About the Job

The Combat Engineer is a soldier who is a specialist in military field engineering.

The Combat Engineer belongs to the Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) Corps. RAE soldiers are known as 'Sappers' and are responsible for assisting our own forces to move whilst also denying mobility to the enemy. Sappers are trained in a broad range of tasks including bridge-building, clearing minefields, demolitions, field defences as well as building, road and airfield construction and repair.

A Sapper, trained as a Combat Engineer, is a combat soldier with a wide range of trade and technical skills. Combat Engineers can wield a chainsaw, build a bridge, clear a minefield, build a road or airfield and use explosives to demolish a target.

Main Job Functions:

  • Assists in construction of temporary roads, bypasses and fords
  • Digs drains and constructs culverts
  • Erects bridges using both equipment and non-equipment components
  • Constructs and operates rafts and ferries
  • Constructs field defences and wire obstacles
  • Lays, arms, neutralises, disarms and removes mines and booby traps
  • Conducts demolition tasks
  • Constructs and operates field machines
  • Operates boats
  • Produces potable water using water purification equipment
  • Maintain maps, logbooks, messages and information in an operational environment
  • Operate the Battlefield Management System and
  • General soldiering duties, such as manning defensive positions, patrolling, navigation, traffic control, camouflaging of vehicles and field equipment

This entry method is currently not recruiting

This role closed on 30/04/2019

Key Information

Salary & Allowances

In the Army you'll get paid a good salary from day one regardless of your age, experience or qualifications; and your pay increases as you progress through training.

In addition to base pay you'll receive a variety of allowances - which are detailed below - plus superannuation at a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.

For more details download our Salary Scales.

Read our Conditions of Service.

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Combat Engineers are employed in Combat Engineer Regiments, and Construction Squadrons in the following locations:

  • QLD - Townsville and Brisbane
  • NSW - Sydney and
  • NT - Darwin



Gap Year candidates must be 17-24 years old (and be at least 18 years old by 31 May 2020).

Education & Experience

Completion of Australian Year 12 education (or equivalent), as well as passes in Yr 10 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.

Combat positions. Applicants require a higher level of strength and aerobic fitness than non-combat employment categories. Applicants may be expected to pass the relevant Combat Arms Physical Employment Standards before the end of their initial employment training.

Period of Service

You will be enlisted at the start of 2019. The program will conclude in December 2019.

Subsequent periods of service in the Regular or Reserve Force may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service. You may request discharge at any time by providing 21 days notice.

Additional Requirements

Current or former serving military personnel (ADF or foreign service) are not eligible for Gap Year.


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.


Only Australian Citizens are permitted to serve in the ADFGY program.

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

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.

The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1, and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years. Required information includes:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Credit

Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.

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.

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

Combat Engineer Course: 12 Weeks (Full-time)

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

At the completion of your basic military training you will undertake a Basic Combat Engineers Course of 12 weeks duration at the School of Military Engineering at Holsworthy, Sydney, NSW.

The Combat Engineer Course consists of 4 Phases as follows: Phase 1

  • Understand RAE Induction in corps history, organisation, trades and capabilities
  • Use Construction tools and equipment which includes OHS and operation of chainsaws
  • Prepare for and conduct Basic Engineering including excavations, concreting, road and drainage repairs construction of field defences and obstacles and
  • Operate and work in a Chemical, Biological, Radiation and Nuclear Threat Environment and demonstrate personal decontamination techniques

Phase 2

  • Water Purification system operation and conducting water analysis
  • Demolitions use including preparing explosives and landmines
  • Prepare for and conduct Search Operations and
  • Explosive Hazard Reduction Assistant training in locating and clearing explosive hazards and using hand-held mine detectors

Phase 3

  • Assist in the construction, operation and maintenance of the Medium Girder Bridge
  • Assist in the construction, operation and maintenance of the Fixed Modular Bridge
  • Small Watercraft Operation and maintenance and
  • Assist in the construction, operation and maintenance of the Floating Support Bridge. Phase 4
  • Basic Combat Communications
  • Grenade and Pyrotechnic use and
  • Weapons

Following qualification as a Combat Engineer, soldiers in the RAE may have the opportunity to progress to a number of branch trades.