Teaching Jobs in New Zealand – Best Guide 2023

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Teaching Jobs in New Zealand

Are you considering broadening your horizon as a teacher? Then it would help if you considered teaching jobs in New Zealand.

New Zealand frequently tops global rankings as one of the best places to live and work, not least because New Zealand offers a relaxed lifestyle surrounded by tranquil settings. It has one of the lowest crime rates in the world and is frequently cited as having one of the most transparent political systems in existence.

If this sounds like something you’d like to look into further, why not consider teaching in New Zealand?

Although the minimum criteria levels are significantly higher than TEFL jobs in Asia and South America, teaching in New Zealand is a genuine possibility.

Our guide will tell you everything you need to know to make your dream of teaching in New Zealand a reality. We’ll go over the most critical topics, such as visas, qualifications, and salaries, among others.

READ ALSO: Best Guide On Teaching jobs In Australia In 2023

What is it like for migrant teachers in New Zealand?

Migrant teachers in New Zealand have a generally high standard of living. They can quickly find work, and the pay is competitive. Working hours are also reasonable, and there are numerous opportunities for professional growth. Migrant teachers frequently discover that they can save a significant amount of money while working in New Zealand.

Migrant teachers may face some difficulties in New Zealand. Finding affordable housing is one of the most difficult challenges. Dealing with the administrative burden of being a migrant teacher is another challenge.

This can include obtaining a work visa, navigating the educational system, and learning about one’s employment rights. Despite these difficulties, migrant teachers who come to New Zealand frequently say it is a beautiful place to live and work.

How Much Money Can You Expect?

In New Zealand, migrant teachers earn a competitive salary. A migrant teacher’s annual salary is $60,000 on average. Salaries, however, will vary depending on qualifications, experience, and the type of school in which you work. Wages in private schools are typically higher than in public schools.

What are the working hours like?

In New Zealand, migrant teachers have reasonable working hours. The majority of migrant teachers work 35 to 40 hours per week. This includes time spent teaching and planning lessons. Many migrant teachers have free time during the week to plan their classes and grade papers.

What are the Professional Development Opportunities?

In New Zealand, migrant teachers have numerous opportunities for professional development. Numerous professional development courses are available, and most schools will assist migrant teachers in enrolling in these courses. Migrant teachers can become members of professional organizations such as the New Zealand Teachers Council. These organizations offer assistance and resources to migrant teachers.

Moving to teach in New Zealand

Do you want to teach in New Zealand? It’s a big step, so read this page before applying.

Before applying:

Teachers are respected members of society in New Zealand. They have high standards of integrity, conduct, competence, and effective teaching practice as a profession. Joining the 105,000-strong job entails several steps.

Please visit the Ministry of Education’s website for more information on moving to New Zealand, including immigration and visa information.

Under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act, if you are registered in Australia, you may be eligible for a New Zealand practicing certificate.

SEE ALSO: Top Guide On IT Jobs in Australia in 2023 

What you need to do

To work as a teacher in New Zealand, you must be registered and have a current teaching certificate.

To be registered and certified as an overseas-trained teacher, you must complete an application form and attach certain supporting documents. You must also:

  • Demonstrate your suitability for teaching
  • Demonstrate your proficiency in the English language.
  • Obtain an international police clearance.
  • Check your identity: Identity Verification Form (there are two forms, one for if you are currently residing overseas and one if you are living in New Zealand)
  • Gather additional supporting documentation for your application:
  1. Qualifications, transcripts, and NZQA assessment copies (if applicable)
  2. Testimonial letters (from previous employers praising your teaching abilities)
  3.  Evaluation of your teaching style (including observation or annual appraisal)
  4.  Any documentation of induction and mentoring you have received during your teaching career.
  5.  Professional standing statements/certificates (including evidence of Qualified Teacher Status awarded in the United Kingdom)
  6. a copy of your curriculum vitae
  •  Submit the above information and more to apply for teacher registration and a practicing certificate. You may use both of these at the same time.

