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Average Salary in New Zealand 2020

How much money does a person working in New Zealand make?

Average Yearly Salary
245,000 NZD
( 20,400 NZD monthly)


A person working in New Zealand typically earns around 245,000 NZD per year. Salaries range from 33,200 NZD (lowest average) to 1,090,000 NZD (highest average, actual maximum salary is higher).

This is the average yearly salary including housing, transport, and other benefits. Salaries vary drastically between different careers. If you are interested in the salary of a particular job, see below for salaries for specific job titles.

Distribution of Salaries in New Zealand

Median and salary distribution yearly New Zealand
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The median, the maximum, the minimum, and the range

  • Salary Range

    Salaries in New Zealand range from 33,200 NZD per year (minimum salary) to 1,090,000 NZD per year (maximum average salary, actual maximum is higher).

  • Median Salary

    The median salary is 230,000 NZD per year, which means that half (50%) of the population are earning less than 230,000 NZD while the other half are earning more than 230,000 NZD. The median represents the middle salary value. Generally speaking, you would want to be on the right side of the graph with the group earning more than the median salary.

  • Percentiles

    Closely related to the median are two values: the 25th and the 75th percentiles. Reading from the salary distribution diagram, 25% of the population are earning less than 119,000 NZD while 75% of them are earning more than 119,000 NZD. Also from the diagram, 75% of the population are earning less than 618,000 NZD while 25% are earning more than 618,000 NZD.

What is the difference between the median and the average salary?

Both are indicators. If your salary is higher than both of the average and the median then you are doing very well. If your salary is lower than both, then many people are earning more than you and there is plenty of room for improvement. If your wage is between the average and the median, then things can be a bit complicated. We wrote a guide to explain all about the different scenarios. How to compare your salary

Salary Comparison by Years of Experience

How does a person's salary progress over time?

Salary Comparison By Experience Level
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The experience level is the most important factor in determining the salary. Naturally the more years of experience the higher the wage.

Generally speaking, employees having experience from two to five years earn on average 32% more than freshers and juniors across all industries and disciplines.

Professionals with experience of more than five years tend to earn on average 36% more than those with five years or less of work experience.

Change in salary based on experience varies drastically from one location to another and depends hugely on the career field as well. The data displayed here is the combined average of many different jobs. To view accurate figures, choose a specific job title.

As you hit the ten years mark, the salary increases by 21% and an additional 14% for those who have crossed the 15 years mark.

Those figures are presented as guidelines only. The numbers become more significant if you consider one job title at a time.

On average, a person's salary doubles their starting salary by the time they cross the 10 years* experience mark.
* Based on the average change in salary over time. Salary variations differ from person to person.

Salary Comparison By Education

How does the education level affect your salary?

Salary Comparison By Education
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It is well known that higher education equals a bigger salary, but how much more money can a degree add to your income? We compared the salaries of professionals at the same level but with different college degrees levels across many jobs, below are our findings.

Change in salary based on education varies drastically from one location to another and depends hugely on the career field as well. The data displayed here is the combined average of multiple jobs. To view accurate figures, choose a specific job title.

Workers with a certificate or diploma earn on average 17% more than their peers who only reached the high school level.

Employees who earned a Bachelor's Degree earn 24% more than those who only managed to attain a cerificate or diploma.

Professionals who attained a Master's Degree are awarded salaries that are 29% more than those with a Bachelor's Degree.

Finally, PhD holders earn 23% more than Master's Degree holders on average while doing the same job.

Is a Master's degree or an MBA worth it? Should you pursue higher education?

A Master's degree program or any post-graduate program in New Zealand costs anywhere from 102,000 New Zealand Dollar(s) to 306,000 New Zealand Dollar(s) and lasts approximately two years. That is quite an investment.

You can't really expect any salary increases during the study period, assuming you already have a job. In most cases, a salary review is conducted once education is completed and the degree has been attained.

Many people pursue higher education as a tactic to switch into a higher paying job. The numbers seem to support this tactic. The average increase in compensation while changing jobs is approximately 10% more than the customary salary increment.

The decision really depends on your situation and experience among many other factors. Putting all variables aside, if you can afford the costs of higher education then the return on investment is definitely worth it. You should be able to recover the costs in roughly a year or so.

Salary Comparison By Gender

Salary comparison by gender yearly New Zealand
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Though gender should not have an effect on pay, in reality, it does. So who gets paid more: men or women? Male employees in New Zealand earn 6% more than their female counterparts.

237,000 NZD
251,000 NZD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Average Annual Salary Increment Percentage in New Zealand

How much are annual salary increments in New Zealand? How often do employees get salary raises?

