Feeling the blues about returning to work after the Christmas break? You might be in need of a good old fashioned career shakeup. It’s not uncommon to feel reflective over the New Year period. With the new year comes new opportunities — now is the time to grasp them!

When considering a new career there are a few things to ask yourself. Do you want to return to exactly what you had, and if so, what would it take to get there? Are you keen on less (or more) responsibility? Different hours? Is the money your number one concern?

Here we reveal some of the most in-demand careers in New Zealand for 2020 to ease your decision making. Source: Careers.govt.nz

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Civil Engineer

Due to a shortage of civil engineers across New Zealand, job prospects are high for qualified engineers across the country. New civil engineers typically earn between $60K-$70K per year, while more senior civil engineers might earn between $120K-$180K per year. Civil engineers plan and organise the building of roads, bridges, dams, and sewerage systems. Qualifications take four years to attain, so start planning your future today!

Quantity Surveyor

With infrastructure and construction projects booming in New Zealand, quantity surveyors are in high demand. Entry-level quantity surveyors usually earn between $50K-$85K per year, while experienced quantity surveyors will typically earn between $90K-$150K per year. Quantity surveyors are responsible for the planning and management of construction project finances, ensuring budgets are managed efficiently in order to meet each stage of construction. 2-3 years of training is typically required to fulfil the requirements of a role as a quantity surveyor.


Demand for experienced accountants is high in New Zealand due to a shortage of workers. Accountants without a CA/CPA qualification will typically earn between $55K-$90K, while chartered accountants can expect to earn between $76K-$202K per year. Accountants are responsible for providing accounting services to individuals, organisations or companies as well as advising on financial aspects of the business. It can take between 2-6 years to become qualified as an accountant.

Plumber, Gasfitter & Drainlayer

There’s high demand for plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers in New Zealand due to an increase in work and a shortage in workers. Plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers typically earn between $18-$41 per hour, depending on their skills, experience and qualifications. Workers in this area repair, install, and assemble pipes that supply water, gas or remove waste. Training to become a plumber, gasfitter and drainlayer usually takes between 2-4 years.


There’s a shortage of electricians across New Zealand, meaning chances of securing a job as an electrician are high for 2020. Qualified electricians will typically earn between $23-$32 per hour, and are responsible for installing, maintaining and repairing electrical systems and equipment. 3-4 years of training is required to become a qualified electrician.

Heavy Truck Driver

The chances of securing a role as a heavy truck driver are average for entry-level workers, but good if you have experience. Heavy truck drivers can expect to earn between $18-$30 per hour and varies according to the industry they work in and the size of the vehicle. Heavy truck drivers are responsible for transporting everything from materials and livestock to machinery and general freight from A to B. It can take between 1-2 years to gain a qualification in this field.

Project Manager

Constant change within the construction and engineering industries mean project managers are in hot demand for 2020. Project managers who work in construction usually earn between $55K-$135K per year, while project managers in the engineering industry can expect to earn between $65K-$125K per year. Project management roles vary greatly across sectors and companies but typically involve managing the successful delivery of projects from start to finish, including strategy, finance, and operational aspects.


With steady growth and demand in the construction industry, job opportunities for surveyors are high in New Zealand. Graduate surveyors typically earn between $50K-$60K per year, while surveyors with five or more years’ experience can earn from $90K-$120K per year. The main role of a surveyor is to conduct work to determine the location of boundaries, topographic features and built structures. It takes four years of training to become a qualified surveyor.

Building and Construction Manager

Job opportunities for building and construction managers are high due to a shortage of workers and an increase in projects across New Zealand. Building and construction managers can earn between $80K-$170K per year, depending on their seniority and experience. This work involves planning, controlling and co-ordinating building or civil engineering projects and the people and resources involved in a project. 2-4 years of training is usually required for this role.


There’s a major shortage of carpenters across New Zealand, so job opportunities are high for qualified carpenters. New carpenters usually earn between $18-$23 an hour, while experienced carpenters can earn between $25-$40 an hour. Carpenters work with wood to build, restore or repair walls, roofs, windows and doors in buildings. It can take between 3-4 years of training to become a qualified carpenter.

Related: 365 new days. 365 new opportunities. 5 ways to smash your career goals this year. 


Ready to make 2020 your year? Speak to one of our expert recruitment consultants today and launch your new career with the right recruiter behind you.


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