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Attorney Average Salary in New Zealand 2024

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

Average Yearly Salary
181,000 NZD
( 15,100 NZD monthly)

All salary figures displayed here are per year except when noted otherwise.
All salary and compensation figures displayed here are gross salary figures, that is the salary before tax deductions. Because taxes may differ across sectors and locations, it is difficult to accurately calculate the net salary after tax for every career.

A person working as Attorney in New Zealand typically earns around 181,000 NZD. Salaries range from 83,100 NZD (lowest) to 287,000 NZD (highest).

Salary Variance

This is the average salary including housing, transport, and other benefits. Attorney salaries in New Zealand vary drastically based on experience, skills, gender, or location. Below you will find a detailed breakdown based on many different criteria.

Attorney Pay Scale and Salaries in New Zealand

Median and salary distribution New Zealand Attorney yearly
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Salary Structure and Pay Scale Comparison

5% of people earn
171,000 NZD or more
10% of people earn
150,000 to 171,000 NZD
20% of people earn
103,000 NZD or less
65% of people earn
103,000 to 150,000 NZD
Minimum Salary
83,100 NZD
173,000 NZD
287,000 NZD

Median Salary, maximum and minimum salary, minimum wage, starting salary, and the salary range

All salary figures displayed here are per year except when noted otherwise.
  • Salary Range, Minimum Wage, and Starting Salary

    Salaries for the position Attorney in New Zealand range from 83,100 NZD (starting salary) to 287,000 NZD (maximum salary). It should be noted that the given figure is not the legally mandated minimum wage; rather, it represents the lowest figure reported in a salary survey that included thousands of participants and professionals from all regions of the country.

  • Median Salary

    With a median salary of 173,000 NZD, half of the professionals who work as Attorney in New Zealand earn less than this amount, and the other half earn more. The median salary denotes the middle value of salaries. Ideally, you would want to belong to the group earning more than the median salary, located on the right side of the salary distribution graph.

  • Percentiles and Salary Scale

    The median is closely associated with two other values known as the 25th and 75th percentiles. By examining the salary distribution chart, it can be determined that 25% of professionals employed as Attorney in New Zealand earn less than 139,000 NZD, while 75% earn more. Similarly, the chart shows that 75% earn less than 199,000 NZD while 25% earn more.

  • Pay Scale Structure

    To provide a better understanding of expected salaries, we categorized the frequently occurring salaries into different ranges. This approach provides a more precise representation of salary distribution for the job title Attorney in New Zealand compared to simply calculating the average. The majority of reported salaries, approximately 65%, fall within the range of 103,000 NZD to 150,000 NZD. About 20% of salaries are below the 103,000 NZD mark, while 10% fall within the range of 150,000 NZD to 171,000 NZD. Only 5% of individuals have salaries exceeding 171,000 NZD.

Salary Comparison by Years of Experience / Attorney / New Zealand

How do experience and age affect pay?

0 - 2 Years
94,300 NZD
2 - 5 Years+34%
126,000 NZD
5 - 10 Years+48%
186,000 NZD
10 - 15 Years+22%
227,000 NZD
15 - 20 Years+9%
247,000 NZD
20+ Years+8%
268,000 NZD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value
Salary comparison by years of experience yearly New Zealand Attorney
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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. We broke down salaries by experience level for people working as Attorney and this is what we found.

All salary figures displayed here are per year except when noted otherwise.

Employees with less than two years of experience earn approximately 94,300 NZD.

While someone with an experience level between two and five years is expected to earn 126,000 NZD, 34% more than someone with less than two year's experience.

Moving forward, an experience level between five and ten years lands a salary of 186,000 NZD, 48% more than someone with two to five years of experience.

Additionally, professionals whose expertise span anywhere between ten and fifteen years get a salary equivalent to 227,000 NZD, 22% more than someone with five to ten years of experience.

If the experience level is between fifteen and twenty years, then the expected wage is 247,000 NZD, 9% more than someone with ten to fifteen years of experience.

