There’s never a dull moment as a Parachute Jump Instructor (PJI) in the Air Force. From conducting static line training courses to advanced free-fall training and a host of other responsibilities, you will find it an exhilarating and adrenalin-charged career.

  • Service
    Air Force
  • Specialisation
  • Starting Salary
af parachute jump instructor 03 landscape
af parachute jump instructor 02 square

About the role

Jumping out of a plane can be a challenge for some people – for you it comes with the territory. In the course of your duties as a PJI, you will be required to teach members of the New Zealand Defence Force to make descents ranging from 800 to 12,000 feet in various situations. One day, you could be teaching pilots and other aircrew how to handle parachutes should they need to bail out, the next day you could be teaching Army personnel how to descend into enemy territory.

You will act as a dispatcher for parachuting sorties, carry out drop zone safety officer duties, and conduct display descents as part of the RNZAF Parachute Display Team, Kiwi Blue.

Career progression and training

Basic Training

Job Training

Upon successful enlistment into the Air Force you’ll be posted to RNZAF Base Woodbourne (near Blenheim). Here you’ll do 12 weeks of basic military training to find out if you’ve got what it takes to be in the Air Force, and learn various subjects including:

  • Organisation and Administration
  • RNZAF Customs and Protocol
  • Drill and Parades
  • Military Field Skills and Weapon Training
  • First Aid, and Search and Rescue Techniques
  • Physical Fitness

You must complete a range of courses to become a PJI, including the RNZAF Instructional Techniques Course, Basic Ram-air Static Line Course, Low Level Static Line Course, Free-fall Course, and a Dispatcher Course. Next, you’ll undergo a four-month Parachute Jump Instructor Course before being awarded your PJI’s brevet.

You’ll be expected to achieve Free-fall Instructor Category ‘A’ status within four years of commencing aircrew training.

af parachute jump instructor 09 full width

Salary and benefits

Careers in the Air Force are well-rewarded, as well as being diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, you will see your salary rise accordingly.




After trade training


Higher rank

Benefits and allowances

There are many additional benefits to being in the Defence Force, that will make your money go further.

For example, on top of your basic salary you can expect ‘Military Factor’. This provides you with significant extra financial rewards because of the commitment you’ve made to serve your country.

Free and subsidised medical and dental care

Access to subsidised equipment on base

Subsidised food on base

Competitive superannuation, up to 4% with KiwiSaver

Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels

Entry requirements



Fitness and Medical


Period of Service


  • If you're new to NZDF: An NZPIA B License with a minimum of 200 jumps (or international equivalent).
  • If you're currently serving: RNZAF Senior Trade qualified (or service equivalent).
  • You must also meet the citizenship & security requirements to gain SV security clearance for this trade.

You must have 10 NCEA Level 1 credits in each Literacy and Numeracy.

Find out more about the NCEA levels and certificate requirements

You must be medically fit for service. Colour perception restrictions apply.

There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the required SV security clearance for this trade.

Find out if you’re eligible here.

There may be a return of service period for this trade.

Please contact our 0800 number or talk to your Candidate Experience Facilitator for more information.


airforce generic base for roles

Ready to start your Air Force career?

Other jobs you might like

You can also browse jobs by specialisation to narrow down your search.

Back to top