Boasting its title as the largest city in New Zealand, Auckland is often a starting point for new visa holders in the country. There are more available jobs in Auckland than anywhere else in the country; so whether you’re looking for a career-specific position or just wanting to boost your resume and experience a new culture, the “City of Sails” provides plenty of job opportunities as well as a stunning landscape and a welcoming atmosphere for international workers.
Jobs in Auckland
Before arriving in Auckland, it’s important to have a general plan for what kind of work you seek. There are many available jobs in Auckland in industries which include hospitality, retail, child care, office work, and in the most recent boom, construction.
The first step is making sure you have some prior work experience in your desired field. Finding work in Auckland can be competitive due to the fact that you are competing with locals and many other people on work visas. The majority of jobs in Auckland are in hospitality, but there are many families looking for au pairs and temp agencies are also known for hiring work visa holders.
If you are looking for a career-related position, it is helpful to check the New Zealand immigration website, because it often has a list of skills that are currently in demand in the country. But keep in mind these types of positions in New Zealand are hard to obtain. Jobs in Auckland that correlate with the seasons, like agricultural work or employment at a ski resort, are a popular option for foreign workers. Regardless of the type of work you decide to pursue in Auckland, you’re bound to enjoy the laid-back vibe of the city and meeting the many friendly locals and expats that live there.
Life in Auckland
When you first arrive in Auckland you’re going to hear many different opinions from people you meet around the city. Some may tell you that you should get out as soon as possible and explore the rest of New Zealand, while others may say it’s the best place to be in the country. No matter what you hear, your own personal experience is going to define your opinion.
You may immediately fall in love with the city, or you might have to give it some time to discover all that it has to offer. Take into consideration whether you are someone who enjoys the hustle and bustle of city life, or maybe you would prefer to live in a quiet suburb with easy access into the city. Either way, determining what kind of setting you want to surround yourself with is vital to your overall happiness while living and working in Auckland.
If you want to be close to the beach but also have options for nightlife, consider Takapuna on the North Shore. You will meet plenty of locals and have access to some fantastic restaurants, great shopping, and beautiful coastline. If you are interested in a quieter lifestyle, Waiheke Island is a picturesque, easily accessible island right off the coast of Auckland city. There are many beaches and wineries to explore, but keep in mind that you will most likely have to commute to work in Auckland, if you choose to live here.
Auckland provides a variety of activities to partake in and sights to see, so it can be easy to forget that New Zealand has much more to offer outside the city limits. Not exploring the rest of the country would be a huge mistake! Be sure to arrange time to travel around your work schedule.
Salary & Affordability
Auckland is generally more expensive than other regions in New Zealand, but when you compare it to cities such as Sydney, London, or NYC, you will find the overall cost of living is much lower. It is important to research the amount of money you can realistically make while working in the positions you are looking to pursue, and then you must determine if that amount will allow you to live in the city center or in a surrounding suburb.
You can expect to make about $11 an hour in a hospitality or retail job in Auckland, but there are possibilities to make much more than that in an office or construction job. Au pairs are generally given free accommodation, food, and a stipend anywhere from $120 to $240 a week depending on your responsibilities and what the family is willing to give you. It is also important to take into consideration the exchange rate when converting your native currency to NZD. For example, the USD is equivalent to NZ $1.30, so when you convert your money you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what you end up with.
Accommodation & Visas
The recommendation for comfortable living in New Zealand is to arrive with roughly $3,000 saved up, but if you are a bit of a risk-taker, it can be done with less. Although, many companies that offer work visas, or New Zealand immigration, will require you to show proof of this amount of money in your bank account. This is partly because finding housing, especially in Auckland, can be a difficult process. If you are happy to live in a hostel then there are many options available, with an average weekly price of about $120, but finding an apartment or housing will be significantly more expensive. Visa holders often find that sharing an apartment or house outside of the city center is the best option while working in Auckland.
There are a few different ways to go about obtaining a work visa to work in New Zealand. If you apply directly with immigration, you will have to meet a few requirements, including intention to work, age, funds, and an application fee. This option is good if you already have a job lined up and don’t need assistance finding housing. On the other hand, applying for a jobs through a company that helps arrange jobs abroad will often come with help obtaining the visa, job assistance, orientation, airport transfer, and the first few nights accommodation in a hostel, as well as advice before, during, and after your time in New Zealand. Sometimes these companies even provide assistance in booking your flight and obtaining insurance, for an added fee of course. Another perk of getting a job in Auckland through a placement company is that some of will make it possible to apply for a year extension on your visa at immigration the following year.
Benefits & Challenges
One of most appealing aspects of Auckland is that even though it’s the biggest city in New Zealand, it still comes with the friendly people, beautiful scenery, and the diverse community that New Zealand is known for. Oftentimes large cities or states tend to lose the elements that define a particular culture, and even though that may be true to some extent in Auckland, there is no denying that it’s a city unlike any other in the world. From the minute your plane sets down on the tarmac, you can’t help but become victim to the undeniable charm of the land of the long white cloud.