Lastly, employees with more than twenty years of professional experience get a salary of 268,000 NZD, 8% more than people with fifteen to twenty years of experience.

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.

Typical Salary Progress for Most Careers

Salary Comparison By Experience Level
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Salary Comparison By Education / Attorney / New Zealand

How do education levels affect salaries?

Displayed below is the average salary variance between different education levels of professionals working as Attorney.

Bachelor's Degree
108,000 NZD
Master's Degree+57%
169,000 NZD
283,000 NZD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value
Salary comparison by education level yearly New Zealand Attorney
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We all know that higher education equals a bigger salary, but how much more money can a degree add to your income? We broke down salaries by education level for the position Attorney in order to make a comparison.

Level 1: Bachelor's Degree

Employees at this education level have an average salary of 108,000 NZD.

Level 2: Master's Degree

At this level, the average salary becomes 169,000 NZD, 57% more than the previous level.

Level 3: PhD

At this level, the average salary becomes 283,000 NZD, 68% more than the previous level.

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 40,700 NZD to 122,000 NZD 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 to a higher-paying job. The numbers seem to support the theory. The average increase in compensation while changing jobs is approximately 10% more than the customary salary increment.

If you can afford the costs of higher education, the return on investment is definitely worth it. You should be able to recover the costs in roughly a year or so.

Typical Salary Difference by Education for Most Careers

Salary Comparison By Education Level
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Salary and Compensation Comparison By Gender / Attorney / New Zealand

Salary comparison by gender New Zealand Attorney yearly
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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? For the people who work as Attorney in New Zealand, the average difference between the salary of male and female employees is 6%.

186,000 NZD
176,000 NZD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Salary Comparison By Gender in New Zealand for all Careers

Salary comparison by gender yearly New Zealand
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Average Annual Salary Increment Percentage / Attorney / New Zealand

How much are annual salary increments in New Zealand for individuals working as Attorney? How often do employees get salary raises?

Individuals working as Attorney in New Zealand are likely to observe a salary increase of approximately 12% every 16 months. The national average annual increment for all professions combined is 8% granted to employees every 16 months.

Annual Salary Increment Rate New Zealand Attorney
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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.

New Zealand / All Professions

Annual Salary Increment Rate New Zealand
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The term Annual Salary Increase usually refers to the increase in 12 calendar month period, but because it is rare 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%.

Worldwide Salary Raises: All Countries and All Jobs

World Average Annual Salary Increment
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Salary Packages and Schemes

Not all compensation increases are reflected directly in the salary. Some companies offer upgraded packages to their staff instead of cash money. The figures displayed here account only for direct increments to the base salary.

Bonus and Incentive Rates / Attorney / New Zealand

How much and how often are bonuses being awarded?Annual Salary Bonus Rate New Zealand Attorney
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13% of surveyed staff reported that they haven't received any bonuses or incentives in the previous year while 87% said that they received at least one form of monetary bonus.

Those who got bonuses reported rates ranging from 5% to 9% 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.

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.

Average Hourly Wage / Attorney / New Zealand

87 NZD per hour

The average hourly wage (pay per hour) for individuals working as Attorney in New Zealand is 87 NZD.This is the rate they get paid for every worked hour.

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

About The Hourly Pay Rate

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 fixed 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.

What is the minimum hourly rate of pay?

The minimum pay rate per hour for people working as Attorney in New Zealand is 40 NZD. This is the minimum as per the gathered data in the salary survey not the minimum hourly rate mandated by law.

