Construction is New Zealand's fifth largest industry, accounting for about 8% of the economy. Work in this industry can involve designing and building anything from houses to offices, stadiums and hospitals, and includes everything from the foundations to heating, air-conditioning and electrical systems.
Growth in this industry is driven by the post-earthquake rebuild in Christchurch and population increases in Auckland.
There is strong demand for people with technology, engineering and science qualifications and experience (although there is still an oversupply of people with architecture qualifications), including:
- Geotechnical and structural engineers plan and design the load-bearing structure of buildings and their foundations, and make sure they will be safe during an earthquake.
- Building services engineers design heating, ventilation and air conditioning services (HVAC), lighting, power supply, lifts and security systems for commercial buildings.
- Acoustic engineers control unwanted noise and design spaces such as concert halls and lecture theatres.
- Engineering technicians and CAD drafting technicians plan and draw the technical details for building and repairing bridges, buildings and other structures.
- Surveyors and surveying technicians map property boundaries and the location of new structures, pipelines and other infrastructure.
- Quantity surveyors study architects' and engineers’ plans to work out quantities and costs, and ensure that work is completed on time and on budget.
Other roles in the construction industry include:
- Site managers and building control officers
- Architects and architectural designers
- Tradespeople, including builders, plumbers, electricians and insulation installers
The main employers in this industry include:
- Engineering consulting companies such as Beca, Opus and AECOM
- Construction companies, for example: Fulton Hogan, Fletchers and McConnell Dowell
- Specialist companies such as Marshall Day Acoustics, The Surveying Company and Coffey Geotechnics
Key tertiary qualifications include:
- New Zealand Diploma in Engineering, Bachelor of Engineering Technology or Bachelor of Engineering, specialising in Civil, Electrical or Mechanical Engineering
- National Certificate in Surveying (Assistant), National Diploma in Surveying (for survey technicians), Bachelor of Surveying
- National Diploma in Quantity Surveying, Bachelor of Construction in Economics or Quantity Surveying
Required and recommended school subjects:
- Physics (required for engineering pathways)
- Maths, especially Calculus (required for engineering pathways)
- Statistics and Modelling
- Construction and Mechanical Technologies
- Design & Visual Communication