New Zealand's highest paying regions and jobs, revealed

Breakfast 17/01/2019
Wellington. Photo: Getty.

Time to find a new job? Then book a flight to Auckland or the capital.

Trade Me has revealed the places to be if you're looking to cash in on the skills shortage, with the highest rates of pay on offer in the capital and the big smoke.

"Auckland City continues to be the biggest-paid area," Trade Me head of jobs Jeremy Wade told RadioLIVE on Thursday.

"But what we always see is this battle between Auckland and Wellington, and the Wellington region is actually the highest-paid."

In Auckland City, the average pay offer on Trade Me Jobs in the final quarter of 2018 was $72,299. Looking wider, the Wellington region topped the list with $65,131, followed by Auckland on $64,634 and Taranaki on $58,687.

Across New Zealand, the average was $61,082 - up 1.1 percent on the year before.

"A 1.1 percent increase may not sound a lot, but in the context of the last four years - when wages have been stubbornly low - I think it's encouraging news for employees and job hunters," said Mr Wade.

Low unemployment and the skills shortage are to thank for the rise.

"Employers are finding it tough to find the right people and they're having to put more money on the table to secure the candidates they want as the talent shortage continues," says Trade Me Jobs' Anna Miles.

"We expect to see wages rise more this year as employers try to woo the people they need away from their current jobs."

The selection on offer is getting better for job-hunters too, with the number of listings up 1.7 percent.

"Job listings in Taranaki led the pack after a 30 percent increase on 2017, along with Hawke's Bay which was up 22.8 percent while vacancies in Gisborne rose 20.3 percent," said Ms Miles.

Consider avoiding Canterbury (down 7.5 percent) and Marlborough (10.9) percent.

The best-paid jobs

"If you've been, in your spare time, studying IT, I think you'd be in a good position," Mr Wade told RadioLIVE.

"Our top roles have consistently been in the IT sector - particularly IT architects and engineers. But in terms of where the wage growth has come from in the past year, we've been seeing good growth in IT - up about 3 percent, year-on-year - but there's also been some good growth across other sectors."

They include retail (up 21.3 percent), education (18.5 percent) and government and council (12.6 percent).

IT architects topped the average pay on offer at $153,222, followed by IT management roles ($142,029).

"Skilled IT candidates are in high demand across the country and employers are offering more to secure talent with a 3.1 percent increase in average pay to $110,657," said Ms Miles. "If you're in the IT industry and thinking about your next step, now is a good time to dust off your CV."

But don't put all your eggs in the IT basked, Mr Wade warns.

While computing might be lucrative for some, technology isn't yet at the point where a computer can build a house or fix a broken toilet.

"You still want to do something you naturally have an interest in - it's no good going for just the highest-paid role."

But if sales is your thing, think about hitting the books - job listings fell 15 percent last year.

Highest average pay rate by region

Auckland City $72,299

Wellington City $69,804

Kawerau $63,868

Waikato $62,850

South Waikato $62,147

Lowest average pay rate by region

Mackenzie $47,473

Waitomo $47,794

Kaikoura $49,529

Waipa $51,682

Porirua $52,171