Otago Polytechnic


Nursing graduates work within hospitals, health centres, community agencies, public health, and rest homes, and may specialise in a variety of practice areas such as medical and surgical, and child health.

New graduates earn more than $44,000 per year and with experience, registered nurses can earn between $51,000 and $103,000 per year in New Zealand.


Midwifery graduates are important providers of maternity services both within New Zealand and overseas and also work in areas such as education, research and professional consultation. Many midwives are self-employed.

Salaries range from $45,000 to $150,000 per year.

Occupational Therapy

A wide range of career options await Occupational Therapy graduates including working as an occupational therapist, needs assessor, case manager, community or youth development worker, researcher or establishing a private practice.

After graduation, you can earn $46,000 per year and with experience, $69,000 to $95,000 per year.

Social Services

There are opportunities for Social Services graduates to work for social services agencies and in areas such as counselling, career practice, disability and mental health support.

Salaries vary, but usually begin between $20,000 and $50,000 per year, depending on experience and qualifications.


Our Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education (Level 7) will enable you to gain a formal teaching qualification in a dynamic and flexible environment and to become a confident adult educator. Alternatively, you could expand your professional and cultural portfolio in the workplace by becoming proficient in basic te reo Māori through one of our micro-credentials.

Pay for tertiary educators varies depending on your qualifications and experience, the size and type of institution that you work for, and the collective pay agreement in place. Salaries range from about $50,000 as a starting point to $90,000 for senior lecturers. 

Want to work with children rather than adults?

The New Zealand Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 3) and (Level 4)* are our introductory programmes which can help you gain employment in the early childhood sector. 

Pay for early childhood teachers varies depending on where you work, your qualifications and your experience. Salaries range from $34,000 as a starting point through to $73,000 for more experienced, higher qualified professionals. 

*subject to final approval

Is a career in health, community and education for me?

You’re on the right track if you have a genuine interest in helping others, good communication skills and the passion and enthusiasm for working independently or as part of a team. Problem-solving skills would also be an advantage. For the health and community pathway school credits in biology and/or chemistry are vital for some of our healthcare degrees.

Capable NZ

Have you been working in the health and community field for years, but don’t have a formal qualification? Capable NZ can assess your experience and identify if there are any gaps that can be filled through further study.

Need help?

If you’re having trouble making a decision or just need to talk to someone about your options, our Career Services team can help.

Don’t have the required academic qualifications to study a Health programme? No problem! Check out our bridging options.