Social workers

There are around 6000 social workers in New Zealand. You will find that most social work roles are based in the major cities, but there are vacancies throughout the country. Child, Youth and Family employs the largest number of social workers in New Zealand, but there are also positions at District Health Boards, private practices and in non-government agencies, including community and iwi organisations.

1. Registration

The Social Workers Registration Act establishes a voluntary system of registration. The legislation protects the title ‘Registered Social Worker'. This means that unregistered social workers will still be able to call themselves a social worker, but will not be able to call themselves a Registered Social Worker.

If you trained overseas and want to work as a social worker in New Zealand, your qualifications will be assessed to determine if they are equivalent to New Zealand qualifications. To find out more information and to download a copy of the “Non-binding Assessment of Overseas Qualifications” form, please see the SWRB's website.
Check out our flow chart for more information on the registration process.

2. Job offer

After you are registered with the SWRB, you are eligible to work as a social worker in New Zealand. You will find jobs listed on the national health job website Kiwi Health Jobs.

3. Work visa

To be eligible to work in New Zealand, you will need a work visa. You can apply for work visas from Immigration New Zealand. If you are an Australian national, you do not need to apply for a work visa.  
Got a question? Check out our forum to see if your question has already been answered or contact us directly.


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