ARMY SOLDIER | Full time

Electronic Warfare Operator

Take on a classified intelligence role that provides mission-critical support, collecting and disseminating electronic information and disrupting enemy transmissions.

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Job Overview

About the Job

Electronic Warfare Operators are members of the Royal Australian Corps of Signals (RA Sigs). The role of the Royal Australian Corps of Signals is to provide communications, information systems and electronic warfare (CISEW) support to the Army and the Australian Defence Force to allow command and control of deployed forces in peace, crisis and conflict on any operation anywhere in the world.

The control of the electromagnetic spectrum offers a decisive advantage in modern warfare and electronic warfare (listening to or interfering with enemy electronic transmissions) is a critical contribution to the Army's combat capability.

The position of an Electronic Warfare (EW) Operator is the base trade of the Electronic Warfare field and operates a large range of complex, state-of-the-art electronic intercept, monitoring and attack equipment, in a broad range of field and office environments. As a member of the Royal Australian Corps of Signals, the successful applicant will be operating the latest in electronic equipment alongside their dedicated team.

The Electronic Warfare Operator job expects that you will have a high level of written and oral communication skills, be able to think logically and objectively, perform well under pressure, have strength of conviction and be a dedicated member of the team. You must also have a well-developed analytical approach to problem solving. You will have a positive and responsible attitude to the handling of classified material and a commitment to protecting information sensitive to national interests. At the tactical level, you will be required to take immediate action on information about potentially life threatening situations, so you will be expected to make decisions with a sense of urgency.

Following your initial military and employment training, the first position for Electronic Warfare Operators is typically a tactical unit, where you will support traditional infantry and armoured personnel as they train on exercises around Australia. This will provide you with the opportunity to work in a small mobile team, receiving mentoring and support from more experienced Electronic Warfare Operators.

From there you may have the opportunity to work in one of the following areas:

  • Signals Analysis – analyse data collected from the tactical EW teams and pass critical information to the commander
  • Electronic Attack – deny, disrupt and deceive enemy communications
  • Tactical Cyber Warfare – understand how networks, ICT systems and different operating systems talk to each other when enemy elements are maneuvering around the battle space

Subsequent postings can include supporting Special Forces and also strategic organisations. The strategic posting for the Electronic Warfare Operator is located in Canberra where you will work alongside dedicated Australian Defence Force and Australian Public Service personnel in support of national strategic interests. Whatever your position, you will operate the latest in electronic equipment and will have countless opportunities to continue to learn in this exciting role.


Electronic Warfare Operators will be required to excel in one or more specialisations, and will attend a wide range of specialist courses throughout their career. Most specialisations involve gathering and analysing foreign communications in various forms using state-of-the-art electronic equipment and analytical devices. You may have the opportunity to study a foreign language at the Defence Force School of Languages located at Laverton, Victoria in order to further expand your skill sets.

Typical work hours
  • Work hours within a unit location, such as Cabarlah QLD, are typically 7:30am to 4pm weekdays and you will also periodically spend time in the field environment supporting various exercises around Australia
  • Work hours within a strategic location, such as Canberra, are mainly on a rostered shift basis
Other Ranks - Non Technical

Join the ADF with appropriate high school passes

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Salary can be over $70,868 p.a. on completion of initial employment training. This salary includes Uniform and Service allowance.

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Key Information

National Qualifications

Civil accreditation is currently under review for all Army training.

Salary & Allowances

Salary while undertaking Military (Recruit) Training: $1,434 per fortnight ($37,302 per year).*

Salary while undertaking Employment Training: $1,639 per fortnight ($42,631 pro rata per year).*

While under training, you will also receive $403 per fortnight ($10,493 per year pro rata) Trainee Allowance.

Salary (excluding allowances) on completion of Initial Employment Training: $2,187 per fortnight ($56,877 per year).*

In addition to your salary, you will receive Service Allowance of $538 per fortnight ($13,991 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 commences as a Pay Grade 4 occupation.

Salary will continue to increase based on rank and the number of years of service completed in that rank. Pay Grade may also increase following the acquisition of additional skills and completion of advanced courses.

Refer to the Salary Scales for further details.

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


Electronic Warfare Operators are employed in a number of specialist units throughout Australia. Main posting localities are 7 Signals Regiment in Cabarlah, QLD, Defence Force School of Signals Electronic Warfare Wing in Cabarlah, QLD, and also in Canberra, ACT.



Applicants must be between 17 and 54 years of age inclusive on the day of entry.

Subject to the capacity of your local recruiting centre, you may be able to start the application process aged 16.5 years.

Education & Experience

Completion of Australian Year 10 education (or equivalent) with passes in English and Mathematics.

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 six 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 Initial Minimum Period of Service obligation.

Your Careers Coach can advise on how IMPS will relate to your chosen occupation.

