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Anaesthetic Technician

Kaihangarau Haurehu

Alternative titles for this job

Anaesthetic technicians assist anaesthetists during operations, and prepare operating theatres and clinics for anaesthetic procedures.


Anaesthetic technicians trainees usually earn

$52K-$60K per year

Senior anaesthetic technicians with extra responsibilities can earn

$88K-$119K per year

Source: Te Whatu Ora, 2023.

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as an anaesthetic technician are good due to a shortage of workers.


Pay for anaesthetic technicians varies depending on experience, hours of work, and employer. 

Anaesthetic technicians working for Te Whatu Ora Health NZ  

  • Anaesthetic technican trainees usually earn $52,000 to $60,000 a year.
  • Anaesthetic technicians usually earn $59,000 to $86,000 a year.
  • Senior anaesthetic technicians, who may also supervise staff, can earn $88,000 to $119,000.

Those working in private hospitals usually earn more when they start out. 

Source:  Apex and Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand, 'Anaesthetic Technicians Collective Agreement 1 February 2022 - 30 November 2023'. website - use this calculator to convert pay and salary information

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Anaesthetic technicians may do some or all of the following:

  • check and set up life support and anaesthetic machines
  • inform and reassure patients, and check for conditions that could create problems under anaesthesia
  • help anaesthetists place patients' breathing tubes and intravenous lines
  • help anaesthetists administer anaesthetics, including local anaesthetics and nerve blocks
  • watch patients and monitor their vital signs (such as heartbeat)
  • decontaminate, sterilise or dispose of equipment and materials used in operations
  • assist with care after operations and insert catheters into patients.

Skills and knowledge

Anaesthetic technicians need to have knowledge of:

  • operating theatre procedures and protocols
  • anaesthetic and nerve-blocking machines, life support machines, other equipment and drugs
  • emergency procedures, and how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • human anatomy, physiology and biophysics
  • physical and medical conditions that may put patients at risk during anaesthesia.

Working conditions

Anaesthetic technicians:

  • usually do shift work, including weekends, and may be on call
  • work in operating rooms in hospitals and clinics, delivery suites and emergency departments
  • work in conditions that may be stressful, particularly during operations.

Entry requirements

To become an anaesthetic technician, you need to:

  • have a Bachelor of Health Science in Perioperative Practice (Level 7) from Auckland University of Technology (AUT)
  • pass the New Zealand Anaesthetic Association Society registration exam
  • be registered by the Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand.

The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children. 

Secondary education

A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. 

Personal requirements

Anaesthetic technicians need to be:

  • able to remain calm in emergencies and work well under pressure
  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • good communicators who are able to relate to people from a range of cultures
  • comfortable working around sick and injured people.

Useful experience

Experience in the medical field is useful for anaesthetic technicians.

Physical requirements

Anaesthetic technicians need to be reasonably fit, healthy and strong because they often need to move equipment and patients.


Anaesthetic technicians must be registered with the Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand and hold an Annual Practising Certificate.

Find out more about training

Auckland University of Technology (AUT)
0800 288 864 -
New Zealand Anaesthetic Technicians' Society
Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

Chances good due to shortage of anaesthetic technicians

Demand for anaesthetic technicians is strong due to:

  • New Zealand's growing and ageing population, which means more surgical procedures
  • insufficient numbers of trainees.

Anaesthetic technician appears on Immigration New Zealand's regional skill shortage list. This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled anaesthetic technicians from overseas to work in New Zealand.

According to the Medical Sciences Secretariat, 865 registered anaesthetic technicians were eligible to work in New Zealand in March 2021.

Anaesthetic technicians work in hospitals

Anaesthetic technicians work for public or private hospitals. 


  • Medical Sciences Secretariat, interview, November 2021.
  • Immigration New Zealand, 'Regional Skill Shortage List', 27 May 2019, (
  • New Zealand Anaesthetic Technicians' Society, interview, January 2019.
  • New Zealand Anaesthetic Technicians' Society website, accessed January 2019, (

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Anaesthetic technicians may move into managerial or trainer roles.

Anaesthetic technicians can specialise in certain departments or procedures, including:

  • paediatrics (working with children)
  • emergency and resuscitation
  • transplants
  • specialised surgery such as neurosurgery (brain surgery) or cardiothoracic surgery (for heart and lung-related conditions)
  • using specialist equipment for cell saving (removing a patient's own blood or blood products, then later returning them to the patient's body).
An anaesthetic technician wearing a surgical gown, mask and gloves stands beside a patient lying in an operating theatre wearing a mask, and with a monitoring machine behind him

Anaesthetic technicians assist anaesthetists during operations

Last updated 26 October 2023