Relocating and living abroad is increasingly becoming a popular choice. With this comes making the important decision on where to go. If your choice is New Zealand, then the best place to live is in its largest metropolitan, Auckland. With so much to offer, it is among the best waterfront cities worldwide. Auckland is a global city and the economic powerhouse of New Zealand. Its strategic location gives it easy access to major international markets such as the Asia Pacific. In this article, I will give you a taste of what living and working in Auckland as an expat looks like. Since The New Zealand Dollar (NZD) is the official currency of New Zealand, 1 USD=1.61080 NZD.
What is the average salary in Auckland? The average gross salary in Auckland is 22,700 NZD per month or 272,000 NZD per annum. Hourly jobs pay about 130 NZD for every hour you work. While this is not the actual figure that you will receive, you can use it to approximate your salary.
As a guest arriving from overseas, you will love the abundance of beaches, restaurants with delicious cuisine, watersports, walks, volcanic cones, forests, beautiful harbours, theatres, and amazing regional parks. To top on that, the city also offers an impressive work-life balance and moderate climate. It is easy to get a good job in Auckland since the government seeks skilled employees. Plus, there are so many warehouses, bars, working holidaymakers, international organizations, multinationals, and industrial businesses. Read on to learn about the salaries here and the kind of living standards it offers.
The Average salary in Auckland
Average salary is the mean salary earned by the working population of a certain area for a certain period of time. If you are planning to join this city’s workforce, it is important to have an idea of how much you will earn. To help with this information, I have broken down the salaries earned according to education, experience, season, and job title below:
Salary according to education level
In Auckland, higher education usually results in higher pay, but the course subject matters a lot. Upon initial employment, workers who have done apprenticeships with a level 4 qualification mostly earn more compared to university graduates. However, in the long run, university graduates start earning more than their counterparts with trade qualifications. Your choice of subject will also affect your salary a great deal. Employees with qualifications in subjects such as law, engineering, accounting, computer science, medicine, and banking tend to earn far much than those with visual and performing arts qualifications.
Salary according to experience
Typically, the more years of experience you have in a particular field, the more you get paid.
Salary according to age
Employees aged between 15 and 19 earn the lowest salaries according to surveys. The highest salaries are made by those between the age of 40 and 49. At the age of 15 to 19, workers are making startup salaries, which continue increasing over the years. However, after 50 the salaries tend to start dropping gradually. The only explanation for this is that teenagers and the elderly work fewer hours and prefer to partake in light tasks. Although there is no official retirement age in New Zealand, most employees stop working at the age of 65.
Salary according to the job title
Different job titles correspond with different salaries. These job titles define your responsibilities, your experiences, and the addition of prefixes shows your level of seniority. I have listed some of the professions in Auckland and their average annual gross salaries below. However, you should note that your actual salary might be slightly different due to the application of other salary determinants.
- Financial Manager – 527,000 NZD ($328,589.69)
- Secretary – 138,000 NZD ($86,032.33)
- Receptionist – 196,000 NZD ($122,207.93)
- Internal Auditor – 264,000 NZD ($164,601.12)
- Administrative Assistant – 136,000 NZD ($84,794.52)
- Accountant – 182,000 NZD ($113,475.02)
- Accounting Assistant – 169,000 NZD ($105,369.66)
- Architect – 227,000 NZD ($141,540.06)
- Hotel Manager – 378,000 NZD ($235,692.26)
- Health and Safety Officer – 170,000 NZD ($105,369.66)
- Electrical Engineer – 264,000 NZD ($164,610.47)
- Dietitian – 595,000 NZD ($372,244.12)
- Computer Technician – 198,000 NZD ($123,471.68)
- Civil Engineer – 246,000 NZD ($153,404.21)
- Chief Financial Officer – 563,000 NZD ($351,083.62)
- Chief Executive Officer – 609,000 NZD ($379,678.96)
- Chef – 217,000 NZD ($135,319.97)
- Cashier – 143,000 NZD ($89,207.16)
- Call Center Representative – 185,000 NZD ($115,407.86)
- Business Development Manager – 390,000 NZD ($243,292.25)
- Business Analyst – 324,000 NZD ($202,119.72)
- Biomedical Engineer – 224,000 NZD ($139,737.09)
- Bank Branch Manager – 367,000 NZD ($228,796.12)
- Attorney – 373,000 NZD ($232,569.17)
The Average Salary in New Zealand per Month
As of 2020, the average salary in New Zealand per month is 20,400 NZD ($12,664.57). For expats planning to seek employment in New Zealand, the average salary gives them a skewed picture of what they could earn. However, this is only an approximation because it is based on the assumption that salaries are distributed equally across the scale, which is not true.
