Widely known as the “coolest little capital in the world”, Wellington is the second most populated city in New Zealand. Besides being home to Parliament and the majority of the nation’s political offices, Wellington has a vibrant cultural atmosphere, with art exhibitions and festivals taking place year-round. Located on the southern tip of the North Island, the city provides easy access to the South Island by ferry and has a variety of beautiful surrounding areas. There are many factors to consider before deciding to work in Wellington, but if you’d like to live in small city with a lot of personality then it might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Jobs in Wellington
The unemployment rate in Wellington has been steadily declining for the past few years, so you can be sure that there are jobs available, especially if you have experience in the skills that are in demand. The New Zealand immigration website has a list of these skills, with some of the more prevalent jobs in Wellington being in the fields of business, finance, health, construction, engineering, and information and communication technology.
There are many recruitment companies and websites that post jobs in Wellington in these fields, and it is also possible to apply for these jobs even before you have your visa, as long as you have the required skill set. If your goal in working in New Zealand is to find a job working for the government, then Wellington is your best bet for finding a job. In fact, any type of career-related position will be more readily available in Wellington rather than other areas of New Zealand, with the exception being Auckland.
Even though more career-related positions are common, there are still jobs in Wellington in industries like hospitality and childcare, that you won’t need a stacked resume to get hired. The tourism and entertainment industries also provide many job opportunities in Wellington, due to the lively art and cultural scene that exists in the city. Ultimately, the type of work you decide to pursue in New Zealand will give way to where you end up settling, but chances are you will be able to find a job in Wellington that fits your interests whatever they may be.
Life in Wellington
Despite the fact that there is a very business-centered atmosphere in Wellington, it is still New Zealand and all the characteristics that define the kiwi culture are still very prevalent in this windy city. Residents of Wellington have figured out how to obtain that elusive balance between work and play. To newcomers or tourists, cities can often feel overwhelming and unwelcoming, but neither of these aspects are true for Wellington. People are friendly, no one seems to be in too much of a rush, and the city has an area of only 171 square miles, much smaller than Auckland’s 426 square miles or Sydney’s 650 square miles! The small size and relaxed vibe that exists in the city gives way to a different type of work culture.
If that doesn’t entice you enough to want to work in Wellington, there are also a great deal of things to do and see. Since there is a vibrant culture and arts scene, there are many theaters, museums, and art galleries to explore, as well as sporting events. Keeping true to New Zealand’s reputation, the city is surrounded by beautiful beaches and parks with trails for hiking. This mixture of abundant jobs in Wellington with open-minded companies and a culturally diverse community make it a great place to settle and find work in New Zealand!
Salary & Affordability
Wellington residents generally make more than any other region in New Zealand. This is due to the aforementioned abundance of business or government related positions, but if you decide to work in hospitality or tourism, you will most likely be making considerably less. Information for the amount of money you can make in your desired field can be found on the New Zealand government and immigration websites, as well as various other websites.
Since Wellington is the capital, it will be more expensive to live in when compared to some other regions in New Zealand, but at the same time it’s still quite less than other cosmopolitan cities around the world. The fact is that you get what you pay for, if you are looking for somewhere with a diverse culture, vibrant art scene, and eclectic nightlife, than Wellington is where you want to be.
You’ll find that the costs of most items are comparable to the U.S., with some exceptions. Since New Zealand has to have many goods imported due to its small size and inconvenient location, there is a small tax added to the cost. Be sure to take into consideration the salary you will be able to make working in Wellington before pursuing a specific job opportunity.
Accommodation & Visas
Finding accommodation in New Zealand is relatively easy, if you are not too picky about the type of place you would like to live. There are many hostels in Wellington that will let you stay long-term, but if you would rather stay in a shared apartment or house, there are websites where you can find people looking for roommates.
Housing gets significantly more expensive if you are looking to rent your own apartment or house. You will also need to sign a contract in these cases, which is not ideal if you are doing a working holiday program and want to explore different areas. It will also depend where you would like to rent a place to live, the closer you are to the city center, the more expensive it will be. Again, it’s important to consider your salary and living expenses before deciding the type of living arrangement you would like to pursue.
There are many different options for visas you can obtain to work in Wellington. The most non-committal visa would be a visitor visa, where you could come explore the region and decide if it is somewhere you would like to work. From there, you can decide if you would like a temporary visa or a residential visa. Regardless of what type of visa you would like to obtain, your skills, age, and experience will be the deciding factors. If your skills are in demand, there are more job options for you than for, say, a high school or college graduate looking to work abroad in Wellington for a year.
Benefits & Challenges
- Easy Transition. There is no doubt that uprooting your life from a comfortable and familiar location to a new country and lifestyle is a challenge in itself, but when moving to a country like New Zealand, the transition is significantly easier. With a friendly and welcoming culture, and a variety of things to see and do, Wellington is a great place to start your new adventure.
- Be Persistent. Finding a job in Wellington is not difficult if you are persistent and well qualified, and experiencing the unique work culture that exists in Wellington is beneficial to anyone. No matter the challenges you face while living and working in the windy city, you are sure to come away with a fresh perspective and some great experience to add to your resume!