How to Get a Psychiatry Job in New Zealand


Sarah Peddie

Here at Odyssey Recruitment, we help medical professionals find the perfect job for them in places where they want to work. We have some jobs advertised for Psychiatrists in New Zealand and we take a look at how you would secure a job in psychiatry down under in New Zealand. 

Psychiatrists are on New Zealand’s skill shortage list and they are keen to attract psychiatrists to the country. Working in New Zealand as a psychiatrist means that you can have the opportunity to work flexibly but you will also gain support to grow and thrive professionally. 

What is Psychiatry?

Psychiatry is a branch of medicine that deals with patients with a range of mental health conditions. Psychiatrists will help people manage, treat and overcome their conditions. There are many different types of psychiatry including child and adolescent, general adult and old age. 

You will be expected to diagnose psychiatric disorders, know how the brain and human body work, know different diseases and illnesses and have knowledge of medical ethics and law. 

Are there many job opportunities?

There are not enough psychiatrists to meet demand in the country. More people within the profession are needed due to the ageing population in New Zealand which means an increase in demand for mental health treatment. Most psychiatrists are over the age of 55 and are due to retire by 2027 which is why there is a demand in the healthcare sector. According to the 2018 census, there were 444 doctors specialising in psychiatry in New Zealand.

The chances of getting a job in psychiatry are very good due to the shortages. The pay for a trainee is around $72k-$178k and for an experienced psychiatrist it is an estimated $152k-217k per year.

Psychiatrists primarily work in public hospitals and community mental health services. Many also work in the private sector or private hospitals or in medical schools. 

How do you become a psychiatrist in New Zealand?

If you are currently living in New Zealand and want to become a psychiatrist then you must:

  • complete the Health Sciences First Year programme at the University of Otago, or the first year of either the Bachelor of Health Sciences or Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science at Auckland University
  • complete a five-year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) degree at Otago or Auckland
  • work for one to two years as a house officer (supervised junior doctor) in a hospital
  • complete another five years of training through the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Fellowship programme. This includes on-the-job training in different specialisations, and passing examinations to become a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.

If you are a qualified psychiatrist but are living overseas then you must register with the Medical Council of New Zealand and make sure you get the right working permit/visa to work and live in the county if you have been given a job offer. 

Are you currently looking for a job in New Zealand? Register with Odyssey Recruitment today and we could help you find the perfect job.