In-demand specialists in New Zealand


Lists of in-demand specialities

In the immigration rules of New Zealand, there is such a thing as Skill Shortage Lists. They are needed in order to somewhat facilitate the process of obtaining a work visa for those who have found a suitable employer. In some cases, the appearance of a speciality on the lists also gives bonuses for further immigration through a skilled program. At the moment, there are 3 lists of in-demand specialities. You can find them on the official website of Immigration New Zealand.

Three lists

Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

Long Term Skill Shortage List

If your speciality meets all the requirements and is on this list, it can bring additional points when obtaining residency through the Skilled Migrant Category. In addition, according to the rules of Immigration New Zealand, being on this list makes it somewhat easier to obtain a work visa if you have an invitation from an employer because in this case, you do not need to prove to the authorities that it was not possible to find a person with a suitable visa status for the position. Only a licensed Kiwi Immigration advisor can advise on this category.

To correctly navigate the document, it is important to pay attention to all the columns in this list. The left column is simply the group that the speciality belongs to. The middle column is the name of the qualification and its code according to the Australian-New Zealand system. But the right column is the most important. Here are all the requirements that must be met one to one in order to be on the list. As a rule, this is the education of a certain area and level, but at the end, there are often also additional requirements for experience in the existing speciality. Be sure to pay attention to this.

What specialities are included in the list


Not those builders who work by hand, but project managers and managers of construction sites, besides, quantity surveyors and surveyors. These positions assume strong English and good management experience. Having a local New Zealand education will only be an advantage. Intelligent professionals in this area are in great demand, and salaries range from 80 to 170 thousand New Zealand dollars per year, before taxes. Taxes will take away about 25 per cent of this amount.

If you want to assess the prospects for employment in your speciality and understand what kind of salary range you can count on in this case, we recommend the Careers website, it is quite easy to find all the necessary information there.


Civil engineering, chemistry, geotechnics, electrical, electronics and mechanics. Separately, the lists include engineering technicians in civil engineering, electrical and electronics engineering, as well as telecommunication engineers. Almost all of these specialities are in demand, but more often this applies specifically to experienced engineers with good English. If something is missing, either skills or language, then there are chances too, but it will be more difficult. Salaries range from $ 60,000 to $ 200,000 per year, depending on specific activities and the company in general.

IT (Information Technology)

The most popular sphere in New Zealand and around the world. System administrators, programmers, analysts, web developers, and networking and telecommunications specialists. In our opinion, the biggest number of jobs in the country is in the IT sphere, the demand for such specialists is very high. Naturally, it is the experienced professionals who are most in demand, but nevertheless beginners find themselves since there are a lot of positions.

The salary of beginning specialists starts from 50-60 thousand per year, while experienced specialists receive an average of 70 to 100 thousand per year, and this is far from the limit.

Multimedia technology

There are designers and animators with good experience on the lists, but it is still not so easy for them to find a job since it is often contractual and the number of vacancies is much lower.

Other spheres

Chefs, scientists and environmentalists, food technologists, auto electricians and diesel specialists, as well as simply electricians and electromechanics can also be seen on the list. For all of these specialists, salaries can vary on average from 40 to 100 thousand per year.

There are also such specialities in the list, under which it is extremely difficult to meet the requirements. For example, a procurement manager needs UK certifications from CIPS, and all medical professionals need to obtain local licensing.

Regional Skill Shortage List

In this list, all specialities are ranked according to their demand in different regions of the country. Being on this list does not provide any advantages in obtaining residency, but simplifies the process of obtaining a work visa. In addition, as with the long-term list, the employer does not need to prove to the authorities that they have not found local applicants for the vacant position.

This list is also arranged according to the principle of three columns, where the applicant must clearly meet the requirements for education and/or work experience, and also in some cases have a New Zealand license. By the way, obtaining such licenses can sometimes be very difficult, as for doctors, and sometimes quite affordable, for example, for electricians.

We will not list all the specialities. Follow the link and see if your speciality is on the list. Let’s say that people are most often demanded in agriculture, education, the hospitality sector and, in general, manual labour.

