If you’re up for a challenge, New Zealand can offer you a happy and satisfying career as well as a lifestyle that civil engineers in most countries can only dream of.

Work as a civil engineer

Great job opportunities for civil engineers

Your skills are highly sought-after in New Zealand – there are civil engineer shortages throughout the country, and demand is growing.

Civil engineers are in high demand in New Zealand because of:

  • increased government spending on infrastructure such as road, water collection, wastewater management and public buildings
  • major roading and water infrastructure projects
  • the rebuild of the Canterbury region after its earthquakes in 2010 and 2011
  • the need to meet the growing demand for electricity with new power-generating equipment and stations.

Most civil engineers in New Zealand are employed by engineering consultancies, local and regional authorities, government agencies or infrastructure and utility companies.

Working as a civil engineer in New Zealand

Working in New Zealand as a civil engineer

"I've done three times the number of projects in the last four years in NZ than I did in the four years I worked as a civil engineer in the US."

Read Jeff's story​​

Civil engineers are on New Zealand’s skill shortage lists, so if you have a full-time job offer – and the right experience and qualifications – it may be easier to apply for a visa.

Varied work

They may be working on large-scale infrastructure projects, or on groundbreaking projects with many technical challenges – such as contributing to the post-earthquake rebuild of the Canterbury region. Overseas-trained civil engineers often say the work in New Zealand is more varied than back home.

Or they may be working on smaller projects that enable them to stay involved in the process from beginning to end, broadening their range of skills.

Civil engineering jobs are available throughout New Zealand, from Auckland, our biggest city, to fast-growing cities such as Tauranga and Hamilton.

Want to know more? Register your interest

Take the first step by registering with Immigration New Zealand. We’ll send you personalised emails about job opportunities in your profession, life in New Zealand and choosing the right visa.

It’s free and there’s no obligation.


World renowned quality of life

World renowned quality of life

New Zealand has the work-life balance just right.

Working hard and getting ahead is important to us. We’re a well-developed, well-connected country with all sorts of opportunities to advance your career. But New Zealanders also believe life is for living. It’s about balancing a good day’s work with time for family and friends plus easy access to some of the world's most stunning landscapes.

Safe and secure

New Zealand is rated as the world’s second safest country to live in on the 2017 Global Peace Index. 

New Zealand consistently rates at the top of lists of the world’s most peaceful and least corrupt countries. While feeling safe is a luxury in many places, it's one that New Zealanders are accustomed to. Our strict border controls and low level of crime means safer communities, greater personal freedom and peace of mind for you and your family.

New Zealand ranked second on the 2017 Global Peace Index of safest countries to live and topped Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Perception Index.

Family friendly

New Zealand is the world's second most desirable place for families - HSBC 2015 Expat Explorer survey

If you have a family, New Zealand is probably one of the best choices you could make. Along with affordable, quality education, your children will be able to get close to nature and enjoy an incredibly diverse range of activities.

It’s why so many Kiwis living abroad come back home when it’s time to start nesting. They know that children here enjoy many things other countries just can’t offer.

We make fitting in and getting set up in your new country easy. And less commuting plus a better work-life balance means you get to spend more time with your family.

New Zealand is the world's second most desirable place for families, according to HSBC's 2015 Expat Explorer survey. One family-critical topic of the survey covered was 'healthcare', where our system was rated as the best in the world.
​ ​

Space to breathe

We're similar in size to the UK but with only a fraction of the population

We're similar in size to the UK and have all the benefits of an advanced Western economy - but with only a fraction of the population, so you'll have space to breathe.

Auckland, our largest city, was ranked third in the 2016 Quality of Living survey conducted annually by the global HR consultants Mercer.

New Zealand’s renowned natural beauty is never far from view. Over thirty percent of New Zealand is dedicated to national parks, boasting fertile green countryside, majestic forests and snow-capped mountains, and no part of New Zealand is more than seventy-five miles (120km) away from the ocean.

Warm Welcome

Nine out of ten migrants find the welcome they receive meets or exceeds their expectations

New Zealanders open their hearts to newcomers. The Maori people have a saying “He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata” which translates to “What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.”

Our warmth and hospitality are a product of our size. Living on the edge of the world as we do, it’s second nature for New Zealanders to reach out and make connections.

It's not surprising then that nine out of ten migrants find the welcome they receive meets or exceeds their expectations.

Sonographers in New Zealand tend to work in small, friendly teams, so it’s easy to meet people and make new friends.

More information


Moving to New Zealand as a Civil Engineer

Moving to New Zealand

There may be a number of visas you are eligible to apply for – each with its own criteria and application process. 

Your 5 step plan to make it happen

If you plan to work as a civil engineer in New Zealand, employers will expect you to have an engineering degree that is recognised under the Washington Accord.  To check your qualification, go to the International Engineering Alliance website. If your degree isn't formally recognised under the Washington Accord, it can be assessed by Engineering New Zealand. Most civil engineers choose to become members of Engineering New Zealand, but membership isn't compulsory to work in New Zealand.
International Engineering Alliance
Working in New Zealand | Engineering New Zealand
Civil engineers are in high demand in New Zealand and there are job opportunities all around the country - from Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city, to fast-growing regional centres like Tauranga and Hamilton.
You'll need a job offer before you can apply for a work visa, so check out these job websites:

Good news - civil engineers are on New Zealand’s skill shortage lists. So if you have a full-time job offer and the right work experience and qualifications, applying for a visa may be easier. You may also be able to bring your partner and children with you.
Work visas | Immigration New Zealand

The cost of living may be different to back home, depending on where you’re from and where you plan to live in New Zealand. Use our calculator to find out what your income and expenses might be in New Zealand.
Cost of Living Calculator
To make your move hassle-free, try NZ Ready. This free online tool gives you a personalised task list to help you plan your move to New Zealand and make settling here easier.
NZ Ready

You love your job as a civil engineer, but does it come at the expense of time with your family and friends? Do you want to take a step forward in your career, while still having the time and energy for a life of your own? New Zealand could well be the answer.

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.


Is there anything wrong with this page?

Page last updated: 22/06/2020

Help us improve New Zealand Now

Your feedback is very important in helping us improve the New Zealand Now website. Please don’t include any personal or financial information.