Salary and Expenses of an OFW Carpenter in New Zealand

For Pinoy Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) seeking rewarding employment opportunities abroad, New Zealand has become an enticing destination. With its stunning landscapes, inclusive culture, and thriving job market, New Zealand offers promising prospects for skilled professionals in various fields.

Carpentry is one occupation that holds immense potential for Pinoy OFWs in New Zealand. Carpenters play a vital role in construction projects, renovations, and infrastructure development, contributing to the country’s growth and progress. If you are an OFW considering a carpentry career in New Zealand, it is crucial to understand the salary prospects and cost of living to make informed decisions and effectively plan your financial future.

how much carpenter earns in New Zealand
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 do Carpenters / Builders Earn in New Zealand?

The information presented in this article comes from a video from the YouTube channel “jeffrey nz.” In this video, an OFW talks about the pay rate, food budget, gas budget and insurance budget of a carpenter in New Zealand. If you want to watch the full video, then click on the link below:

In the video created in 2022, it was revealed that the average hourly salary for carpenters in New Zealand was 27.50 NZD at that time, equivalent to around 930 Philippine pesos per hour. However, it’s important to note that carpentry salaries can vary based on skill level and experience. Here is an overview of the salary range for carpenters in New Zealand:

  • Average Hourly Salary: 27.50 NZD
  • Lowest Salary: 23.25 NZD
  • Highest Salary: 35.85 NZD

Skill Categorization:

  • Low-Skilled Workers: These individuals typically earn salaries closer to the lower end of the range. For example, if you apply as a “hammer hand,” which falls under the low-skilled category, you can expect a salary closer to the lowest level.
  • Mid-Skilled Workers: Carpenters with the job title of “carpenter” are automatically categorized as mid-skilled workers and can anticipate receiving mid-level salaries.
  • High-Skilled Workers: Carpenters with extensive experience and expertise often command higher salaries, ranging closer to 35 NZD per hour (around 1,200 Philippine pesos per hour).

On a daily basis, the average salary for carpenters, also known as builders in New Zealand, is around 206 NZD. However, the daily salary can vary based on skill level:

  • Lowest Daily Salary: 174 NZD
  • Highest Daily Salary: 269 NZD

It’s worth noting that carpentry salaries are typically paid on a weekly basis. Therefore, the average weekly earnings for a carpenter amount to approximately 1,031 NZD, equivalent to around 34,000 Philippine pesos per week. The breakdown for weekly earnings based on skill level is as follows:

  • Low-Skilled Workers: 872 NZD per week
  • High-Skilled Workers: Up to 1,344 NZD per week

Net Income and Deductions

Now, earning 34,000 pesos per week as a carpenter in New Zealand may seem substantial, but it’s important to consider the deductions and taxes that will affect your net income.

1. Determining Net Income:

  • Gross Income: Initially, you will earn 1,031 NZD per week.
  • Tax Deductions: After taxes, your net income will be calculated.

2. Understanding Deductions:

Various deductions are taken from your gross income, including:

  • PAYE: The Pay As You Earn (PAYE) deduction is 108 NZD.
  • ACC: The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) deduction amounts to 14.33 NZD.

3. Total Tax and Marginal Tax Rate:

When you add up the deductions, the total tax deduction amounts to 123 NZD. This means your net pay is equivalent to 88.9% of your gross weekly salary.
Converting the net income to pesos, your 908 NZD translates to approximately 30,000 pesos per week.


When considering your earnings as a carpenter in New Zealand, it’s crucial to factor in your expenses to effectively manage your finances. Let’s explore some common expenses that you may encounter:

1. Housing Expenses:

  • Rent: The cost of renting a house can vary depending on the location. On average, house rent amounts to around 170 NZD per week. However, prices may differ based on factors such as size, location, and amenities.

2. Transportation Expenses:

  • Car Expenses: If you rely on a car for commuting, you will need to allocate funds for gas. The weekly cost for gasoline is approximately 70 NZD, although this can vary depending on the type of car you own and the distance you travel.

3. Insurance and Communication Expenses:

  • Car Insurance: It’s important to have insurance coverage for your vehicle. On average, car insurance starts at around 15 NZD per week.
  • Cellphone Load and Wi-Fi: You will need to budget for communication expenses, including cellphone load and Wi-Fi. The monthly cost for Wi-Fi load is typically around 15 NZD, providing you with essential connectivity.

4. Food Expenses:

  • Groceries and Meals: Budgeting for food expenses is crucial. On average, if you maintain a moderate eating habit, you can expect to spend around 70 NZD per week on groceries and meals.

Considering these expenses, the total monthly expenses amount to 365 NZD.
After deducting your expenses from your weekly salary, you are left with 543 NZD. You may choose to send money to your family in the Philippines or use it for personal purchases. This article does not include those additional expenditures, as it is entirely up to your discretion.

If you convert the remaining amount to Philippine pesos, you will have approximately 18,000 pesos per month that you can allocate for other purposes or personal desires.

It’s important to note that these calculations and expense amounts are approximate and may vary based on individual circumstances and lifestyle choices. Understanding your expenses will allow you to effectively budget and make informed financial decisions.

Factors Affecting Carpentry Salaries in New Zealand

  • Location: Salaries may vary depending on the city and region, with higher wages typically found in areas with a higher cost of living, such as Auckland or Wellington.
  • Qualifications: Possessing relevant certifications, such as a National Certificate in Carpentry, can increase your earning potential as a carpenter.
  • Experience: The number of years of experience you have as a carpenter can influence your salary. More experienced carpenters often command higher wages.

