AIRMAN / FULL TIME

Communication Electronic Technician


Communication Electronic Technicians maintain and repair the Air Force's vast array of radar, radios, satellite and computer systems to ensure the Air Force has an accurate view of the airspace around it.

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Job Overview


About the Job

The Communication Electronic trade, within normal employment and supervisory guidelines is responsible for providing scheduled and un-scheduled repair and maintenance, system management, operational support, technical development and sustainment of fixed and deployable Ground Telecommunication Equipment (GTE) and systems, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems and Ground Electronic Support (GES) systems, including: Surveillance and Control Equipment (SCE), integrated communication systems, navigation aids, ground based Radar systems, satellite communication (SATCOM) systems and Information Technology (IT) infrastructure.

These systems and equipment require technicians to perform engineering calculations, conduct analog and digital AC DC electrical measurements and alignments using state of the art test and repair equipment; design and implement configuration changes, manage data, system and network administration of information technology equipment on strategic and deployed networks, setup of Ground Telecommunications, Information Technology and Electronic Ground Support systems equipment to sustain operations, certify and record work is carried out in accordance with Technical Regulatory Framework (TRF) guidelines, identification and demanding of technical spares and updating of technical publications.

Working Conditions. The working environment varies because of the nature of the work encountered. Where possible, work is performed in dedicated maintenance facilities. However, there may be occasions when work will be performed in workshops or temporary facilities that only offer limited environmental protection, or in open airfield or deployment areas with little or no environmental protection at all. Members are often exposed to outdoor conditions and inclement weather, working at heights; cramped or awkward working positions, confined working spaces, poor light conditions, and machinery and equipment noise and vibration. Personnel need to be practical, efficient and accurate, with an eye for detail and need to be able to work under pressure when required. Some work is performed outside normal hours and during stand down periods, or on a rotational shift work roster.

Hazards. The Air Force is committed to the safety of its members and provides personal protective equipment (PPE) where necessary. Use of this equipment in all cases is mandatory. The nature of the work leads to inherent hazards associated with electrical shock, radio frequency burns; falls from heights; toxic materials and ionising and non-ionising radiation. Constant care and development of safe working habits are all part of the job.

Physical Effort. Strenuous physical effort whilst erecting antenna towers and arrays, and during the installation of feeder cables may be required. Some handling of both light and heavy tools and equipment is involved in daily tasks, with an occasional requirement for considerable strength for lifting and handling equipment, jigs, machinery, tools and components. While the physical effort required is normally low, on occasions, heavy and awkward objects must be manoeuvred in confined spaces.

Manual Dexterity and Physical Co-ordination. A high level of physical co-ordination and manual dexterity is required to perform tasks that involve the operation of hand and power tools and machinery. Close tolerance fits of components, sometimes large and heavy, also require that dexterity and co-ordination is of a high order.

Speed and Accuracy of Movement. A high degree of accuracy of movement is required for most tasks; however, rapid and accurate responses are essential for CE personnel employed on Antenna Systems task working aloft and during erection and dismantling of antenna arrays and associated control lines.

Contact with Others. Communication Electronic Tradespeople are required to frequently interact with other technical and non-technical trades and civilian staff.

Probability and Consequence of Error. The probabilities of error normal to engineering trades exist. The consequences of error can be severe in relation to property damage and could result in serious injury or death and loss of high value assets needed to conduct continued operations. Errors in workmanship may also lead to expensive wastage of components and/or materials.

Responsibility for Money and Material. The job does not involve any responsibility for the care of money. However, accounting responsibilities require the custody and correct use of valuable technical equipment, tools, machinery, publications, materials, job items and other military assets.

Trade Criticality. The duties of a Communication Electronic Tradesperson are critical to the operational effectiveness and sustainment of the Air Force capability. A high standard of professional and technical mastery is essential to support the requirements of the Air Force.

Handling of Classified Documents and Equipment. During the course of duties, Communication Electronic Tradespeople are required to handle classified documents and equipment.

Other Ranks - Technical

Join the ADF and receive full trade training

Qualified

Make the most of your existing qualifications in the ADF

Learn more about Entry Methods


Salary can be over $63,800 p.a. on completion of initial employment training. This salary includes Uniform and Service allowance.


