army combat engineer 06 full width

  • Service
  • Specialisation
    Army Reserve
  • Location
    Auckland | Manawatu | Wellington | Christchurch
  • Starting Salary
  • Upcoming Intake
    11 November, 2021

About the role

Combat Engineers provide the New Zealand Army with vital combat engineering support. As a Combat Engineer in the Army Reserve you will be trained across a variety of different specialist skills within our five engineering pillars including explosive demolition, bridge construction, mine clearance, small boat handling and establishing water supplies. All of this is delivered in parallel with the soldieirng profession, such as the development of infantry skills and tactics.

Although Combat Engineer is the only engineer trade offered by the Army Reserves, we are very interested in individuals who may come to us with a variety of civilian qualifications. 

Lawyers, architects, electricians, project managers, police and data analysts number amongst our team and we welcome anyone with an interest in conducting engineering tasks within the combat battlespace. Soldiers with qualifications in these areas will predominately train as a combat engineer, but may have the opportunity to conduct some transitional training in order to apply their highly valuable skills within the military environment where appropriate.



army combat engineer 01 landscape
army combat engineer 05 square

Career progression and training

Training Overview



Corps Training

Initial training consists of three stages which equates to approximately 7 weeks of training. MOD 1 (Introduction to the New Zealand Army and Reserve Service) is conducted throughout the calendar year, with Mod 2 & initial trade specific coursing taking place in November, December and January of a given year.

MOD 1 (Introduction to the New Zealand Army and Reserve Service) is conducted across New Zealand at specified times throughout the calendar year. This course is run in Auckland (Whangaparoa or Whenuapai), Wellington (Trentham Military Camp) or Christchurch (Burnham Military Camp). Your Candidate Engagement Facilitator will outline the intended MOD 1 location as part of your initial application to join the Army Reserve. 

MOD 2 (Basic Training) is conducted at Waiouru Military Camp. This is a 38 day residential course, taking place across November, December and January of a given year (duration accounts for leave period over the Christmas and New Year period).

Corps Training (initial trade specific training) is conducted in Palmerston North (Linton Military Camp), at the School of Military Engineering. This is a two-week residential course.


MOD 1- Introduction to the New Zealand Army and Reserve Service

The purpose of Mod 1 is to familiarise recruits with the Army, and Reserve Service prior to their attendance at the Recruit Territorial Force All Corps Basic (MOD 2).

This is a two day introduction to life in the Army. Over this period, you will be attested into the New Zealand Army, learn the basics of drill and command, Military Law and the Ethos and Values of the NZ Army. You will also be taught how to live and operate within the military environment and learn about the standards that are required of you over the next two training segments.

MOD 2 - Basic Recruit Training Course

The aim of this course is to develop an all-arms, individual skillset required of a soldier operating at a basic level of capability. Mod 2 is a 38 day course conducted upon your arrival at Waiouru Military Camp.

During this stage of your training you will be introduced to:

  • Drill
  • First Aid
  • Introduction to the IW MARS-L rifle (including maintenance)
  • You will conduct live firing on the range in order to qualify on the Annual Weapon Shoot
  • Living in a field environment:
    • patrolling procedures,
    • operating in a rifle section, and
    • open / close country fieldcraft
  • Introduction to Physical Training, including the Army Fitness Test
  • Broadend understanding of military law, including “The Laws of Armed Conflict”
  • Conduct the Army Required Fitness Test (RFL), swim test and timed pack walk

This stage of initial training concludes with a recruit's graduation from the NZ Army training establishment - The Army Depot. Recruits will graduate as a fully qualified soldier (SPR) in the NZ Army Reserve, ready to complete their initial trade specific coursing.

Corps Training - Initial Trade Specific Coursing

This is a two week residential course.

Initial trade specific coursing differs across the various Army corps. As a Combat Engineer, you are required to complete a Basic Combat Engineer (BCE) Corps Training.

During this course you will be introduced to the role, equipment, procedures and drills involved in becoming a Combat Engineer.

Your BCE course is conducted in February of each calendar year. This two-week course covers your basic combat engineer skills across the five pillars of the Army Reserve engineer profession. You will conduct collective training across the following proponents:

  • Demolition,
  • Search,
  • Small boat handling,
  • Bridge building and, and
  • The establishment of a water point

This course will provide you with the necessary skills to be employed within a Combat Engineer section, where you will continue to build on your training and further develop your skills in your chosen trade. As a Comat Engineer your secondary role is focused on operations within the combat battlespace. All personnel will train annually to maintain the tenets of the soldiering profession (Move, Shoot, Communicate and Medicate). 

Collective training objectives of the Army Reserve Engineer profession, and the fundamentals of soldiering are continually refined as part of your continued annual training compliance.

army combat engineer 08 full width

Salary and benefits

As a Reservist you are paid on an hourly rate rather than a salary. Pay rates depend on the role you are in and your rank; your pay will increase as you move through the ranks.

As an Army Reserve soldier, the minimum remuneration you will be paid from day one is a daily rate of $167.96 including Kiwisaver and holiday pay. Your remuneration will increase on promotion and seniority.


daily rate

Entry requirements



Fitness and Medical


  • You must be at least 17 years of age
  • Preferably hold a Class 1 restricted driver's licence

You must have a minimum of 10 NCEA Level 1 credits in both Literacy and Numeracy, or a recognised qualification of equivalent standard.

Find out more about the NCEA levels and certificate requirements

There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the required CV security clearance for this trade.

Find out if you’re eligible here.

army generic base for roles

Ready to start your Army career?

Other jobs you might like

You can also browse jobs by specialisation to narrow down your search, or find your ideal fit with the Passion Finder tool.

Army Armoured square

Applications Open

Back to top