New Zealand

Employees in New Zealand are likely to observe a salary increase of approximately 8% every 16 months.

Annual Salary Increment Rate New Zealand
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The figures provided here are averages of numbers. Those figures should be taken as general guidelines. Salary increments will vary from person to person and depend on many factors, but your performance and contribution to the success of the organization remain the most important factors in determining how much and how often you will be granted a raise.

The term 'Annual Salary Increase' usually refers to the increase in 12 calendar month period, but because it is rarely that people get their salaries reviewed exactly on the one year mark, it is more meaningful to know the frequency and the rate at the time of the increase.

How to calculate the salary increment percentage?

The annual salary Increase in a calendar year (12 months) can be easily calculated as follows: Annual Salary Increase = Increase Rate x 12 ÷ Increase Frequency

The average salary increase in one year (12 months) in New Zealand is 6%.

Annual Increment Rate By Industry 2019

Information Technology

Listed above are the average annual increase rates for each industry in New Zealand for the year 2019. Companies within thriving industries tend to provide higher and more frequent raises. Exceptions do exist, but generally speaking, the situation of any company is closely related to the economic situation in the country or region. These figures tend to change frequently.

Average Salary Increase Rate by Experience Level

Junoir Level
3% - 5%
6% - 9%
Senior Level
10% - 15%
Top Management
15% - 20%

The difference in increment rates is somehow justified because employers put more effort to retain more experienced staff since they are harder to acquire than less experienced ones.

Worldwide Salary Raises: All Countries and All Jobs

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Bonus and Incentive Rates in New Zealand

How much and how often are bonuses being awarded?Annual Salary Bonus Rate New Zealand
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49% of surveyed staff in New Zealand reported that they haven't received any bonuses or incentives in the previous year while 51% said that they received at least one form of monetary bonus.

Those who got bonuses reported rates ranging from 3% to 5% of their annual salary.

Received Bonus
No Bonus

Types of Bonuses Considered

Individual Performance-Based Bonuses

The most standard form of bonus where the employee is awarded based on their exceptional performance.

Company Performance Bonuses

Occasionally, some companies like to celebrate excess earnings and profits with their staff collectively in the form of bonuses that are granted to everyone. The amount of the bonus will probably be different from person to person depending on their role within the organization.

Goal-Based Bonuses

Granted upon achieving an important goal or milestone.

Holiday / End of Year Bonuses

These types of bonuses are given without a reason and usually resemble an appreciation token.

Bonuses Are Not Commissions!

People tend to confuse bonuses with commissions. A commission is a prefixed rate at which someone gets paid for items sold or deals completed while a bonus is in most cases arbitrary and unplanned.

Bonus Rates Comparison by Career Field

Business Development
Marketing / Advertising
Information Technology
Customer Service
Human Resources

What makes a position worthy of good bonuses and a high salary?

The main two types of jobs

Revenue GeneratorsSupporting Cast

Employees that are directly involved in generating revenue or profit for the organization. Their field of expertise usually matches the type of business.

Employees that support and facilitate the work of revenue generators. Their expertise is usually different from that of the core business operations.

A graphics designer working for a graphics designing company.

A graphic designer in the marketing department of a hospital.

Revenue generators usually get more and higher bonuses, higher salaries, and more frequent salary increments. The reason is quite simple: it is easier to quantify your value to the company in monetary terms when you participate in revenue generation.

Try to work for companies where your skills can generate revenue. We can't all generate revenue and that's perfectly fine.

Bonus Comparison by Seniority Level

Top management personnel and senior employees naturally exhibit higher bonus rates and frequencies than juniors. This is very predictable due to the inherent responsibilities of being higher in the hierarchy. People in top positions can easily get double or triple bonus rates than employees down the pyramid.

Government vs Private Sector Salary Comparison

Public vs private sector salaries yearly New Zealand
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Where can you get paid more, working for a private company or for the government? Public sector employees in New Zealand earn 5% more than their private sector counterparts.

Private Sector
238,000 NZD
Public Sector+5%
251,000 NZD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Salary Trend and Forecast in New Zealand

How are New Zealand salaries changing over time? The chart below shows the average salary change in the past few years.

Salary trends and forecast yearly New Zealand
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Average Salary 2016
221,000 NZD
Average Salary 2017+4%
230,000 NZD
Average Salary 2018+2%
233,000 NZD
Average Salary 2019+2%
238,000 NZD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Salaries in New Zealand are on the rise in the year 2020 based on recent submitted salaries and reports. As displayed in the chart, salaries in 2019 are 2% higher than those of 2018. The trend suggests a slow yet continuous increase in pay in 2021 and future years. These numbers may vary from industry to another.

