Field Psychologist

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.

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 Stress Management (CISM)
  • Officer Selection
  • Support to Recruiting Activities
  • Other Personnel Selection
  • Personnel Research
  • Performance Related Referrals
  • Training and Instruction
  • Counseling
  • Assistance to other countries

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 brief’s 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.

After you achieve registration, you are likely to be considered for support to operational deployments.

Your initial remuneration will be based on previous experience and skill level. This is negotiated on a case by case basis. As your career continues, remuneration will increase on promotion and seniority.

Also, the NZ Army pays for your registration as a Psychologist. NZ Army may also pay for professional memberships to Psychology associations. 

  • You must be at least 17 years of age.
  • Meet the citizenship & 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.


Upon successful enlistment into the Army you will be posted to Waiouru Army base. Here you will do a six week specialist officer military training course to teach you the basics of being in the Army. The course is designed to assist you in your integration into the Army and although it is challenging, it’s specifically catered for specialist officers. You will be taught the basics including:

  •     Navigation
  •     Weapon handling
  •     Leadership
  •     Drill and barrack routine
  •     Living in the field
  •     Army Ethos and Values

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.

Your initial posting will most likely to be a NZ Army camp in New Zealand.