FULL JOB DETAILS

Key Information

National Qualifications

The Royal Australian Air Force is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) under the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF). This allows the Air Force to issue national awards, which in principle have the same standing as those provided by Universities and other Institutes of TAFE. Where feasible and appropriate, the Air Force will continue to obtain national accreditation for their courses and training programs. The RTO for CETECH is Navy, who are responsible for the issue of national awards under the AQTF. For more information ask your Careers Counsellor.

Salary & Allowances

Salary while undertaking Military (Recruit) Training: $1,402 per fortnight ($36,571 per year).*

Salary while undertaking Employment Training commences at $1,603 per fortnight ($41,795 per year) and increases to $1,803 per fortnight ($47,020 per year) after 12 months of training.*

While under training, you will also receive $394 per fortnight ($10,288 per year pro rata) Trainee Allowance.

Salary (excluding allowances) on completion of Initial Employment Training: $2,003 per fortnight ($52,244 per year).*

In addition to your salary, you will receive Service Allowance of $526 per fortnight ($13,717 per year) except while undertaking Military (Initial) or Employment training. This allowance compensates a member for the unique requirements that service life may impose on an individual and his or her family.

To assist you in maintaining your uniforms in good order and condition, you will also receive a Uniform Allowance of $16 per fortnight ($419 per year).

Each General Entry job in the Australian Defence Force is classified into a pay grade. This particular job is classified as a Pay Grade 3 occupation, with the following progressions as applicable:

  • Communication Electronic Fitter Grade 1, Pay Grade 3
  • Communication Electronic Fitter Grade 2, Pay Grade 4
  • Communication Electronic Technician Pay Grade 5
  • Communication Electronic Supervisor Pay Grade 6
  • Communication Electronic Technical Manager Pay Grade 7 and
  • Communication Electronic Warrant Officer Engineering Pay Grade 8

Refer to the Salary Scales and the Pay Benefits section for further details.

* Please note that these figures do not include compulsory deductions for taxation; meals, accommodation and utilities (as applicable); and superannuation.

Locations

Members may be posted to most Air Force bases and other Defence Establishments within Australia, as well as limited overseas opportunities.


Requirements

Age

On the day you enter the Air Force you must be at least 17 years old. Subject to the capacity of your local recruiting centre, you may be able to start the application process aged 16.5 years.

Education & Experience

It is essential that the applicant has successfully completed Year 10 with passes in English, Mathematics and Science (with a physics component) and one other subject.

Completion of a Basic Electronics Certificate would be an advantage.

Note: Consumer Maths, General Maths, Mathematics (General Mathematics) and similarly 'modified' Maths subjects are not suitable for this job,

or

If you do not satisfy the education requirements for this trade or do not possess evidence of your educational attainment there is an alternative pathway available to you.

You may be eligible to sit an Alternative Education Equivalency (AEE) Assessment to ascertain your ability at the required educational level for this trade.

Further information is available here.

Medical & Fitness

To be enlisted or appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.

You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness test before appointment.

For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

Period of Service

You will be enlisted for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of four years. Subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service. You may request discharge at any time provided you do not have an outstanding IMPS obligation.

Additional Requirements

Applicants should hold a provisional or full Australian C Class (or equivalent) motor vehicle licence for 12 months and should be able to drive a manual transmission vehicle. Applicants should be free of traffic infringements and/or offences that may result in future cancellation of the licence, or prevent the issues of an ADF Drivers Licence.

Aptitude

The application process to join the Australian Defence Force requires you to complete a series of aptitude tests which may include verbal, spatial and numerical ability and a general maths test. Some jobs may also require you to complete additional testing at a later date.

Psychology support staff will explain what is involved with each test.

The aptitude tests provide information about your suitability for the Defence Force and for particular jobs. Defence Force Recruiting can then help you identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information on the aptitude testing requirements can be found here.

Citizenship

Only Australian citizens are permitted to serve in the ADF

If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary wavier of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying can not be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.

Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

Security Requirements

The Department of Defence requires ADF entrants to attain a security clearance appropriate to their avenue of entry. Details on the security requirements for all Air Force jobs can be found here.

Training

Military Training

Duration: 10.6 weeks

Location: RAAF Base Wagga (NSW)

You'll start your Air Force career at No 1 Recruit Training Unit (1RTU). In three intensive months you'll transition smoothly from civilian to Service life, acquiring the basic knowledge, skills and physical fitness required for your role; and learning to become an effective and productive member of the Air Force.

