If you’re creative and like the idea of developing new products, the manufacturing and processing industry might be the place for you. You could be involved in making innovative high-value products, and helping to expand our international markets
With exports valued at approximately $46.7 billion per year, this sector is vital to our economy. New Zealand businesses produce and export goods ranging from wood and dairy products to high-tech electronic parts, dishwashers and specialist communications equipment used by police and firefighters.
People working in this sector enjoy the problem-solving aspects of their job, and the satisfaction of seeing the product they’ve designed being manufactured and used.
There is strong demand for people with technology, engineering and science skills in this industry.
Key roles include:
- Chemical and process engineers design and develop efficient processes for manufacturing a wide range of products from paints, plastics and paper to food and fertilisers.
- Design and product development engineers come up with innovative high-tech products.
- Product development technologists in the food industry create innovative new foods and drinks.
- Automation control engineers use electrical, mechanical and electronic engineering skills to design, program and operate large-scale computer-controlled manufacturing machinery.
- Mechanical engineers design machines and tools, investigate problems and faults, and improve manufacturing machinery.
- Electronics engineers and technicians design and oversee production of electronic equipment such as radios, mobile devices and household appliances.
- Biotechnologists study living organisms and figure out new ways to use them to create products or ways to prevent them interfering with manufacturing processes.
The main employers in this industry are:
- Food processing companies, especially in the dairy industry
- Machinery, equipment and appliances manufacturers
- Wood and paper processing companies
- Petroleum, chemical, plastic and rubber manufacturers
Key tertiary qualifications include:
- Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical, Biological, Bioprocess, Materials or Process Engineering
- Bachelor of Engineering Technology or Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics, Mechanical, Mechatronics or Product Engineering
- Bachelor of Food Technology
- Bachelor of Science or Technology in Biotechnology
Required and recommended school subjects:
- Calculus (required for Engineering, Food Technology pathways)
- Physics (required for Engineering, Food Technology pathways)
- Chemistry (required for some Engineering, Food Technology pathways)
- Technology subjects, especially Electronics
- Statistics & Modelling