Army Ammunition Technician full width

As an Ammunition Technician, you are in charge of keeping the Defence Force armed. You will be responsible for the inspection, bulk storage, field storage, maintenance and disposal of all ammunition and explosives used by the Navy, Army and Air Force.

  • Service
  • Specialisation
    Engineering and Technical Trades
  • Location
  • Starting Trade Training
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About the role

As an Ammunition Technician, you are the Army’s subject matter expert in all things relating to ammunition and explosives. Your core role will be keeping the Defence Force armed. You will be responsible for the inspection, bulk storage, field storage, safety assurance, maintenance and disposal of all ammunition and explosives used by the Navy, Army and Air Force. 

You will also conduct investigations into ammunition accidents, and dispose of unserviceable ammunition or ammunition which has become unserviceable. Ammunition Technicians are also responsible for keeping Defence Force training areas free from unexploded ordnance (UXO’s), by safely removing and disposing of malfunctioning ammunition.

Ammunition Technicians are also responsible for ensuring the NZDF is compliant with New Zealand and international regulations for the storage and transport of ammunition and explosives in accordance with New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA), International Air Transport Association (IATA) and International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) regulations.

Job on base

The core capability of an Ammunition Technician is to ensure ammunition arrives in the correct quantity, type, place and time. As you are dealing with explosives it is critical the ammunition is safe and reliable for our personnel to use.

You will be trained in the safe and effective storage, inspection, maintenance and disposal of all the different explosive ordnance used by the Defence Force and other allied agencies and be able to conduct trials on ammunition. You will assist in the disposal of UXO’s and of unserviceable ammunition stocks, either by burning or detonation. You will learn to operate the different vehicles the NZDF utilise and be trained to operate within a Combat Services Support Team (CSST) in support of combat task groups.

As you become more experienced, you will assist in training other Defence Force personnel in ammunition safe handling, movement and disposal. You will receive exposure to more advanced technical training across the Ammunition Technician spectrum such as breakdown of ammunition, explosive ordnance engineering principles, advanced disposal techniques and weapons technical intelligence.

Job on deployment

Ammunition Technicians also deploy overseas in support of exercises and operations. Recent deployments include Iraq, Afghanistan and various NZDF exercises in New Zealand and the south pacific.

As our Defence Force increases the amount and variety of training it conducts with other nations, there is an increasing demand for qualified Ammunition Technicians to provide technical advice across the entire explosive ordnance spectrum, and to ensure our ammunition and explosives remain in a safe and usable condition.

I have a passion for explosives and ammunition.

Some of the bulk demolitions that we do in Waiouru definitely get up in scale.

Private Penn

Career progression and training

Career Progression

Basic Training

Job Training

Ongoing Training

Early in your career you will be posted to the 2nd Combat Services Support Battalion (2CSSB) located in Linton (near Palmerston North) where you will gain a broad experience in ammunition and logistics matters before being posted to a Defence Ammunition Depot in Christchurch or Waiouru to further your technical knowledge.

Later on in your career you can be posted as an instructor at the Defence Explosive Ordnance School (DEOS) in Trentham Camp (near Upper Hutt) or to the Defence Munitions Management Group headquarters to advise the defence force on ammunition and explosive matters.

As you are promoted in rank and gain more technical experience and knowledge in the trade, there are a variety of different job opportunities and training courses you can take up within NZ Army and wider Defence Force. These include operational deployments overseas, participation in major international exercises or military exchanges, regimental postings to help train new recruits or junior leaders and all arms training courses which will broaden your employability and enhance your soldier skillsets.

Upon successful enlistment into the Army you will be posted to Waiouru Army base. Here you will do 16 weeks of basic military training to find out if you have what it takes to be in the Army, and learn various subjects including:

  • Organisation and Administration
  • Army Customs and Protocol
  • Drill and Parades
  • Military Field Skills and Weapon Training
  • First Aid
  • Physical Fitness

(2 Weeks) Location: Trentham Military Camp (near Upper Hutt)
You will attend the Royal NZ Army Logistics Regiment (RNZALR) Basic Course with all other logistics trades. Here you will learn:

  • Understanding operational Combat Service Support concepts
  • Learning to operate as a logistics specialist in a camp environment
  • Learning to deploy and operate as a logistics specialist in a field environment
  • Learning about military vehicles and their functions
  • Operating communications and other military equipment
  • Corps history

(1 Week) Location: Trentham Military Camp
On this course you will learn about how to handle, store and transport different types of ammunition.


(7 Weeks) Location: Trentham Military Camp
On completion of your RNZALR Basic Course you will begin your trade training. The Primary Course teaches you the basic technical theory and mechanical and scientific functioning within all natures of ammunition, including Navy and Air Force ammunition and explosives. You will be trained to certify ammunition and explosives, to ensure they are safe to move by road, rail, sea and air.

You will also learn how to safely make up basic explosive charges, and gain experience in warehousing, occupational safety and health, movement of hazardous goods, and other essential logistical functions.

On successful completion of this course you will be posted to the Defence Ammunition Depot in Waiouru to consolidate your knowledge with practical, hands on continuation training.


(6 weeks) Location: Trentham Military Camp
After 3-4 years in your trade, you will attend this advanced course to train you to conduct specific technical tasks in an explosive area and Unit Explosive Ordnance (EO) facility. Successful completion will qualify you to:

  • conduct technical inspections,
  • produce surveillance instructions,
  • investigate EO incidents or accidents,
  • handle in-service guided weapons and
  • conduct logistics disposal of EO.

(8 weeks) Location: Trentham Military Camp
If you are selected, this course will train you to manage a NZDF Explosive area and a Unit Explosive Ordnance Facility. Additionally, you will train in how to supervise technical tasks in an ammunition depot, or in a field setting supporting Defence Force training, exercises or operations.

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Salary and benefits

Careers in the Army are well-rewarded, diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, your salary will rise accordingly.


Under Initial Training


Starting Trade Training


Future Potential Earnings

Figures updated on July 1st 2023

Benefits and allowances

Earn a competitive salary while training or learning your trade, along with additional allowances for time spent in the field, at sea, overseas, or deployed on operations.

In addition to salary and allowances, other benefits of joining the New Zealand Defence Force include:

Access to your Service marae or tūrangawaewae

Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels

Free access to gyms and swimming pools on camp and bases

Opportunities to travel

Free and subsidised medical and dental care

Subsidised food and accommodation on camps and bases

Free and subsidised insurance cover

Help to buy a home and save for retirement

"My role is an Ammunition Technician. On an average day I help with inspections, returns and issues of the ammunition, with office tasks and administration."

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Entry requirements



Fitness and Medical


Period of Service

  • You must be at least 17 years of age.
  • Meet the citizenship and security requirements to gain CV security clearance for this trade.
  • No decreased colour perception.

3 years secondary school.

Note, that qualifications may be used to assess trade suitability.

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

There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the required CV security clearance for this trade.

Find out if you’re eligible here.

There may be a return of service period for this trade.

Please contact our 0800 number or talk to your Candidate Experience Facilitator for more information.


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