How to get a Clinical Psychology job in New Zealand


Sarah Peddie

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

Clinical psychologists are currently on New Zealand’s skill shortage list which means that the country is keen to attract these doctors to the country. Working in New Zealand as a clinical psychologist means that you can have the opportunity to work flexibly but you will also gain support to grow and thrive professionally. 

What is Clinical Psychology?

Psychology is the study of how people think and behave with a combination of science and practice. As a psychologist, using direct observation, interview and techniques like psychometric testing - you will make an assessment of a patient’s problem. Treatment does require cooperation from the patient as you will work in partnership with them to help manage and treat their condition. 

Clinical psychologists are trained to work with individuals of all different ages with behavioural, emotional and/or psychological distress which disrupts their everyday well-being. 

Working as a clinical psychologist, you will draw on your specific knowledge to bring positive change to the patient’s life. They do not prescribe medicine - instead, they use psychological techniques like cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychoanalytic therapy.

Are there many job opportunities?

Currently, clinical psychologists are on New Zealand’s skill shortage list which means that they are in high demand throughout the country and it could be easier for you to apply for a visa. The profession is on the long term skills shortage list which means that you could apply for residency in New Zealand for up to two years. 

Working in Victoria, Australia

There are around 2800 registered psychologists practising in New Zealand (2017) and around 1600 of those specialise in clinical psychology. 

The chances of getting a job in psychology are very good due to the shortages. The pay for a trainee is around $56K-$59K per year and for an experienced senior psychiatrist it is an estimated $106K-$125K per year.

During the 2019 budget, in order to tackle the pressure and high demand on the mental health services in the country, trained mental health workers were introduced in GP surgeries. The service is expected to treat 325,00 people every year by 2023/24.

How do you become a clinical psychologist in New Zealand?

To become a clinical psychologist in New Zealand then you will need a master's degree in psychology. Furthermore, you will need a postgraduate diploma in clinical psychology, or a doctorate in clinical psychology.

Clinical psychologists need to register with the New Zealand Psychologists Board. You will also need a current Annual Practising Certificate, unless you are only teaching psychology, or doing research.

If you are a qualified psychologist but you 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 looking for a medical job in New Zealand? Register with Odyssey Recruitment today and we could help you find the perfect job.