Teaching Jobs in New Zealand

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Visas for Teaching Jobs in New Zealand

If you’re planning on visiting New Zealand with a tourist visa and a non-accredited TEFL certificate, reconsider. Standards in New Zealand are significantly higher than in other popular teaching destinations such as Thailand and Peru, so you must understand the visa situation.

Fortunately for you, UK citizens are used to a Working Holiday Visa program that not only allows you to enter New Zealand but also allows you to work.

Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand

Those from the United Kingdom, like those from Australia, can quickly obtain a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa. However, there are some significant differences that you should be aware of.

First and foremost, you must be between 18 and 30, and if you are from the United Kingdom, you will be allowed to stay in the country for up to 23 months. If you wait for the full 23 months rather than just a year, you must demonstrate that you have enough money to cover the cost of a return flight home.

Furthermore, while you can stay in the country for up to 23 months, you can only work for 12 months. As a result, you will be limited in your ability to take on longer-term teaching jobs, such as those found in schools. You will, however, be ideally suited to teaching in a language center.

There is no cap on the number of applicants, so you can apply at any time of year. To use, you must pay NZ$208, approximately £107 at the time of writing.

Online application for the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa is simple; you can apply here.

Points-based system in New Zealand

The second option is to apply for a work permit through the traditional immigration channels. This process is based on a points system similar to Australia, where those with scarce skills are given priority.

If you are currently a school teacher in the United Kingdom and have the necessary qualifications, you can obtain a work permit. This is because school teachers are officially classified as having a skills shortage in New Zealand.

To qualify, you must have the necessary teaching experience and a verifiable teaching diploma, such as the PGCE in the United Kingdom.

Alternatively, if a government-supported school has directly offered you a job, the institution can apply for your visa on your behalf.

Finally, if you want to teach in New Zealand but don’t have an advanced teaching diploma (such as a PGCE) or have little teaching experience, the Working Holiday Visa is your best option.

It will, at the very least, give you enough time to consider whether you want to teach in New Zealand long-term and if you do, it will allow you to go through the standard work permit application process.

So, now that we’ve covered the most critical aspects of visas, the next section of our guide will go over qualifications.

What credentials do I need to teach in New Zealand?

If you want to teach in New Zealand, you must not only be able to obtain the necessary visa, but you must also have the necessary qualifications. Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll need.


You will need to have a Bachelor’s degree at the very least. If you want to teach English at a language center, you can usually do so in any discipline. However, if you teach a specific subject, such as history or math, your employer may require a university degree in the relevant field.

Although you can apply for the Working Holiday Visa without a degree, most academic institutions will require one if you want to teach.

This will almost certainly be required if you want to teach at a New Zealand university, which will require a Master’s or Doctorate.

TEFL/TESOL certification 

To teach English as a foreign language in New Zealand, you must have a TEFL-related certificate. In contrast to certain countries in Asia, South America, and Europe, language centers are unlikely to accept your application if you have a generic TEFL certificate.

This is a non-accredited that did not include any in-class training. On the contrary, language centers are likely to require an internationally recognized TEFL qualification that meets or exceeds New Zealand standards.

Employers will look for particular qualifications, such as DELTA, CELTA, or TESOL. The programs above not only require you to spend ample time in class, but they are also a lot more expensive than generic online TEFL courses. If, on the other hand, you want to teach in New Zealand, it’s well worth the time and money to get one of these qualifications.

Alternatively, if you’ve already purchased your tickets or are currently in New Zealand, you can enroll in a TEFL course. There are numerous in-class TEFL programs available, the majority of which are accredited by New Zealand institutions.

PGCE or local equivalent teaching diploma 

If you want to teach in a New Zealand school, you will almost certainly need to have an advanced teaching diploma, regardless of how long you intend to stay. In the United Kingdom, this is known as a PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education), a prerequisite for pursuing a career as a teacher.

The PGCE process is only available if you already have a Bachelor’s degree, which requires four years of additional education.

The good news is that if you already have a PGCE or the equivalent in your native English-speaking country, you are an excellent fit to teach in New Zealand.