You can read about what to expect at the No.1 Recruit Training Unit on the 1RTU website. You'll also find useful information in our Joining instructions.

Employment Training

Fitter Course.

Duration: Duration: 38-42 weeks depending on trainee's ability, changes to courseware or for leave periods (e.g. Christmas Break etc).

Location: HMAS Cerberus at Crib Point, Victoria.

The Fitter Course provides underpinning theoretical knowledge in electronics which is reinforced through conducting practical exercises and assessments on circuit cards using common test equipment. It also includes training on safety, basic use of hand tools, wiring and cable termination, soldering, IT equipment, and Air Force maintenance procedures. The majority of the course is instructed by qualified specialist civilian instructors in a joint Air Force and Navy training environment. A large portion of the course is conducted in Flexible Learning Centres using Computer Aided Instruction (CAI), allowing the trainee some degree of control over the learning pace. Air Force specific modules are conducted in single service classes prior to graduating.

On completion of this training, trainees graduate as an Aircraftman/Aircraftwoman (AC/ACW) Communication Electronic Fitter Grade 1 and are then posted to an air base to undergo on-the-job training. Upon graduation, they are also awarded a Certificate III in Electronics and Communications.

Fitter Progression.

On completion of basic recruit training and the Communication Electronic Fitters course, the member is regraded to AC/ACW Communication Electronic Fitter Grade 1 (CEFITT1). After 12 months of employment as a Fitter Grade 1 and with the Commanding Officers recommendation, the member will be promoted to Leading Aircraftman/Leading Aircraftwoman (LAC/LACW) and regraded to Communication Electronic Fitter Grade 2 (CEFITT2).

Progression to Communication Electronic Technician (CETECH) is achieved after successful completion of 12 months on the job training as a CEFITT2. Eligibility for further promotion through the ranks to Warrant Officer will be in competition with all other eligible members within rank.

Further Training

Technician Progression Options

Progression through Promotion.

CETECHs may choose to remain at the Technician skill level and seek advancement through the ranks to Warrant Officer.

Progression to Systems Technician.

There are a number of methods by which progression to Communication Electronic Systems Technician (CESYSTECH) may be achieved however, in every case, such progression will require the completion of a formal course of study at the Advanced Diploma level followed by the completion of the Systems Technician Course. Those who are eligible to apply for training leading to remuster to the Systems Technician are CETECHs with two years experience as a Corporal (CPL), including at least one year as a Trade Supervisor. Graduates from the Systems Technician Course are remustered and promoted to Sergeant (SGT) CESYSTECH.

This entry method is currently not recruiting

Key Information

National Qualifications

The Royal Australian Air Force is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) under the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF). This allows the Air Force to issue national awards, which in principle have the same standing as those provided by Universities and other Institutes of TAFE. Where feasible and appropriate, the Air Force will continue to obtain national accreditation for their courses and training programs. The RTO for CETECH is Navy, who are responsible for the issue of national awards under the AQTF. For more information ask your Careers Counsellor.

Salary & Allowances

Salary while undertaking Military (Recruit) Training: $1,402 per fortnight ($36,571 per year).*

Salary while undertaking Employment Training commences at $1,603 per fortnight ($41,795 per year) and increases to $1,803 per fortnight ($47,020 per year) after 12 months of training.*

While under training, you will also receive $394 per fortnight ($10,288 per year pro rata) Trainee Allowance.

Salary (excluding allowances) on completion of Initial Employment Training: $2,003 per fortnight ($52,244 per year).*

In addition to your salary, you will receive Service Allowance of $526 per fortnight ($13,717 per year) except while undertaking Military (Initial) or Employment training. This allowance compensates a member for the unique requirements that service life may impose on an individual and his or her family.

To assist you in maintaining your uniforms in good order and condition, you will also receive a Uniform Allowance of $16 per fortnight ($419 per year).

Each General Entry job in the Australian Defence Force is classified into a pay grade. This particular job is classified as a Pay Grade 3 occupation, with the following progressions as applicable:

  • Communication Electronic Fitter Grade 1, Pay Grade 3
  • Communication Electronic Fitter Grade 2, Pay Grade 4
  • Communication Electronic Technician Pay Grade 5
  • Communication Electronic Supervisor Pay Grade 6
  • Communication Electronic Technical Manager Pay Grade 7 and
  • Communication Electronic Warrant Officer Engineering Pay Grade 8

Refer to the Salary Scales and the Pay Benefits section for further details.

