About the Job

As a Cyber Specialist in the Army Signals team, you'll operate at the forefront of modern warfare, fighting on an invisible battlefield.

Cyber Specialists defend networks from complex threats as well as intercept and disrupt enemy communications. In this exciting position, you'll be trusted to manage and provide sensitive and highly classified information to support operations.

No prior experience is required - you'll learn everything you need to know to operate advanced technology. Through world-class training, you will gain a highly desirable skillset to set you up for a future career in the military and beyond.

If you're quick-thinking, possess strong problem-solving skills and seek the challenge of working within a constantly evolving environment, you'll thrive as a Cyber Specialist.

The Cyber Specialist pathway will provide you with the skills to advance in one of two roles:

  • Electronic Warfare Operator - learn to use advanced technology to target enemy transmissions and identify, locate, and intercept intelligence.
  • Cyber Analyst - learn to use the technology and cyberspace warfare techniques required to defend Army networks and systems against malicious cyber threats.

You'll be streamed into a specialist role as you progress through training. Allocation to a specific role is not guaranteed - it's based on your preference, existing qualifications, performance and availability of positions.

Whichever role you take on, you'll work with cutting-edge technology and be constantly learning. You'll have regular training opportunities that will help you develop an invaluable skillset.

If you're interested in joining the Signals team and seek a more hands-on role, you may also like to consider the ICT Specialist pathway.

Key Information

Preparing for Your Recruitment Process

This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.

National Qualifications

Aspects of your training may result in the award of civil qualifications - something you can check with your Instructional Staff when you conduct your Initial Employment Training.

On completion of your Initial Employment Training as a Cyber Specialist, you may be eligible for recognition towards a degree in Cyber Security with an external training provider.

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 your salary you'll receive a variety of allowances, extra pay for relevant qualifications – plus 16.4% superannuation, a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.

For more details download our Salary Scales.


Cyber Specialists are employed in a number of specialist units throughout Australia. Main posting locations include:

  • Melbourne, VIC
  • Cabarlah, QLD
  • Canberra, ACT
  • Sydney, NSW
  • Perth, WA

You may also have the opportunity to deploy overseas on operations during your career.



Applicants must be at least 17 years of age and able to complete the Initial Minimum Period of Service before reaching Compulsory Retirement Age (60).

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.

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 assessment 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.


The Job Opportunities Assessment (JOA) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete a further evaluation at a later date.

The JOA is used by Defence to establish suitability for ADF entry, and then identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information about the JOA can be found in the Guide to the Job Opportunities Assessment for the ADF.

To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in the Job Opportunities Assessment and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Job Opportunities Assessment Example Questions.


To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.

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 a security clearance appropriate to their employment.

A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and if required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) 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 (NV1), and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years.

This means applicants must provide credible referees (non-family members) who are able to provide information about the applicant covering an extended period of time. Required information for an NV1 includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Financial information
  • Travel

Some ADF jobs may require a higher level of security clearance such as Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2) or Positive Vetting (PV). Your individual circumstances will determine the number and complexity of the questions and the supporting documents required for these levels.

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

The security clearance is critical to an applicant's successful progression through the recruiting process. It is strongly recommended that all applicants action the Security Clearance Package (ePack) and provide the required documentation without delay to provide the best opportunity to commence training and be employed in their preferred employment category.

For more detailed information on the security vetting process and specific clearance level requirements set by AGSVA, please refer to the AGSVA website.

Support will be provided by DFR during the initial application process.


Military Training

As a General Entry recruit, you’ll be required to complete the Recruit Course.

Army Recruit Course
Duration: Approximately 12 weeks.
Location: Kapooka, Wagga Wagga, NSW.

During training, you will take part in physical training, weapon handling and shooting, first aid, drill and field craft. You'll be challenged both mentally and physically.

Although it can be demanding, most 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. The priority of our instructors is to help you succeed.

For more information, visit Soldier Training at Kapooka.

Employment Training

As a Cyber Specialist you will commence 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.

The outcome is that you’ll have an edge in life and likely 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 will be guaranteed a job when you graduate.

As you’ll be trained as a soldier as well as a qualified technician, you’ll develop a wide range of additional skills including self-discipline, confidence and a real sense of leadership.

Common Signals Training
Location: Defence Force School of Signals, Simpson Barracks Macleod, VIC.
Duration: 54 Days 

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.

Upon completion of Common Signals Training and depending on your specialist role, you will undertake one of the following courses.
Electronic Warfare Operator
Location: The Electronic Warfare training is delivered at Defence Force School of Signals, Electronic Warfare Wing (DFSS EW Wing), Borneo barracks, Cabarlah, QLD.
Duration: Approximately 31 weeks, not including weekends.

Trainees must hold a minimum security clearance of Top secret Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2) to attend this training.

Cyber Analyst

Basic Cyber Training

Location: Whilst managed by Defence Force School of Signals, Simpson Barracks, Macleod, VIC 3085 training will be led by an established University, College or Institute. This training will provide applicants with the foundation skills and knowledge to prepare them to undergo specific training in a range of defensive cyber operation roles.
Duration: Approximately 39 weeks, not including weekends.

This training consists of completing 2 courses:

  • Cyber Essentials Course – 19 weeks
  • Incident Analyst Course – 20 weeks

Cyber Essentials Course

The aim of this course is to explain the principles of cyber security to ensure system confidentiality as well as provide the skills and knowledge required for students to progress onto further cyber specialist training.

Incident Analyst Course

The aim of the Incident Analyst Course is to provide cyber training to ADF personnel in the underpinning skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours essential to the role articulated in the ADF Cyber Framework so that they can collect and analyse technical data in order to determine the cause of the incident and develop actions to remediate the affected network.

Further Training

Later in your career you may have the opportunity to undertake employment training in a range of skills and equipment courses. This additional training will allow you to undertake cyber activities not available to the civilian ICT community.