Do you want to work as a nurse in New Zealand? If so, you need to know the important details, including how much you can possibly earn while working there.
There are many other reasons, aside from the salary, why New Zealand is a great place to work and live in. One way to learn more about it is to do research, and the internet has a lot of great articles and videos that can help you. In this article, we’ll focus on one such valuable resource.
Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFW in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video on their accounts.
How Much You Can Earn Working as a Nurse in New Zealand?
This article is based on the YouTube video on the channel, Donna Krizel. This OFW shares not only her salary but also invites a guest OFW to share other important details as well. If you want to see the whole video, you can do so by clicking on the link below:
According to the vloggers, the information presented is important because it helps people who want to go to New Zealand make a better decision.
They point out that many OFWs that arrive at New Zealand come directly from the Philippines, as first time OFWs, but there are many as well who come from other countries as OFWs that decided to transfer to another country.
In the case of Donna Krizel and her friend, they both came from the UAE and decided to leave for another country, finally deciding to move to New Zealand.
Also, part of the decision-making process into determining where to transfer is knowing what the salary is in your prospect places, but therein lies the problem. It is quite embarrassing to ask what the salary is in those places. The information is kind of personal and not many people want to share that.
Thus, this video that they created is important because it answers a lot of questions that are often too hard to ask in real circumstances.
Factors that Affect the Salary of Nurses in New Zealand
The salary you get as a nurse in New Zealand, and really anywhere else in the world, depends on several factors. Here are some of them:
Years of Experience. This is one of the most obvious factors. You will surely be paid more if you have experience working abroad or in the Philippines, compared to when you are just starting out or are a fresh graduate.
Nature of Work. Salary may vary based on whether you work on the public hospitals (DHB or district health board), private institutions, age care, etc. While the salary range may not be so different in most cases, the benefits may vary considerably.
In the video, Donna Krizel mentioned that she will focus on her experiences at the DHB and perhaps a few information regarding working at age care from interviewing others.
MECA stands for Multi Employer Collective Agreement. It is an agreement formed by the NZ Resident Doctor’s Association of the DHB which covers everything from salaries, wages, allowances and more for health worker in the country.
The document can be downloaded as a PDF file in this link.
According to Donna Krizel, the agreement states that experience is the primary criteria for determining which “salary grade” you qualify in as a nurse. Nurses can work in the OT, ICU, special unit and more, but they still get the same salary based on experience.
Steps and Levels
For registered nurses and midwives, there are seven steps, Step 1 to Step 7. If you are a new graduate upon entering New Zealand, you will get Step 1.
In the video, Donna and Jay mentioned that they both have 6 years of experience working overseas (Dubai in particular) before entering New Zealand. For this, they got into Step 5, which has an annual gross income of 72,945 NZD. That is equivalent to a monthly gross income of 203,776 Philippine Pesos.
If you enter New Zealand with a work experience of 3 to 4 years, then you will most likely get into Step 4. However, this depends on your employer. They have the discretion to decide what Step you belong to.
You can actually get into a Step much lower than anticipated. For example, you may have 6 years working in another country, but if your experience is mainly as a ward nurse, and you’re coming into New Zealand as an ICU nurse, then maybe they will give you little to no credit for your experience.
Aside from Steps, you will also be ranked into Levels. These levels, according to our YouTuber, are Novice, competent and proficient. The employer also decides which level you belong.
Donna mentioned that she started in Step 5, but is now currently at Step 6. You need to work a minimum of 12 months in Step 5 to qualify for Step 6.
With this Step, she earns 75,132 NZD annually, or 36.12 NZD per hour. That is equivalent to 209,950 Philippine Pesos per month, but this doesn’t include all the taxes and expenses.
She could earn more with night shifts, working at weekends or holidays, but the fact is that she works as a cath lab nurse and they don’t do overtimes. They only do full time work 40 hours a week.
However, based on her experience working in New Zealand, the employers are lenient, and you can ask them for some special arrangements if you want overtime work and earn more.
In the video, the YouTubers provided the following example for the various steps.
If you start at step 5, your salary is 72,945 NZD. Hourly, that is equivalent to 34.97 NZD per hour.
The maximum salary of nurses in New Zealand arrives when you reach Step 7. That gives you an annual salary of 77,386 NZD, which is equivalent to a gross monthly salary of 216,343 Philippine Pesos.
High Entry Level
You probably noticed that the increment between Step 1 and Step 7 is not that high. That is definitely the case. The good thing is that you will start out with a high entry level, but the steepness of your salary growth is not that high, and your salary will hit the ceiling when you reach the maximum Step.
One way to increase your salary even further though is if you do higher studies. According to Jay, however, by taking courses or higher education, you will get incentives and bonuses but these aren’t that high.
When it comes to working for private institutions like those in Age care, MECA salary regulations are not followed. However, the salary range is similar, from 26 NZD to 34 NZD per hour.
The salaries mentioned above are gross salaries. There are certain payments and deductions to your salary, but one unique thing about New Zealand according to the video is that health insurance is not required.
Here are some of the payments and deductions you need to know:
Kiwi Saver Account. If you become a resident or a citizen in New Zealand, you can apply for a Kiwi saver account. This is like SSS in the Philippines.
You arrange for part of your salary to go to this saver account so that you can use it in the future. It’s entirely up to you how much you want to save, but within the range of 3 to 8 percent.
NZNO. NZNO stands for New Zealand Nursing Organization, a kind of work insurance worth 21 dollars.
Main Taxes. Jay mentioned that according to his calculations, tax is 24.6 percent of his salary. Now, this may vary depending on several factors, and the disclaimer is that this tax value is just computed based on their pay slips.
Car and Life Insurance. They didn’t mention how much they pay for both insurances because these aren’t compulsory. Also, they mentioned that the above taxes are only for DHB workers; for private institutions the taxes may be different.
Night Differential. If you are step 5, you earn 34.96 NZD per hour. However, if you work from 8 PM to 7 AM, you get night differential of additional 8.74 NZD per hour on top of the normal salary.
Weekends. You get time and a half when you work on weekends. That’s because work life balance is really important in New Zealand. What you get is additional base salary of 50 percent for weekend shifts, or Saturday and Sunday. So for example if your normal salary per hour is 34.96 NZD, then you have additional 17.48 NZD. for a total of 52.5 NZD per hour.
Holidays. If you work during holidays, you get double pay. That’s 100 percent additional salary for Holiday shifts. You also have “You day”. If you are full time, then you get paid even during holidays. That means if you work during holidays its as if you get triple pay.
Overtime. If your duty has been designated as over time, and if you have a 12-hour shift, then 9 hours of that is double pay, and the remaining three hours is time and a half.
As you can see, penal rates really allow you to earn so much more than your normal salary. That’s what motivates a lot of Filipinos working in New Zealand to work extra hours.
From their personal experiences, the estimated net pay for a Step 5 nurse is 4,354 NZD per month, which is equivalent to 148,036 Philippine Pesos.
If you are a Step 6 nurse, you can earn 4,390 NZD per month of 149,260 Philippine pesos. As you can see there’s not much different between both steps.
However, if you work during night shifts, you can earn as much as 3,000 NZD in just two weeks.
There you have it. The video shows how much you can earn as a nurse in New Zealand, and I hope that helps you decide if this is the career path for you.