In other words, the average figure does not present exactly what you should be earning. In New Zealand, some people earn the lowest salary which is 1,712.76 USD per month while others earn the highest salary which is $56,161.20/month. The rest of the working population earns salaries that are in between these two extremes. The median salary is the best salary indicator. According to recent reports, the median salary in NZ is 11,914 USD per month. If your salary is above this figure then it is a good amount and vice versa.
Your monthly salary in NZ will also be determined by your job’s geographical location, your employer, the job sector, and many other factors. Sectors that pay the highest salaries include water supply, mining, electricity, gas, information technology, medicine, and finance. Salaries in the cities are also higher than in rural areas.
What Is a Good Salary in NZ
Typically, the cost of living will determine what a good salary in NZ is. For one average spender, a net salary of 2,154 USD per month is good enough. In this case, the expenses will be about 1,970 USD per month with a disposable income of 183 USD. A family of four will be good to go with a monthly salary of about 4,345 USD. That being said, don’t be too excited with a high gross salary as there are so many deductions that are done and your take-home might look different. First, there is the Kiwisaver program where NZ residents and citizens make their retirement contributions. Personal income tax is also deducted from all the residents’ worldwide income at the following rates:
- 10.5% for any income of up to $14,000
- 17.5% for $14,000 to $48,000
- 30% for income over $48,000 to $70,000
- 33% for income over $70,000
Housing, food, recreational facilities, and travel are very expensive in New Zealand especially in big cities like Auckland. However, everything is of high quality in these areas. If you are looking for an average lifestyle, then the more affordable cities like Christchurch, Dunedin, and Hamilton should be your priority.
A good salary varies with the kind of lifestyle you live, your previous salary, your financial responsibilities, and several other factors. The best way to approximate a good salary is by considering your current lifestyle and current monetary situation. This article helps you in your research about all the aspects of life in New Zealand.
Living in Auckland
Just like most cities, living in Auckland is expensive but cheaper than living in major cities like London and New York. The standards of living are also high with a high-quality education, health, and transport services.
Housing is way expensive in Auckland. If you are interested in purchasing a house, in particular, you better set aside a fortune. You must also be a citizen or a resident of New Zealand to buy a house there. Most people prefer to rent and the single ones go as far as sharing a house with friends.
Grocery prices are not high and every weekend there are farmers’ markets where fresh foods are sold at good prices. It is wise to buy things when they are on offer and stock them. Eating out in restaurants is quite expensive, although the cuisine is irresistibly amazing. In particular, the coffee here is like nothing you have ever tasted. They even have a 2-day national festival of coffee!
The average commute in Auckland is quite difficult due to terrible traffic. This is due to congestion in the roads caused by the rapidly growing population. The traffic is worse at around 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. when your average speed will be about 43km/h on the motorway or 34km/h on the arterial roads. Fortunately, public transport options are in plenty with so many bus network services, 41 train stations, and a ferry terminal.
Utilities and services
Both private and public healthcare services are excellent. Public healthcare is free or subsidised for Auckland residents. The quality of education is very high and all institutions adhere to the country standards. Foreign undergraduate students can expect to pay about 14,900 USD-21,700 USD per year. The cost of basic utilities such as electricity, garbage, water, heating, and cooling is about 109.21 USD for an 85m2 apartment.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.