Revealed: New Zealand's 20 biggest pay rises and falls - SEEK Career Advice

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New Zealand's 20 biggest pay rises and falls

New Zealand's 20 biggest pay rises and falls

Shaped by local and global forces, some roles have rocketed in value while others tumbled. As we approach 2020, SEEK Senior Employment Trends Analyst Leigh Broderick looks back at the 20 best and 20 worst performing salaries and shares his insights into where New Zealand salaries may head in the next decade.

Three trends driving the top performers

STEM burns bright at number one

STEM burns bright at number one

STEM burns bright at number one

The gold medal goes to jobs in Science and Technology, specifically Modelling & Simulation, which recorded an impressive salary rise of 75%. In further good news for the industry, Mathematics, Statistics & Information Sciences came in at number 16 with a rise of 30%, while a 27% increase put Biological & Biomedical Sciences at number 19, where much of the growth has been driven by food technology. As a country we place enormous emphasis on farming and agriculture, and food technology is an important subset of that. As to the future, it will be interesting to see whether the growing number of STEM graduates entering the workforce has a long-term impact on salaries.                                       

Homing in on the need for domestic housing

Homing in on the need for domestic housing

Homing in on the need for domestic housing

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), New Zealand has one of the highest rates of homelessness. So it’s heartening to see Housing & Homelessness Services in second place, with a salary increase of 63%. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has pledged almost $200 million to provide housing for 2,700 long-term homeless people in the 2019 budget. More broadly, demand for domestic housing has been fuelling the Construction industry, which helps explain why Forepersons & Supervisors and Architectural Draftspeople both made the top eight, with salary rises of 38% and 35% respectively.

Tourism flying high

Tourism flying high

Tourism flying high

Tourism is one of New Zealand’s biggest exports and, with visitor numbers growing by over 50% in the past 10 years, it shows no signs of slowing down. Demand for domestic and international travel has also been stimulated by lower airfares. This has no doubt helped to drive the 50% rise in salaries for workers in Aviation Services and the 36% rise for those who work for airlines. Kitchen & Sandwich Hands are also earning 36% more, which suggests both tourists and locals are spending more. That could be good news all round for the one in seven New Zealanders employed directly in Tourism.

 

New Zealand's top 20 salary gains

RANK
INDUSTRY
ROLE TYPE
2018-2019
%
1 Science & Technology Modelling & Simulation $94,210 75%
2 Community Services & Development Housing & Homelessness Services $74,043 63%
3 Healthcare & Medical Optical $92,362 53%
4 Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics Aviation Services $81,310 50%
5 Construction Foreperson/Supervisors $99,774 38%
6 Hospitality & Tourism Airlines $63,450 36%
7 Hospitality & Tourism Kitchen & Sandwich Hands $41,785 36%
8 Design & Architecture Architectural Drafting $77,703 35%
9 Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics Public Transport & Taxi Services $60,568 35%
10 Real Estate & Property Retail & Property Development $120,643 34%
11 Insurance & Superannuation Risk Consulting $104,046 34%
12 Design & Architecture Web & Interaction Design $95,795 33%
13 Insurance & Superannuation Fund Administration $62,631 32%
14 Mining, Resources & Energy Natural Resources & Water $102,291 32%
15 Trades & Services Gardening & Landscaping $52,193 31%
16 Science & Technology Mathematics, Statistics & Information Sciences $100,861 30%
17 Engineering Systems Engineering $97,682 28%
18 Banking & Financial Services Client Services $68,346 28%
19 Science & Technology Biological & Biomedical Sciences $84,571 27%
20 Legal Tax Law $115,546 27%

Source: SEEK Salary Review, annual full-time salary averages by role type, 2011/12-2018/19, SEEK.

Three forces shaping downward moves

Mining finds itself in a hole
Downscaling of coal extraction and transition to renewable energy sources, especially as part of the electricity generation mix, have been limiting opportunities for miners. This is reflected in our salary data, where Mining, Resources & Energy claimed a dispiriting eight of the 20 lowest places, including the bottom three. The lowest, Mining - Exploration & Geoscience, fell by 46%. Future growth in the industry is likely to be further limited by the Crown Minerals Amendment Bill passed by Parliament at the end of last year, which puts an end to new offshore oil and gas exploration.

ICT drop signals changes
Information & Communication Technology (ICT) appears twice in our list of poor performers. Salaries in Sales - Pre & Post declined by 10% while, in Telecommunications, the slide was even more pronounced at 21%. The first data point suggests that IT vendors are maintaining a local presence for the sales side of the business but supporting existing customers offshore, through regional hubs in Australia and Asia. The second reflects a shift in the mix of roles from engineering, specialist and design to a higher proportion of telecommunication and fibre technicians, which generally attract a lower salary. This may well be a result of the Ultra-Fast Broadband initiative moving from the design stage to implementation.

Legal eagles plunge and number crunchers stumble
The Legal and Accounting professions both appear twice in the lowest ranks. Salaries in Industrial Relations & Employment Law, Legal Practice Management and External Audit all fell by 7%, while those in Insolvency & Corporate Recovery dropped by 9%. Australasian Lawyer reports that these are both professions where automation is having an impact. Machines can now do much of the tedious manual labour, leaving professionals to focus on more productive and creative work.

New Zealand's 20 biggest salary falls

RANK
INDUSTRY
ROLE TYPE
2018-2019
%
1 Mining, Resources & Energy Mining - Exploration & Geoscience $74,021 -46%
2 Mining, Resources & Energy Mining - Processing $71,250 -31%
3 Mining, Resources & Energy Mining - Drill & Blast $78,125 -29%
4 Advertising, Arts & Media Promotions $47,959 -29%
5 Mining, Resources & Energy Mining - Operations $89,817 -25%
6 Mining, Resources & Energy Mining - Engineering & Maintenance $101,435 -23%
7 Information & Communication Technology Telecommunications $68,371 -21%
8 Healthcare & Medical Medical Specialists $103,087 -16%
9 Information & Communication Technology Sales - Pre & Post $105,468 -10%
10 Accounting Insolvency & Corporate Recovery $81,057 -9%
11 Accounting Audit - External $77,145 -7%
12 Legal  Legal Practice Management  $91,477 -7%
13 Human Resources & Recruitment Management - Agency $68,102 -7%
14 Insurance & Superannuation Management $105,230 -7%
15 Legal Industrial Relations & Employment Law $93,019 -7%
16 Mining, Resources & Energy Management  $112,588 -7%
17 Mining, Resources & Energy Health, Safety & Environment  $100,937 -6%
18 Human Resources & Recruitment Management - Agency $93,443 -6%
19 Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics Rail & Maritime Transport $69,888 -6%
20 Mining, Resources & Energy Oil & Gas - Operations  $89,767 -5%

Source: SEEK Salary Review, annual full-time salary averages by role type, 2011/12-2018/19, SEEK.

Related articles 

https://www.seek.co.nz/career-advice/new-zealands-20-biggest-pay-rises-and-falls