Learning and working in the manufacturing and technology industries

Find out about standards, opportunities and careers

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What's the work like?

What kinds of careers are found along this pathway?

From hands-on production and assembly to cutting-edge research, from massive machines and busy production lines to individual crafts or computer design, this industry covers a whole range of working styles and options.

There are a great mix of skilled roles across this sector, with something to suit everyone. If you have an interest in making things work, are inquisitive and able to think outside of the box then this may be the pathway for you. Having a good eye for detail, as well as technical skills, science skills and manual skills will help you progress in this industry.

Examples of jobs in this pathway include:


Assembler, appliance servicing, butcher, baker, designer, electrician, engineer, industrial measurement or control, machine fixing, fabrication, logistics, machine operator, inspection, packing, processing, production, planning, production manager, purchaser, quality control, shipping and receiving, testing, stock controller.

You could be making products for a huge range of industries including: aircraft manufacture, marine products, textiles, dairy, Defence Force, electronics, food, mechanical engineering, pharmaceutical, transport, medical instruments to name just a few. 


Biotechnologist, food technologist, telecommunications technician, production technologist, medical technologist.

You could be working in or designing for the aeronautical and automotive industries, clean-green tech, Defence Force products, engineering, IT, marine technology, nanotechnology, robotics, software and much, much more.

Where might you end up?

This industry is the second largest employer in New Zealand, it’s a big growth area so futures in this pathway are bright.

You could start in an entry-level job and work your way up to being on the board of directors or even owning your own company. Within any manufacturing and technology career you can move from industry to industry and job to job thanks to the great transferrable skills you are gaining.

What's great about this industry?

And why is it important to New Zealand?

Careers in technology, engineering, and science are some of the most exciting, varied and rewarding. These jobs offer opportunities to travel, make new discoveries and make a practical difference to the world around you.

Careers in manufacturing use tools, machines, and processes to transform materials and substances into new products. You’ll learn by doing, solving real problems by applying your skills and knowledge to the task. There are lots of opportunities to move up the career ladder or across industries.

Why is this sector important?

The manufacturing and technology industries are a big earner for our economy and makes up almost half of the country’s total export income. The government has identified this industry as a priority area for growth so the future is looking good.

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 high demand.

Yep, 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 minimum for entry level jobs or apprenticeships. This will give you a good foundation in the skills and knowledge needed to progress in a career in the manufacturing and technology industries. For other roles you will need to further your education after school by undertaking tertiary study, or on-the-job training.

Assessment Standards tool

If you think this might be the industry for you then use our handy tool to identify the standards needed to create a pathway into the manufacturing and technology industries. Filter by NCEA level, the industry pathway, and standards type.

assessment standards tool

Each standard describes what a learner knows, and can do. Achievement standards carry a number of credits, when achieved these are recorded on the centrally managed Record of Achievement.

All standards included in particular Vocational Pathways are recommended. A sub-set of these recommended standards are also identified as sector-related, you can use the filter to see these. You don’t need to do all of the standards listed in the results. However, if you gain enough credits from the standards we recommend, then you are gaining the skills, knowledge, and competencies that are most important to employers in this industry.

If these are the subjects you enjoy, and these are the sorts of standards that you tend to do well in, then you should definitely consider roles in the manufacturing and technology industries as a possible career option. There are lots of opportunities and a wide range of jobs at many different levels.

If your NCEA level 2 includes 60 credits from recommended standards, including at least 20 credits from sector-related standards, you can have manufacturing and technology industries recognised as your Vocational Pathway.

Vocational Pathways Award

Learners can work towards the Vocational Pathways Award too, which is recorded on their Record of Achievement (NZQA).

Vocational Pathways Award

Record of Achievement