Please note: New Zealand Now content reflects pre-COVID-19 conditions and outlook. For COVID-19 related updates to visa and border requirements, click here.

Education jobs

Enjoy the professional challenges of world ranked education system, combined with a lifestyle you won’t find elsewhere.

Imagine a place where you can work to the highest professional standards, then in half an hour or less be relaxing on a beach, hiking through beautiful native bush, pounding down a mountain bike track or just chilling with friends in your back garden over a fine New Zealand wine. That’s what you can look forward to when you bring your skills to New Zealand.

Living life to the full - Joy's story of teaching in New Zealand

Becoming registered to teach in New Zealand involves four different government agencies. It’s a complex process. Be patient and allow plenty of time.

Register to receive personalised information

Take the first step to a new life by registering to receive emails from Immigration New Zealand.

We’ll send you relevant teaching job opportunities from New Zealand employers, and practical advice on how to choose the right visa and make the move to New Zealand.

It’s free and there’s no obligation.

Professional satisfaction

New Zealand offers an excellent education system to work in.

It is well supported. Among OECD countries, New Zealand has been spending one of the highest proportions of its gross domestic product (GDP) on primary to tertiary educational institutions.

Education here is very focused on preparing young people for tomorrow’s world. We ranked third overall out of 50 leading countries in The Economist’s 2019 Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI). We top-scored for measures such as gender equality, civic freedom, and diversity and tolerance; and ranked fifth for our focus on critical thinking, digital skills and soft skills.

Three of our universities are in the top 300 of the 2021 World University Rankings — six are in the top 500.

You’ll be working in an education sector that is admired internationally.

HSBC’s 2020 Expat Explorer survey described the quality of education here as ‘excellent’. Respondents rated our schooling ahead of that available in Australia, Canada, the UK or the US. We’re considered among the world’s main ‘host nations’ for international students, a standing that at its peak made education our fourth biggest export earner.

Educating for the future | The Economist

World University Rankings 2021 | Times Higher Education

If you want to teach in early childhood services or a school in New Zealand, there is a process to follow that involves four different NZ government agencies.

Educators wanted

New Zealand has for many years faced a shortage of teachers at all levels. Foreign-trained teachers have been a key part of government efforts to close the gaps.

In the immediate future, increased retention, growing numbers in training plus more New Zealand-trained teachers returning have all combined to alleviate pressures. This is particularly so at primary levels, although pressure on the supply of secondary school teachers is expected to continue.

However, the official Skills Shortages lists still feature roles for educators at every level.

Check your eligibility

If you are an educator interested in coming to New Zealand, start by visiting the Ministry of Education hub for an overview of the process

Their site helps you work out whether you are eligible to teach in New Zealand. It then outlines the recommended route through the process, including what documentation you will need to source.

Up to four New Zealand government agencies may be involved: New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Education Council (registration), Education Payroll, and Immigration New Zealand. It’s a very thorough process and you will need to allow time to work through all the steps.

Be aware that, if you’re an overseas trained teacher, you will need to be extremely competent in both written and spoken English.

Come and teach in New Zealand | Ministry of Education

Skill shortage lists

If your job is on one of the official Skills Shortages lists, it is good news for you. That is because it means the Government accepts employers need to recruit from overseas because there aren’t enough New Zealanders qualified for the role.

As at early 2021, education jobs on the Skills Shortage lists include:

  • Early childhood (Pre-Primary School) teacher
  • Primary School Teacher
  • Secondary School Teacher
  • University Lecturer
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow.

If your job is not on a shortage list, don’t be disheartened. There are other work and visa options.

For example, If you can get a job offer and your employer can demonstrate they can’t find a New Zealander for the vacancy, then you may be able to apply for a work visa.

Alternatively, you may be able to apply for a resident visa if you meet the criteria for our Skilled Migrant Category.

Visas to work in New Zealand

Job sites to explore

Teach in New Zealand

Visa options

There are various types of visas that you may be eligible to apply for. Work visas are for a temporary stay in New Zealand, but some can lead to residence. Resident visas, such as the Skilled Migrant Category, allow you to stay indefinitely and enjoy more of our state-funded public services.

Visas to work

Interested in coming to New Zealand?

Sign up to receive relevant job opportunities from New Zealand employers and practical advice on how to make your move to New Zealand a reality.