About the Manufacturing and Technology sector
What’s the work like?
From hands-on production and assembly to cutting-edge research, from massive machines and busy production lines to individual crafts or computer design, this sector covers a range of working styles and options. You might be working with huge lumps of metal or delicately assembling tiny component parts, so small you can’t even see them, like in nanotechnology. Whatever you do, you’ll be working indoors most of the time, with tools, machinery, and equipment, or maybe a computer. You could be producing things in their millions, or making or designing individual one-offs. You might be fabricating, installing, fixing, or maintaining systems, or doing a job involving lots of thinking, planning, or making calculations. Some roles are highly creative. Many are methodical, detailed, and precise. Generally in this pathway there’s a very clear end point to the job you’re doing and you’ll know exactly what part you played in it. You’ll be able say “I had a hand in that. It couldn’t have happened without me.”
What’s great about this sector?
There’s a mixture of skilled jobs across the sector, something to suit everyone. Careers in technology, engineering, and science are among the most exciting, varied, and rewarding possible. In the engineering industry in particular, people have the highest job satisfaction of all jobs.
These jobs offer opportunities to travel, to make new discoveries, to work with creative, like-minded people, and to make a practical difference to the world around you.
In manufacturing, chances are you’ll be turning raw materials that aren’t worth much on their own into useful products worth many more times as much as the original raw material. And you get to do it by doing stuff, working with materials and machines, solving real problems by applying your learned skills to the task. In this sector there will be opportunities to move up the career ladder or across industries.
Why is this sector important?
This sector is a big employer – the second largest in New Zealand. It is also a big earner for our economy, making up almost half of all the country’s export income. The government has identified this sector as a priority area for growth, so the future is bright.
Technology, and telecommunications in particular, are fast-changing and expanding industries and key to New Zealand’s future. With a shortage of skilled workers in these industries, people who work and study for a career in the technology sector are in hot demand.