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Which Are New Zealand’s Best Paying Jobs

The famous saying goes “Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life”, but then the bill comes, and you realise that fingerpainting might be fun, but it can’t keep the lights on.

Jokes aside, you can find a career you love and enjoy doing it, but there should be no shame in looking for one that is high paying and can ensure a higher quality of living and a possibility for more luxurious recreational activities.

That’s the topic for today’s article – the best paying jobs in New Zealand. If you’re a youngster or someone who wants to change their professional field, read our article to know which jobs offer the best pay in the country.

Chief Executive Officer

The most profitable job in New Zealand, and any other country in the world, is being a company owner. This, however, is not considered a “job”, and there are sadly no such listings. Thus, the second-best thing is to be the chief executive officer or CEO of a company.

Many companies start with the owner and/or co-founder being the CEO, but upon reaching a certain financial milestone, companies tend to look for someone to replace their original CEO. This might be someone who’s already working for the company or a completely new person.

It goes without saying that you’d be incredibly lucky to find yourself at that position and that it requires thousands of hours of work and a fair deal of connections to get there.

Annual salary range: 120,000 – 4.5 million NZD


If you want to help people and spend a few more years at university, then you might want to consider becoming a surgeon. It’s certainly one of the professions that require the most training and not that many people can make it that far. Also, to get to the top of the financial ladder, you’d need to gain a lot of practical experience.

If you’re a qualified surgeon, you have two paths before you – public and private healthcare. It goes without saying that private pays way more, but those in the public sector also receive very competitive salaries as opposed to surgeons in other developed countries.

Annual salary range: 120,000 – 200,000 NZD (public), 150,000 – 600,000 NZD (private)


This might come as a surprise to some, but judges in New Zealand can make a lot of money in comparison to their counterparts in other countries, even the US. Again, this is a very senior position that requires a lot of studying and practicing before you reach it, but once you do, you’ll live a comfortable life.

There are few openings in that field, but the good news is that once you get the job, you become tenured, meaning that your pay cannot be decreased. This is done to ensure impartiality.

Annual salary range: 335,000 – 490,000 NZD

Radiation Oncologist

Another job in healthcare that pays very well and it’s one of the most important for public health is that of the radiation oncologist. If you’re currently in the first few years of your medical course and you wonder what to specialise, radiation oncology is always looking for new additions.

Similar to the surgeon profession, you can choose between the public and private sector, with the latter paying more. Additionally, the more experience you have, the higher the pay, which is why there is a big difference between the lower and higher end of the annual pay below.

Annual salary range: 70,000 – 216,000 NZD (public), up to 600,000 NZD (private)

Chief Financial Officer

Returning to the hustle and bustle of big companies, chief financial officers (CFO’s), take the fifth spot of the best paying jobs in New Zealand. As the CFO, you’d naturally be responsible for the finances of the company, which is a very tough job, to say the least. Still, it would be worth it when you see your paycheque.

Annual salary range: 180,000 – 390,000 NZD

Strategy Manager

The strategy manager is the pragmatic visionary of a company. In more comprehensible terms, the strategy manager is responsible for setting the course of a company by creating strategies that could accomplish the company’s goals in the fastest and easiest way. It’s no wonder that this position is so well paid.

Annual salary range: 200,000 NZD – 350,000 NZD

National Sales Manager

The national sales manager of a company is perhaps the most accomplished salesman you can imagine, and their pay shows it. The national sales manager is responsible for the sales of a company, finding ways to increase them, and managing the sales team by having intimate knowledge of the national market.

You need experience in management and particularly in sales management.

Annual salary range: 200,000 NZD – 350,000 NZD

Chief Technology Officer

The chief technology officer (CTO) is tasked with implementing new technologies that can best help the needs of the company. They lead the technology or engineering department, can use capital for investment and report directly to another C-level executive in the firm. CTO’s have to be very aware of recent and upcoming developments in technology to help the performance of their company.

Annual salary range: 200,000 NZD – 300,000 NZD