Author: Erin Reilly
Leave school, go to uni, sign up for a student loan that’s on par with the debt of a small country, and get a good job. That’s what every school-leaver is supposed to do, right? Well, not necessarily.
In fact, some of the highest-paying jobs in the country don’t need degrees. Keen to make a lot of money without spending too much to get there? Here are a few options.
You might not have considered farming as one of the wealthiest industries in New Zealand but given that dairy is our biggest export, it kind of makes sense. Just ask the guys who run Dairy Holdings Ltd. New Zealand’s largest corporate dairy farming company is worth around $1 billion. The company owns 75 farms, mostly in the South Island, and is Fonterra’s largest supplier. Most farming skills can be learned on the job, although if you want to run a conglomerate of farms like Dairy Holdings Ltd does, it might be better to have some business management skills up your sleeve.
Writers don’t generally make you think ‘wealth’ (unless you’re JK Rowling), but times are a changin’. The rise of digital publishing has seen a rise in self-made writers who have quit their day jobs to write full-time – without needing a degree to do so. In a recent article, Kiwi Steff Green said she published five books and grossed almost $126,000 in 2018 after quitting her job to write full-time. This year she expects to bank more than $200k.
Some of the best business ideas don’t need student loan debt to get you there – but they do need a lot of hard work. When he was 18, Kiwi Nick Mowbray left uni after one year and moved to China to set up a toy business with his brother Mat (their sister Anna joined the team further down the track too). After living on $1 a day and sleeping in bushes while trying to crack the competitive Chinese toy market, Zuru is now one of the largest, fastest-growing and most recognisable toy companies in the world, reportedly worth around $300 million.
If you’re keen to see the world, becoming a pilot could be up your alley – and you don’t always need a degree. It’s not easy though; you need a New Zealand Diploma in Aviation or a Bachelor of Aviation, which includes a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), plus you must complete at least 200 hours of flying time. There’s a lot of competition and few jobs available but if you make it, domestic pilots could earn up to $190k and international pilots $300k per year. Find out more about becoming a pilot at the Air NZ Aviation Institute.
With the rise of and reliance on technology these days, there’s an increasing need for information technology experts to make sure businesses stay online 24/7. In the IT industry, experience is more important than qualifications (although qualifications may get you further, quicker). According to CareersNZ, IT professionals could earn more than $200k a year so if you’re interested in technology and want to get rich, this could be the perfect way to go about it.