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Engineering jobs

Here’s your chance to combine outstanding professional opportunities with a lifestyle you just won’t find anywhere else.

Imagine being able to apply and develop your skills in a busy and varied engineering environment – 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 craft beer or wine.

That’s what you can look forward to when you bring your skills to New Zealand.

Engineers needed

Engineering skills are in chronic short-supply in New Zealand. 

We have approximately 74,000 working as engineers or in related roles. It is estimated we need 1,500 more each year just to match economic growth, let alone replace engineers who retire or move onto other jobs.

Some specialist skills are especially sought after. These feature on official Skill Shortages lists which are updated regularly. If your job is on one of these 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, engineering jobs on the Skills Shortage lists include:

  • Engineers from virtually every discipline: chemical (also known as process engineers here), civil, electrical, electronics, environmental, geotechnical, industrial, materials, mechanical, production, structural and telecommunications specialities
  • Draughting professionals: civil, electrical and mechanical
  • Technicians: civil, electrical, electronic, and mechanical.
Engineering jobs
Engineers on construction site

If your job is not on a shortage list, don’t be disheartened. There will be 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


Infrastructure renewal creating jobs

New Zealand is investing heavily in infrastructure right now to modernise existing assets, prepare for climate change and to help grow the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic.

An estimated $129 billion is to be spent on capital projects between 2019 and 2029. 

The government in 2020 announced a $15 billion surge of infrastructure projects in a New Zealand Upgrade programme, with special emphasis on roading and transport, hospitals and schools.

This is in addition to already unprecedented infrastructure investment. An estimated $129 billion is expected to be spent on capital projects between 2019 and 2029.

New housing developments are also underway across New Zealand, needing skills in land development, traffic and water infrastructure.

Interested in coming to New Zealand?

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A leading engineering recruitment agency has identified five particularly ‘hot’ skills in demand: civil engineers with land development experience; Stormwater and Three Waters engineers; Land Surveyors; Structural engineers; and Geotechnical engineers

The agency comments that Demand for engineering skills is particularly strong in the North Island. Activity in Canterbury/Christchurch is less, but there is still strong competition for civil, structural and building professionals there since many Canterbury firms are working on projects in other parts of the South Island.

Auckland also Waikato (Hamilton) and Bay of Plenty (Tauranga)

  • Civil Design Engineers
  • Civil Engineers with experience roads, rail, tunnelling or water and in land development
  • Geotechnical engineers
  • Land Surveyors and Survey Technicians
  • Planners, especially Resource Consent planners
  • Stormwater and Three Waters Engineers
  • Structural Engineers
  • Structural Revit Drafters
  • Transport Planners and Engineers


  • Building Services Engineers (Mechanical and Electrical)
  • Civil Engineers experienced in land development
  • Civil Infrastructure Engineers
  • Geometric Designers
  • Site and Project Engineers
  • Structural Engineers, especially with seismic project experience

Christchurch / South Island

  • Civil Engineers across multiple sectors
  • Geotechnical Engineers 
  • Generation, Power Systems and Substation Design engineers
  • Land Surveyors
  • Qualified Mechanical/Electrical Engineers (Building Services, High Voltage)
  • Stormwater and Three Waters Engineers 
  • Structural Engineers, especially with seismic project experience

Engineering hotspots | Hays

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 let you stay indefinitely and access more state-funded public services.

Visas to work in New Zealand

Getting started

The first step usually is finding a job. Check out where your skills will fit best and which employers are looking for your expertise. Start by visiting the professional body’s own jobs website.

Engineering jobs | Engineering New Zealand

Other job sites to explore

  • Workhere - a site specifically designed to connect NZ employers with talent based offshore

  • Seek- NZ's largest general job website

  • Trade Me - NZ’s most popular website with a large job section

  • Working in - connects offshore talent with NZ job opportunities

  • More job websites

Professional registration

Depending on your specialty, you may be required to register with a professional body in order to get a job and visa. In any case, getting a visa may be more straightforward if you are able to obtain professional registration in New Zealand.

More details are on Engineering New Zealand’s website.

Chartered Professional Engineer | Engineering New Zealand

Occupational registration | Immigration NZ

A professional network for engineers new to New Zealand

Engineering New Zealand has set up a Special Interest Group for Immigrant Engineers  - SIGIE.

SIGIE aims to help settle migrant engineers into meaningful professional employment in New Zealand. Objectives include continued training, professional development, employment and career counselling and social and work opportunity networking. 

SIGIE | Engineering New Zealand

Interested in coming to New Zealand?

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