NZ Average Salaries: Are You Earning Enough?

Canstar explores New Zealand’s average salaries and evaluates whether yours may need a boost.

Median NZ income*

The table below shows the difference in median income between men and women for the June 2023 quarter, based on the latest data from Stats NZ.

Hourly Weekly Annually
Women $30.15 $1140 $59,280
Men $33 $1400 $72,800
Total Average $31.58 $1273 $66,040

Pre-tax income. Based on a 37.8 hour work week.

Related article: How Much KiwiSaver Do You Need for Retirement?

Top 3 ways to check that your salary is fair

It’s often hard to know if you’re being paid enough to keep up with the expenses of everyday life. But if your bank account is barren before your next paycheck, you may not be earning enough to meet your living costs. So what’s a fair salary for your job? Well it can be confusing. Job advertisements don’t usually come with exact salary figures. And most wage negotiations are held behind closed office doors. So where to start to figure out if you’re earning your true worth? We’ve scoured the job-hunting world for some valuable tips on how to find out if you’re being paid fairly.

1. Minimum entitlements by law

When you’re working as an employee, the most important thing to know is what you’re entitled to by law.

There are three types of minimum wage – adult, starting-out and training:

Adult minimum wage rate

The adult minimum wage rate for employees aged 16 years or older in NZ:

  • $22.70 an hour before tax
  • $908 before tax for a 40-hour week.

Starting-out minimum wage

The minimum wage rate for starting-out workers is:

  • $18.16 an hour before tax
  • $726.40 before tax for a 40-hour week.

Training minimum wage

The minimum wage rate for training workers is:

  • $18.16 an hour before tax
  • $726.40 before tax for a 40-hour week.

→Related article: What is the Minimum Wage in NZ?

Knowing whether or not you’re in a high-demand ‘Green-List’ role can also give you more bargaining power around your salary. Check Immigration New Zealand’s list of skills that are currently in hot demand to discover if you’re in a high-demand role.

2. Online salary checkers

Online tools, such as those offered by PayScale can provide a guide to salary expectations. Local job websites, including Trade Me and Seek, also provide options to explore the wages on offer across a range of occupations.

3. Salary guide reports

Downloadable salary guide reports (usually in PDF form) may not seem as useful as a search function that gives you a salary figure to compare straightaway – but they can be priceless. These reports contain stacks of info around industry trends, way beyond mere dollar figures.

If you want to know why salaries are growing quickly – or not growing – or what employers are looking for when giving out pay rises, a salary guide report is a good place to look.

Reports are typically useful if you’re in a relatively standard job. But don’t expect them to cover sectors such as the creative industries very thoroughly.

A Hays salary guide is available for many different industries, featuring comparisons across New Zealand and Australia.

Compare KiwiSaver Providers with Canstar

If you’re comparing KiwiSaver funds, the comparison table below displays some of the products currently available on Canstar’s database for a KiwiSaver member with a balance of $20,000 in a Growth fund, sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest), followed by company name (alphabetical) some may have links to providers’ websites. Use Canstar’s KiwiSaver comparison selector to view a wider range of retirement funds. Canstar may earn a fee for referrals.

To read more about our latest KiwiSaver Awards click this link or to compare KiwiSaver providers, click on the button below.

Compare KiwiSaver funds with Canstar

About the rauthor of this page

This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Caitlin Bingham. Caitlin is an experienced writer whose passion for creativity led her to study communication and journalism. She began her career freelancing as a content writer, before joining the Canstar team.

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