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Hydrographic Survey Officers lead teams undertaking survey work in support of everything from beach landings to identifying routes through minefields. You will be trained as a leader, a mariner and a surveyor. Your career will be diverse and challenging with regularly changing roles both within and outside the hydrographic survey trade.

  • Service
    Navy
  • Specialisation
    Intelligence, IT and Communications
  • Location
    Devonport
  • Starting Salary
    $61,445
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About the role

Hydrographic Survey Officers are qualified in all aspects of military hydrography.  Accurate, up-to-date charts and geospatial information are essential to enabling operations at sea and especially in the littoral environment, ensuring hydrographers will continue to be at the forefront of operations.  You will gain many technical skills in your time as a hydrographic surveyor utilising a wide range of software and hardware in a field that is rapidly evolving.

As a Hydrographic Survey Officer, your career will commence with Warfare Officer training. The skillsets you develop in the first  few years of your career, alongside your Warfare Officer course mates, will be developed as you progress. On achieving Warfare Officer qualification milestones you will specialise, undertaking Hydrographic Survey Training as detailed below. Being a Hydrographer still gives you the option of one day becoming Captain of your own ship.

Discover more about hydrography as a career

Career progression and training

Career Progression
Basic Training
Job Training
Ongoing Training

Early in your career you will spend the majority of time at sea for a period of around 2 years, and will be posted to various ships alongside your Warfare Officer course mates.  You will become qualified to keep watch on a number of RNZN ships, giving you some great experience as a mariner which is hugely beneficial as you begin your specialised career as a Hydrographic Officer.

Initial Officer Training

Upon successful enlistment into the Navy you’ll complete a five day induction course at Devonport Naval Base before you start the seven week Joint Officer Induction Course (JOIC) at RNZAF Base – Woodbourne. Once you march out of the JOIC you continue with the remaining 15 weeks of Junior Officer Common Training course (JOCT), which is back at the Devonport Naval Base. You will be exposed to various subjects and find out if you’ve got what it takes to be an officer in the Navy!

Joint Officer Induction Course (JOIC)

All NZ Defence Force (NZDF) Officer Cadets and Midshipman are required to complete this course which is designed to introduce the basic individual military skills required to continue on to your respective service Officer training courses. The course will give you a basic level of military skills including field-craft, weapon handling, navigation, drill, sea survival, battle-craft, seamanship, communications and an introduction to leadership. It is during JOIC that you will be introduced to the standards and discipline demanded of all members of the NZDF and the ethos and values required to be an Officer in the NZDF.

Joint Officer Common Training (JOCT)

The following are just some of the subject areas covered on JOCT:

  • RNZN customs
  • Drill and parades
  • Military law
  • Weapons training
  • Basic mariner training
  • Defence and strategic studies
  • Communication skills
  • Command, leadership and management

All NZ Defence Force (NZDF) Officer Cadets and Midshipman are required to complete this course which is designed to introduce the basic individual military skills required to continue on to your respective service Officer training courses. The course will give you a basic level of military skills including field-craft, weapon handling, navigation, drill, sea survival, battle-craft, seamanship, communications and an introduction to leadership. It is during JOIC that you will be introduced to the standards and discipline demanded of all members of the NZDF and the ethos and values required to be an Officer in the NZDF.

Upon successful completion of the JOIC, you will be posted to Officer Training School, Devonport to complete the JOCT Course. The JOCT course is 22 weeks in duration (which includes the 7 weeks JOIC) split over three phases:

PHASE ONE – NAVY INDUCTION

Trainees are instructed in basic service knowledge, discipline, parade and kit preparation. There is a focus on ‘followership’ and teamwork and on developing a high level of physical and mental fitness.

