The medical team is a vital part of the Air Force and secondly to the New Zealand Defence Force.  As a Medic your role is to provide pre-hospital primary and emergency health care, occupational, environmental and preventative medicine to the RNZAF and Defence Force in operational and static environments, often under adverse conditions on the ground and in the air.  It is a demanding role, and you will need to be tough and able to keep a cool head in stressful situations.

As a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Medic you will be responsible for performing a variety of medical tasks in various locations.

As a Medic, you will be posted to a base medical flight where you will assist with daily duties including treating personnel with illness or injury, medical administration, minor surgery and medical cover for base sports events. Base medical flights have personnel on standby for all military flights, both leaving and arriving on base or flying in the local area. These flights can occur any time of the day and at times you may be on call after hours to provide assistance if necessary. Medics are also involved in the provision of search and rescue operations and you may be required to provide on call and after hours support.

RNZAF units continually train for military operations, not only on base, but also in field environments. Medical support is required for field exercises such as deployed flying exercises, parachuting, survival training, weapon range activities, and recruit training. A medic will attend most field activities and provide emergency medical care in the event of an incident (on the ground or in the air) and treat any illness or injury that may occur. Medics will often find themselves in situations where they are the only health care provider readily available, and therefore you will have training in emergency medicine. This starts with basic first aid but will extend through to areas including advanced cardiac life support, advanced airway management, advanced trauma life support, and intravenous fluid therapy. 

All RNZAF personnel have some first aid training. As you gain medical knowledge and experience, you will be involved in conducting this training, including CPR, first aid courses, advanced first aid for treating combat casualties, and training people who are preparing for overseas deployments.

The focus for a Medic on operational duties is the maintenance of optimum health amongst deployed personnel, and provision of emergency care to deployed personnel and to the local populace as required.

You will perform duties such as daily medical consultations and treatment, checking hygiene standards, and environmental health control and prevention. You may get the opportunity to be part of forward Aeromedical Evacuation team.

You may also be involved in humanitarian aid following cyclones or tsunamis in such places as Samoa and Indonesia, or the Aeromedical Evacuation of personnel from abroad back to New Zealand.

This is a varied and interesting career offering many different experiences at home and abroad. The training is world class. As your training progresses and your skills develop, you will assist in the teaching of more junior medics through both supervision and instruction. You will also have opportunities for promotion and, if we think you’ve got what it takes, you may be selected for officer training.

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.

While undertaking initial Recruit Course you will be paid as a Recruit (see attached pay table). On completion of  your Recruit Course you will be paid as an Aircraftsman and your pay will continue to increase as your career progresses.

  • You must be 17 years or older.
  • Computer skills beneficial.
  • Meet the citizenship & security requirements to gain CV security clearance for this trade.
  • A full Class 1 drivers licence preferred but must hold a Restricted Class 1 drivers licence

You must have achieved NCEA level 2 with a minimum of 12 credits in level 2 Science (excluding Physics).

Find out more about the NCEA levels and certificate requirements

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

Your training is some of the most thorough and advanced in the world. On completion of your formal (tertiary) training you may be contractually obliged to carry out a return of service to the Air Force.

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

Medic training for all three services (Navy, Air Force and Army) is conducted at the Defence Health School (DHS) in Burnham.  This training consists of formal training at DHS before being sent out on clinical placemats (On the Job Experience) to various camps and bases within the NZDF to gain experience.  The total duration of this training is 2 and a half years, with 40 weeks of which is clinical placements.

Once you have gained this qualification you will be posted to an Air Force base where you will begin working as a medic to meet the outputs of the medical trade, the Air Force and Defence. 

To maintain your knowledge and skills there will be a requirement to carry out regular clinical and emergency care placements in a civilian hospital and the pre hospital environment. Other medical training opportunities are available throughout your career.