As an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Operator, you are our Defence Force’s technical specialists in neutralising all types of explosive hazards and threats. This means you will be extensively trained and equipped to detect, identify, render safe and dispose of munitions and explosives – such as Unexploded Ordnance (UXO), and Improvised Explosive Device.

  • Service
  • Specialisation
  • Location
  • Starting Salary
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About the role

As an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Operator, you are our Defence Force’s technical specialists in neutralising all types of explosive hazards and threats. This means you will be extensively trained and equipped to detect, identify, render safe and dispose of munitions and explosives – such as Unexploded Ordnance (UXO), and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), including those that involve Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosive (CBRE) materials.

You will work in a Squadron that is an operational sub unit of the 1st New Zealand Special Air Service Regiment. You will therefore need to maintain high standards in your field of expertise, your soldier skills, and in your physical and mental fitness.

This is a challenging and rewarding specialised role, where you will work in small, highly trained teams with people from other Defence Force units, Government agencies and allied or partner militaries.

Job on base

As a qualified EOD Operator you will conduct regular ‘on call’ or duty periods providing an immediate response to UXOs, IEDs, and any other explosive hazard or threat related incident occurring within New Zealand. Most often you will work in support of the New Zealand Police, New Zealand Fire Service and a range of other Government Agencies. In your role you will contribute to the safety of all New Zealanders from conventional and improvised explosive hazards.

You will be trained to operate bomb disposal equipment ranging from robotics to technical detection, diagnostic and explosive disposal.

Job on deployment

EOD Operators deploy to a number of international locations on operational and training missions. Wherever there is unexploded munitions, explosives or homemade bombs, the Defence Force needs EOD Operators present. In recent years EOD Operators have deployed to Afghanistan, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Iraq.

Your skills contribute directly to helping keep other deployed personnel – from our Defence Force, other Government Agencies and allied or partner militaries – and the local population safe from UXOs, IEDs, and other explosive hazards.

In your normal duties you will conduct planned and immediate tasks to locate, identify and dispose of unexploded ordnance, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices. You will respond to incidents and emergencies which could range from safely disposing of unexploded munitions to identifying and rendering safe an improvised explosive device.

At times, our EOD Operators are responsible for training and mentoring foreign military and government security personnel, so you could find yourself passing on your valuable skills to help keep local communities safe.

Career progression and training

Career Progression

Basic Training

Job Training

Ongoing Training

Specialist Training

Once you are qualified as a Corporal, you could be selected to complete Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEDD) Team Leader training, where you will be responsible for the leadership of a small team of highly trained experts. It will be your job to coordinate an incident and formulate a plan to disarm explosive devices.

(16 weeks) Location: Waiouru Military Camp

Upon successful enlistment into the Army you will be posted to Waiouru Army base. Here you will do 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


(13 Weeks) Location: Linton Military Camp (near Palmerston North)

As an EOD Operator you will be required to complete this course alongside your Combat Engineer and Construction Trade Engineer peers. You will continue to improve your physical fitness, whilst learning the role of the Corps of Royal New Zealand Engineers and how to operate as a Combat Engineer.

You will learn combat first aid and casualty evacuation, navigation, and how to operate military communications equipment. Other skills learnt on this course include the detailed organisation of combat units, and how they operate together within various types of tasks and conditions.


(10 Days) Location: Auckland

On successful completion of the Basic Combat Engineers you will conduct the Enabler Special Operations Induction Course. This is a physically and mentally demanding course where you will be taught the basics of operating in a special operations environment. This includes revising existing weapons and medical skills, learning new weapons systems as well as tactical vehicle movement and communications skills.


(13 Weeks) Location: Trentham Military Camp (near Wellington)

This covers a number of courses that will teach the skills and knowledge required to operate effectively as a member of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Improvised Explosive Device Disposal Team. You will be taught how to operate and maintain the full suite of team equipment, as well as the driving skills required to operate an emergency response vehicle.

At the conclusion of this training, qualified Team Members will be posted to one of the Defence Forces EOD Troop detachments located in our Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch based facilities.


(12 Weeks) Location: Trentham Military Camp

Once you have gained a suitable level of rank and experience, several years into your career, you may be selected to attend this intermediate level course. This will teach the skills required for you to command an Explosive Ordnance Disposal or an Improvised Explosive Device Disposal Team, and conduct the ‘render safe’ of explosive hazards and devices.

Throughout your career you may be selected to attend specialist EOD courses that will enhance your ability to operate in any environment throughout the world.

This may include one or more of the following courses:

  • ESR Crimes Scenes Officer Course (forensic awareness)
  • Homemade Explosives Course
  • Urban Search and Rescue Course
  • Critical Incident Management Systems (CIMS – Multi Agency) training
  • Post Blast Analysis Course (bomb scene management)
  • Advanced IEDD Electronics Course
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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.




Starting Salary


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 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

  • You must be at least 17 years of age.
  • Meet the citizenship and security requirements to gain SV security clearance for this trade.
  • Driver’s Licence: Class 1 Restricted Licence with the expectation of gaining Class 1 Full Licence.
  • Computer skills are preferred.

You must have achieved NCEA level 1 with a minimum of 12 credits in level 1 Science.

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 SV 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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