About the Job

Join the Army’s advanced information and communication systems team—the Signallers. This is a dedicated team of experts that always looks to the future. As a Communication Systems Operator, you will be responsible for operating cutting-edge technology, such as satellite terminals, radios and advanced security equipment, to provide vital military communications anywhere in the world.

In this role you will ensure that your commander can communicate over a range of different networks. Your training will give you the skills you need to become proficient and tactical in voice and data communications, advanced field antenna construction, network security and a variety of specialised software applications. You'll be responsible for keeping the Army connected across diverse work environments.

Your office can change regularly – you could be working from the back of an armured vehicle, or in an office environment at a communication centre. This role can take you on foot patrols in support of other teams, airfields or even on large Navy vessels.

In this role, you will be trained to:

  • Plan, design and manage a variety of communications support networks
  • Configure and deploy tactical radio and satellite systems such as antenna and communications security systems, computer networks and terminals
  • Convey messages and provide guidance on communications systems to your fellow soldiers
  • Conduct maintenance, identify and rectify faults of equipment systems

If you’re a proactive thinker, are able to work efficiently and support your colleagues, even in high-pressure situations, you’ll thrive in this role.

As a Communication Systems Operator, you’ll always be learning. From day one, you’ll develop practical skills and receive continuous mentoring. As you progress, you’ll gain highly sought-after experience with opportunities to strengthen your skillset.

This is a career that doesn’t stand still. If you want to be at the forefront of your industry in a role where no two days are alike, this could be the job for you.


Key Information

National Qualifications

Army is currently undertaking a review of civil accreditation gained through Army training.

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.


Salary Calculator

Locations

Communication Systems Operators are employed in all RA Sigs tactical units and in a number of strategic units that operate throughout Australia. The majority of positions are located in Melbourne, Darwin, Townsville, Brisbane and Sydney. You may also have the opportunity to deploy overseas on operations during your career.


Requirements

Age

Applicants must be aged between 17 and 54 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

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 IMPS obligation.

If you have only received partial recognition of your qualifications, you will be advised of the Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) after the Recognition of Prior Learning/Recognition of Current Competencies process is complete. The IMPS will be between four and seven years.

Additional Requirements

It is highly desirable that all applicants for Communication Systems Operator hold at a minimum a provisional/probationary Drivers Licence for a manual vehicle, in their state or territory.

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 deferral 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.

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.

Training

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

As a Communication Systems Operator you will conduct your 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 training possible.

Unlike any other school of its kind, you will be paid while you learn and are guaranteed a job when you graduate. In addition to your trade training courses, you will continue to develop your military skills which will allow you to be a soldier as well as a Communication Systems Operator. This will allow to you attain the technical skills you need as well as develop your ability to work in diverse teams, understand tactical considerations of deploying communications networks in a variety of field environments and give you the opportunity to fulfill a range of leadership positions.

Common Signals Training

Duration: 54 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 basic skills to operate common in-service Communications and Information Systems. This course also serves to qualify graduates as basic combat communicators, operate basic in-service power generation equipment and progress to subsequent courses.

Battlespace Communications Specialist 

Duration: approximately 80 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.

Trainees will be instructed in a number of difference subjects including the operation and maintenance of military High Frequency (HF) and Very High Frequency (VHF) radios, portable Ultra High Frequency (UHF) satellite terminals, using contemporary waveforms and cryptographic equipment. Battlespace Communications Specialists will also be trained to deploy specialised battle management networks and operate computer based communications applications. This training will be conducted in a range of simulated environments based upon vehicle and Command Post operations.

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