NZDF health is tasked with maintaining, improving and restoring the health of the Defence Force in order to maintain the operational effectiveness of the NZDF.

  • Service
    Navy
  • Specialisation
    Naval Reserve
  • Location
    Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin
  • Starting Salary
    $418.92 Daily Rate in addition to an allowance for holiday pay
  • Upcoming Intake
    07 June, 2023
navy medic landscape
navy square 4

About the role

To achieve the task, the NZDF Medical Officer is expected to provide high quality care to defence personnel at home, on exercise, and on operations.

The Defence Medical Officer is a generalist with a diverse role that includes aspects of primary care, occupational medicine, sports/musculoskeletal medicine, expeditionary medicine, pre-hospital medicine and acute care. The NZDF medical officer will provide this care to NZDF personnel, as required, be it on land, at sea or in the air.

As a Reserve Medical Officer, your career will begin by gaining experience in a Defence Health Centre, primarily delivering pre-hospital care, occupational medical advice, and support to command. As you gain experience in the defence medical environment, you may have opportunities to provide medical support to exercises and land-based operations, as well as opportunities to deploy as the Medical Officer on a ship.

The role of medical a Medical Officer is diverse, and Medical Officers need to be prepared to work independently and as part of a team, depending on what the mission requires. 

If you have referred to the minimum requirements below but would like more information on this role please email specialists@defencecareers.mil.nz

Career progression and training

Training Overview

Time Commitment

Basic Training - JOCT

Job Training - Medical Officer

Career Progression

During your first 11 months in the Navy, you will be taught core military, mariner and leadership skills.

Basic Training – Junior Officer Common Training: This initial training is known as Junior Officer Common Training (JOCT) and begins with nine days at Devonport Naval Base and the Tamaki Leadership Centre in Whangaparaoa.

Job Training: Training as a NZDF Medical Officer is developed case-by-case in consultation with the NZDF's Chief Medical Officer and the senior Medical Officer at your local Defence Health Centre.

Ongoing Career Progression: Following successful completion of JOCT, you will typically be promoted to Surgeon Lieutenant and begin familiarisation with the Defence Health Unit at Devonport Naval Base.  As your career progresses, your hard work, experience and training accomplishments as a Medical Officer are rewarded by promotions in rank and salary.

Course dates will be advised by your Candidate Engagement Facilitator as part of your recruitment journey.

Reservists who have not previously served in the Regular Force (ab initio Reservists) commit to a minimum cumulative total of 20 days’ service each year for professional development and operational delivery.  This is made up of a minimum of 14 days of full-time training, exercises, operational activity and/or supplementation to the Regular Force plus weeknight and weekend training.  An additional 20 days is available for supplementary activities that benefit both individual Reservists and the NZDF.

Weekend training may also include Friday evenings.  Longer exercises are conducted over periods ranging from four to 14 days.

Naval Reservists receive an hourly rate of pay, up to a maximum of eight hours per day, commensurate with their rank and experience.  This also encompasses travel time required to attend training.

During your first 11 months in the Navy, you will be taught core military, mariner and leadership skills in order to be an effective officer in the Navy.  This initial training is known as Junior Officer Common Training (JOCT) and begins with nine days at Devonport Naval Base and the Tamaki Leadership Centre in Whangaparaoa.

JOCT continues once you return to your home unit, with weekend training once a month, one evening of training each week, and self-study.  You will also complete another week of full-time training in August and again in November, focusing on leadership skills.

Reserve officers receive the same initial training as their Regular Force counterparts.  This includes parade training (drill), an introduction to the laws of armed conflict, first aid, naval customs and ceremonies, communications, an introduction to damage control, and small arms.

Upon the successful completion of JOCT, you will typically be promoted from Midshipman to Surgeon Lieutenant and begin your familiarisation with the Defence Health Unit at Devonport Naval Base.

Training as a Medical Officer is developed case-by-case in consultation with the NZDF's Chief Medical Officer and the senior Medical Officer at your local Defence Health Centre.

The training programme may consist of a combination of 'on the job' experience, readings, completion of a series of prescribed tasks (a workbook), and discussions with other Defence Health professionals, to ensure you are familiar with Defence Force policies and systems.

As a Reserve Medical Officer in the Royal New Zealand Navy, your career will begin by gaining experience in a Defence Health Centre, primarily delivering pre-hospital care, occupational medical advice, and support to command. As you gain experience in the defence medical environment, you may have opportunities to provide medical support to exercises and land-based operations, as well as opportunities to deploy as a Medical Officer on a ship.

You will be able to take your existing skills to the next level.  The comprehensive training you will receive as an officer will allow you to lead teams of people, in all kinds of situations.

You should be committed to providing high quality care to NZDF personnel at home and overseas, on exercises and on operations.  You will sometimes be expected to work in diverse and challenging environments, often in small multidisciplinary teams.  Solid interpersonal skills and the ability to build and maintain strong teams will be a key attribute.

You should be adaptable enough in your clinical practice to work with confidence, often in austere environments on land, at sea or in the air.  Health provision to defence is complex, involving aspects of primary care, occupational medicine and emergency medicine.  You should be willing to acquire and continually develop skills across this broad spectrum of experience.

navy full width 2

Salary

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 up through the ranks.

As a Reserve Medical Officer, the minimum remuneration you will be paid from day one is a daily rate of $418.92 plus an allowance for holiday pay.  You are paid for each hour you work, up to a maximum of eight hours’ pay per day.  Your remuneration will continue to increase on promotion and with the gaining of seniority.

Remuneration for Medical Officers is benchmarked against the DHB, with military factor and superannuation contribution (if joining a scheme) in addition. Candidates will be assessed individually for their starting remuneration step based on post graduate qualifications and experience.  The figures below are only an indication of salary.

$709

Daily Rate (Vocational Registered)

$418

Daily Rate (Graduate Registered)

Entry requirements

Basics

Education and Experience

Fitness and Medical

Citizenship

  • Be a minimum of 17 years of age upon entry.
  • Be free of any criminal conviction for the previous two years.
  • Pass an Officer Selection Board.
  • 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.

Essential Requirements: 

  • Registration with the NZ Medical Council
  • Must have completed postgraduate year 2 (PGY2)

Desirable qualifications and experiences: 

  • Experience in the delivery of primary care,
  • Vocational qualification and registration in a primary healthcare speciality (general practice, acute care and occupational health),
  • Clinical experience in pre-hospital emergency care (PHEC),
  • Experience in sports and exercise medicine,
  • Experience in occupational health.

Applicants would also benefit from experience in small multidisciplinary teams, austere or expeditionary medicine, and/or previous military service.

There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the SV 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.

navy generic base for roles

Ready to start your Navy career?

Back to top