The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is made up of the Navy, Army, and Air Force. The NZDF’s primary purpose is to defend New Zealand in times of war, but the Defence Force conducts a range of other activities, like aiding disaster relief. Trades range from combat to IT and communications, health, logistics, engineering, hospitality, workshop (technical), and management (officers).

If you reckon you have leadership potential, you can join the NZDF as an officer straightaway. Officers are the ones who can take control of a situation, command people and resources, and make decisions under pressure.

Skills for life

The NZDF provides world-class training, and through that training, you get access to high-tech equipment not found anywhere else. This can be a good alternative to doing an apprenticeship through an Industry Training Organisation (ITO) or studying at polytech.

The upside to training with the NZDF is that you get paid while you learn. New recruits start on a salary of about $31,000 during their initial 12–16 weeks of training. Food and accommodation is included during training. After graduation, the salary jumps to at least $44,000 per year and increases regularly as you upskill and get promoted.

Should you leave, you will be taking with you a wealth of transferable skills and experience. If you’re smart, active, a good team player, and passionate about making a difference, you may enjoy a career in the New Zealand Defence Force. Find out more at


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