Alert icon

We're currently experiencing a high volume of inquiries, which is affecting the time to answer calls and chat. If your query is not urgent, please email and we'll respond in due course.

Jobs in skill shortage

Skill shortages happen when employers find it hard to get staff with the right skills for the job. Knowing which jobs are in skill shortage can help you choose the best job option or decide what subjects to study.

Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other economic factors, which jobs are in skill shortage may change quickly.

You can find out more by looking at job advertisements and talking to employers in areas you'd like to work in.

Reasons for skill shortages

Skill shortages can happen because:

  • there aren't enough workers with the right skills available
  • turnover is high because workers are unhappy with pay or working conditions 
  • there is a general labour shortage, such as during low unemployment.

Skill shortages can change due to:

  • changes in technology or the economy
  • skilled workers moving to another country
  • an ageing workforce.

Immigration New Zealand's Green List and Sector Agreement show skills gaps

Immigration New Zealand's Green List and Sector Agreement aim to make it easier for employers to fill genuine skills gaps by recruiting overseas workers.

These lists can also give you an idea of which jobs are in skill shortage.

Immigration New Zealand's skill shortage lists can indicate jobs in demand

Immigration New Zealand's skill shortage lists show that the Government was actively encouraging skilled workers from overseas to work in particular roles in New Zealand.

The skill shortage lists aren't being updated, but they may give an indication of jobs that are likely to be in demand.

Find out what jobs were on Immigration New Zealand's long-term, regional, and construction and infrastructure skill shortage lists within the following industries.

Jobs in Engineering


Automotive electricians install, maintain and repair electrical wiring, parts and electrical and electronic systems in vehicles.

Automotive refinishers prepare vehicle surfaces, match and mix colours, and apply paint to vehicles.

Automotive technicians service and repair vehicles and their parts and systems.

Collision repair technicians repair and replace damaged body parts of cars and other vehicles.


Chemical engineers design, develop and operate equipment and processes used to manufacture chemicals and products.

Civil engineers plan, organise and oversee the building and maintenance of structures such as dams, bridges, sewerage systems and roads.

Civil engineering technicians/draughtspeople plan and draw the technical details for building and repairing roads, bridges, buildings and other structures.

Electrical engineering technicians interpret the designs and technical instructions of electrical engineers, then ensure they are accurately carried out. They also develop, install, test and maintain equipment that produces, transmits or uses power.

Electrical engineers design, construct and manufacture electrical systems. They also maintain, operate and manage these systems.

Electronics engineers design and oversee production of electronic equipment such as radios, televisions, computers, washing machines and telecommunication systems. They may also work in sales and technical support.

Environmental engineers assess and reduce the impact of engineering projects on water, soil and air. They also plan and design systems to treat and remove waste.

Mechanical engineers design and give advice on the building and repair of machines and tools. They also investigate problems and faults with machinery, and study ways to improve manufacturing and energy production.

Mechanical engineering technicians help mechanical engineers design, develop, test and manufacture mechanical devices, including tools, engines and machines. 

Maintenance and Repair

Electronics trades workers assemble, install and fix electronic parts and equipment.

Engineering machinists create, assemble and repair metal products by interpreting designs, measuring metals, and operating machines to cut and shape them.

Fabrication engineers make, install and repair metal products such as vents, handrails, boilers, aircraft and boat parts, or beams and girders for construction projects. 

Refrigeration/air-conditioning technicians install, service and maintain refrigeration and air-conditioning systems.

Welders make, join and repair metal parts for machinery and equipment using welding techniques.