The Health Job Site

Careers in Health

Below are some of the job positions we list on TheHealthJobSite and some information you may wish to know if you are looking to pursue a career in health:

Jump to: Registered Nurse | Physiotherapist | Pharmacist | General Practitioner | Radiologist | Social Worker
Midwife | Dentist | Medical Receptionist | Gynecologist/Obstetrician | Medical Laboratory Technician

Registered Nurse

Different types of Nurses perform different duties – below is a list of some of the tasks a Registered Nurse (or RN) might perform:

  • Providing patient care
  • Working alongside doctors and carrying out orders
  • Administering medication (pills/shots etc…)
  • Bandage wounds/burns
  • Acting as intermediary between patients and their families


To become a Registered Nurse, you need to obtain a Bachelor of Nursing, which is usually a three or four year degree (done full-time). Once you have graduated with your degree, you need to be registered with The Nursing Council of New Zealand (or the equivalent governing body) before you are able to work as a RN.


The average salary for a Registered Nurse is between $40,000 and $50,000 per annum. Salaries will vary depending on the level of responsibility undertaken and your career progression.

For more information download Nurses - Job Prospects -


  • Help/treat people of all ages with physical problems relating to illness or injury (ie: sports injuries or rehabilitation after a vehicle accident)
  • The goal of a Physiotherapist is to help patients regain movement
  • Address key areas of the body:
    • Pulmonary
    • Cardiovascular
    • Neuromuscular
    • Musculoskeletal
  • Core skills include:
    • Pulmonary
    • Cardiovascular
    • Neuromuscular


To become a Physiotherapist, a four-year health science-based degree is required (NZ universities that offer this course include Otago University and AUT). Once graduated with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy and to practice in New Zealand, you need to register with the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand and hold an Annual Practicing Certificate.


Usually starts from $40,000 per annum, however salaries will vary from practice to practice.


Some Pharmacists work in hospital, department or retail settings so the tasks will vary from place to place:

  • Dispensing medication to patients
  • Helping other physicians (doctors/dentists/veterinarians)
  • Orders supplies when necessary (in a retail setting)
  • Preparing and labeling medications for correct patients
  • Making sure medicine supplied does not clash with other medication already being taken by the patient


To qualify as a Pharmacist in New Zealand, you need to obtain a Bachelor of Pharmacy (The University of Auckland offers this degree). It is a four-year degree, which culminates in a year long pre-registration training programme with Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand under the supervision of a registered pharmacist.


Depending on experience, the salary for a Pharmacist will vary between $50,000 (for a new qualified Pharmacist) and $80,000 (if you are an experienced Pharmacist).

General Practitioner

A General Practitioner (or GP) is a medical healthcare worker who treats acute and chronic illnesses and diseases in both males and females.

  • Treat ailments/health conditions/injuries in patients
  • Usually a first point of call
  • Performs physicals and check-ups
  • Can order blood tests/X-rays if further diagnosis is required
  • Maintains patients’ records eg: medical history, previous scans etc…
  • Coordinate work with nurses, pharmacists, occupational/physical therapists/social workers if need be


To become a General Practitioner you need to complete the basic medical degree, the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (please refer to our Training Organisations section for a list of training institutes that offer this degree). This will be attained after completion of a five or six year course


Salary for a General Practitioner will vary depending on their numbers of year of experience of how many hours they work. A newly qualified graduate can earn between $50,000 - $70,000 per annum, whereas an experienced GP can earn upwards of $120,000 per annum.

Radiologist/Radiographer (also known as an X-ray Technician)

  • Works one on one with patients in regards to X-rays
  • In charge of setting up X-ray machine
  • Giving instructions to the patient on positions (standing up/lying down/not to move)
  • Must be detail-orientated and have a great deal of patience
  • Radiographers might work in a hospital or a clinic
  • Can specialize in additional imaging technologies:
    • Computerized tomography (CT scans)
    • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI scans)


A Bachelor of Health Science (specializing in Medical Imaging) from a recognized training institute (Unitec offers this degree) will get you on your way to becoming a registered Radiographer.


Radiographers can expect to earn around $45,000 per annum however this will vary between clinics and hospitals.

Social Worker

Depending on the type of qualifications obtained and because the field is so diverse, a Social Worker can work in any number of areas, from working with children, adolescents and families, to giving free counseling services. Hospital Social Workers work directly with families or patients to help them meet certain needs.


