Accountants, doctors, dentists and engineers are well paid and in high demand, while scientists barely rate a mention.
The Government yesterday launched Occupation Outlook, a snapshot of the training costs, job prospects and incomes that young people can expect five years after choosing 40 "key" occupations.
Employment Minister Steven Joyce said the document would help young people make more informed career and study choices, addressing gaps in the amount of information on what occupations were in demand.
While much of the information existed in other forms, Mr Joyce, a zoology graduate who never used his degree, said it was worth repeating the figures and dollars in concise form.
"We have heaps of examples from around the country where kids in year 7 or 8 [are] making decisions which they don't realise, in terms of their study choices, stop them actually doing things which they might like to do later," he said.
Joyce said he had lost count of the number of information and communications technology companies that told him of a lack of skilled candidates.
He said that the outlook document was not meant to direct people into occupations that they did not want to work in.
"People have still got to do things that they're interested in," Joyce said.
According to the document, professional engineers, veterinarians, accountants, dentists, doctors and psychologists all have the combination of high fees, high prospective incomes and strong job prospects.
Hairdressers have low fees and low incomes, but medium job prospects.
The document is expected to be updated annually to reflect changing labour patterns, with the first version having a heavy focus on construction, with the Christchurch rebuild set to create demand for skilled tradespeople.
While the Government has placed a heavy focus on science, the document made no reference to science-related careers, beyond health professionals and veterinarians.
Paul Stocks, deputy chief executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, said there were other existing documents which covered a much wider variety of careers.
He said the document was designed to get young people thinking.
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