Both ashore and at sea you will treat sick and injured personnel, train new medics and assist doctors in minor surgeries– a medical role unlike anything in civilian life.

  • Service
  • Specialisation
    Medical and Health
  • Location
  • Starting Salary
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About the role

Medics are responsible for the comprehensive medical care of all naval personnel both ashore and at sea. You will perform a variety of duties including treating sick and injured personnel, immunisations, out-patient clinics, training new medics and other sailors, ensuring the Ship’s Company has regular health checks and maintaining health records.

Job on base

If not posted to sea and not on operational deployment most Medics are posted to the Defence Health Centre doing general personal health care and training. When deployed on Land Operations you usually work in small teams providing high quality medical care to a contingent of Defence Force personnel. At times you may work as part of a larger medical response team working alongside other health specialists. Whatever the situation, you will be well equipped (trained) to adapt to your operational environment.

Job on deployment

When at sea, you may find yourself operating as an independent health provider in remote locations. You are responsible for medical operations on board and therefore the health and wellness of all personnel on board to ensure the ongoing functionality and operational readiness of the ship's crew.

Learning pathway

The NZDF is pleased to be partnering with Auckland University of Technology (AUT) to deliver training to our medics. This will see them studying towards a Level 6 Diploma in Paramedic Science and a Level 7 Graduate Certificate in Health Science. 


These qualifications will be achieved through the completion of the Military Medical Technician, and NZDF Medic training programmes at Defence Health School.

Career progression and training

Career progression

Basic Training

Job Training

Ongoing Training

Throughout your career you will have continuous opportunities to expand your knowledge and experience, and to remain current as a medical professional. At the moment the Defence Health Directorate is reviewing how medics are to be trained and prepared to meet the operational needs of the Defence Force.

Upon completion of your training you will be posted both ashore to work in the Naval Health Unit at the Devonport naval base and for periods of time at sea. Opportunities exist for medics to deploy on international peacekeeping missions providing medical support to NZDF personnel and its allies. Medics are amongst the most frequently deployed trades within the Defence Force and are often called upon at short notice to assist in disasters and emergencies. As a consequence it is important that medics have a good standard of fitness in order to be fit to deploy at any time.

Upon successful enlistment into the Navy you will be posted to Devonport, Auckland. Here you will do 16 weeks of basic military training to find out if you have what it takes to be in the Navy, and learn various subjects including:

  • Teamwork and support
  • Naval history and customs
  • Drill and parades
  • Core mariner skills and weapons training
  • First aid and firefighting
  • Physical fitness
  • Self-discipline

Medic training is conducted in Burnham Military Camp in Christchurch. Medic training is approximately 2.5 years long and is broken into two courses.

The first course, Military Medic Technician (MMT) course, is approximately 18 months. Over this period you will learn the foundation of primary health care, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and domestic trauma such as car crashes. You will undertake 24 weeks of on the job experience where you will work in many of the health units spread across New Zealand practicing the skills you have learnt.

Upon graduating as an MMT you will commence Medic training, which is a further 42 weeks training where you will learn advanced primary health care and how to teach military based trauma as well as develop your skills as a sole charge medic. During the Medic training programme, you will undertake a further 16 weeks of on the job experience.

As part of your learning pathway, you will study towards a Level 6 Diploma in Paramedic Science and a Level 7 Graduate Certificate in Health Science. 

These qualifications will be achieved through the completion of the MMT course, and the NZDF medic training programmes at Defence Health School.

Further Navy training will be provided throughout your career in both areas of medicine and leadership skills.

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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.




Starting Trade Training


Higher Rank

Benefits and allowances

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

  • Be a minimum of 17 years of age upon entry.
  • Be free of any criminal conviction for the previous two years.
  • Must pass the Navy swim test, conducted wearing overalls and gym shoes:
    • Swim of 50 metres and, on completion,
    • Remain afloat unaided by treading water for three minutes.
  • Class 1 restricted driver's license is desirable, but is not compulsory.

You must have achieved NCEA Level 2 with a minimum of 12 credits in a Level 2 Science subject.

Find out more about the NCEA levels and certificate requirements

There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the CV security clearance required for this trade. You must be free of any criminal convictions for the previous two years.

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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