Revealed: The 20 highest paid advertised jobs of the year and how to find them

SEEK data over the year to April 2021 shows jobs for architects in the information communications and technology sector are paying the most.
SEEK data over the year to April 2021 shows jobs for architects in the information communications and technology sector are paying the most. Photo credit: Getty Images.

Kiwis setting their sights on a six-figure income could consider a career in the information and communication technology sector, new data shows.

And the city the job is based in can also make a difference to what employees in this sector can earn.

Based on average advertised salaries for jobs listed on employment website SEEK over the year from May 2020 to April 2021, New Zealand general manager Janet Faulding said architects in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector are offered the most.

"Architects in ICT earned the highest salary, at $139,758 per annum," Faulding said.

The salary of $139,758 per year is an average across the country, but Wellington is where ICT architect jobs are paying the most at an average of $143,074. In Auckland, the average pay offered is $138,916, followed by Christchurch at $134,513 and Hamilton at $132,500.

"Kiwis on the path to becoming an ICT architect might have higher earning potential if they move to Wellington, with roles there seeing up to $143,074 per year in salary: more than $4000 higher than Auckland, $8500 more than Christchurch and $10,500 more than Hamilton," Faulding added.

Despite ICT architects being offered comparatively less in Christchurch and Hamilton, SEEK data shows growing demand for these roles within the two cities, with annual "salary growth of 11 percent and 9 percent" respectively.

Examples of job titles that fit the description of architect in the ICT sector include 'devOps architect', 'solution architect', 'enterprise architect', 'application architect' and 'digital channels architect'. 

The second-highest paid jobs on offer were in management, also within the ICT industry, offering an average salary of $135,390. Accounting takes third place, where strategy and planning roles had an average salary of $130,983.

The top 20 highest-paying jobs on SEEK (May 2020 to April 2021):

Average advertised full-time salary (NZ-wide) by industry sector and category:


  1. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) - architect: $139,758.
  2. ICT - management: $135,390.
  3. Accounting - strategy and planning: $130,983.
  4. Engineering - management: $125,324.
  5. Accounting - financial managers and controllers: $124,945.
  6. Real estate and property - retail and property development: $124,125.
  7. Mining, resources and energy - management: $122,222.
  8. Consulting and strategy - management/change consulting: $121,713.
  9. HR and recruitment - management (internal): $121,220.
  10. Legal - construction law: $120,135.
  11. ICT - product management and development: $120,259.
  12. ICT - consultants: $119,022.
  13. Legal - banking and finance law: $117,668.
  14. Banking and retail services - management: $116,875.
  15. ICT - team leaders:   $116,043. 
  16. ICT - programme and project management: $115,484.
  17. Banking and financial services - corporate finance and investment banking: $115,394.
  18. Legal - generalists (in-house): $115,368.
  19. Construction - management: $114,707.
  20. Construction - project management: $113,969.

Year-on-year, SEEK data shows construction law had the biggest growth in advertised salaries at 8 percent (average salary $120,135), followed by management roles in mining, resources and energy at 6 percent (average advertised salary $122,222).

In Auckland, the average salary for accountant strategy and planning roles was $136,555 - the third-highest paid advertised job in the super city after ICT architect and ICT management roles.

Lisa Cooley, managing director at recruitment company BrightSpark, said there's currently many high-paying roles in the IT field. Over the last  year, salaries have "shot up" due to the skills shortage following COVID-19.

"As an industry, IT has always been very reliant on off-shore talent and with the borders being closed, salaries have been highly affected," Cooley said.

Qualifying as an IT architect would typically require years of industry experience. Similar roles offering salaries up to the mid-$100,000 level include software development managers and programme managers, who are responsible for running broad programmes of work and overseeing project managers.

Entry-level IT jobs might include a technical support role on the infrastructure side, or a junior business analyst in the projects area. Some larger corporate companies also offer graduate schemes.

"Companies are starting to be a lot more open to taking people at a junior level because of the skills shortage," Cooley added.

An entry-level IT support role might pay $50,000 to $55,000 per year - $55,000 to $65,000 for a junior developer.