* Please note that these figures do not include compulsory deductions for taxation; meals, accommodation and utilities (as applicable); and superannuation.

Locations

Members may be posted to most Air Force bases and other Defence Establishments within Australia, as well as limited overseas opportunities.


Requirements

Age

Applicants must be aged between 17 and 53 years of age inclusive on day of entry.

Applicants will not be allowed to enter the ADF until they achieve a minimum of 17 years of age, however they may be able to initiate the application process from 16 years and six months of age, depending upon the capacity of their local recruiting centre.

Education & Experience

It is essential that the applicant has successfully completed Year 10 with passes in English, Mathematics and Science (with a physics component) and one other subject. In addition, qualified applicants must hold a Certificate III in Engineering Electrical / Electronic Trade with achievements in Air Force recognised competencies.

Applicants applying for qualified entry must provide original documents of their education, trade certificates, units of competency results and a current resume to their Careers Counsellor. These documents will then be forwarded to the Recruiting Liaison Officer (RLO-1) at Directorate of Personnel Capability Management -Air Force for review by the Air Force job sponsor to establish eligibility for qualified enlistment.

Medical & Fitness

To be enlisted or appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.

You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness test before appointment.

For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

Additional Requirements

Applicants should hold a provisional or full Australian C Class (or equivalent) motor vehicle licence for 12 months and should be able to drive a manual transmission vehicle. Applicants should be free of traffic infringements and/or offences that may result in future cancellation of the licence, or prevent the issues of an ADF Drivers Licence.

Aptitude

The application process to join the Australian Defence Force requires you to complete a series of aptitude tests which may include verbal, spatial and numerical ability and a general maths test. Some jobs may also require you to complete additional testing at a later date.

Psychology support staff will explain what is involved with each test.

The aptitude tests provide information about your suitability for the Defence Force and for particular jobs. Defence Force Recruiting can then help you identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information on the aptitude testing requirements can be found here.

Citizenship

Only Australian citizens are permitted to serve in the ADF

If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary wavier of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying can not be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.

Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

Security Requirements

The Department of Defence requires ADF entrants to attain a security clearance appropriate to their avenue of entry. Details on the security requirements for all Air Force jobs can be found here.

Training

Military Training

Duration: 10.6 weeks

Location: RAAF Base Wagga (NSW)

You'll start your Air Force career at No 1 Recruit Training Unit (1RTU). In three intensive months you'll transition smoothly from civilian to Service life, acquiring the basic knowledge, skills and physical fitness required for your role; and learning to become an effective and productive member of the Air Force.

You can read about what to expect at the No.1 Recruit Training Unit on the 1RTU website. You'll also find useful information in our Joining instructions.

Employment Training

Direct Entry:

On completion of recruit training, the direct entry member will be re-classified from Recruit Trainee to a grade and rank dependant on their prior qualifications and/or work experience. All direct entry applications are assessed on a case by case basis. The member will then be posted to HMAS Cerberus to undergo RCC/RPL assessment and to complete Air Force specific modules and any further training, as identified by HMAS Cerberus.

On successful completion of Air Force specific modules and any further training identified, the member may be regarded, as assessed on their prior qualifications and/or work experience and then posted to an air base to undergo on-the-job training. The mandatory two (2) years experience as a fitter may be waived. In some cases seniority can be awarded depending on the persons work and/or military experience.

Eligibility for further promotion through the ranks to Warrant Officer will be in competition with all other eligible members within rank.

Further Training

Technician Progression Options

Progression through Promotion.

CETECHs may choose to remain at the Technician skill level and seek advancement through the ranks to Warrant Officer.

Progression to Systems Technician.

There are a number of methods by which progression to Communication Electronic Systems Technician (CESYSTECH) may be achieved however, in every case, such progression will require the completion of a formal course of study at the Advanced Diploma level followed by the completion of the Systems Technician Course. Those who are eligible to apply for training leading to remuster to the Systems Technician are CETECHs with two years experience as a Corporal (CPL), including at least one year as a Trade Supervisor. Graduates from the Systems Technician Course are remustered and promoted to Sergeant (SGT) CESYSTECH.