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As a Medical Scientist in the New Zealand Army you will function and interface with multidisciplinary medical personnel in both civilian-based hospital and military field hospital environments.

  • Service
  • Specialisation
    Army Reserve
  • Location
  • Starting Trade Training

About the role

You will work for the laboratory output within a miniature surgical facility, functioning and interacting with a small multi-skilled, emergency focussed team specifically prepared to work in mobile tented surgical scenarios or on board the surgical facility on the ship HMNZS CANTERBURY, often in austere and hostile environments, under military operational conditions.

The Medical Scientist will need to maintain their own clinical competency and provide safe, best practice within this environment. Maintaining professional relationships with external agencies, such as the New Zealand Blood Service or Civilian (DHB) Laboratory Staff are a must in this role.



Please note that this role is a part-time position, in the Reserve Forces.

If you have referred to the minimum entry requirements below, but would like more information on this role please email

Career progression and training

Training Overview

Basic Training

Ongoing Training

As a Reserve Medical Scientist in the NZ Army, you will be able to take your existing skills to the next level. The comprehensive training you will receive as an Officer will allow you to lead teams of people, in all kinds of situations. You will need to maintain their clinical competency and provide safe, best practice within the Role 2 environment (similar to a miniature surgical facility). 

Additionally as an Officer within the medical environment, you will not only be responsible for the provision of the operational medical laboratory but also contribute to:

  • Maintaining equipment that will allow for its deployment within the unit’s response times.
  • Ensuring a detailed quality assurance/control system is implemented and followed.
  • Maintaining effective communication with key internal and external NZ Army Staff.

Officer Cadet School (OCS)

Duration: 6-8 weeks

Location: Waiouru Military Camp

Initial training for Reserve Medical Scientist Officers 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 can be split into two courses over two consecutive years, if necessary, to suit your civilian working arrangements.

2023 dates TBC

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


Ongoing clinical training will be self-sustained through the maintenance of your current annual practising certificate as registered with the Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand. This is in addition to training and familiarisation across all diagnostic equipment that is currently used within the NZDF.

Additional training as a Medical Scientific Officer is developed case-by-case in consultation with the NZDF’s Chief Medical Officer and the Senior Medical Officer at your local Defence Health Centre.

The training programme may consist of a combination of “on the job” experience, readings, completion of a series of prescribed tasks (a workbook), and discussions with other Defence Health professionals, to ensure you are familiar with Defence Force policies and systems.

Specific military courses, such as tactical health planning, will be included in your career development.

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Salary and benefits

As a Reservist you are paid on an hourly rate rather than a salary. Pay rates depend on the role you are in and your rank; your pay will increase as you move through the ranks.

As an Army Medical Scientific Officer, the minimum remuneration you will be paid from day one is a daily rate of $228.87 including holiday pay, plus 4% Kiwisaver employer contributions.

Remuneration for Specialist Medical Professionals is benchmarked against the DHB, with military factor and superannuation contribution (if joining a scheme) in addition. Candidates will be assessed individually for their starting remuneration step based on post graduate qualifications and experience.  The figures below are only an indication of salary.

Remuneration will continue to increase on promotion and seniority.


Starting Trade Training


Higher Rank

Entry requirements



Fitness and Medical


  • You must be at least 17 years of age.
  • Pass an Officer Selection Board.
  • You must meet the citizenship and securityrequirements to gain SV security clearance for this trade.

You are required to be currently registered with the Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand and be in possession of a current annual practising certificate.

Ideally you will have competence in each of the following areas: 

  • Biochemistry
  • Haematology
  • Transfusion Science 
  • Microbiology

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

Find out if you’re eligible here.

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