Salary & Working Conditions


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’ll see your salary rise accordingly.

On top of your basic salary you can expect something called Military Factor. This provides you with significant extra financial rewards because of the commitment you’ve made to serve your country – a commitment that asks you to play your part in situations and environments that are unique to military life, such as combat and overseas operations.

When comparing your salary to a civilian career, it is worth remembering that there are many additional benefits in the Air Force that will make your money go further:

  • Free medical and dental care for work related purposes.
  • Subsidised hire equipment from base Welfare.
  • Subsidised food when eating in the base mess.
  • Superannuation, currently up to 4% employer contribution toward Kiwisaver.
  • Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels.

Below is an indicative guide to remuneration within NZDF. Remuneration can vary according to rank and trade.

Figures based on TR table Effective 1 July 2016.

Airmen and Airwomen

Recruit$ 34,572
Aircraftman$ 45,225 - $ 50,572
Leading Aircraftman$ 47,821 - $ 61,737
Corporal$ 53,941 - $ 74,165
Sergeant$ 61,236 - $ 84,751
Flight Sergeant$ 69,570 - $ 97,237
Warrant Officer$ 79,550 - $ 109,894


Officer Cadet $ 34,572
Pilot Officer (Under Training)$ 45,225 - $47,898
Pilot Trainees Only$ 34,572 - $38,654
Pilot Officer$ 53,941 - $ 67,122
Flying Officer$ 65,088 - $ 87,412
Flight Lieutenant$ 87,272 - $ 126,166
Squadron Leader$ 101,983 - $ 152,578


The lifestyle and experiences we offer make an Air Force career very rewarding. In addition there is a competitive salary and benefits package, together with working environments that are modern, well-equipped and comfortable.  Working conditions do vary, as living in a field environment is very different to life on an Air Force base. Air Force life offers great opportunities to meet new and exciting people from all walks of life, while still allowing you stay in touch with your friends and family.

Working on Base

While working on base in New Zealand, you can expect to always work in safe and healthy conditions. There are loads of facilities on base to keep you entertained in your downtime, whether that’s a fully equipped gym, a library or just a comfy place to relax and use the internet.

While working on base you will have the opportunity to live in service accommodation within a military establishment or live off base and rent, flat or buy. It is however, recommended that you live on base in the early stages of your career to gain a sense of the Air Force lifestyle.

Overseas Deployment

When you’re overseas, or away on a mission, conditions can be different. However, this does not mean you’ll be lacking any of the essentials. If you’re suddenly deployed overseas to assist in humanitarian relief following a natural disaster, then of course it’s not going to be as well equipped as your home base. Even if you are overseas you will still have opportunities to stay fit and relax when you are off-duty.