Life in the NZDF

Education and training

No matter which service you choose to pursue your Defence career in, you’re guaranteed to experience the highest possible standards of training and education. Everyone starts by getting to grips with military culture during basic training, but there’s lots more ways to train. You could be learning on the job, doing tertiary study, or attending one of many courses relating to your trade and service. Whetever you do, training is an integral part of being in the Defence Force. You’ll find yourself taking pride in keeping your brain, as well your body, in peak condition.


The educational opportunities in the Defence Force are hard to beat. And the qualifications you earn will be yours for life, helping you get on, and move up – whether you stay in the Defence Force or not. We offer University scholarships to selected people who know they want to join us after graduation. This is a great way of avoiding the burden of a student loan. We can help pay your fees and give you a living allowance. You pay us back by joining as a highly trained and committed member of the team. There are opportunities to go to the UK and Australia on educational programmes. And at any time during your career, if you are keen to pursue an educational course that will benefit your Defence role career, we’ll be right behind you.

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Your first experience of training will be when you join. This is often called basic training, and introduces you to Defence Force life. It’s a time when you can:

  • get to know your new comrades
  • get even fitter than you are already
  • understand what we do and how we work
  • learn the specialist skills that you’ll bring to the team.

But that’s far from being the end of your training. Technology changes quickly. And as this plays such a central role in the Defence Force, we’ll make sure you quickly get to grips with the latest weapons and equipment too.

Learning additional skills can also help your rise up through the ranks, so training can help you acquire more responsibility and get paid more. Some of the time you may find yourself learning new skills individually. Other times it will be as part of a team.

If you’re an Officer, or you progress through the ranks to become one, you’ll enjoy ongoing training. Because whilst leadership skills often come naturally, they also need to be learned, practised and developed. It's all part of making yourself the best member of the team that you can be.

Types of Training

Basic training
On the job training
Academic study

Beginning training in any of the services will be a huge change from civilian life. While it will be full-on and hard work at times, it will also be the most memorable job training you will experience – and you get paid to do it.

You won’t be training alone. You will be in the same boat (or plane) as plenty of other new recruits as you adapt to life in your chosen service.

Find out more about training in the NavyArmy and Air Force.

Whether you want to be in the thick of the action, at the helm of a vehicle, or running things from behind the scenes, a Defence career means you’ll get world class training to become a specialist in your chosen field – and best of all, we’ll not only train you on the job from scratch, but we’ll pay you to do it.

Check out what is involved when it comes to training in the NavyArmy and Air Force.

The Defence Force is committed to helping your achieve your academic goals and rewarding success.

If you’re already a graduate, then you can expect your achievement to be recognised in the opportunities, benefits and salaries that we offer. If you are yet to commit to a programme of further study, then find out how we can help. Further study can be expensive, so our financial support can make all the difference.

Find out more about these opportunities in the NavyArmy and Air Force.


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