Teaching in New Zealand, Salary, Qualifications, Requirements

Overseas trained teachers are welcomed for teaching in New Zealand from primary to secondary schools, should you have the right to work in the country or can secure a work visa.  

How to become a teacher in New Zealand trained abroad: See the official government education website.

The Department of Labor Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL) and the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) are actively looking for teachers for certain New Zealand teaching positions.

Special education teaching jobs in New Zealand and hard to fill positions are generally available as secondary teacher’s of mathematics, information technology, science and primary school teachers (5-12) are in short supply, the skills shortage list for a visa, although could change.

Teacher jobs in schools are advertised at different times of the year.

Although again you should be suitably qualified with relevant experience before applying. 

Teaching in New Zealand early childhood children

Teaching in New Zealand

  • Overseas trained ECE teachers must be qualified to teach 0-5 years to obtain New Zealand equivalency and teacher registration.

Salary New Zealand schools teachers

Teachers pay is similar to other western developed countries where you would be paid in relation to the years of experience and grade of position accepted.  Separate Ministry of Education Collective Agreement 1st July 2019 to 30 June 2022 governs how much you are paid as a teacher in primary or secondary school.

Primary school teachers: NZ $48K-$52K per year for new a teacher and for experienced teacher 5 + years $71K-$80K per year (Collective Agreement salary scale).

Secondary school teacher: New teachers are paid NZ $52K-$57K per year, where experienced teachers pay with 5 years teaching or more NZ $71K-$80K per year.  Listed on this page. Secondary teacher Collective Agreement NZ salary scale up to June 2022 .

Head of department, senior management and school principal leadership are paid at a higher pay scale.

Boarding and independent private sector schools have their own wage brackets for teachers.

Requirements to teach in New Zealand school

  • Criminal background check dated with past 6 months.
  • Should be a qualified teacher in the age range you wish to teach.
  • An appropriate undergraduate degree to teach your chosen subject.
  • Experience teaching that age range is an advantage to help secure a teaching post.
  • For immigration purposes a full medical check that can cost hundreds of pounds alone.
  • One year, 2 years, and permanent contracts or normal for New Zealand teachers.
  • Reference checks at your current and former schools

Find teaching jobs vacancies

Requirements to teach in New Zealand school

School teacher’s can find employment vacancies at New Zealand schools from nursery to 18 years old children.

Vast majority of teacher jobs you will apply for are at state government schools listed on the official New Zealand government education website

School primary and secondary teachers

Primary teachers are required, although the first half of the year is better for job vacancies to start in January of each year. Shortage of teachers in key core subjects are available for teachers in New Zealand.

Special education teachers

Qualified, experienced teachers of children with learning or behavioral issues and those working with children with physical disabilities are in demand.

New Zealand school year runs from January to start of December with 4 terms split by 6 week summer holiday and other 2 weeks school breaks.

Work visa and residency for New Zealand

With a confirmed offer of an education job in New Zealand a work visa and residency are available for qualifying teachers that meet the requirements on the skills list.

Check with the New Zealand embassy for the requirements and any restrictions in your country.

Medical cover

Obtain medical insurance before leaving is always a good option until you are accepted for New Zealand state medical cover.

You should be covered working as a state school teacher once you have your residency permit, which will take time to process.


State school employees, you require to supply your own accommodation, although international schools may provide an apartment or a house for certain employees according to their seniority.

Country facts of New Zealand

New Zealand population 4.8 million October 20221270,534 Sq Km approximately land sizeCall 111 for Ambulance, Police & FireDialing code: + 64
Wellington is the capital cityCurrency: New Zealand Dollar (NZD)Climate:  Warm summers, cold rainy wintersTime: GMT + 12
Language widely spoken: EnglishElectricity:  230 AC Volts, 50 HzLanguage: English, MaoriNew Zealand has more than 700 islands
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