Opportunities in the Growing Construction Industry

  • Strong Growth: New Zealand’s construction industry is experiencing significant growth, resulting in a high demand for skilled carpenters.
  • Overseas Recruitment: Many construction companies actively recruit carpenters from overseas to address the shortage of skilled workers in the country.
  • Career Progression: Working in the growing construction industry in New Zealand can provide opportunities for career advancement and professional development.

Managing Expenses and Cost of Living

  • Accommodation: Rent prices vary across different cities and regions, with higher costs in urban centers. It’s important to budget for housing expenses accordingly.
  • Transportation: Public transportation is widely available and can be a cost-effective option for daily commuting, reducing transportation expenses.
  • Cost of Goods: Groceries and everyday items can vary in price. It’s beneficial to compare prices and look for affordable options to manage your expenses.
  • Taxes: Understanding the New Zealand tax system is essential. As an employee, your income tax will be deducted from your salary.
  • Healthcare: New Zealand has a public healthcare system, and it’s important to be aware of any medical costs and insurance requirements.

Planning for Financial Stability

  • Thorough Research: Conduct comprehensive research on living costs, taxation, and financial planning to make informed decisions and manage your finances effectively.
  • Professional Guidance: Seek advice from professionals, such as financial advisors or accountants, who specialize in assisting overseas workers.
  • Budgeting: Create a budget that considers your income, expenses, savings goals, and any financial commitments you may have.
  • Long-Term Planning: Consider your long-term financial goals and develop strategies to achieve them, such as saving for retirement or investing in property.

By considering these factors, managing expenses, and planning for financial stability, you can make the most of your career as a carpenter in New Zealand. Remember to stay informed about any changes in regulations and seek professional guidance to ensure a prosperous and fulfilling experience.

Savings and Financial Planning

As a carpenter working in New Zealand, it’s essential to consider your savings and develop a sound financial plan. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

1. Emergency Fund:

  • Building an emergency fund is crucial for unforeseen expenses or any financial emergencies that may arise. It’s advisable to set aside a portion of your monthly income to gradually build up your emergency savings. Experts suggest aiming for at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses.

2. Retirement Planning:

  • Planning for retirement is vital to secure your financial future. Explore retirement savings options such as KiwiSaver, a voluntary savings scheme available in New Zealand. Consider contributing a portion of your income to your retirement fund regularly.

3. Health Insurance:

  • Healthcare costs can be significant, so having comprehensive health insurance coverage is recommended. Evaluate different health insurance plans available in New Zealand and choose one that suits your needs and budget.

4. Long-term Financial Goals:

  • Consider your long-term financial goals, such as homeownership, further education, or investments. Define your objectives and create a plan to work towards achieving them. It’s important to regularly reassess and adjust your goals as your financial situation evolves.

5. Budgeting and Tracking Expenses:

  • Developing a budget and tracking your expenses is essential for maintaining financial discipline. Evaluate your income and expenses regularly, ensuring that you allocate funds for essential needs, savings, and personal enjoyment.

By implementing prudent financial practices and seeking professional advice if necessary, you can work towards building a secure financial foundation for yourself and your future. Remember that financial planning is a continuous process that requires regular review and adjustment.

If you have any specific questions or need guidance on any aspect of financial planning, it’s advisable to consult with a financial advisor or professional who can provide personalized advice based on your unique circumstances.

Opportunities for Career Growth and Upskilling

Working as a carpenter in New Zealand not only provides a stable income but also offers opportunities for career growth and upskilling. Here are some aspects to consider:

1. Apprenticeship Programs:

  • For individuals who are starting their carpentry career or looking to enhance their skills, apprenticeship programs are valuable. These programs provide hands-on training, mentorship, and the opportunity to earn while learning. Explore apprenticeship options available in New Zealand to further develop your carpentry expertise.

2. Professional Development and Training:

  • Continuing education and professional development are essential to stay updated with industry advancements and improve your career prospects. Seek out training courses, workshops, and certifications that can enhance your carpentry skills and broaden your knowledge base.

3. Specializations:

  • Consider specializing in specific areas of carpentry to expand your career opportunities. Examples include formwork carpentry, joinery, cabinetmaking, or heritage restoration. Acquiring expertise in specialized areas can open doors to higher-paying roles and niche projects.

4. Networking and Industry Connections:

  • Networking within the carpentry community and building connections with professionals in related fields can offer valuable career insights and potential job opportunities. Attend industry events, join trade associations, and engage in online forums to expand your professional network.

5. Entrepreneurial Ventures:

  • If you aspire to take on more responsibility and have a strong entrepreneurial spirit, consider starting your own carpentry business. Owning a business allows you to have more control over projects, potentially earn higher income, and take on leadership roles.

In conclusion, working as a carpenter in New Zealand offers a rewarding career with competitive salaries. Understanding the net income after taxes and deductions, as well as managing expenses, is crucial for financial planning and supporting loved ones back home.

As an OFW, staying updated with industry trends, pursuing professional development, and building a strong network are key to unlocking growth opportunities. By making informed decisions, maximizing earnings, and managing finances wisely, you can thrive as a carpenter in New Zealand and enjoy personal fulfillment.

Just remember to stay informed about evolving regulations and seek updated information specific to your circumstances. Best of luck in your carpentry journey in New Zealand!