Learning and working in the construction and infrastructure industries

Find out about standards, opportunities and careers

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What's the work like?

What kind of careers are found along this pathway?

There are many exciting roles across this sector. No matter what your job is, you’ll have a variety of tasks to do over many sites and will likely use many different types of tools and machinery. You will need to be fit and healthy because these jobs tend to require a lot of physical activity. Hours can vary and work can be both indoors and outdoors. Even office-based roles involve spending time on-site.

You will often be working as part of a team, collaborating with other tradespeople, contractors and clients. Having a good eye for detail, as well as technical and practical skills, will help you progress in this industry.

This Pathway includes a variety of careers within these industries:

Access trades

Cranes, scaffolding, rigging, industrial rope access, lifting equipment, exterior cleaning.

Civil infrastructure 

Bitumen surfacing, bitumen plant production, road construction and maintenance, contract and projects management, road marking, temporary traffic management, deep piling and foundations, forestry earthworks, demolition, laboratory technician.

Construction and infrastructure services

Quantity surveying, architectural technology and design, asset management, surveying, building information modelling, procurement, building officials and inspection, construction management.

Electricity Supply

Electricity generation (including wind farms), electricity transmission, electricity distribution.


Electrical engineering, electronic engineering, electronic security, electronics engineering technician, marine electrical, structured data, radio transmission, industrial measurement and control, telecommunications.

Finishing trades

Painting and decorating, flooring, kitchen and bathroom design, floor and wall tiling, exterior plastering, interior plastering, interior systems.

Gas infrastructure

Gas reticulation, gas transmission, gas distribution, gas conditioning, LPG storage and handling.

Off site construction

Concrete production, pre-cast and product manufacture, frame and truss manufacture, timber joinery, architectural aluminium joinery, offsite manufacturing.

On site construction

Concrete construction, carpentry, stonemasonry, brick and block laying glazing, roofing.

Plumbing, gasfitting, and drainlaying 

Water services

Drinking water, stormwater, wastewater, water distribution networks. 

Where might you end up?

You can earn well and aim high. In this industry, there are many opportunities to work your way up the career ladder. You could start as a labourer before becoming a foreperson, supervisor or manager. You could even start your own business.

Becoming an architect, engineer, and project manager are all possibilities in this industry, too.

You’ll learn by doing hands-on tasks and solving problems by applying your skills and knowledge. You will also have a lot of flexibility to take the skills you gain into other jobs and industries should your interests or opportunities change.

What's great about this industry?

And why is it important to New Zealand?

Construction and infrastructure is an incredibly important sector. It builds and maintains buildings and other structures, roads, drainage, and water, electricity and telecommunications supplies.

Industries in the Construction and Infrastructure sector contributed to almost $52 billion to Aotearoa New Zealand’s economy in 2022, employing 15% of our workforce in almost 100,000 businesses.

This is me. How do I follow this pathway?

Plan a course and track standards for careers in this sector.

You’ll need NCEA Level 2 as a good foundation for success in entry level jobs or apprenticeships. There are other roles that require a degree. Use the Profile Builder to see how well your subject selection helps prepare you with skills and knowledge valued by industries and employers in this sector.

To make the most of your opportunities, you will need to complete qualifications by undertaking further study and training. Whether you can do this while working (for example, as an apprentice) or need to study on-campus will vary depending on exactly what career you choose to focus on.