Lifestyle & Salary


Our concern is New Zealand’s airborne military resources. But that doesn’t mean the Air Force is all about pilots. They make up only a small part of the Air Force teams and there are actually over 25 Air Force careers to choose from.

Of course much of what we do is influenced by the highly complex nature of our aircraft. It’s a great place for people who are excited by mechanics, engineering and technology – and the technical challenges involved in getting a plane safely from A to B. Our non aircrew and non technical trades are essential also, as they provide the necessary support in other areas to complete the full picture.

We use Orion, Boeing and Hercules aircraft to provide maritime surveillance and reconnaissance around New Zealand, as well as air transport, sometimes over huge distances. Soon we will operate A109 and NH-90 helicopters instead of the Sioux and Iroquois.

Just like the aircraft that we fly and maintain, our daily lives are fast-paced, exciting and packed with technology. When you’re not overseas, you will find yourself at one of our three New Zealand bases - in Whenuapai, Auckland; Ohakea in the Manawatu; or Woodbourne, near Blenheim.

Our bases are all homes away from home – meaning that there’s everything here to make life comfortable and keep you entertained, such as a café and library. Naturally there are sporting facilities, including swimming pools, gyms, sports fields, tennis and squash courts. And whether it’s an individual or a team sport, you can do it here.

This is just a taster of what some of our people get up to:

  • Flying
  • Gliding
  • Parachuting
  • Basketball
  • Cricket
  • Rugby
  • Golf
  • Football (Soccer)
  • Netball
  • Softball
  • Water Polo
  • Hockey
  • Hobby Clubs

After you’ve been through the initial training period, your free time is your own. Meaning that if you want to go off base and see friends and family, you can do your own thing.