Work in New Zealand's Science Sector

New Zealand’s science industry is growing quickly as it adapts to a changing world. Join one of our labs and enjoy New Zealand’s unique lifestyle.

Internationally Renowned Local Science

New Zealand has developed a highly competitive and innovative science sector. Fields like agriculture, biopharma, nutraceuticals and biotechnology have successful local organisations making a difference.

Close to 30,000 people work in research in New Zealand. This places the country above the average for OECD globally. Almost one-quarter of science professionals work for government organisations, while most opportunities are in the thriving private sectors industries.

Opportunities for science roles abound. However, applied research and primary industry roles have a stronger demand for workers.

  • The New Zealand economy is evolving rapidly, striving to keep innovating in new sectors. However, the country still relies on primary industries such as forestry and agriculture. Therefore, a good amount of scientific research is focused on primary industries. These two sectors are in particular need for migrant scientists specialising in research and development.
  • With a strong commitment to further develop New Zealand’s Science Sector, the Government will seek to boost business expenditure on business Research and Development to 1% of the country’s GDP by 2025. This also includes a public investment of 0.8% of GDP.

Science Professionals and the Skill Shortage Lists in New Zealand

New Zealand’s public and private sectors are looking for scientists to contribute to the fast growth of the economy. Identified as needing overseas professionals to meet demand, some science roles are on the Skill Shortage Lists, including but not limited to:

  • Environmental Research Scientists;
  • Food Technologists; and
  • Spatial Scientists.

The lists recognise the need for overseas professionals in different areas of the economy and provide more benefits to applicants, such as easier recruitment, and faster visa processing. Even if your specialty is not on the lists, you may still be able to obtain your work visa.

If you are looking to migrate to New Zealand, ask our Licensed Immigration Adviser for a Free Assessment on your migration options.

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