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Teaching in New Zealand

New Zealand is a popular teach-abroad destination with a huge demand for teachers. NZ also offers a Work to Residence visa pathway via the Green List. This requires you to have a job or job offer and meet specific criteria in terms of qualifications, registration, and income. Afterwards, you must fulfil two years of relevant work in New Zealand under an appropriate visa. Once this stipulation is satisfied, you can move forward with your Work to Residence Visa application.

The pathway towards reaching your goal to gaining Teachers registration in New Zealand entails meeting specific requirements and standards set out by the Teaching Council of New Zealand.

Teaching Council of New Zealand pre-requirements for Overseas Trained Teachers are as follows:

The first step is understanding the basic requirements an overseas teacher must fulfil to be qualified to teach in New Zealand.

  • Qualification Assessment by NZQA

You should have a tertiary level qualification that is equivalent to Level 7 of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF). Additionally, you will be required to get your qualification assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). NZQA will assess the qualification for equivalency to NZ. In some cases, you may be exempt from getting your qualification assessed. However, the exemption for the assessment is only for checking the equivalency to NZ qualification. Even if the applicant is allowed exemption from the assessment, there is still a requirement to undergo the process of applying to the Teachers Council to be eligible to teach in NZ.

  • Meet the English language proficiency

You must meet the English Language requirement. Anyone studying to become a teacher or applying for teaching registration or certificate must meet the English language competency requirements. Eg. IELTS 7 in each band. Click here for more information regarding language proficiency.

  • Meet the health & character requirements

The other prerequisites include your health and character. You must have good health and good character.

There are 2 pathways to teach in New Zealand.

Pathway 1 (Job Offer)

Once you meet the above pre-requisite requirements, you can apply for registration to the Teaching Council of New Zealand. Upon registration, you can apply for a job advertised by the NZ employers. On getting a Job Offer, this pathway opens up for you to come and work and live in New Zealand.

All information about NZ Teacher’s Registration for teachers trained overseas and who want to teach in New Zealand can be found here

You can also contact Immigration Advisers New Zealand Ltd. for Teaching Registration Assistance.

Pathway 2 (Study pathway)

If you are unable to get yourself registered as an overseas teacher directly, then you may consider studying a course in New Zealand that leads to teacher registration.

Qualifications needed by overseas teachers or graduates to teach in New Zealand

You will need to complete any one of the following:

  • A Graduate Diploma in Teaching
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning
  • Master of Teaching
  • Master of Teaching and Learning

Apart from the above qualification, you must be registered with the Teaching Council of New Zealand and have a current practising certificate.

Several options for undergraduates are also available if someone is interested in studying in New Zealand.

New Zealand has a high demand for early childhood education and primary school teachers.

How much do teachers earn in New Zealand?

Teachers may take on either a teaching job in early childhood teaching or as primary or secondary school teachers or university lecturers. The teachers can also take up management or specialist roles, such as head of department, curriculum specialist, or leading teachers of a particular year group. These roles are paid an additional remuneration of about $4,000 per year.

New early childhood teachers earn between NZ $45,000 – $74,000 annually. Teachers with 5+ years of experience earn NZ$ 74,000 – $98,000 annually.

New primary school teachers earn between NZ $48,000 – $52,000 annually. Teachers with 5+ years of experience earn NZ$ 71,000 – $80,0 000 annually.

New secondary school teachers are paid NZ$ 52,000 – 57,000 per annum. Teachers with 5+ years of experience earn NZ$ 71,000 – $80,000 annually.

Heads of department, senior management and school principal leadership are paid at a higher pay scale.

Boarding and independent private sector schools have their own wage brackets for teachers.

Teachers who teach in schools that are hard to staff may earn an extra $3,500 in their third, fourth and fifth years.

Teaching offers you a challenging and rewarding career and a chance to share your knowledge and help future generations learn and thrive.

Source:   Link 1, Link 2, Link 3


The qualification depends on whether you want to become an Early Childhood Education (ECE) teacher, primary school teacher, secondary school teacher or some other teacher.

Please contact Immigration Advisers New Zealand Ltd for more information.

There are some pre-approved teaching qualifications. However, the qualification should not be for Early Childhood Education (ECE). To know more about the exempt qualification contact IANZ.

To teach in New Zealand, one must meet the English language requirement. Proof of language competency must be provided. For more details contact IANZ

There is a huge demand for teachers in New Zealand and this is a relatively well-paying job. The pay-range depends on whether you are an Early Childhood Education (ECE) teacher, primary school teacher, secondary school teacher as well as your experience.


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