Working while studying in New Zealand

Learn about how to work in New Zealand while studying.

In this article:

What are the eligibility requirements to work while studying in New Zealand?

The eligibility requirements are different for students depending on their type of course.

Tertiary students:

Note: Students pursuing higher education courses like degrees, diplomas and certifications after completing their secondary school education are known as tertiary students.

  • You need to hold a study visa that specifies that you are allowed to work while studying.
  • You need to be enrolled in any one of the following: 
    • Full-time course with a minimum duration of 2 years.
    • Full-time course approved by the tertiary student exchange scheme with a minimum duration of 1 year.
  • Your course should result in a New Zealand qualification that gains points in the skilled migrant category.

Note: Your visa will not have any restrictions if you are pursuing a research masters or a doctoral degree.

English language students: 

  • If you are pursuing a full-time English language course with a duration of 6 months or more, you can work part-time while studying, provided you have an overall band score of at least 5.0 in your IELTS. 
  • If you are pursuing a full-time English language course with a duration of 14 to 25 weeks, you can work part-time while studying if your university is recognised by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority as a Category 1 provider.

How many hours will you be permitted to work while studying in New Zealand?

You can work for up to 20 hours per week while school is in session and full-time during holidays. If you are a research master's/doctorate student, you can work full-time while school is in session and during holidays. 

Note: If you are pursuing a course other than a research master's or a doctorate, your course needs to have at least a total of 120 credits for you to be eligible to work full-time during breaks.

How to find a part-time job in New Zealand

Most students find their part-time jobs through the 'Student Job Search' website. This is a government-run website that has job opportunities from employers across various sectors. You can also check out private job vacancy websites like 'TradeMe' and 'Seek'. 

Some universities offer part-time teaching and tutoring opportunities for international students. You can talk to the faculties at your university's international student support centre regarding on-campus job opportunities.

You can also look out for help wanted signs at local stores and supermarkets. If you find one you like the look of, just walk in and tell the shopkeeper or the store manager that you're interested in taking up the position.

Some examples of job roles that you can take up while studying in New Zealand are:

  • Supermarket assistant
  • Retail store salesperson
  • Office assistant
  • Call centre worker
  • Restaurant waiter
  • Bartender
  • Babysitter

Note: All international students have the same work rights as natives in New Zealand. This means that you are entitled to paid annual vacations and public holidays. You will also earn at least the minimum wage of 18.5 NZ$. However, you can negotiate for a higher rate depending on your position.