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Salary, job prospects and living costs

Salary, job prospects and living costs

Old Feb 26th 2008, 3:50 pm
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Default Salary, job prospects and living costs

Hi

I'm considering moving to NZ from central Scotland with my wife and baby daughter. The general message I seem to get is that the way of life is significantly better, particularly for children, but it isn't without its downsides / problems.

What I would really like to find out though is what salaries, job prospects and living costs are like compared to here, and ideally for someone who has a similar career to myself.

I have a BSc in Applied Physics and a PhD. I am a principal design engineer and I have 12 years work experience doing mostly electronic design, but also optical design in the field of high precision measurement. I'm currently applying for registration as a chartered engineer.

Are there particular areas of the country that the type of industry I'd likely get a job in are concentrated? Do you have any feel for the kind of salary I might get, or what the average for electronic engineers in design role is?

How much might I expect to pay for food, electricity and insurance (buildings, contents, car and medical)?

What are house prices like? I realise that can vary a lot with area and type, so lets say a 4 bedrooms house on about 1/4 acre of land. Could people give me an idea of what that might cost near where they live, and where that is?

Many thanks

Dave
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Old Feb 26th 2008, 7:22 pm
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Default Re: Salary, job prospects and living costs

Hi Dave,

With your qualifications I don't see you having too much difficulty in securing a well-paid job (well-paid for New Zealand that is). Try www.seek.co.nz for a start to see what opportunities there are.

As for housing it's tough to say because a lot depends on location, your expectations and needs. NZ$500K will get you a splendid place with heaps of acreage in Invercargill whereas it will get you a nice enough but fairly modest place on a postage stamp size section in many areas of Auckland.
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Old Feb 26th 2008, 7:53 pm
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Default Re: Salary, job prospects and living costs

Hello and welcome to the forum,
"hiya, hiya and thrice hiya" (as another poster said recently, When in Rome........)
Given that your job is pretty specialised I'd tend to find a recruitment agent who can advise, or as suggested (sorry had to take a phone call in the meantime) to get a feel, look in
http://www.seek.co.nz/

There may be some small-scale specialised companies out there but there aren't any real susbtantial electronics design Co.s AFIK - even Fisher & Paykel (the white goods manufacturers) are taking their electronics team over the Thailand (as I recall).
I know someone in electronics design over here but he owns a pretty small but specialised operation - http://audiocomms.co.nz/
I remember looking into high-tech jobs for me a couple of years ago and there are some technology companies out there often centred in clusters.....down south as I recall, yep:
http://www.electronicssouth.com/index.cfm/Home
http://www.electronicssouth.com/index.cfm/Jobs has some jobs
Also canterbury electronics group, which was back in 2003 made up of
Allied Telesyn, Dynamic Controls, Tait Electronics, Invensys Energy Systems, Pulse Data and Trimble Navigation
but their website is dead.??
Some co.s still there:
http://www.taitworld.com/main/index....ml/New-Zealand
and for a list of clusters:
http://www.nzte.govt.nz/section/12568.aspx
I'm similar in background (but in chemistry so obviously superiror, ) and with about the same work experience in a pretty specialised area - there are about half a dozen of us in NZ - but I am setting up on my own in order to get established and make some money without having to work myself to death.
As far as housing costs etc go there are plenty of threads out there and it is very much a case of what your priorities are......
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Old Feb 26th 2008, 10:51 pm
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Default Re: Salary, job prospects and living costs

Originally Posted by dave_the_leg View Post
What are house prices like? I realise that can vary a lot with area and type, so lets say a 4 bedrooms house on about 1/4 acre of land. Could people give me an idea of what that might cost near where they live, and where that is?
For the answer to that question look at www.allrealestate.co.nz and use the advanced search function - you'll be able to choose 4 bedrooms with a minimum land size of 1000 sqm and get an idea of what you can pay in differing areas.

For example, doing a search in Auckland gives a result of "unlisted price" in Drury to $535K in Birkenhead.
Same result in Wellington gives $345K in Enderslea to $1,380,000 in Whitemans Valley (that's not terribly PC, is it? )

It all depends on how much you want to spend....
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Old Feb 26th 2008, 10:54 pm
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Default Re: Salary, job prospects and living costs

Originally Posted by dave_the_leg View Post
How much might I expect to pay for food, electricity and insurance (buildings, contents, car and medical)?
Sorry to give a vaugue answer, but that depends on how much you eat, how many lights/heaters/appliances you have on and how much you value your buildings/contents/car/medical....

