Construction, Architecture & Engineering salary insights

Looking firstly at New Zealand’s construction market, Canterbury remains steady thanks to high civil investment and commercial activity.

Engineering Insights NZ

However as we approach the completion of the Christchurch rebuild, candidate supply is starting to outweigh demand, keeping salaries stable.

Auckland is active thanks to commercial and residential construction projects, particularly multi-storey apartments, townhouses and office builds. But cost reductions and project completions led to some redundancies and salary stagnations. Looking ahead, this will create a surplus of Project Managers and Site Forepersons, which will keep future salary increases minimal.

Since the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, largescale demolition and vertical commercial construction work has increased dramatically in Wellington. The latter is expected to continue at current rates until 2019. Activity in the residential building sector is increasing too given the shortage of affordable homes. This is creating demand for experienced Project Managers, Site Managers and Estimators. Given activity, salaries are increasing slightly as more contractors are willing to pay above market rates to retain top talent.

Turning to engineering, New Zealand’s structural engineering market is driven by seismic projects in both Wellington and Auckland. During 2017-18 the supply of experienced Intermediate and Senior Engineers fell across all disciplines as these professionals took roles overseas or returned to their home country where job opportunities had improved. Salaries increased as a result of demand. Structural Engineers with seismic detailing and complex medium to large project experience will remain in high demand in 2018-19.

As New Zealand’s cities grow, civil engineering is increasingly busy. Salaries have increased slightly across the board since demand outweighs supply. A continuously increasing population will lead to further salary increases in 2018-19 for those in the water, stormwater and wastewater fields, and in transportation engineering and planning.

Roading Engineers, Transportation Engineers and Geometric Designers and Engineers will remain in demand for new or upgrade road network projects around the country. Civil Engineers with land development experience and Registered Surveyors will also be sought nation-wide.

Environmental Engineers and those with Three Waters experience will be needed in response to new land developments and roading projects, while the shortage of Civil 12D Designers will remain.

Within the architecture industry, Architects with delivery experience will be required in Auckland as major projects near completion. Salaries for Registered Architects have increased as a result.

At the mid-management level, Associate Architects who can design and manage a team are in high demand but short supply. 

Multi-unit residential remains active in Auckland, creating demand for Project Managers and Site Managers. Salaries are increasing to attract experienced candidates.

Registered Architects and Senior Project Architects are in demand in Wellington’s active residential and large-scale commercial and industrial sectors. Increased competition between architectural practices could lead to steady salary increases for senior staff as firms attempt to attract and retain top talent. Demand will remain greatest at the intermediate to senior levels.