As an Armourer, you will learn how to safely dismantle, diagnose and repair all of the weapons used by the New Zealand Army. From an assault rifle to the cannon on our Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV).
- SpecialisationEngineering and Technical Trades
- LocationLinton, Burnham
Starting Trade Training$64,177
About the role
Armourers are highly skilled in the maintenance and repair of the wide variety of weapon systems used by the New Zealand Army. You will start off with small arms like pistols and rifles, but in time you'll progress to medium and long-range machine guns, mortars, the weaponry on armoured fighting vehicles and artillery. You will also be involved in regular outdoor training exercises, using a tented workshop for a base.
Not only an Armourer, you’re also a tradesman. You’ll have the opportunity to undertake engineering courses and implement your skills across the different trades.
In any given month, you might be in the workshop, on a field exercise, completing a career development course or out at the range shooting.
Job on base
While working on camp, you’ll primarily be based within one of the Army’s workshops providing maintenance support. You’ll find plenty of variety in your day-to-day work, as no two faults are the same: your responsibility is to repair and maintain unit weapons. From time to time, you’ll work alongside other units. This includes providing support in multiple environments such as forward repair group FRG, where you work from a mobile workshop deployed into the field.
Variety is also provided in your daily routine in camp by the inclusion of sport, PT, parades, and other soldier skills and training activities.
Job on deployment
Armourers are deployed on a variety of overseas exercises and missions primarily in support of other units. Recent deployments include Afghanistan, Iraq and Timor-Lesté.
While on deployment, you may find your services in high demand: diagnosing and rectifying any faults, quickly putting your skills to the test and getting weapons functioning accurately. You’ll continue to provide weapon maintenance and minor engineering support for the mission.
As an Armourer, anything you fix, you get to fire. Ranging from the 0.5 calibre semi-automatic rifle all the way to your pistol.
Career progression and training
After you have completed your Armourer apprenticeship you will gain experience working within a workshop. Once you are qualified you will have the opportunity to specialise as a Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) armourer, light gun armourer or specialist operations armourer.
After that, as you continue to progress in rank, you will develop further experience including running a workshop and management of personnel.
Upon successful enlistment into the Army you will be posted to Waiouru Army base. Here you will do 16 weeks of basic military training to find out if you have what it takes to be in the Army, and learn various subjects including:
- Organisation and Administration
- Army Customs and Protocol
- Drill and Parades
- Military Field Skills and Weapon Training
- First Aid
- Physical Fitness
RNZALR CORP TRAINING
Your initial trade training will be conducted at Trade Training School (TTS), Trentham, Wellington, where you will be introduced to the Royal NZ Army Logistic Regiment. This is broken into two modules. The first module is a week, conducted immediately after Regular Recruit Force Training (RRF), The second is 4 weeks and will occur within your 2nd -4th years, providing you further insight into the Logistic Regiment and the part that you will play in the Army.
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING SKILLS (METS)
Nine-month course that will achieve a New Zealand Certificate in mechanical engineering level 3. This course is designed to give you the basic knowledge and skills required for the trade. Subjects include hand tools, arc/gas welding, mill and lathe work and also technical drawing.
BASIC ARMOURERS COURSE
Four-month course covering general weapon information and specific details about individual weapons.
JUNIOR ARMOURERS COURSE
Three-month course covering the general principles of all support weapons and their ammunitions.
INTERMEDIATE ARMOURERS COURSE
Incorporates all the general principles of artillery, armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) weapons and sighting systems. Complete strip and assemble, inspection and complete test and adjustments to ensure this equipment is safe for use within NZ Army.
At the completion of your trade training you will have achieved a New Zealand certificate in Mechanical Engineering Level 4 – Maintenance Engineering.
As your career progresses the Army will provide you with new equipment training to ensure you stay up to date.
JUNIOR MAINTENANCE SUPPORT COURSE
Focuses on the forward repair of equipment with other Maintenance Support (MS) trades supporting you attached unit.
INTERMEDIATE MAINTENANCE SUPPORT COURSE
Focuses on section management to support efficient production.
SENIOR ARMOURERS COURSE
On this course you will cover what to do in the case of an ammunition incident. You will also cover the administration and management of an Armourers Section.
RANGE CONDUCTING OFFICER COURSE
Provides you the ability to control a range or test fire weapons which have had repairs effected and ensure they are functioning in a reliable and safe manor.
Salary and benefits
Careers in the Army are well-rewarded, diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, your salary will 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:
Free and subsidised medical and dental care
Access to subsidised equipment on camp and bases
Subsidised food on camps and bases
Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels
Free access to gyms and swimming pools on camp and bases
Subsidised accomodation on camps and bases
Free and subsidised insurance cover
Help to buy a home and save for retirement
Opportunities to travel
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 for this trade
- A Class 1 restricted licence is preferred, but is not compulsory.
You must have achieved NCEA Level 1 with a minimum of 12 credits in each Level 1 Literacy, Numeracy and Science.
- You must be medically fit for service.
- Colour perception restrictions may apply.
There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the required CV security clearance for this trade.
Find out if you’re eligible here.
Once you have completed training you will be required to give a two year return of service to the NZ Army.