As a Dental Assistant in the NZ Army you will be a member of an oral health team which is responsible for providing dental services to the personnel of the NZ Defence Force (NZDF).

  • Service
  • Specialisation
    Medical and Health
  • Starting Salary
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About the role

As a Dental Assistant in the NZ Army you will be a member of an oral health team which is responsible for providing dental services to the personnel of the NZ Defence Force (NZDF). The RNZDC is a tri-service Corps because it meets the dental needs of not only the Army, but also the Navy and the Air Force.

The RNZDC provides a full range of comprehensive dental and oral surgical care to our service personnel and the assistant plays an integral role in this team. Your day will vary, so dental assistants need to be highly organised individuals. Patients will rely on you for reassurance so it will be important that you communicate well and enjoy working in the health environment.

Job on base

The role of a Dental Assistant in the military is to provide assistance to the Dental Officer during clinical procedures. This can range from simple mouth examinations, to fillings, or to the surgical extraction of teeth during complex oral surgical procedures.

You will be responsible for preparing the surgery for each procedure, maintaining the surgery equipment and applying detailed cross infection control procedures.

Job on deployment

You could find yourself working on a ship, or even on deployment to places such as the Cook Islands, Afghanistan or Timor-Leste.

The cool thing about being a DA is we get to go onto further study as a Hygenist or Dental Technician or Dental Manager.

Career progression and training

Career Progression
Basic Training
Job Training
Ongoing Training

Well performing Dental Assistants may be given the opportunity to train as a Dental Hygienist or Dental Technician.

Upon successful enlistment into the Army you’ll be posted to Waiouru Army base. Here you will do 16 weeks of basic military training to find out if you have got 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

Soon after completing your recruit training you will be required to attend the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment Corps Training Course. On this course you will learn military and logistics skills necessary for your role in a field setting.

The first trade course you will attend is the Basic Dental Course. This course is three weeks long and teaches Dental Assistants how to assist a Dental Officer with all clinical procedures from fillings to oral surgery.

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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.




Starting Salary


Higher Rank

Benefits and allowances

There are many additional benefits to being in the Defence Force, that will make your money go further.

For example, on top of your basic salary you can expect ‘Military Factor’. This provides you with significant extra financial rewards because of the commitment you’ve made to serve your country.

Free medical and dental
Access to subsidised equipment on base
Subsidised food on base
Competitive superannuation, up to 4% with KiwiSaver
Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels

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

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

Find out more about the NCEA levels and certificate requirements

  • 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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