Salaries for popular jobs

Job TitleAverage Salary
Accounting and Finance
Accountant168,000 NZD
Accounting Assistant155,000 NZD
Accounting Manager317,000 NZD
Bookkeeper131,000 NZD
Chartered Accountant201,000 NZD
Corporate Treasurer439,000 NZD
Financial Analyst240,000 NZD
Financial Manager497,000 NZD
Internal Auditor253,000 NZD

Administration / Reception / Secretarial
Administrative Assistant122,000 NZD
Office Manager162,000 NZD
Receptionist138,000 NZD
Secretary129,000 NZD

Advertising / Grapic Design / Events
Art Director225,000 NZD
Creative Director254,000 NZD
Graphic Designer168,000 NZD
Photographer167,000 NZD

Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense
Aerospace Engineer251,000 NZD
Air Traffic Controller247,000 NZD
Flight Attendant202,000 NZD
Pilot271,000 NZD

Architect212,000 NZD
CAD Drafter180,000 NZD

Mechanic132,000 NZD
Service Advisor180,000 NZD

Bank Branch Manager343,000 NZD
Teller159,000 NZD

Teacher186,000 NZD
Translator201,000 NZD

Business Planning
Business Analyst272,000 NZD
Business Development Manager376,000 NZD
Project Manager271,000 NZD

Care Giving and Child Care
Nanny153,000 NZD
Nursery Teacher173,000 NZD

Construction / Building / Installation
Civil Engineer224,000 NZD
Construction Project Manager295,000 NZD
Health and Safety Officer145,000 NZD

Customer Service and Call Center
Call Center Representative167,000 NZD
Customer Service Manager317,000 NZD
Customer Service Representative161,000 NZD

Civil Engineer222,000 NZD
Electrical Engineer233,000 NZD
Engineer217,000 NZD
Mechanical Engineer241,000 NZD

Executive and Management
Chief Executive Officer564,000 NZD
Chief Financial Officer510,000 NZD
General Manager422,000 NZD
Project Manager265,000 NZD

Food / Hospitality / Tourism / Catering
Chef195,000 NZD
Executive Chef212,000 NZD
Hotel Manager363,000 NZD
Receptionist168,000 NZD
Travel Agent201,000 NZD
Waiter / Waitress142,000 NZD

Health and Medical
Dentist553,000 NZD
Dietitian562,000 NZD
Laboratory Technician185,000 NZD
Nurse194,000 NZD

Human Resources
Human Resources Manager315,000 NZD
Human Resources Officer190,000 NZD

Information Technology
Computer Technician191,000 NZD
Database Administrator229,000 NZD
Developer / Programmer213,000 NZD
Information Technology Manager359,000 NZD
Network Engineer202,000 NZD

Law Enforcement / Security / Fire
Police Officer183,000 NZD

Attorney333,000 NZD
Legal Assistant174,000 NZD

Media / Broadcasting / Arts / Entertainment
Journalist233,000 NZD

Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology
Biomedical Engineer196,000 NZD
Pharmacist261,000 NZD

Sales Retail and Wholesale
Cashier141,000 NZD
Sales Manager383,000 NZD
Sales Representative152,000 NZD

Teaching / Education
Elementary School Teacher167,000 NZD
Secondary School Teacher198,000 NZD

Average Hourly Wage in New Zealand

120 NZD per hour

The average hourly wage (pay per hour) in New Zealand is 120 NZD. This means that the average person in New Zealand earns approximately 120 NZD for every worked hour.

Hourly Wage = Annual Salary ÷ ( 52 x 5 x 8 )

The hourly wage is the salary paid in one worked hour. Usually jobs are classified into two categories: salaried jobs and hourly jobs. Salaried jobs pay a fix amount regardless of the hours worked. Hourly jobs pay per worked hour. To convert salary into hourly wage the above formula is used (assuming 5 working days in a week and 8 working hours per day which is the standard for most jobs). The hourly wage calculation may differ slightly depending on the worked hours per week and the annual vacation allowance. The figures mentioned above are good approximations and are considered to be the standard. One major difference between salaried employees and hourly paid employees is overtime eligibility. Salaried employees are usually exempt from overtime as opposed to hourly paid staff.

Salary Comparison By City

CityAverage Salary
Auckland272,000 NZD
Christchurch260,000 NZD
Hamilton236,000 NZD
Rotorua225,000 NZD
Wellington250,000 NZD
101079 - 369

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