Just like Australia, New Zealand is desperate for Surveyors

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Surveyors are currently in huge demand in New Zealand due to unprecedented spending on major infrastructure projects.

With a small number of graduates entering the profession each year, and older Surveyors leaving the industry or moving abroad, the NZ Government is actively encouraging skilled surveyors from overseas to work in New Zealand.

As a result, the occupation of a Surveyor is included on Immigration New Zealand’s long-term skill shortage list and Immigration New Zealand’s construction and infrastructure skill shortage list. 

Why are Surveyors in demand?

In 2020, the New Zealand Government announced a $15 billion surge of infrastructure projects through the New Zealand Upgrade programme, with special emphasis on roading and transport, hospitals and schools. This is in addition to already unprecedented infrastructure investment. An estimated $129 billion is expected to be spent on capital projects between 2019 and 2029!

Furthermore, New Zealand has entered the recovery and rebuild period following extensive damage caused by Cyclone Gabrielle, the Auckland Anniversary floods (in January 2023), and ex-Cyclone Hale. The New Zealand government expects the recent weather events will come with a bill of more than NZD $10 billion.

Qualifications and Licensing of Surveyors in New Zealand

In New Zealand, to become a surveyor you need to have a Bachelor of Surveying (BSurv). The four-year degree is only offered by the University of Otago School of Surveying.

To work as a hydrographic surveyor you also need to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Science, specialising in hydrography. The Royal NZ Navy also trains a small number of hydrographic surveyors.

Recognition of overseas surveying qualifications

If you have an International Surveying qualification, your first step is to have your qualifications evaluated and recognized, you will need to meet one of the following requirements:
– Bachelor of Surveying (NZQF Level 7)
– Bachelor of Surveying with Honours (NZQF Level 8)
– Registration as a Professional Surveyor with the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors (Trading as Survey and Spatial New Zealand)
– Professional Associate Membership or an Overseas Member of the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors (with an overseas degree approved by NZIS)

Qualifications from Australia

The Council of the Reciprocating Surveyors Boards of Australia and New Zealand (CRSBANZ) is the body representing all the land survey jurisdictions of Australia and New Zealand, with the primary objective of ensuring sufficient and common standards of survey practice and registration/licensing, to enable full reciprocity (mutual recognition) between jurisdictions (Source: CRSBANZ).

Cadastral Surveying qualifications

Cadastral Surveyors Licensing Board (CSLB) is responsible for the licensing of cadastral surveyors. The Board of CSLB administers reciprocity arrangements with the eight Australian State and Territory Boards. Surveyors with a current licence in Australia are able to apply for a Cadastral Licence in NZ and vice-versa. 

The Board also recognises qualifications from overseas applicants which need to be assessed and approved by the Board on a case-by-case basis by submitting the following form.

Survey and Spatial New Zealand Certification Framework

Survey and Spatial New Zealand (S+SNZ) have launched the Survey and Spatial New Zealand Certification Framework.

“The purpose of the framework is to provide a recognised professional pathway for members at all levels, with clear eligibility criteria, a public register, and mandatory Continuing Professional Development, supported by a robust renewal process and a quality management system.”

Applications are now open exclusively to S+SNZ members.

The new system provides certification for two categories:

  • Engineering Surveyors (Survey and Spatial New Zealand Certified Professional Engineering Surveyor)
  • Land Development Engineers (Survey and Spatial New Zealand Certified Professional Land Development Engineer)

In the future, the Certification framework will be expanded to include other professions.

The fee rates are valid between July 2023 and July 2025.

  • $1950+GST: Applications for a Certified Professional Land Development Engineer and a Certified Professional Engineering Surveyor (includes the first Annual Practising Certificate plus the first Certificate of Competency)
  • $360+GST: Requisition Fee (payable by candidates who are requisitioned – candidate has 3 months from the date of being requisitioned, to submit further requirements as requested by the Assessor Panel)

Until recently, Engineering Surveying was an unregulated industry in New Zealand. “The new certification is the first step to providing recognition of professional and technical competency for NZ Engineering Surveyors.”

This Certification is also the first in New Zealand for Professional Land Development Engineers. “It assesses to a high standard, providing recognition of current professional and technical competency in Civil Engineering as it relates to Land Development. It also aligns with the intent of MBIE’s new ‘Occupational Regulation of Engineers’ Act.

How to find out more about the new certification

If you would like to know more about the new certification, Survey and Spatial New Zealand will be providing regular email updates, webinars, and interactive Zoom sessions. A dedicated email address has been set up for the programme: [email protected].

