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New Zealand - Salaries

In the third quarter of 2010, the average hourly pay rate of workers varied from sector to sector. For example, in the public sector the average pay was almost $33 per hour. In the private sector the average pay was nearly $24 per hour. There were also differing levels of pay between men and women. Men earned an hourly average of just over $27 while women earned an average of just below $24. Overall the average hourly rate of the New Zealand worker was almost $26. When calculated on a weekly rate most men work 38 hours a week with an extra hour paid in overtime to take their pay to $1069. The average weekly rate for women was based on a working week of just less than 36 hours with less than half an hour’s overtime to take the rate to $868 per week.

When salaries are broken down by industry there is a great deal of difference. The average hourly earnings in September 2010 for those who worked in hospitality industries such as hotels and restaurants was $16.20. For those who worked in retail outlets the average hourly rate was $17.18. Those who worked in the arts and leisure industries could expect to earn an average of $21.86 in September 2010, while construction workers earned an average of $23.31. Manufacturing employees earned an average of $23.70 and those who worked in transportation or the postal service could expect to earn an average of $24.10 per hour. Those who worked in real estate or hire services could earn $25.16 per hour and those working in the mining or forestry industries could earn an average of $25.68 per hour.

Workers in the wholesale industry in September 2010 could expect to earn around $26.45 per hour and in healthcare the average hourly rate was $27.04. Those who were in a technical or scientific profession could earn around $29.72 per hour and utility workers had an average hourly wage of $30.21. Those working in education could expect to earn an average of $30.78 per hour while those in safety industries and public administration earned on average $31.48 per hour. Those in media and telecommunications had an average hourly rate of $32.47 and finance and insurance workers earned $35.37 per hour.

It should be noted that no matter which industry you wish to enter there is always a salary range which will take into consideration your age, experience and the level at which you are starting. Those who are working in accounting, for example, can expect to earn between $45k and $80k per year although management accountants can easily earn more than $100k. Those who want to work in the teaching profession can expect a salary between $40k and $70k per year. An educational psychologist can expect a starting salary of $40k but has the potential to earn more than $100k. Engineers earn anything from $40k to $100k+. Those who want to work in IT as a services manager or analyst should expect a starting salary of $50K but can earn more than $100k per year. A registered nurse in a hospital can expect a basic salary of a minimum of $60 (2009 figures based on a minimum of 5 year’s experience). A doctor should expect a minimum of $128k per year but can earn in excess of $190k. Those working in trades such as an electrician or plumber will find that annual salaries vary but can be anything between $35k and $70k.

New Zealand has a minimum wage structure which is split into 3 sections. The first is the adult minimum wage which is applied to all those who are aged over 16 but who are not trainees or new entrants. The current minimum wage for this age group (June 2011) is $13 per hour. The second is the new entrants minimum wage which is applicable for those aged 16 and over and is applicable for those who are new to the type of work they are doing. After 200 hours or 3 months of employment they will not qualify for this rate. The current rate (June 2011) is $10.40 per hour. The third section is the training section and those who fall into this category will be following a set course to gain qualifications. They receive the same rate of pay as new entrants.

There are no significant variations in pay in different regions, although those in the busier areas may find that salaries are slightly higher.

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