Are your skills in demand?

You want to know whether your skills are in demand in New Zealand and you ask yourself:

"What are my chances of finding a job?"

These will be one of the most important questions you will ask when considering a move to New Zealand. 

In most cases the answer will be: 'If you have good skills and work experience, your chances of finding a job in New Zealand are good.'


Generally, skills in the following areas are in demand in New Zealand:

  • Agriculture & Forestry
  • Construction
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Finance & Business
  • Health & Social Services
  • ICT & Electronics
  • Oil & Gas
  • Recreation, Hospitality & Tourism
  • Science
  • Telecommunications
  • Trades
  • Transport


However, you probably want to get a more specific picture of your chances on the job market than this generic list can give you, before you feel confident to take your first serious steps towards your move to New Zealand. 


As a starting point, to find out more, we recommend that you do some initial research on the internet. 

This will help you get a first realistic idea of where you stand.

If you see a good number of vacancies that match your qualifications and work experience, this will definitely give you a good base to build your further job search on.

On the other hand, if you cannot find any job listings that might be right for you, you can conclude that it will be more challenging for you to find the right job.  

This might sound obvious, but it is definitely the first step we recommend for you to take to build a solid base for your move right from the start.

It is important that you have a clear and realistic understanding of every step of your job search and  migration process, and we encourage you to do as much research as you can, before you undertake any steps that might later be difficult to rectify.  

Our employment advisers will work with you throughout your job search. They will guide, coach, encourage and support you, but we want you to be in full control of your process at all times.

From our experience being in charge is the best way for you to feel confident that your move to New Zealand will be successful. 


Two of the leading websites for job listings in New Zealand are: 


Another very valuable tool for you to evaluate your chances on the New Zealand job market are the Skill Shortage Lists.

There are three Skill Shortage Lists, the Essential Skills in Demand Lists.

They reflect the current labour market situation and are updated on a regular basis. 

The Immediate Skill Shortage List, ISSL

The Immediate Skill Shortage List includes occupations where skilled workers are immediately required in New Zealand, and indicates that there are no New Zealand citizens or residents available to take up the position. This will enable faster processing of the work visa application.
If you are offered a job on the ISSL and meet the further requirements, you may be granted an Essential Skills work visa. This means that you are permitted to work in New Zealand temporarily and for the specific employer named in your work visa.
View the current Immediate Skill Shortage List, effective from 30 May 2016.


The Long Term Skill Shortage List, LTSSL

The Long Term Skill Shortage List identifies occupations where there is a sustained and on-going shortage of highly skilled workers both globally and throughout New Zealand.
If you get a job in an occupation on the LTSSL and meet the further requirements, you may be granted a work visa under the Work to Residence category. This means that you may be eligible to apply for residence in two years, provided you meet standard requirements, and that job has a base salary of at least NZ$45,000.
This list is also important for migrants who are applying for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category: If your qualification is on this list, you might qualify for bonus points for your Expression of Interest.
View the current Long Term Skill Shortage Listeffective from 11 April 2016.


The Canterbury Skill Shortage List, CSSL

The Canterbury Skill Shortage List contains occupations in critical shortage in the Canterbury region following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. It draws on the occupations on the Immediate and Long Term Skill Shortage Lists relevant to the Canterbury rebuild.
If you have skills in construction, engineering, telecommunications, trade professions and similar, your occupation might be on this list and you have a job offer in Canterbury, you may be granted an Essential Skills work visa. If the occupation is also on the LTSSL, then you may also be able to apply for residence.
View the current Canterbury Skill Shortage List, effective from 9 May 2016.


If your skills are on one of the Skill Shortage Lists, this will probably mean two things for you:

  1. It gives you an indication that your chances of finding a job are very good. 
  2. Your work and resident visa applications might be more straight forward than for other migrants.


What happens if your skills are not on one of the Shortage Lists?

If you have good qualifications and work experience, your chances of finding a job and getting a visa can still be excellent.

Our team of Licensed Immigration Advisers and Employment Specialists is here to help!


Client Feedback: 

Hello Katrin, First of all I want to thank you for the fantastic, complete and detailed work that you have done with my job application materials. Now I feel more confident for the future job applications.Thank you for your suggestions and recommendations. Of course  now I’m searching for potential job offers in the Online Job Seeker Sources and Recruitment Agencies 2016. When I find a job offer suitable for me, before to apply I’ll contact you to ask your opinion.

Best regards, Jorge D. V., Argentina   


Read more about working in New Zealand


Are you eligible for a resident visa under Skilled Migrant Category? Find out by using our Quick Self-Check Guide.

Read more about becoming a New Zealand resident through the Skilled Migrant Category:

  • How many points will you need to have a realistic chance?
  • Will you be able to claim points for your qualifications?
  • Will you be able to claim bonus points for your professional expertise?
  • Do you have to be registered in New Zealand?
  • Will you meet the English language requirements?

Ask our Job Search Professionals

If you want to find out more about finding a job in New Zealand, contact Katrin Schottke, Job Search Manager at NZIC.

Ask Katrin for a Free Assessment