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 2017.


Recruit $37,284
Aircraftman $47,224 - $52,925
Leading Aircraftman $51,180 - $64,106
Corporal $57,122 - $78,171
Sergeant  $64,056 - $89,908
Flight Sergeant  $72,897 - $104,881
Warrant Officer $82,820 - $118,405



Officer Cadet  $37,284
Officer Cadet - Pilot Trainees $39,764 - $42,614
Pilot Officer (Under Training) $47,224 - $50,074
Pilot Officer $59,604 - $68,956
Flying Officer $68,143 - $89,587
Flight Lieutenant  $90,933 - $127,279
Squadron Leader $107,445 - $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.


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.


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.