Construction & Infrastructure Skill Shortage List

With a separate list, the New Zealand authorities decided not only to include construction specialities but also to divide them by region. It is no secret that New Zealand is actively building and developing, so the country needs specialists from this area. In this list, it is necessary to pay attention not only to the requirements for education and experience but also to the region in which specialists are required, this is indicated in the last column. As in the previous case, being on this list does not provide any advantages in obtaining residency, but it makes it easier to obtain a work visa if you find an employer.

How To Find Your Specialty In The Lists

For example, you are a welder. Search this speciality on the official page of Immigration New Zealand and see that it belongs to Skill Level Classification. This means that it is not considered to be low-skilled, therefore, passes the standard requirements for obtaining work visas.

We look further, there are no welders in the long-term and regional lists, but they are on the construction list.

We go there and look for Welder by name. We see that these specialists are needed in the Canterbury area, and among the requirements is either level 4 education or 3 years of work experience. It is important that there is OR, not AND, therefore, either of these will be enough.

So, if you have the education of a welder, as well as its confirmation in the NZQA, or confirming 3 years of official experience in the profession, you can be on the construction list. If you find an employer in the Canterbury region, for example, in the city of Christchurch, it will not be difficult to obtain a work visa, since the employer will not have to prove to INZ that he was looking for locals, but did not find them. Thus, there is a chance.

Who else is needed in New Zealand

We would like to note that the real demand for specialists is not limited to official lists. As practice shows, it is really difficult to find smart specialists in different industries. For example, digital marketing is booming. Especially good prospects are for those who work in its technical component: SEO, PPC, analytics. And in general, finding a marketer who can accomplish the task better than it was actually formulated is a huge work.

There is also a shortage of staff in sales and service. Vacancies for economists, lawyers and other humanitarian areas are also regular, but this, of course, will require local education or experience.

In general, intelligent specialists are needed everywhere. Only in the absence of your profession in the official lists, the process of employment becomes somewhat more complicated. Many employers do not want to bother with the difficult process of obtaining work visas, even despite the lack of staff. The fact is that all these troubles for the sake of a foreigner are a kind of risk. Suddenly you are not so good, suddenly you haven’t gone through the adaptation process yet. A lot of effort will be spent, and the risks that you will not cope with the work are great. Moreover, firing a person in New Zealand isn’t easy either.

What if my speciality is not on the lists

There are 3 options:

  • Look for a job remotely if you are very cool with international experience.
  • Come to New Zealand, for example, to improve your language in English courses, and at the same time try to find an employer who really needs you.
  • Get an education in New Zealand on the basis of an existing one or from scratch in 1, 2 or 3 years, after which you will receive a Post Study Work Visa for a period of 1 to 3 years, and this difficulty will disappear.

Job search

The shortage lists are quite extensive. However, it is very difficult to find a job remotely, and even being in New Zealand it will be difficult if you do not have a work visa. Please note that even if you are on the lists, no one can guarantee you a job. Everything always depends only on you, your skills and the ability to present yourself.

Good English is the first thing that influences employment success. Please take it seriously. You should not count on work from Russian businesses, you should not expect that it will somehow happen itself. No matter how good a specialist you are, in a new country, you have to prove your professionalism again, from scratch.

Naturally, great importance is attached to your professional skills, but besides this, you need to understand that you have come to a new country. And here you need to play by local rules to get attention. Properly write a CV, write letters correctly, present yourself correctly in a telephone and personal interview. All this needs to be prepared, this will not happen by itself.

To approach the process as prepared as possible, we have made an article for you about finding a job in New Zealand. There you will find tons of useful information, as well as links to our workshops and webinars on finding jobs. For those who need help, our Kiwi Support project can provide it, in which we help to write a resume correctly and prepare you for an interview.

Finding a job can be difficult even at home, and even more abroad. Based on our experience and observations, we can say that we have met both positive and negative examples of employment. Someone needed a few days, someone spent many months and left with nothing. But the majority still manage to stay in the country and gain a foothold.

Read Further:

Immigration Through Study In New Zealand

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