Life in the Air Force

Education and training

We’re always learning

When you join the Air Force, right from day one, you will start learning. As you get stuck into basic training and get used to Air Force culture, you’ll be soaking up all the skills you need to be a member of the team. The truth is, the learning never really stops, and you will continue gaining knowledge, skills and qualifications. You can even be sponsored to study for a tertiary qualification.

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Types of education and training

Recruit
Officer
On the job
University

Your training will begin with 12 weeks of Recruit Training, where you will learn the values and ethos we hold as a team as well as the basic ropes of Air Force life. During the Air Force basic military training you'll find out if you have 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.
     

During this time you'll be based at RNZAF Base Woodbourne near Blenheim. Although you'll find life on base very different to civilian life, you'll soon adjust to the challenging and rewarding lifestyle, knowing that you're on your way to a great Air Force career.

At the conclusion of your course there will be a graduation ceremony where you'll get to celebrate the end of your Recruit Training, and where some cadets will be awarded trophies for outstanding academic and practical achievement. You'll then move onto trade training, which will give you the chance to excel even further by proving yourself in your chosen specialist field.

Upon successful enlistment into the Air Force you’ll be posted to RNZAF Woodbourne base to complete the Joint Officer Induction Course (JOIC) – a seven-week, full-time course.

All NZ Defence Force (NZDF) Officer Cadets are required to complete this course, which is designed to introduce the basic individual military skills required to continue on to your respective service officer training courses. The course is designed to give you a basic level of military skills including field-craft, weapon handling, navigation, drill, battle-craft, communications and an introduction to leadership.

It's during JOIC that you'll be introduced to the standards and discipline demanded of all members of the NZ Defence Force, and the ethos and values required to be an officer in the NZDF.

Upon successful completion of the JOIC, you'll remain at Woodbourne but be posted to the Initial Officer Training Course to commence the 22 week course starting in either January or July. Here you’ll cover various subjects including:

  •     RNZAF Customs and Protocol
  •     Drill and Parades
  •     Military Law
  •     Military Field Skills and Weapons Training
  •     Defence and Strategic Studies
  •     Personnel Administration
  •     Communication Skills
  •     Command, Leadership and Management
  •     First Aid.

Precision is key in the Air Force – so world-class training is vital to ensure that any task you tackle is completed to the highest standard.

After your initial recruit or officer training you'll undertake on-the-job training, where you’ll learn to become a specialist in your trade. This means you will acquire the specific skills and knowledge that will help to get our fleet in the air at a moment’s notice. No matter whether you’re specialising as an Air Warfare Officer, an Engineering Officer, an Electronics Technician or a Medic, you'll receive training that will be recognised as on par with the best in the world.

The length of your job training will depend on the trade you have chosen. We may be able to help you pursue tertiary education too.

 

The following study schemes are available for Air Force Engineering Officers. Supply Officers and Communication and Information Systems Officers.

We also have scholarships for graduates and final year students to help pay back your student loan retrospectively. If you want to start your career without the burden of a student loan, get in touch and ask us for more information.

Engineering Officer

THE GRADUATE INCENTIVE SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME (GIS)

Engineering graduates and final year students are eligible to apply for the GIS.  If successful, in addition to your normal salary you'll receive an annual incentive bonus spread over four years, the amount of which will be confirmed in an Offer of Service.  There's no minimum time to serve or return of service obligation incurred.

The minimum educational requirement to apply for GIS is a BE(Hons) or BEngTech, but you may also apply if you are in the final year of study towards these qualifications.  The GIS will be awarded to qualifying Direct Entry applicants on a competitive basis.   

THE RNZAF UNIVERSITY SCHEME (RUS)

RUS is available to Undergraduate and Year 13 students. The Air Force will fund your engineering studies and provide an annual living allowance on a ‘year for a year’ return of service basis.

Candidates for RUS must meet the university entry requirements for a BE(Hons) at a New Zealand university.  Failure to meet the university entry requirements will result in any conditional offer of RUS being withdrawn. Successful applicants must study or continue studying towards a BE(Hons) in an approved specialisation, which includes mechanical, electrical, electronics, mechatronics and aeronautical engineering.

Supply Officer

THE GRADUATE INCENTIVE SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME (GIS)

Commerce, Business, Logistics or Supply Chain graduates and final year students for the same degrees are eligible for the GISS.  In addition to your normal salary, you'll receive an annual payment spread over three years, that amount to be determined in an Offer of Service.  There's no minimum time to serve or return of service incurred.

The minimum educational requirement to apply for GISS is a Bachelor in Commerce, Business, Logistics or Supply Chain or currently completing the final year for any of these.  The GISS will be awarded to qualifying Direct Entry applicants on a competitive basis.

Note: The GISS may not be offered every year, please enquire with your Recruiter.

THE RNZAF UNIVERSITY SCHEME (RUS)

RUS is available to Undergraduate and Year 13 students of a relevant tertiary qualification for this officer career, which is a Bachelor's degree in commerce, business, logistics or supply chain management.  The Air Force will fund your tertiary studies and provide an annual living allowance on a 'year for a year' return of service basis.

The minimum educational requirement to apply for RUS is University Entrance with 90 credits in NCEA Level 3, and a minimum of 18 credits in English and Mathematics at Level 2.  Merit/Excellence preferred.  Consideration given to Year 12 students with NCEA Level 2 and good results to date at Level 3.  Successful applicants must study or continue studying in one of the qualifications required for Supply Officer recruitment.

Communication and Information Systems Officer

THE GRADUATE INCENTIVE SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME (GIS)

GIS is available to graduates or students in their final year of study toward a bachelor degree in the following areas; computer network engineering, cyber security, telecommunications, business information systems and electrical engineering.

The intent of the scheme is to reimburse the cost of your tertiary studies over four years of service.  Reimbursements will be specified in an Offer of Service. There is no return of service obligation associated with the scheme. The GIS will be awarded to qualifying Direct Entry applicants on a competitive basis.

THE RNZAF UNIVERSITY SCHEME (RUS)

RUS is available to Year 13 and undergraduate students. The Air Force will fund your tertiary studies and provide an annual living allowance on a 'year by year' return of service basis.  Qualifying areas of study for a Communication and Information Systems (CIS) Officer include bachelor degrees in computer network engineering, cyber security, telecommunications, business information systems and electrical engineering.

Applicants must meet pre-requisite qualifications for entry into their chosen course of study. Selection will be on a competitive basis.

*A full disclosure of the terms and conditions of the schemes can be provided on application.

 

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Give your passion purpose

Whatever your passion in life, there's a role in the Air Force that will give it purpose.

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