Infrastructure is all around us – it’s the basic physical systems that we need in our everyday lives, including:
- Transport networks, such as railways, roads, bridges, ports and airports
- Drinking water supply, and systems for wastewater removal and treatment
- Rubbish disposal systems and sites
- Electricity generation and transmission, and gas pipelines
- Phone and internet connections
It's a growth industry due to the Christchurch rebuild, major roading projects and Auckland's expanding population. And working in infrastructure means that you can have a well-paid job while helping your community.
Key roles in the infrastructure industry include:
- Geotechnical and structural engineers make sure structures and foundations are strong and able to resist earthquakes.
- Electrical and power systems engineers design systems and equipment for generating, distributing and using electricity.
- Site engineers help plan and supervise construction.
- Transportation engineers design roads, rail, cycle ways and footpaths so that people can get around safely and efficiently.
- Engineering technicians and CAD drafters help plan and draw up the technical details for infrastructure projects.
- Environmental and water resources engineers are involved in managing stormwater, groundwater, wastewater and contaminated sites.
- Environmental scientists assess the impact of engineering projects on the environment, including waterways, soil, air and noise levels, and advise on ways to minimise this impact.
- Surveyors and surveying technicians map property boundaries and locate new structures and pipes.
- GIS analysts use specialised computer software to analyse spatial data and communicate the results via maps and diagrams.
- Planners develop and administer the plans used by local authorities to shape development. They may also work for engineering consultancies.
The main employers in the infrastructure industry include:
- Engineering consultancies and construction companies
- Utility companies providing electricity, water and phone services
- Local councils
- Government agencies such as NZTA
Key qualifications in this industry include:
- New Zealand Diploma in Engineering, Bachelor of Engineering Technology or Bachelor of Engineering, specialising in Civil, Electrical, Environmental or Natural Resources Engineering
- National Certificate in Surveying (Assistant), National Diploma in Surveying (for survey technicians), Bachelor of Surveying
- Diplomas in CAD Drafting, Design/Architectural Technology
- Degrees in Planning, Geography, Resource Management, GIS
Required and recommended school subjects:
- Physics (required for engineering pathways)
- Maths, especially Calculus (required for engineering pathways)
- Technology subjects, especially Design & Visual Communication and Digital Technologies
- Statistics & Modelling