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Every year, expatriates from around the world seek professional adventure in distant countries like New Zealand. Students and professionals looking to find a job in Wellington will discover it is rife with opportunities, and many sectors are open to foreign expertise. It is also a hot spot for entrepreneurs with its creativity-fostering atmosphere.

Wellington's economy

Wellington is the second biggest city in New Zealand population-wise and is home to country’s government. Parliament, all of the ministries, as well as many non-government organisations (NGOs) are all based in this harbourside capital. Thanks to this, Wellington’s economy tends to be able to withstand more than some of the other New Zealand cities. On the other end of the spectrum, ‘Wellywood’ hosts major film and special effects studios, and has served as a film location for many Kiwi and Hollywood film projects. It is also a great ecosystem for start-up companies, with many coworker spaces, support networks, and a general love for homegrown businesses.

Tourism is also a major player in the Wellington economy. Most cruise ships make a stop here, and with the ferry terminal to the south it’s a place where many travelers stop before seeing the other half of the country.

Wellington is the highest paying city in New Zealand, with most highly skilled work advertising salaries of NZ$80,000 and above. This provides a great standard of living. For such a small city, it’s an economic powerhouse for the nation, providing NZ$34 billion, or 13.5%, of the GDP. Unemployment is roughly 5%. Many people enjoy the work-life balance in Wellington – a compact city means short commutes, and most companies are happy for you to leave on time to enjoy your evening, where you might head to the beach at Oriental Bay, take a hike up Mount Victoria for sunset, or head to one of the many notable restaurants and bars.

Job-hunting in Wellington

You can find a job in Wellington in just about any profession or sector. International workers might take advantage of these opportunities by working for their international embassy, or taking civic and government skills abroad. Freelance film and effects jobs are often on offer in this area, requiring very specialised skills. If you are able to obtain an entrepreneurial visa to the country, you might also want to look to Wellington to be your home base while you begin your new venture.

With such a stable economy and good standard of living, many professional multinational companies have also chosen to have a base in Wellington. It’s worth researching their career options and getting in touch, or putting in for a transfer if you already work with one of them.

The Temp Centre and other temporary agencies are big employers in Wellington for more transient workers, and recruitment agencies operate here to help people get both fixed term contracts and permanent employment.

Use online job listing sites, newspapers, and word-of-mouth to assist in your search.

 Useful links:

Trade Me
Career Jet
Wow Jobs

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.