Additional Requirements

The Electronic Warfare Operator category applicants are no longer required to undertake the current Defence language aptitude test. This will be conducted as and when required for members applying for long language courses.


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.


If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary waiver of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot 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.

Security Requirements

The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have security clearances appropriate to their employment.

A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and, as required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.

Required information includes:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Credit

The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 2 (NVL2). The clearance process is lengthy (usually between 12-18 months) and by necessity, detailed and intrusive.

Applicants should be aware that to be granted this level of clearance, they should have lived in Australia for at least ten years. Applicants should also be aware that any lengthy overseas stay during this period could make security checking difficult. Such difficulty may result in a conclusion that it is not possible to adequately check someone's background , thereby disqualifying them from being considered for employment in this occupation.

In the event that a NVL2 security clearance is not achieved, members will be directed to select an alternate Corps or trade they were deemed suitable for during the recruiting process. Members may have the option of applying for a Trade Transfer to Electronic Warfare Operator after having served a minimum period of 24 months in their alternate Corps.

In addition to gaining a NVL2 clearance, to undertake some roles members may be required to complete an Organisational Suitability Assessment (OSA) and be required to gain a Top Secret clearance prior to promotion.

Electronic Warfare Operators must be able to maintain their NVL2 security clearance for the duration of service in this category.

NOTE: The security clearance is critical to an applicants' successful progression through the Army training system. If an applicant is unable to obtain the required security clearance in time, they will not be allowed to continue their training and may need to be re-allocated to another employment category. As such, it is strongly recommended that all applicants obtain the required documentation as soon as possible to provide the best opportunity to be employed in their preferred employment category.


Military Training

All General Entry recruits into the Australian Regular Army are required to complete the Recruit Course.

Total Duration: 80 days.

Location: Kapooka, Wagga Wagga, NSW.

Recruit training is the same for male and female entrants. During the 80 day Army Recruit Course you will be required to take part in physical training, weapon handling and shooting, first aid, drill and field craft. The training is deliberately challenging and has been designed to prepare you to be a soldier in today's Army. Recruits gain a sense of achievement, purpose and confidence during basic training, and on completion of the course feel justifiably proud of what they have achieved.

For more details on recruit training, refer to the Joining instructions. These instructions will provide you and your family with enough information to arrange your personal affairs before enlistment in the Army, and give you an idea of what you will be doing on the recruit course.

Further information is also available at the Army Recruit Training Centre website.

During Military (Initial Recruit) Training and (Initial) Employment Training, members may be required to pay a contribution towards meals, accommodation and utilities.

Employment Training

The majority of Army communications personnel receive their communications training at the Defence Force School of Signals (DFSS) at Macleod, VIC. You won't find technical and communication schools with a better teacher/student ratio or better equipment and facilities. DFSS is dedicated to giving you the best technical and communications qualification possible.

So you'll have a real edge in life and be assured of success in whatever employment category you choose. Unlike any other school of its kind, you will be paid while you learn and guaranteed a job when you graduate.

And because you'll learn to be a soldier as well as a qualified technician person, you'll also develop a wide range of additional skills including self-discipline, confidence and a real sense of leadership.

Common Signals Training

Duration: 20 Days.

Note: Course duration may vary depending on public holidays and other Army requirements.

Location of Training: Defence Force School of Signals, Simpson Barracks Macleod, Victoria.

This course provides foundation knowledge of Corps history along with the roles and the basic skills to operate common in-service Communication, Information Systems and Electronic Warfare (CISEW) equipment. This course also serves to qualify graduates as basic combat communicators, operate basic in-service power generation equipment and progress to subsequent courses.

The curriculum consists of six modules:

  • Module One: Describe the history and role of RA Sigs
  • Module Two: Operate common RA Sigs telephony and IT equipment
  • Module Three: Basic Power Generation Equipment
  • Module Four: Basic VHF dismounted combat communications
  • Module Five: Basic VHF mounted combat communications
  • Module Six: Basic HF mounted combat communications skills

Following Common Signals Training at DFSS you will undergo Electronic Warfare Operator employment training as follows:

Electronic Warfare Operator

Duration: 31 weeks, not including weekends.

Note: Course duration may vary depending on public holidays and other Army requirements.

Location of Training:

This course is delivered in two parts.

Part One is delivered at Defence Force School of Signals, Electronic Warfare Wing (DFSS EW Wing), Borneo barracks, Cabarlah, QLD

Part Two is also delivered at DFSS EW Wing, Cabarlah, QLD and can only be commenced once soldiers have attained a minimum security clearance of Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2)

It should be noted that there might be periods of time between courses. Should this occur, you will be provided with both meaningful employment and refresher training.

Further Training

Later in your career you may have the opportunity to undertake employment training in a range of skills and equipment courses. Skills courses can include foreign languages conducted at the Defence Force School of Languages at Laverton, Victoria. While equipment, analysis and software skills courses are generally conducted at Cabarlah.