.

Some 10,000 homes are expected to be built in Christchurch over the next four years. Additionally, the rebuild of the commercial sector rebuild could last 15 years or more before work is complete.

With the rebuild, there is a real need in Christchurch for Structural and Civil engineers. Structural engineers are required to check the safety of existing buildings, while civil engineers of all disciplines will be needed to help with various aspects of the rebuilding.

Chemical And Process Engineer Opportunities

Employers in New Zealand find it hard to find skilled workers in the chemical and process engineer field because demand is so strong worldwide.

In particular, demand is people who specialize in petroleum engineering.

There is expected to be significant further growth in the oil exploration, mining, and processing industry – especially in Taranaki, on the North Island’s west coast.

Electrical Engineer Opportunities

Even though the number of electrical engineers rose steadily between 2006 and 2010 – from 2,345 to 3,023, there are still too few electrical engineers to fill all vacancies.

There are two factors are driving demand for electrical engineers.

One is increased Government spending on electricity infrastructure. The other is the public demand for more sustainable electricity sources.

With electricity demand expected to grow by between 1% and 2% a year in the next 20 years, power companies are exploring options such as wind power, solar power, and wave power to help offset this increase.

Visa Options For Engineering Careers In New Zealand

There are various types of visas for which you may be eligible.

Work visas are for a temporary stay in New Zealand, but some can lead to a residence.

Resident visas, such as the Skilled Migrant Category, allow you to stay indefinitely and enjoy more of our state-funded public services.

Engineering Work Visas in New Zealand

Most engineers in New Zealand don’t need to be registered by law. However, registering may greatly help you get a job.

In some cases, you might need to work in NZ in order to meet the requirements. If this is the case, and you have a suitable job offer, you can apply for a work visa.

If you want to work on the South Island, make sure you check out the South Island Contribution work visa requirements.

New Zealand Engineering Opportunities Summary

There is a real need for engineers of all disciplines in New Zealand.

With the Government making massive investments in public infrastructure, increasing demand for public electrical power and rebuilding opportunities, there are great opportunities for engineers in New Zealand.

Salaries range from 40k -120k per year, and the Government is actively seeking candidates to fill the skills gap.

If you are an engineer or would like to study to become a qualified engineer and you have ever considered relocating to New Zealand, now is your opportunity to become a Kiwi!

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    Vinay Sood

    Vinay Sood



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    Babita Babita