General engineering

Mechanical engineers build and maintain the machinery and tools that keep New Zealand’s manufacturing and engineering industries running.

Careers information

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What does it involve?

General engineers have a good broad skills and knowledge of welding, fabrication, machining, and fitting. Their work includes fitting and assembly work, machine shop work, service and repair work, manufacturing and general fabrication of all kinds of machines and equipment including hydraulics and pneumatics.

 

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Typical day

Normally an 8 hour day; sometimes working longer may be required. Each day can be quite different; engineering work is varied and can involve fitting, machining, welding, maintenance, repair, hydraulics, pneumatics and/or fabrication. Generally, your training will be tailored to the type of work you do.

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How could I get into the industry

Does this sound like you?

Study areas

Attributes Helpful experience Preferred work environments
  • English or Media or History
  • Maths or Accounting or Economics
  • Sciences or Workshop Technologies
  • Computing / ICT / Information Management
  • Reasonable strength and fitness
  • Good literacy and numeracy
  • Good organisational skills
  • Good work habits / time management
 
  • Making or fixing things
  • Working with machinery
  • Working with computers
 
  • Inside (workshop or plant)
  • Outside (outdoors)
  • Different places from time to time

How much could I earn?

  • 2 years experience

    $42k- $52k

  • 5 years experience

    $53k- $80k

Career pathway

School Entry level jobs Advancing jobs Senior jobs
Ideally, NCEA Level 2 passes in:

 

  • Maths
  • Science (Physics)
  • Technology (Metal Work)
  • English

 

  • General Engineer 
  • Specialist Engineer
  • Engineering Supervisor
  • Leading Hand
  • Workshop Supervisor
  • Welding Supervisor
 
  • Foreman
  • Site Supervisor
  • Business Manager
  • Business Owner
 
 Unit/Achievement standards in schools  Apprenticeship  Higher learning  Higher learning

For more information

Careers NZ website