You will not only be able to apply for jobs in both language centers and primary/secondary schools, but you will also be eligible for a long-term work permit.

So, now that you know what qualifications you’ll need to teach in New Zealand. Let’s look at the different teaching jobs available.

What are teaching jobs available in New Zealand?

Your circumstances will ultimately determine the types of teaching positions you can apply for. This will consider your visa situation, academic credentials, and prior teaching experience. Let’s go over the prominent roles in greater detail.

English Language Institutes 

There are a significant number of language centers in the most populated cities of Auckland and Christchurch that teach English to international students and migrants. Because the majority of students who visit language centers study or work full-time, the majority of teaching slots are held in the evenings or on weekends.

One of the advantages of teaching English at a language center is that the requirements are much less stringent than those of a government-supported school. Furthermore, you’ll usually have the option of teaching adults, kids, or a combination of both.

English language centers in New Zealand frequently demand an internationally recognized TEFL qualification, which, as previously stated, should be along the lines of DELTA, CELTA, or TESOL.

You might get lucky and find an independent language center that will accept you based on a generic TEFL certificate, but these are unlikely to be plentiful.

When it comes to payment, it depends on the language center in question. However, salaries in New Zealand are significantly lower than in the United Kingdom – and considerably lower than in Australia.


To start a teaching career in New Zealand by teaching at a government school, you must have an advanced education diploma, such as a PGCE.

The New Zealand school year, like that of Australia, typically begins in late January/early February and ends shortly before Christmas. As a result, you must be able to commit to a full academic year, and a Working Holiday Visa will not suffice.

Not only is teaching in a New Zealand school extremely rewarding but you will also be used to long breaks during the academic year.

It is important to note, however, that school teachers in New Zealand are paid significantly less than those in Australia, which is why many Kiwis pack their belongings and relocate across the Tasman Sea.

For example, starting salaries for less experienced teachers will typically be around NZ$45,000 (£23,000), with incremental increases.

More experienced teachers in more responsible roles, such as department heads, can expect to earn up to $70,000 (£37,000). As a result, if you want to teach in New Zealand, it must be for reasons other than financial gain.


If you want to teach at a New Zealand university, you must have at least a Master’s Degree combined with a PGCE, though Doctorates are preferred. Anything less than this, and you will be unlikely to succeed.

On the other hand, because university lecturing is at the top of the academic tree in New Zealand, if you have the necessary credentials, your visa obligations are likely to be met.

In terms of pay, salaries are once again lower compared to Australia, with lecturers earning an average of NZ$90,000 (approximately £46,000).


To fulfill your dream of teaching in New Zealand, you could also consider tutoring one-on-one. You can use a company that matches teachers with students or advertise your services online.

The great thing about tutoring is that you can earn money by teaching English, History, Geography, or any other subject you are knowledgeable about.

In New Zealand, tutors are typically paid around $25 per hour (£13), though travel expenses must be considered. Qualifications will vary depending on the company/individual in question, but you will most likely be expected to have a bachelor’s degree in your chosen field.


If you read our guide in its entirety, we hope you now have a good idea of what to expect when teaching in New Zealand. This covers essential topics such as whether you should apply for a standard work permit or a working holiday visa, as well as what credentials and academic records you will need.

The most important thing to remember is that while standard work permits and full-fledged degrees, such as a PGCE, are required for long-term school jobs, many opportunities are still available if you do not meet these requirements.

On the other hand, if you apply for the Working Holiday Visa and obtain an accredited TEFL-related qualification, such as the DELTA or CELTA, you can teach at a language center.

If you are already in New Zealand, you can take a TEFL course in person to obtain the necessary credentials. This will not only expedite your teaching efforts, but a New Zealand-based institution is also likely to accept the course.

The only disadvantage of teaching in New Zealand is that wages are slightly lower than in Australia. However, you are more likely to want to teach in New Zealand for the opportunity to live an incredible quality of life than for the chance to become wealthy.

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