Electrical Fitters maintain and repair the vast array of electrical equipment used by the Army. Effectively the “jack of all trades” amongst the electrical workers, you will be charged with fixing anything, anywhere, in particular looking after power generation and reticulation, as well as refrigeration systems.

  • Service
  • Specialisation
    Engineering and Technical Trades
  • Location
  • Starting Trade Training
Electrical Fitter Single image 20221013

About the role

Electrical fitters are tasked with fixing anything, anywhere, in particular looking after power generation and reticulation as well as refrigeration systems. Safety is top priority, with fitters completing safety inspections for all operational Army equipment. 

Training for an apprentice Electrical Fitter in the Army will last approximately four years, working towards an NZQA New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering Theory and Practice (Trade) Level 4, and then onto full registration with the Electrical Workers Registration Board. Eventually, you’ll work towards a New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering.

As an apprentice, you will be sent to civilian firms on tours of duty to develop your expertise in a variety of electrical fields. In addition, there will be various leadership courses, as well as being involved in field exercises or other soldier skills and activities that contribute to the welfare of New Zealand.

Job on base

You’ll be responsible for maintaining power generation systems and refrigeration systems, as well as completing safety inspections for all operational Army electrical equipment. On camp you will provide electrical safety education and technical guidance to the command chain on setting up and using different pieces of equipment. Electrical Fitters also provide support to units in field exercises by providing maintenance support. Variety is provided in your day-to-day camp routine by the inclusion of sport, PT, parades, and other soldier skills and training activities, such as weapons handling or first aid.

Job on deployment

On deployment, you will provide logistics and maintenance support to units in the field. You will also maintain operational security and assist with humanitarian relief. For example, during the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake, an electrical fitter, engineer and medic were part of a team of three who visited local residents, checking on welfare daily and the structural integrity of buildings. Electrical Fitters also have the opportunity to be deployed overseas, where you’ll support other units if they require help and liaise with coalition partners.

The Electrical Fitter is almost a jack of all trades, doing electrical and refrigeration, and basic engineering skills.

Scott Welsh


Career progression and training

Career Progression

Basic Training

Job Training

Ongoing Training

As your career progresses, you will learn about a wider range of equipment from qualified instructors both at the Army’s Trade Training School and at your place of work. Electrical Fitters have the opportunity to complete four months’ work experience in a variety of electrical fields, enrol at Universal College of Learning (UCOL), and undergo trade-training within and outside the workplace.  As you become more senior you will work in specialised units such as engineering and medical. You will also have the opportunity to command small repair elements with a team. You will attend professional development courses such as promotional courses, and experiential leadership development activities. You could also train to become a recruit instructor. 

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


Your initial trade training will be conducted at Trade Training School (TTS) in Trentham camp near Wellington. You will be taught everything you need to know to become a fully skilled Electrical Fitter. Courses at TTS include a New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering (Year 1 & 2), which is an introduction to the basics of your apprenticeship. 


Maintenance repair documentation, perform basic general engineering skills, maintain small motors, repair single-phase electrical generators and maintain three-phase generators.


Repair and maintenance of three-phase generators and field equipment.


Repair and maintenance of in-service refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.


New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering – Year 3.

You will also receive training on new equipment to ensure you stay up to date with advances in technology.

Meet Burnham's Electrical Fitter team leader

CPL Braeden Botica says anyone wanting to join as an Electrical Fitter in the Army should expect variety day-to-day, a well-paid trade, and the opportunity to grow as a person.

Electrical Fitter Half image 20221013

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

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
  • A Class 1 restricted licence is preferred, but is not compulsory
  • Colour perception restrictions apply.

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.

Once you have completed training you will be required to give a two year return of service to the NZ Army.

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