Depending on which institute you choose to study at, the Bachelor of Social Work is a three or four year degree (available from The University of Auckland and Whitireia), gaining a qualification in the field of:

  • Local or Central Government
  • Pacific/Maori health and social services
  • Mental health
  • Women’s Refuge


The salary you earn will depend on the field of work you choose. Salaries for Social Workers can range from $45,000 up to $70,000 per annum.


  • Provides advice/care for expectant mothers
  • Usually deals with low-risk pregnancies/women who want a natural birth
  • Organises/carries out tests/scans during pregnancy to check both mother and baby are healthy
  • Organises birth and is on hand in case mother goes into labour
  • Will offer advice and tips after baby is born


To qualify as a Midwife, you need to complete a Bachelor of Midwifery (check out our Training Organisations section for universities that offer this degree), which is usually three years, full-time.


Depending on where you choose to work (for example, if you are employed in New Zealand by one of the District Health Boards) will depend on the salary a Midwife can receive. However the salary range is between $40,000 and $70,000.


A Dentist is a specialist in problems with teeth and gums. The list of tasks they perform is varied:

  • Simple teeth cleaning
  • Administering fillings and antibiotics to treat teeth infection
  • Taking x-rays to examine the state of patient’s teeth
  • Removing damaged or decaying teeth
  • Performing complicated procedures such as root canals
  • Creating crowns and bridges to replace missing teeth or to treat damaged teeth


Qualifying as a Dentist requires a degree in Dental Surgery (this can be obtained from the University of Otago) which is 5 years, studied full time. There are both theoretical and practical components to the degree, which will test student’s knowledge and prepare them for the workforce.


In the first year after graduating, qualified dentists can earn up to $65,000, earning up to $100,000 after five years. Dentists who set up and run their own practice can earn between $100,000 and $250,000 depending on the size of the practice.

Medical Receptionist

A Medical Receptionist can work in a variety of places, including hospital, doctors surgeries and community health clinics. Some of the tasks they might perform on a daily basis include::

  • Managing the incoming calls from patients
  • Making appointments and fitting them around existing appointments for physicians
  • Send and receive faxes for prescriptions
  • Liaise with customers when they arrive for their appointment


No formal qualification exists for a Medical Receptionist, however you may be required to have experience as a nursing assistant, as you may be asked to carry out tests from time to time, including physicals and blood tests. If you are interested in becoming a Medical Transcriptionist, the Sue's Computer Training website has some useful information on courses available.


Medical Receptionists usually earn between $15-$22 per hour for a full-time position.


A gynecologist is a medical practitioner who specializes in the female reproductive system. Some of the tasks they might perform include:

  • Evaluate and recognise potential disease of the reproductive system
  • Perform hysterectomy (removal of the uterus)
  • Help women who are having difficulty conceiving

Obstetricians are very similar to midwives, the only difference being Obstetricians deal with high-risk pregnancies. They:

  • Assist women in labour
  • Can halt premature labour
  • Perform cesarean sections
  • Induce labour


In order to become a qualified Gynecologist/Obstetrician, you must complete a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (check out our Training Organisations section for details on universities that offer this degree). Once complete, a Postgraduate Diploma in Obstetrics and Medical Gynecology is undertaken, which can be finished in one year (studied full-time) or four years (studied part-time).


Because of the hard work and complicated nature involved in this profession, the salary expected can be upwards of $150,000 - $200,000 per annum.

Medical Laboratory Scientist/Technician

A Medical Laboratory Technician usually finds a career in a hospital setting or in a private diagnostic lab. Some of the duties they might be expected to perform include:

  • Running tests
  • Analyzing specimens
  • Taking blood from patients and analyzing it


Usually, people who become lab technicians have a good handle on the sciences (biology, chemistry, and physics). The University of Otago is just one of the New Zealand universities that offers a Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science, where students will study the following areas:

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell/Molecular Biology
  • Epidemiology
  • Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Transfusion Science


The salary for Medical Lab Technicians will vary depending on experience and shift work, ranging from $30,000 - $50,000 per annum.

Jump to: Registered Nurse | Physiotherapist | Pharmacist | General Practitioner | Radiologist | Social Worker
Midwife | Dentist | Medical Receptionist | Gynecologist/Obstetrician | Medical Laboratory Technician