Certified Professional Engineering Surveyor

Get Certified Professional Engineering Surveyor: Competencies

Get Certified Professional Engineering Surveyor: Candidate Guide

Certified Professional Land Development Engineer

Get Certified Professional Land Development Engineer: Competencies

Get Certified Professional Land Development Engineer: Candidate Guide

How much can you earn as a Surveyor in New Zealand

A licensed surveyor in New Zealand can expect to earn an average salary of NZD 70,000 to NZD 120,000 per year, depending on the level of experience. Entry-level surveyors can expect to earn around NZD 50,000 to NZD 70,000 per year.

Visa Options for Surveyors moving to NZ

Occupation list – ANZSCO level 1

Surveyor – Plans, directs and conducts survey work to determine, delineate, plan and precisely position tracts of land, natural and constructed features, coastlines, marine floors and underground works, and manages related information systems. Registration or licensing may be required.

Specialisations

  • Cadastral Surveyor
  • Engineering Surveyor
  • Geodetic Surveyor
  • Hydrographic Surveyor
  • Mine Surveyor
  • Photogrammetric Surveyor

Surveyor is on the following lists:

Long-term skill shortage list

Required standard

One of the following:
– Bachelor of Surveying (NZQF Level 7)
– Bachelor of Surveying with Honours (NZQF Level 8)
– Registration as a Professional Surveyor with the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors
– Professional Associate Membership or an Overseas Member of the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors (with an overseas degree approved by NZIS)

Construction and Infrastructure skill shortage list

Required standard

One of the following:
– Bachelor of Surveying (NZQF Level 7)
– Bachelor of Surveying with Honours (NZQF Level 8)
– Registration as a Professional Surveyor with the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors
– Professional Associate Membership or an Overseas Member of the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors (with an overseas degree approved by NZIS)

Region: Canterbury
Canterbury is limited to the entire or principal place of work being within the territorial authorities of Christchurch City Council, Selwyn District Council or Waimakariri District Council.

Related visa: Essential Skills

If you meet the above requirements and are offered a job in one of the specified regions, then you may be eligible to apply for an Essential Skills temporary work visa. The duration of the visa depends on the term of your job offer, your skill level and labour market conditions. Essential Skills work visas are intended to fill temporary skill gaps, so they do not lead directly to a residence application. 

Skill level classification

Source: New Zealand Immigration

About the University of Otago School of Surveying

The University of Otago Surveying School has gained international recognition for both the caliber of its graduates and the research conducted by its faculty. The BSurv degree offered by the university holds official accreditation from the Chartered Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors in the United Kingdom.

Furthermore, graduates enjoy reciprocal privileges with the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute in Australia and are acknowledged by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in the United Kingdom. Graduates have the opportunity to join the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors and can acquire a license as a cadastral surveyor (additional requirements must be fulfilled).

Source: University of Otago, School of Surveying

Would you like to know more about living and working in New Zealand?

We understand that moving to a new country is not an easy decision to make, especially if you have a family. After all, you are leaving everything that is familiar and starting over in a new place. To help you navigate these challenges, we have created an extensive guide to New Zealand which includes important information such as:

  • Moving and Shipping
  • Renting a property
  • Healthcare system
  • Education
  • Cost of living
  • Transport
  • Getting your qualifications recognized
  • Tax system and more!

We are now recruiting Surveyors across New Zealand

We are actively recruiting university degree-qualified Surveyors for our Clients in NZ in a variety of locations including Hamilton and Auckland. If you are looking for interesting work, career development, access to the latest technology, as well as excellent remuneration, send your CV to [email protected] or apply directly on our website here.

Our experience in placing Surveyors across Australia & New Zealand

Established in 2012, ConsultANZ is a family-owned business and a niche supplier of temporary, contract, and permanent engineering, construction, and surveying staff to large and medium companies across Australia and New Zealand.

We have vast experience in placing international Candidates and work closely with Registered Migration Agents to help you and your family secure the best available jobs and visas. If you are a university degree-qualified Surveyor who is interested in working in NZ, send your CV to [email protected] or browse our jobs here.


Disclaimer: Due to the high volume of applications, only shortlisted Applicants will be contacted via phone within two weeks of submitting their CV. If you haven’t heard from us within two weeks of your application, please accept it has been unsuccessful.

The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this article is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. For migration purpose, you should contact a Registered Migration Agent.

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