Mechanical engineers at work

If you're a mechanical engineer, you could have a rewarding career and a lifestyle you've only dreamed of in New Zealand.

Work as a mechanical engineer

Great job opportunities for mechanical engineers

Kiwis believe in working hard and getting ahead. But we're alsowant committed to making time for friends, families, sports and enjoying our extraordinary natural environment.

New Zealand is looking for overseas-trained mechanical engineers to help meet the needs of its strong and growing economy.

Factors fuelling the demand for mechanical engineering include:

  • increased government spending on infrastructure
  • the rebuild of the Canterbury region after its earthquakes in 2010 and 2011
  • the rapid expansion of Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city
  • the need to maintain growth industries such as dairy processing.

Mechanical engineers in New Zealand work across a broad range of industries, including:

  • manufacturing
  • building and construction
  • product development
  • aviation, boat building and transport
  • agriculture
  • water and wastewater
  • energy.

Mechanical engineering is on New Zealand's long-term skills shortage list. So if you have a job, you may find it easier to get a visa.

Varied work

Overseas-trained mechanical engineers often say the work in New Zealand is more diverse and varied than back home. 

While mechanical engineering work is similar in New Zealand to elsewhere, construction projects tend to be smaller and less costly. 

If you work in New Zealand as a mechanical engineer, you could find yourself more hands-on and involved in the detail of the projects. You might also lead the delivery of a project you're working on.

There are fewer specialists and more generalists, which would give you an opportunity to broaden your skills and experience - and develop a stronger CV.

It's easy to fit in to Kiwi workplaces, which tend to be relaxed and informal. Many work teams socialise together after work and on the weekends, so you'd quickly make friends here.

Interested in coming to New Zealand?

Take the first step to a new life by registering your interest with Immigration New Zealand. We’ll send you personalised emails about job opportunities in your profession, life in New Zealand and choosing the right visa.

It’s free and there’s no obligation.

Work and life balance for mechanical engineers

World renowned quality of life

New Zealand has the work-life balance just right.

Working hard and getting ahead is important to us. We’re a well-developed, well-connected country with all sorts of opportunities to advance your career. But New Zealanders also believe life is for living. It’s about balancing a good day’s work with time for family and friends plus easy access to some of the world's most stunning landscapes.

Safe and secure
Safe and secure

New Zealand consistently rates at the top of lists of the world’s most peaceful and least corrupt countries. While feeling safe is a luxury in many places, it's one that New Zealanders are accustomed to. Our strict border controls and low level of crime means safer communities, greater personal freedom and peace of mind for you and your family.

New Zealand ranked second on the 2017 Global Peace Index of safest countries to live and topped Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Perception Index.

Family friendly
Family friendly

If you have a family, New Zealand is probably one of the best choices you could make. Along with affordable, quality education, your children will be able to get close to nature and enjoy an incredibly diverse range of activities.

It’s why so many Kiwis living abroad come back home when it’s time to start nesting. They know that children here enjoy many things other countries just can’t offer.

We make fitting in and getting set up in your new country easy. And less commuting plus a better work-life balance means you get to spend more time with your family.

New Zealand is the world's second most desirable place for families, according to HSBC's 2015 Expat Explorer survey. One family-critical topic of the survey covered was 'healthcare', where our system was rated as the best in the world.
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Space to breathe
Space to breathe

We're similar in size to the UK and have all the benefits of an advanced Western economy - but with only a fraction of the population, so you'll have space to breathe.

Auckland, our largest city, was ranked third in the 2016 Quality of Living survey conducted annually by the global HR consultants Mercer.

New Zealand’s renowned natural beauty is never far from view. Over thirty percent of New Zealand is dedicated to national parks, boasting fertile green countryside, majestic forests and snow-capped mountains, and no part of New Zealand is more than seventy-five miles (120km) away from the ocean.

A very warm welcome
Warm Welcome

New Zealanders open their hearts to newcomers. The Maori people have a saying “He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata” which translates to “What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.”

Our warmth and hospitality are a product of our size. Living on the edge of the world as we do, it’s second nature for New Zealanders to reach out and make connections.

It's not surprising then that nine out of ten migrants find the welcome they receive meets or exceeds their expectations.

Sonographers in New Zealand tend to work in small, friendly teams, so it’s easy to meet people and make new friends.

More information


Moving to New Zealand as a Mechanical Engineer

Moving to New Zealand

There may be a number of visas you are eligible to apply for – each with its own criteria and application process. 

Your 5 step plan to make it happen

1. Check your qualification
You don't have to be registered to work as an engineer in New Zealand, but you may want to see if you meet the requirements for gaining chartered status - Chartered Membership of Engineering New Zealand and/or Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) registration. To do this, you'll need to have a Washington Accord-accredited qualification or its equivalent. You can check your qualification on the International Engineering Alliance website. 

If your degree isn't formally recognised under the Washington Accord or a recognised equivalent, Engineering New Zealand can assess your engineering knowledge to determine whether it's the same as you would have gained through a Washington Accord-accredited qualification. You may also choose to join Engineering New Zealand to learn about the engineering profession in New Zealand and network with other engineers. Membership is not compulsory.
International Engineering Alliance
Working in New Zealand | Engineering New Zealand
2. Find a job
Mechanical engineers are in high demand in New Zealand and there are job opportunities all around the country - from Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city, to fast-growing regional centres like Tauranga and Hamilton.
You'll need a job offer before you can apply for a work visa, so check out these job websites:
3. Apply for a visa

Good news - mechanical engineers are on New Zealand’s skill shortage lists. So if you have a full-time job offer and the right work experience and qualifications, applying for a visa may be easier. You may also be able to bring your partner and children with you.
Work visas | Immigration New Zealand

4. Investigate your costs
Experienced mechanical engineers working as team leaders, technical managers or in other positions of responsibility can earn NZ $110,000 - $180,000 a year.

The cost of living may be different to back home, depending on where you’re from and where you plan to live in New Zealand. Use our calculator to find out what your income and expenses might be in New Zealand.
Cost of Living Calculator
5. Plan your move
To make your move hassle-free, try NZ Ready. This free online tool gives you a personalised task list to help you plan your move to New Zealand and make settling here easier.
NZ Ready

You love your job as a mechanical engineer, but does it come at the expense of time with your family and friends? Do you want to take a step forward in your career, while still having the time and energy for a life of your own? New Zealand could well be the answer.

NZ Ready online planning tool

NZ Ready is a free online tool to help you plan your move to New Zealand, ensuring you know how things work here and have a hassle-free move.

Try NZ Ready

Interested in coming to New Zealand?

Sign up to receive relevant job opportunities from New Zealand employers and practical advice on how to make your move to New Zealand a reality.