Salary comparison with similar jobs

Job TitleAverage Salary
Administrative Law Judge270,000 NZD+49%
Arbitrator119,000 NZD-34%
Associate Attorney121,000 NZD-33%
Attorney181,000 NZD+0%
Bailiff56,700 NZD-69%
Barrister49,400 NZD-73%
Blockchain Lawyer130,000 NZD-28%
Candidate Attorney105,000 NZD-42%
Conciliator90,300 NZD-50%
Contracts Associate60,200 NZD-67%
Contracts Manager106,000 NZD-41%
Contracts Negotiator88,100 NZD-51%
Contracts Specialist57,500 NZD-68%
Conveyancing Secretary51,700 NZD-71%
Corporate Counsel141,000 NZD-22%
Counsel130,000 NZD-28%
Court Clerk44,700 NZD-75%
Court Judicial Assistant71,300 NZD-61%
Court Liaison Specialist87,300 NZD-52%
Court Reporter73,100 NZD-60%
Court Representative57,600 NZD-68%
Crown Prosecution Service Lawyer266,000 NZD+47%
Data Privacy and Protection Lawyer169,000 NZD-6%
Digital Forensics Lawyer152,000 NZD-16%
E-discovery Lawyer177,000 NZD-2%
General Counsel239,000 NZD+32%
Genetics Lawyer199,000 NZD+10%
Immigration Executive133,000 NZD-26%
In House Counsel131,000 NZD-27%
Intellectual Property Lawyer178,000 NZD-1%
Intellectual Property Specialist89,400 NZD-51%
Judge Advocate211,000 NZD+17%
Law Clerk42,300 NZD-77%
Lawyer194,000 NZD+7%
Legal Administrative Assistant51,900 NZD-71%
Legal Advisor115,000 NZD-36%
Legal Assistant51,400 NZD-72%
Legal Associate85,000 NZD-53%
Legal Compliance Officer127,000 NZD-30%
Legal Consultant109,000 NZD-40%
Legal Content Writer100,000 NZD-45%
Legal Counsel142,000 NZD-21%
Legal Data Analyst98,500 NZD-45%
Legal Data Privacy Officer99,900 NZD-45%
Legal Editor87,500 NZD-52%
Legal Executive179,000 NZD-1%
Legal Executive Secretary51,600 NZD-71%
Legal IP Officer47,900 NZD-73%
Legal Officer55,900 NZD-69%
Legal Operations Manager196,000 NZD+8%
Legal Process Outsourcing Professional117,000 NZD-35%
Legal Project Manager223,000 NZD+23%
Legal Risk Analyst183,000 NZD+1%
Legal Secretary51,100 NZD-72%
Legal Services Director211,000 NZD+17%
Legal Services Manager225,000 NZD+25%
Legal Support Worker37,300 NZD-79%
Legal Technology Consultant87,500 NZD-52%
Legislative Liaison85,500 NZD-53%
Litigation Attorney235,000 NZD+30%
Litigation Paralegal116,000 NZD-36%
Litigation Support Specialist122,000 NZD-32%
Magistrate Judge279,000 NZD+54%
Paralegal70,200 NZD-61%
Patent Attorney147,000 NZD-19%
Privacy Compliance Officer93,100 NZD-48%
Privacy Lawyer154,000 NZD-15%
Social Media Lawyer148,000 NZD-18%
Staff Attorney147,000 NZD-19%
Venture Capital Lawyer200,000 NZD+11%
Web Content Lawyer153,000 NZD-15%

Government vs Private Sector Salary Comparison

Where can you get paid more, working in a private company or the government? The difference between the public or government sector salaries and the private sector salaries in New Zealand is 5% on average across all career fields.

Private Sector
94,900 NZD
Public Sector+5%
99,900 NZD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Salary Statistics and Calculation Guide

What is considered to be a good and competitive salary for the job title Attorney in New Zealand?

A good and competitive compensation would range anywhere between 173,000 NZD and 199,000 NZD. This is a very rough estimate. Experience and education play a very huge part in the final earnings.

Gross Salary (before tax) and Net Salary (after tax)

All salary and compensation figures displayed here are gross salary figures, that is the salary before tax deductions. Because taxes may differ across sectors and locations, it is difficult to accurately calculate the net salary after tax for every career.

Base / Basic Salary

The base salary for a careers like Attorney in New Zealand ranges from 83,100 NZD to 139,000 NZD. The base salary depends on many factors including experience and education. It is not easy to provide a figure with very little information, so take this range with a grain of salt.

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

Both are indicators. If your salary is higher than both the average and the median then you are doing very well. If your salary is lower than both, then many people earn 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

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