How Much is the Salary of a Dairy Farmer in New Zealand?

New Zealand is a country that puts high value on dairy farmers. In fact, when migrants choose to work in the country, the government makes sure they enjoy their time doing so. Dairy farms in New Zealand are large, isolated and allows farmers to use advanced equipment to make the job more efficient and effective.

Are you interested in working as a dairy farmer in New Zealand? If so, you must meet all the necessary requirements, including being good with animals. This implies that you are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure the cows are monitored regularly for their health and treatments, their grass and feeds, and more. You also need to know how much you can earn as a dairy farmer in New Zealand, and use that information to decide for yourself whether the salary’s worth the trouble of living and working in another country.

dairy farmer

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 Does a Dairy Farmer in New Zealand earn?

In this article, we will look into the salary of a dairy farmer working in New Zealand. We will learn more about this through an OFW YouTuber who shared this information through one of his videos. The name of the channel is Booknoy NZ, and you can view the original video below. Also check out his other videos for related content:

First of all, the YouTuber featured in this article noticed that most of his viewers are interested in knowing how much a dairy farmer earns in New Zealand. That’s why he decided to create a video specifically for that topic.

Factors Affecting the Salary of a Dairy Farmer

He said that the salary of a dairy farmer depends on the following factors:

  • Position
  • Experience

So what are the positions that a dairy farmer can have? Well, these are:

  • Dairy farm assistant
  • Assistant herd manager
  • Herd manager
  • Assistant farm manager
  • Dairy farm manager

When it comes to experience, you need to at least have 2 years of work abroad before you can get employed to the job in New Zealand. This is probably not standard for all farms, but he said that this is usually what employers or agencies look for when they’re hiring.

To employers, it is important for an applicant to already have that amount of experience working in a different country. This is probably because that would make it easier for the applicant to adjust to the new environment once he gets the job.

Also, having been able to work abroad prior to getting to New Zealand means you already have the necessary experience that is at par with what the country offers. What’s even better is if you already have dairy farm experience in another country. The knowledge and skills that go along with this experience will make you an asset to the farm you are applying to work in.

Starting Salary

According to an interview shown in the video, the starting salary of a Dairy farmer in New Zealand is around 38,000 NZD per year.

That is equivalent to 1210 NZD per fortnight (or 15 days), or 2,420 NZD per month. When you convert this to Philippine Pesos, a dairy farmer can earn around 84,400 PhP per month.

In fact, this is already a net salary, which means that tax has already been deducted and you get this pay clean. Moreover, this was one dairy farmer’s salary six years ago.

That same dairy farmer now earns 60,000 NZD per year, which is equivalent to having a monthly salary of around 122,400 PhP.

Tax is actually 20 percent of the salary, so the dairy worker interviewed in the video had a gross salary of around 105,500 PhP per month during his first year around 6 years ago. Now, his current gross salary is around 153,000 PhP.


While the salary is indeed high, you definitely still need to manage your money properly, as you will have to deal with the expenses of living in New Zealand. You have to pay for accommodation, food, internet, utility bills like electricity, water and gas, and other necessities.

Another Salary Figure

Our YouTuber also shared his starting salary as a dairy farmer in New Zealand. He said that he first arrived in New Zealand back in 2011, so he came to the country much earlier than the person he interviewed.

He shared that back then, his starting contract was 40,000 NZD per year. In terms of fortnight, that is equivalent to 1,275 NZD. Monthly, that’s 2,550 NZD per month.

In Philippine Pesos, 2,550 NZD per month is equivalent to around 88,700 PhP. That is net salary as well, so the twenty percent tax has already been deducted.

Now, he is earning 60,000 NZD per year, just like the co-worker he interviewed, which means he is as well earning PhP 122,400 per month.

Salary Increase

He said that as a dairy farmer, your salary increase depends on whether your employer is generous or not. Some employers increase their farmers’ salary on a yearly basis, while others have a salary increase every two years of working.

It also depends on the productivity of the farm you are working in. Our YouTuber, whose salary increases every two years, said that the increase also depends on the price of milk solids. Milk solids refer to the dried powder from dried up liquid milk. If milk solids have a low payout, then it would be very difficult for the dairy farm owner to increase the salary of their workers.

In other words, if the farm is not doing well financially, then there would be no salary increase, at least within the immediate future.

So what is the rate of increase of the salary of a dairy farm worker in New Zealand? After one season of working in the farm, his salary increase is 5,000 NZD. That’s an increase of 5,000 NZD after one year of working.

For example, if he started off with a gross annual salary of 55,000 NZD, after one year, his gross annual salary became 60,000 NZD.

Work Evaluation

He also mentioned that your employer will evaluate your work and decide if you are worth keeping or if you deserve a salary increase.

They will constantly check if you are doing a good job. In some cases, workers don’t get a salary increase after evaluation; they just work for another year with the same salary as the previous year.

Is there a salary decrease? Well, normally, the only salary decrease that occurs is if you decide to transfer to another dairy farm and work there, and it so happens that the rate is lower than from your previous employer.

Typically, the longer you stay in New Zealand working as a dairy farmer, the more experience you obtain. You become more proficient with the system, and you get better at using the equipment. Basically your ability as a dairy farmer increases and you become more valuable as a worker, which means that your salary will naturally increase.


Now let’s talk about expenses. The salary in New Zealand is generally much higher compared to a lot of similar jobs back home in the Philippines. Having said that, the cost of living in New Zealand is also higher, so if you are not careful with your money, you won’t be able to save and help your family back home.

First deduction is Taxes. Tax rates actually depend on the salary. A form of tax called P.A.Y.E. is used in this case. P.A.Y.E. stands for pay as you earn, and according to him, 20 percent of their gross salary is deducted as tax.

Having said that, the YouTuber actually flashed an income tax rate table on screen, showing figures for the year 2019. Upon checking, these rates are still the same as of this time of writing. Here are the tax rates for each dollar of income.

  • Up to 14,000 NZD – 10.5 percent (tax rate)
  • Over 14,000 NZD and up to 48,000 NZD – 17.5 percent
  • Over 48,000 NZD and up to 70,000 NZD – 30 percent
  • Over 70,000 NZD and up to 180,000 NZD – 33 percent
  • Remaining income over 180,000 NZD – 39 percent

Aside from these, you also have secondary taxes for your other sources of income (if you have them). Secondary tax depends on the code that your employer gives you, and these codes, SB, S, SH, ST and SA correspond to the tax rates shown above, with SB having the lowest at 10.5 percent, and SA having the highest at 39 percent.

Aside from taxes, there are other payments as well. For example, if you have a smart phone plan, you will pay for that. Some YouTubers say that there’s nothing left of their salary due to all these expenses, but he said that your expenses largely depend on what you spend on, obviously.

Working in New Zealand as a dairy farmer is truly a blessing. Because of the high salary, and the chance of having a great life, you can help achieve your dreams as well as your family’s dreams.

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