Ministry of Business and Innovation - Occupation Outlook

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Packers and Movers

Job Prospects

Job Prospects... At a glance

Job prospects for packers and movers, also known as removalists, are above average. There is currently increasing demand for movers because of a strong housing market, but this is not expected to lead to a large increase in employment numbers.

How to become a packer or mover

What they do

Packers and movers prepare, pack, load and move furniture and other items from one location to another. They are usually involved when businesses move, or when people move out of houses.

Packers also work in storehouses, packing and organising goods for delivery.

Their tasks may include:

  • labelling goods with customers' details and destinations
  • loading goods into trucks, containers and rail wagons, and securing loads
  • assisting to tie down loads and cover them with tarpaulins
  • guiding truck drivers into loading bays and through confined spaces
  • performing clerical functions to record and check cargo on arrival, storage and despatch
  • opening and closing hatches and securing cargo to prevent shifting during voyages
  • transferring loads using moving equipment and directing equipment operations using communication systems
  • stacking cargo on pallets, trays, flats and slings to facilitate transfer to and from ships.


There are no entry requirements to work as packers or movers. Most skills are learned on the job. Qualifications that could be useful for working in the relocations industry include:

  • National Certificate in Domestic Relocations Operations (Level 2)
  • National Certificate in International Relocations Operations (Level 2)

For packers, a forklift licence may be needed, and movers may need a driving licence and heavy vehicle licence. Physical fitness may also be needed, as there could be heavy lifting involved.

Cost of study

On the job training

*if completed as an employer-funded traineeship there may be no fees for the trainee.

The least expensive way to train as removalist is to become an industry trainee and learn on the job. As a trainee you can earn while gaining a qualification.

Current fees for a MITO traineeship are $1,145 (GST exclusive) per year, which includes all training, training resources and learner support.

A driving licence, heavy vehicle licence, or forklift licence may be needed, and there are costs involved in getting these.

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

MITO New Zealand Incorporated (MITO) is the Industry Training Organisation (ITO) that facilitates on-the-job training for the relocations industry.

MITO's on-the-job training programmes are designed to help those employed in either the domestic or international sector of the relocations industry become a safe and efficient removalist with high levels of customer service.  Generally, it takes around 12 months to complete each programme.


Income and employment prospects


The annual income for packers and movers is estimated to be around $39,500. Many packers and movers work on the minimum wage, or just a little more.

Estimated Average Income

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

Employment and skill shortages

Packers and movers employment

HistoricProjected Growth
2006 2013 2023 2028
18,333 17,814 19,870 21,660
  -0.4% 1.8% 1.4%

Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections. Percentages are compound annual growth rates.
* Growth projections are based on the wider category “Storepersons”.

The number of packers and movers in employment fell slightly from 2006 to 2013. An increase in numbers is projected to occur over the next few years. This stable employment pattern means that there should be openings for new workers.

Employment chart

Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections

Packers and movers are not on Immigration New Zealand's skill shortage lists.

Immigration NZ, skill shortage list:

Where to find job vacancies

The best chance of getting full-time work in the relocation industry is to start in a casual position. Employers may offer permanent jobs to casual workers who show they have the skills and aptitude for the work.

The number of online job vacancies for packers and movers has grown at a faster rate than the average for all occupations. One reason could be a heated housing market, where houses sell quickly. This means it should be easier to get a job as a packer or mover now than it was a few years ago.

Jobs advertised chart

Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Packer and mover vacancies are advertised through websites such as Trade Me Jobs, Seek and MITO websites.

Trade Me Jobs: 

Career path

Experienced removalists often progress to supervision, business management and ownership.

Removalists can move into related fields such as sales/business development, operations despatcher or management, freight forwarding, and customs broking.

Related occupations

The following occupations are related roles or alternative titles. Some of the roles may require a higher level of skill than entry-level packers and movers.

  • Aircraft Loader
  • Cargo Handler
  • Forklift Operator
  • Furniture Packer/Mover
  • Furniture Removalist
  • Heavy Truck Driver
  • House Mover
  • Office Mover
  • Removalist
  • Relocation Operator
  • Stevedore
  • Stores Assistant
  • Warehouse Assistant

Other information


More information on packers and movers is available on the Careers New Zealand website.

Careers New Zealand:


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

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

7411 – Storepersons
733113 – Furniture Removalist