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Diesel Mechanics

UPDATED March 3, 2021

Remmuneration estimates for Diesel Mechanics to Heavy Diesel Service Managers

Heavy Equipment/Heavy Transport/Forestry/Forklifts/Farm Machinery/Road Paving Equipment/ Mining and Recreational Marine Diesel: Includes support and Service Management roles

Please note: as Automotive Employment NZ Ltd has attempted to be as accurate as possible and to provide guidelines for the most popular sectors of the New Zealand motor industry but take no responsibility for the accuracy of the information. Any hiring decision should be based on a range of knowledge from a variety of sources.

It is possible our opinion will differ from other independent surveys however the information is based on actual hires occurring through Automotive Employment NZ Ltd. All rates assume experience in specific fields of expertise and where applicable the relevant industry qualifications.

Employees should note that while these rates may provide a guide, to gain an accurate indication of rates you may need to consider how your skills and experience compare to others in the workplace. Your work performance, the stability of overall employment, knowledge of the product, development of your skills and or qualifications, personal grooming, communication skills and the length of service you have extended to your current employer may all impact on potential earnings. These aspects of your employment should also be weighed against the economic conditions prevailing in the location you work or intend to move to.

Heavy Diesel Mechanics Truck and Coaches 
Includes: Trucks/HCV, bus and coaches 
Median rate for new hires $32 per hour [note higher and lower scale below based on skills, location and experience]

Most positions in NZ pay between $30 and $40 per hour 

Companies vary in their overtime policies with some paying a slightly lower hourly rate with overtime commonly weighted at between 1.5 of the base rates.  Other employers may choose a higher flat rate of pay.

Heavy Diesel Mechanics Construction Equipment, Forestry Equipment and Road Paving Machinery,

Median rate $33 per hour [note higher and lower range below] 

Rates now commence at $30 per hour and move through to $45 per hour.  

COVID-19 has impacted these gains powerfully with closed borders causing shortages.  While there are big fluctuations in the equipment sector due to swings in the business cycles of forestry, mining and agriculture and infrastructure, at the time of reviewing these rates pressure on skills shortages is being felt industry wide.

Forklift Mechanics: IE and IC Trucks
Median rate of $33 per hour

IE meaning industrial electric and IC meaning Industrial combustion. Dependent on the level of skill and experience, these roles are paying between $28 and $40 per hour with the extreme end being $45 per hour. The extreme end of this remuneration scale would normally be paid to an employee considered to be a Master Technician.

Experience on I.E. forklifts [industrial electric] forklifts is a little more difficult to secure than the more generalist I.C. Diesel / LPG skills so highly skilled technicians with this knowledge tend to be paid toward the upper end of the scale, the current average for I.E. Forklift technicians is $35 per hour. The I.C. sector average is $33 per hour however this is assuming the employee possesses strong generalist knowledge.

Excessive movement between jobs or poor employer verbal references has a profound effect on rates in the current climate as does lack of polished communication skills which may prevent an employer placing an employee in a field service role.  The higher rates tend to be paid to technicians who have built a resource of knowledge within a franchise environment.

Farm Machinery Mechanics,
Median rate $33 per hour

Most positions in NZ pay between $30 and $40 per hour. Companies vary in their overtime policies with some paying a slightly lower hourly rate with overtime between 1.5 and 1.6 of the base rate where others choose a higher flat rate of pay. The dairy industry turns down in2015/2016stabilised rates but now recovery is occurring rates are moving.

Workshop Foreperson/Supervisor -across all sectors
The national median rate of $38 per hour

Generally defined as a role that assists the Service Manager or a second in charge, many of these roles do not require hands-on repair work. There are exceptions and some companies may have the foreperson up to 50% productive.

New hires remunerate from $35 to $45 per hour and more often than not the employee is provided with a company vehicle. It is possible some of the smaller cities and towns may pay a little less and reflects the lower cost of living expenses in these locations. Usually, a utility vehicle is supplied.

Heavy Diesel Warranty Administrators/Fleet Controllers
The national median rate of $70,000 PA

These roles are almost always secured by Trade Qualified Mechanics in New Zealand. The position is administrative and employees possess accomplished communication skills, IT literacy and technical knowledge. The position usually pays between $70,000 and $85,000. The role does not usually command a company vehicle, although it is not unheard of.

Loss Adjusters Heavy Diesel
The national median rate of $80,000 PA

While these roles are fairly rare in NZ, they involve investigation of insurance claims to a range of heavy Diesel Equipment. Candidates securing these roles are rarely brought in from offshore due to their popularity and availability of New Zealand based skills. The role pays between $75,000 and $90,000 in the current market. There will enviably be variances in rates due to the rarity of roles available.

Heavy Diesel Service Managers
The national median rate of $120’000 PA

Responsible for total management of the workshop and profit centre, Service Managers are paid between $100,000 in smaller workshops and sometimes up to $150,000 in some flagship sites. The extreme end is $165’000. It is rare for employees to be at the upper end of this scale but good heavy diesel services managers in NZ are hard to come by. Some companies are now “locking” top performers in by paying above the norm for their skills. Please note the upper end of the scale is usually paid to service managers with over 50 staff and even then these positions are hard to find.