Ministry of Business and Innovation - Occupation Outlook

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Job Prospects

Job Prospects... At a glance

The demand for managers is expected to grow moderately well and the chances of getting a job are good for those with management experience. Promotion within a business is the most likely path to management. Management is not a career people generally enter directly immediately after completing their studies, but one they enter after years of experience in other roles.
Management skills are also required when starting up or growing a small business.

How to become a manager

What they do

Managers plan and organise the operations of private- and public-sector organisations. They are often responsible for staff, managing the performance review process and setting tasks. However, they may also be responsible for particular projects or products with few or no directly-reporting staff.

Managers usually have budget approval responsibilities and lead meetings with their own staff or project teams. Managers are also called on to provide day-to-day leadership and decision-making, as well as to have a vision for where their area should be heading. 

Managers are often involved in recruiting staff and in representing their organisation at external meetings and other events.

Their tasks may include:

  • planning policy, and setting standards and objectives for organisations
  • providing day-to-day direction and management of organisations, and directing and endorsing policy to fulfil objectives, achieve specific goals, and maximise profit and efficiency
  • assessing changing situations and responding accordingly by issuing commands and directives to subordinate staff
  • consulting with immediate subordinates and departmental heads on matters such as methods of operation, equipment requirements, finance, sales and human resources
  • authorising the funding of major policy implementation programs
  • representing the organisation at official occasions, in negotiations, at conventions, seminars, public hearings and forums, and liaising between areas of responsibility
  • preparing, or arranging for the preparation of, reports, budgets and forecasts, and presenting them to governing bodies
  • selecting and managing the performance of senior staff
  • undertaking responsibility for some or all of accounting, sales, marketing, human resources and other specialist operations.

Qualifications needed

Most managers enter management through exceeding in non-management fields. For instance, a policy analyst may become a policy manager through high performance at policy analysis, or a finance manager through high performance as an accountant. High performance in one field is often expected to translate into high performance as a manager.

Regardless of the field one is in, most people wishing to become managers will need to demonstrate very good communication skills.

Useful qualifications for management include a Bachelor of Applied Management or a Master of Business Administration (MBA). These are not a requirement for management and MBAs generally require applicants to have already been a manager for several years before entering the course. Although not a requirement, an MBA is often seen as a stepping stone to further career advancement.

An MBA may be completed part-time while working over several years or full-time over a year.

Short courses in management are also available and these are popular with new managers.  

Cost of study

Bachelor Degree - Business & ManagementMasters - Business & Management
$19,000 over three years

$20,700 over two years

Source: Provider data online. Average costs in 2018 for a domestic student. Costs vary between institutions. First time students may be eligible for  fees-free tertiary education for their first year of study, which will reduce the total cost. For more information about fees-free eligibility, go to Some polytechnics may have a zero-fees scheme. Further costs include materials, textbooks, and accommodation.

Rents vary from place to place. Estimated market rents by region, city and suburb are available on the Tenancy Services website.

The StudyLink website provides general budget advice for students, and the Sorted website provides help with detailed budget planning.

Tenancy Services: 

Where to study

Many universities, polytechnics and other training institutions offer relevant business and management courses.

Completed qualifications

The number of students completing a Bachelor Business and Management has climbed to about 3,300 per year. About 500people complete a Master of Business Management each year.

Qualification completions chart

Source: Ministry of Education

Income and employment prospects


In 2019, the average income for general managers was $99,000 per year. Managers’ incomes are usually higher than incomes for other occupations. However, managers’ incomes also vary widely depending on their seniority, level of responsibility, field and industry.

Estimate Average Income

Source: MBIE estimates based on Statistics NZ Census and Labour Cost Index

Employment and skill shortages

Manager’s employment

HistoricProjected Growth
2006 2013 2023 2028
29,016 33,288 38,250 42,060
  2.0% 2.3% 1.6%

Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections. Percentages are compound annual growth rates.
*Growth projections are for the broader category “Chief Executives, General Managers and Legislators”.

Within the managers’ occupation there are numerous specialisations and fields, as managers are employed across all industries. There are also many common management tasks, including planning, organisation, budgeting and staff responsibilities.

These common tasks mean that managers often move quite easily across different fields and industries.  

The demand for managers, especially experienced managers, is high. This can result in a high income. There is also quite a high rate of people leaving management because of stress in the role. Managers also tend to be older workers and so retirement creates more vacancies in this occupation.

Employment chart

Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections

Outcomes after qualification completion*

OverseasIn further studyReceiving a benefitIn employmentMedian Salary
30% 8% 2% 61% $72,000

Source: Tertiary Education Commission
*Three years after completion of Bachelor Degree - Business & Management.

Three years after completing a Bachelor of Business and Management, 61% of graduates were employed and 8% in further study, which compares favourably with 63% and 6% for all graduates with a Bachelor’s degree.

Procurement managers (who manage the process of purchasing goods and services in organisations) and ICT project managers are on Immigration New Zealand’s long-term skill shortage lists. If a job appears on Immigration New Zealand’s skill shortage lists, it means the government is actively encouraging skilled people in the role to come and work in New Zealand. A full list is available on the Immigration New Zealand website

Immigration NZ, skill shortage list:

Where to find job vacancies

The number of online job vacancies for general managers has roughly followed the same trend as the average of all vacancies in recent years.

Jobs advertised chart

Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Managers vacancies are advertised through websites such as Trade Me Jobs and Seek and, increasingly, through social media like LinkedIn.

Trade Me Jobs: 

Career path

Managers come from all occupations in all industries. A career path to manager may start from the most junior of roles. However, most management roles now require higher-level qualifications; higher qualifications in whatever field will assist in getting more senior roles, including management roles.

People do not usually become managers until after several years of experience in less senior roles. Managers’ roles vary widely, as there are managers in all industries. Depending on the size of the organisation, there can be several levels of management within an organisation.

Related occupations

  • Managing Director/Chief Executive
  • Advertising, Sales and Marketing Manager
  • Finance Manager
  • Procurement Manager
  • Health Services Manager
  • Information Technology Manager
  • Retail Manager
  • Management Consultant
  • Project Manager
  • Office Manager

Other information


More information on managers is available on Careers New Zealand’s websites and through the "Just the Job" video.

Careers New Zealand:
Just the Job video clip: How to Get Ahead in the Workplace


The Australian New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) is the official classification of occupations in New Zealand.

The occupation of managers has been coded to the following ANZSCO codes for the purpose of this report:

1111 – Chief Executives and Managing Directors
1112 – General Managers
13 – Specialist Managers
14 – Hospitality, Retail and Service Managers
2247 – Management and Organisation Analysts
51 – Office Managers and Program Administrators