From guided missiles to explosives, this is your opportunity to understand and maintain some of the world’s most awesome weapons systems.

  • Service
    Air Force
  • Specialisation
    Engineering and Technical Trades
  • Location
  • Starting Trade Training
af airforce random 11 landscape
af armament technician 02 square tn

About the role

Airborne ordnance and armament equipment are the materials that convert aircraft from work vehicles into combat weapons. Being an Armament Technician in the Air Force is demanding and carries great responsibility. This varied role includes being responsible for maintaining military firearms, explosives demolition, countermeasures, guided missiles and general munitions support for our fleet of aircraft.

This is a role that provides a diverse work environment from working within a component servicing bay to the set-up and control of an air weapons range.

Job on base

As an Air Force Armament Technician, you will be responsible for maintaining and fault finding explosive ordnance. You will also be required to manage stockpiles of pyrotechnics and explosives; and the provision of air ordnance to the aircraft for operational tasks.  

The servicing, storing and testing of the full range of military firearms will be an essential part of your trade, as will the issuing of ammunition and maintenance of ground weapons ranges.

During your career, you will be given opportunities to work in Base Armament and Munitions Preparation Sections in support of military air operations (which includes duties on NZ Navy Ships) and EOD Squadron duties.

Job on deployment

Armament Technicians deploy in NZ and overseas to provide armament support to RNZAF Squadrons. You will be responsible for the preparation of aircraft weapons and munitions. You will also be responsible for the storage, handling and transport of explosives and the care, maintenance and security of personal weapons.

As an EOD operator you may also be tasked with EOD duties within a Joint Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal environment.

Armament Technicians support NZ Navy ships, supporting helicopter activities. You may also deploy in support of 40 Squadron (C-130 Hercules) and 3 Squadron (A109 and NH-90 helicopters).

Career progression and training

Career progression

Basic Training

Job Training

Ongoing Training

As you gain experience and progress within your trade, you will be appointed to positions where you will be responsible for the supervision of Squadron armament sections, armament component servicing bays or munition preparation areas. Armament Technicians are also required to work in technical administration sections to ensure that airworthiness standards are maintained on the Squadrons and in the RNZAF as a whole.

The opportunity also exists for Armament Technicians to support Royal New Zealand Navy ships in support of seaborne helicopter operations, to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squadron, and to the Defence Munitions Management Group.

You are responsible for the personnel under your command, including the assessment of personnel performance, mentoring, personnel development planning, and the maintenance of discipline. You will also be responsible for compliance with munitions and weapon security regulations.

Upon successful enlistment into the Air Force you will be posted to RNZAF Base Woodbourne (near Blenheim) for your Recruit Course. Here you will do 12 weeks of basic military training to find out if you’ve got what it takes to be in the Air Force, and learn various subjects including:

  • Organisation and Administration
  • RNZAF Customs and Protocol
  • Drill and Parades
  • Military Field Skills and Weapon Training
  • First Aid, and Search and Rescue Techniques
  • Physical Fitness
  • Teamwork and Self Discipline


After your Recruit Course you will complete a full-time 17 week Aeronautical Engineering Fundamentals Course at RNZAF Base Woodbourne. This course covers:

  • Personal Qualities and Attitudinal Expectations in the Aviation Workplace,
  • Aviation Workplace Safety,
  • Aeronautical Engineering Trade Science and Administration,
  • Aeronautical Engineering Tooling and Processes,
  • Maintenance Practices.

This course is a requirement for all technical trades within the RNZAF and sets you up well for your career as an aviation technician.


The Aeronautical Engineering Fundamentals Course is followed by a 27-week full-time Armament Mechanic course, also at Woodbourne. This course will provide you with the fundamental skills to become an Armament Mechanic. After completing the course, you’ll return to an operational unit on either RNZAF Base Auckland or Ohakea to consolidate your skills in the workplace before commencing your Armament Technician Course. It is during this time that a typical Armament Mechanic will be moved around different work areas in order to provide them with a wide grounding in Armament skills before commencing their Technicians training.


The Armament Technician Course is a 13-week fulltime course at RNZAF Base Woodbourne that will further develop your skills as an RNZAF Armourer. After graduating, you will return to a base as a qualified tradesperson.

As your experience grows, there are a number of post graduate courses to focus your talents in various specialised fields. These courses include; Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Range Safety, Examiner and Inspector of Explosives and Explosive Facility Test Certifier.

af airforce random 04 full width

Salary and benefits

Careers in the Air Force 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.


Under Initial Training


Starting Trade Training


Future Potential Earnings

Figures updated on July 1st 2023

Benefits and allowances

Earn a competitive salary while training or learning your trade, along with additional allowances for time spent in the field, at sea, overseas, or deployed on operations.

In addition to salary and allowances, other benefits of joining the New Zealand Defence Force include:

Access to your Service marae or tūrangawaewae

Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels

Free access to gyms and swimming pools on camp and bases

Opportunities to travel

Free and subsidised medical and dental care

Subsidised food and accommodation on camps and bases

Free and subsidised insurance cover

Help to buy a home and save for retirement

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 CV security clearance which is the minimum requirement for this trade.

Minimum: NCEA Level 2 certificate.

To be competitive: NCEA Level 3.

Find out more about the NCEA levels and certificate requirements

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

There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the required CV 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.


airforce generic base for roles

Ready to start your Air Force career?

Other jobs you might like

You can also browse jobs by specialisation to narrow down your search.

Back to top