The aim of this phase is:

  • To ensure that trainees can perform as effective team members
  • To instil the Navy Core Values
  • To develop the competency behaviours required of a Junior Officer
  • To provide the basic skills and knowledge for service in the Navy
PHASE TWO – SEA QUALIFICATION AND ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT

Phase two is focused on fitness for sea and academic development. The training provides trainees with the minimum knowledge and skills necessary to safely post to sea on a Navy Ship. The Sea Qualification Deployment is designed to give trainees an insight into life at sea and for staff to assess trainees in the sea going environment.

The aim is to:

  • Cement and build upon communal living skills
  • Gain an appreciation of the roles at sea
  • Confirm the trainees commitment to life at sea

Phase two also focuses on academic development. Trainees are lectured in Defence Communication topics such as service writing and oral communication. Officers are expected to have an understanding of wider national and defence policies, international relations and maritime doctrine.

PHASE THREE – LEADERSHIP

The final phase of JOCT has a strong leadership focus covering both theoretical and practical aspects. The trainees are put through a number of assessments. The assessments are scenario driven and provide the trainees with the opportunity to display their individual and combined skills.

Officer of the Watch (OOW) Course

The aim of this course is to teach the basic principles and processes of navigation and good bridgemanship, which includes experience in the bridge simulator and culminates in assessments at sea navigating a small naval vessel.

On completion of your OOW(Basic) course you will spend time aboard a navy ship getting platformed endorsed and putting your new skills into practice, or commence your tertiary studies if you are entering on the University scheme of training. This on-the-job training is aimed at preparing you in a practical sense for the OOW(Advanced) course. You will also progress your OOW task book which is a written record of your progress, training and development.

The OOW(A) course is 16 weeks and covers navigation, bridgemanship and training in basic warfare skills. On completion of that you will then return to sea to get qualified by completing the task book and gaining your OOW (A) Certificate or, if posted to a Frigate, an OOW (Warfare) Certificate. You will then post as a qualified Officer of the Watch to complete your core job as an Officer of the Watch on any naval ship.

Royal Navy Exchange

There is currently an exchange program in place with the Royal Navy, with which you could be posted to one of the survey ships of the UK Navy for a two year period. This is a great opportunity to gain more surveying experience, as well as travelling to locations in which the RNZN rarely operates.

International Hydrographic Organisation CAT-B

Once you have consolidated your OOW training, you will head to HMAS PENGUIN in Sydney or HMS Drake in the UK to conduct your first Hydrographic Surveying course. The H2 Course is accredited as a FIG(International Federation of Surveyors)/IHO Category 'B' Hydrographic Surveying Course. The course is designed to provide students with the theoretical and practical knowledge required to carry out surveying tasks ashore and afloat. On successful completion of the H2 Course, students will be awarded a Certificate of Completion and will be graded as a Hydrographic Surveyor Grade 2.

Prior to the award of the FIG/IHO Category B qualification all students are required to complete a Field Proficiency and Experience Competency Log. 

To consolidate your skills, you will likely be posted into a Hydrographic Surveying role in the Auckland region. This will involve short term survey activities which could include beach surveys, small boat operations, use of autonomous vehicles (underwater and aerial), offshore surveying on a ship, and participating in international exercises, both within NZ and overseas.

Internation Hydrographic Organisation CAT-A

Once you have become more senior, normally around the 10 year point in your career you will be able to conduct further Advanced Hydrographic Surveying training in the form of the H1 course held at HMS DRAKE in Plymouth, UK. This is another 6 month course and gives you the skills and qualifications to be able to be in charge of a Hydrographic Survey. This course also gives you an equivalent civilian qualification in the form of a post-graduate diploma in Hydrographic Surveying.

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Salary and benefits

Careers in the Navy are well-rewarded, as well as being diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, you will see your salary rise accordingly.

$39,781

Recruit

$61,445

Starting Salary

$135,628

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

Basics
Education
Fitness and Medical
Citizenship
Period of Service
  • You must be at least 17 years of age.
  • Meet the citizenship and security requirements to gain TSV security clearance for this trade
  • You must be free of any criminal convictions.

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