Great pay for jobs in the construction industry

Construction workers

Pay and job opportunities are excellent in the construction industry.

Are you looking for a well-paid and exciting career? There are excellent opportunities for construction workers because skill shortages in New Zealand mean they are in high demand.

According to the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO), New Zealand's multi-billion dollar construction sector needs an extra 57,600 people by 2026. Because of the huge demand for construction workers, jobs and pay in the industry have increased. People working in construction can make good money as their career progresses.

Excellent pay in the construction industry

It's an exciting time to be part of New Zealand’s booming construction industry. Since 2013, the average salary in the construction industry has increased by 20.53% from $84,000 to $101,000 per year.

Depending on the type of construction job, prospects and pay are good. Most apprentices usually earn minimum wage, with pay increasing as you gain more experience. Here are some examples of what you can earn after you complete your training:

  • New carpenters usually earn $55,000 a year, while experienced carpenters can earn up to $80,000 a year.
  • New plumbers usually earn $55,000 a year, while experienced, self-employed plumbers can earn between $80,000 and $100,000 a year.
  • Entry-level quantity surveyors usually earn between $46,000 and $85,000 a year. More experienced quantity surveyors can earn from $95,000 to $155,000 a year.

Strong job prospects in the construction industry

If you're a school leaver or looking for a new job, there is plenty of work available in the construction industry. Demand for construction workers is strong due to:

  • a shortage of workers, especially those with practical experience
  • growth in the construction industry predicted to last until 2026
  • building work needed to upgrade leaky homes and earthquake-prone buildings.

According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), career prospects in building and construction are excellent. Compared to other careers, the cost of getting a trade qualification is low while the job prospects are high. Once you're qualified there are opportunities to gain more responsibility and higher pay as a manager, contractor or business owner.

Find out about training in construction

Check out these association and training organisation websites to find out how to get qualified in the construction and infrastructure industry:

Find out more


  • Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation website, accessed May 2019, (
  • BRANZ and Pacifecon, 'National Construction Pipeline Report, July 2018', accessed May 2019, (
  • Immigration New Zealand, 'Long Term Skill Shortage List', 19 February 2018, (
  • New Zealand Institute of Building (NZIOB), '2018 Hays Salary Guide', 2018, (

Updated 16 Dec 2019