Jobs in skill shortage and labour shortage

Skill shortages can happen when employers find it hard to get staff with the right skills, when staff turnover is high, or if there's low unemployment. 

Changes in the economy and technology, and movements of people between countries or in and out of the workforce can affect jobs in skill shortage.

Knowing which jobs are in demand can help you choose jobs or decide what subjects to study. Find out more about jobs in our jobs database which lists pay, entry requirements and job opportunities for over 400 jobs.

Immigration New Zealand's Green List and Sector Agreements show skills and labour gaps

Immigration New Zealand's Green List and Sector Agreements aim to make it easier for employers to fill genuine skills gaps by recruiting overseas workers.

These lists can also give you an idea of which jobs are in skill shortage or labour shortage.

  • The Green List makes it easier for employers to attract migrants into skilled, highly paid and care workforce occupations. 
  • Sector agreements are a temporary measure to  make it easier for employers to attract migrants to fill lower- paid roles.

Immigration New Zealand's previous skill shortage lists can indicate jobs in demand

Immigration New Zealand's skill shortage lists showed that the Government was actively encouraging skilled workers from overseas to work in particular roles in New Zealand.

The skill shortage lists were last updated in 2019. They can indicate jobs that are likely to be in demand.

Find out more about jobs that were on Immigration New Zealand's long-term, regional, and construction and infrastructure skill shortage lists.

These do not include jobs on the Green List or other agreements if they weren't already on a skill shortage list. 

Jobs in Construction and Infrastructure

Architecture, Technical Design and Mapping

Geospatial specialists gather and analyse geographic and spatial (location-based) information and use specialist software to present it in user-friendly formats such as maps and 3D models.

Surveyors plan, direct and conduct survey work to determine the position of boundaries, locations, topographic features and built structures.

Survey technicians collect, record, and evaluate geographical information and prepare databases, maps, charts and plans.


Brick and blocklayers lay bricks, concrete blocks and tiles to construct or repair buildings, walls, arches, chimneys or paved areas.

Building contractors run their own businesses and plan, supervise and work on the construction and alteration of buildings.

Building and construction managers plan, control and co-ordinate civil engineering or building projects, and the resources and people involved.

Building surveyors inspect plans and building constructions to see if buildings are, or will be, built correctly. They may also issue certificates, write reports and help owners and potential buyers with construction problems and solutions.

Carpenters work mainly with wood to repair or install foundations, walls, roofs, windows and doors in buildings.

Electricians test, install, maintain and repair electrical systems and equipment.

Wall and floor tilers lay ceramic, clay, slate, marble and glass tiles.

Flooring installers lay, replace and repair floor coverings such as carpet, linoleum, vinyl and timber.

Glaziers install or replace glass or mirrors in buildings, vehicles or boats and may create decorative glass features.

Joiners use timber and board products to make fittings such as cabinets, doors, window frames and stairs. 

Plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers assemble, install and repair pipes, drains and fixtures and fittings that supply water and gas or remove waste.

Plasterers apply plaster or other materials to buildings. They usually specialise in either interior or exterior plastering.

Quantity surveyors manage finances for constructions, calculate budgets and prepare detailed estimates to ensure budgets are sufficient.

Roofers repair or install roofs using materials such as roofing iron, tiles and shingles.

Scaffolders design, construct and remove scaffolding around buildings and other structures such as bridges. 

Stonemasons work with stone to construct or renovate buildings, fittings, walls and paving, or to create monuments.