Develop your psychology expertise in unique situations, providing advice at all levels of our fascinating organisation.

  • Service
  • Specialisation
  • Location
  • Starting Salary

About the role

Psychologists in the New Zealand Army provide psychological services, advice and research to all levels of the organisation.

The work encompasses most facets of industrial/organisational psychology and as such, the Army Psychology Service offers an unparalleled opportunity for graduates to gain a broad range of experience in a professional and “user friendly” environment.

Job on base

Army Psychologists have a relatively autonomous role and also have high levels of responsibility from an early stage in their career. New Zealand Army Psychology Officers also undertake a host of research to help the NZ Army with our goal of becoming a world class Army with Mana.

Specific duties include:

  • Support to Operational Deployments
  • Critical Incident Mental Health Support (CIMHS)
  • Officer Selection
  • Support to Recruiting Activities
  • Other Personnel Selection
  • Personnel Research
  • Performance Related Referrals
  • Training and Instruction
  • Performance Coaching
  • Assistance to other countries

Job on deployment

The majority of the support a psychologist provides to an operational deployment is done during the pre-deployment and post deployment stages. This includes providing all the personnel deploying, and their families with various training packages and briefs prior to the deployment. Psychologists will also deploy overseas prior to personnel returning home from operations and will conduct in-theatre debriefing to prepare soldiers for their return to NZ. Currently Psychologists typically deploy to any of our larger operations for a period of several weeks at a time.

Career progression and training

Basic Training

Job Training

Career progression

Officer Cadet School (OCS)

(12 weeks) Location: Waiouru Military Camp

Initial training begins in early January. Attendees at this training will be a mixture of Regular Force General List Officer Cadets, Regular Force Special List Officer Cadets, and Reserve Force Special List Officer Cadets.

The training will be split into three modules and attendance at Modules One, Two and Three is required for all Regular Force Officer Cadets. Reserve Force Special List Officer Cadets must attend Modules One and Three; this can be in the same year or in consecutive years.

2022 dates

Module One: 9 January - 4 February

Module Two: 4 February - 4 March

Module Three: 13 March - 9 April

Training covers:

  • NZ Army Ethos and Values
  • Self-leadership
  • Physical Training
  • Basic field-craft
  • Military Unarmed Combat
  • Weapon handling
  • Navigation
  • Battle-craft
  • Radio telephone procedure
  • Weapon handling
  • Drill
  • NZ Army tactics
  • Leadership

There are opportunities to further your professional development including tertiary study. After registration, there are often opportunities to improve knowledge in particular areas such as training and development, organisational development and even sports psychology if that’s what is of interest to you.

After you complete your registration as a psychologist, you will work as a regional psychologist on one of the Army's three main camps. Further opportunities exist within the tri-service environment that allow you to specialise in areas such as selection, training, organisational development and support to operations. Opportunities for promotion and additional advancement exist in the form of senior psychology posts.

WATCH | How our Psychologists help enhance the performance of individuals and teams across the NZDF.

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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

Military Factor

All full time members of the NZ Defence Force receive an added portion to their salary known as Military Factor. This additional compensation recognises the unique nature of military service and the commitment you make to serve your country. This can include short notice postings around the country and overseas. You will be directed at times to be continuously alert, undertake arduous and hazardous duties, and be exposed to adverse working environments exclusive to military life. This also includes the exercise of military skills not recognised by market comparisons. The part you play in our Defence Force and your commitment to our country will be financially rewarded.

Free and subsidised medical and dental care

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 SV security clearance for this trade.

All candidates are required to either be registered, or be eligible for registration with the NZ Psychology Board, i.e. have a minimum of an MA or MSc in Psychology with at least one Industrial / Organisational / Occupational postgraduate level paper.

If your qualifications are from an overseas university, you must provide evidence of your eligibility from the NZ Psychology Board with your application. This is essential for registration, and therefore employment, as a psychologist in the NZ Army. If you are not already registered, the NZDF is a recognised agency for the supervision and registering of psychologists.

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

There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the required SV 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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