I have insurance for a $250K mortgage (costs $46 a month), our lives (costs $96 a month), two cars over 10 years old (costs $103 a month) and medical cover for my family (costs $96 a month). But will these values be the same as yours?
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Old Feb 27th 2008, 8:05 am
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Default Re: Salary, job prospects and living costs

We are a family of 5, live in a lovely area of Auckland, VERY modest house, huge mortgage..... very similar to the are of Solihull on outskirts of Birmingham (the modest house and huge mortgage bit anyway). We used to enjoy our once a week meals in restaurants, takeaways, good food and wine, like a warm house and don't like to sit in the dark, we wash regularly (washing machine and showers), have 2 cars with insurance..... our running costs are very similar to those in the UK, what has changed is our quality of life - tonight for instance we sat on the beach until 8pm with the kids paddling in the sea, eating fish and chips and sipping on a cheap bottle of sauvignon blanc (couldn't do that in Birmingham). The longer we are out here (2.5 years now) and the more folk we listen to - either out here or thinking about coming out here - the mistake so many make is the way they think they will be financially better off, able to travel all over the place and live in a huge mansion with acres of land - I'm sure this is achievable if you live in a rural fairly isolated area, but if your career necessitates you being close to a large business centre then you will have to compromise a fair bit, and have to look at the bigger picture and whether you will be better off for the move.

Sorry to sound negative in anyway - don't mean to, but we've know so many people look too long through rose-tinted glasses at what they think they'll achieve to only have a harsh reality shock when they get here. Think carefully about what you think you want.

Good luck
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Old Feb 27th 2008, 10:33 am
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Default Re: Salary, job prospects and living costs

If you are thinking of living in Auckland (and you might to get a reasonable salary ) then that size of house on that area of land will cost you big bucks! I can't say what you'd get for that type of job, but I imagine it would be substantially lower than what you get at the moment and you'd have to pay more tax as well.

And remember, you can't eat scenery. Whether you settle here or not will depend on a large extent on whether yoou can still survive on the salary you earn, pay the bills and still have enought left to feel comfortable. You may also have to come down somewhat and settle for a smaller house and a lower living standard. Could you be comfortable with that?
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Old Feb 28th 2008, 5:39 am
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Default Re: Salary, job prospects and living costs

I think this is a good thread to put this on. The following is from information prepared by Treasury as quoted in the tax textbook I am reading for a course.

Earning $100,000 or more, 3%, 1% earn over $150,000
70% of taxpayers earn less than $40,000

Nil 7%
$1 to $10,000 just under 15%
$10,000 to $20,000 about 25%
$20 to $30,000 about 12%
$30 to $40,000 about 11%
$40 to $50,000 About 10%
$50 to $60,000 about 6%
$60 to $70,000 about 4%
$70 to $80,000 about 3%
$80 to $90,000 about 2%
$90 to $100,000 about 1%
$100 to $150,000 about 2%
$150,000 or more 1%

This adds to 101%, the information is on a bar graph, not a table so I had to estimate the size of the bar.

Some organizations such as the Chartered Accountants institute have salary surveys. I am not sure what is available in your field.
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Old Feb 28th 2008, 8:20 pm
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Default Re: Salary, job prospects and living costs

Originally Posted by CAN2NZ View Post
....Some organizations such as the Chartered Accountants institute have salary surveys. I am not sure what is available in your field.
Is this bar chart all about salary?
Presumably Kiwis with their own businesses and are drawing from it/them are another group all together? But we will never get to the bottom of that one - as long as the IRD are around at least
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Old Feb 29th 2008, 8:22 am
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Default Re: Salary, job prospects and living costs

No, the information is on taxpayers. People who work at a job or own a buisness are all taxpayers so everyone is included.

I am under the impression that everyone who owns a store must be rich, however, I now realize that maybe it really is expensive and I am not feathering someone elses nest when I buy something.

What would be interesting is to see household breakdowns and whether or not one would see a wider distribution of wealth.

The OECD does lots of studies and are quite interesting as they compare OECD members to eachother.
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Old Feb 29th 2008, 9:26 am
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Default Re: Salary, job prospects and living costs

Originally Posted by CAN2NZ View Post
No, the information is on taxpayers. People who work at a job or own a buisness are all taxpayers so everyone is included.
....
most businesses make a loss, most business owners don't pay taxes in the same way that employees do (trust me I am now MD of an incorporated limited company)......hence, those figures are hopelessly skewed, especially as NZ has a very very large proportion of very small companies compared to the OECD norm.
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Old Feb 29th 2008, 6:39 pm
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Default Re: Salary, job prospects and living costs

You know, your reply to the figures is totally unhelpful. I wonder if I put up something about the average temperature and rainfall if you would also introduce your unfounded opinions about thermometers and rain guages being made in China and due to poor manufacturing techniques temperature and rainfall figures are unreliable.
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