One of the key differences between the Navy’s warships and a commercial ship is the advanced weapons and sensor systems onboard. You are the ship’s electronic experts and given the importance of electronic technology onboard, you will make a vital contribution towards the ship is ready to complete operations and provide a ‘fight’ capability. You will help to maintain an extensive range of cutting edge, technologically advanced systems.
You will join the Navy as a general Electronic Technician, gain and understanding of the ship’s weapon and sensor systems before deciding on your specialisation as an Electronic or Weapon Technician during your Leading Hands Professional Course.
As an Electronic Technician our work will involve testing, maintaining and repairing the ships electronic equipment including the command and control system, data and satellite communication systems, information systems, radar, sonar and navigation equipment.
As a Weapon Technician you will be responsible for the testing, maintenance and repair of the ship’s arsenal of modern and accurate weaponry, which may include: small arms, torpedoes, surface to air missiles, Phalanx close in weapons systems, 25mm Bushmaster, the Mini typhoon and the ANZAC Frigate’s 5 inch gun.
Shore postings are also possible for Electronic and Weapons Technicians and not only provide a break from life at sea, but also provide an opportunity to gain experience in other areas, such as further training, ship maintenance and repair, and technical administration.
Whilst at sea your responsibility is ensuring the electronic systems and weapon systems are maintained and in a state of operational readiness to provide the ship with the ability to ‘fight’. Like everyone else onboard, you will be expected to participate in general shipboard duties and activities not connected with your specialist role and have the opportunity to visit different ports and environments both in New Zealand and overseas.
You join the Navy as an Ordinary Rate completing Basic Common Training, you will then conduct a 44 week course enhancing and developing your skills as an electronic technician. On completion of this you will be subject to between 18-24 months of sea going training and familiarisation. Through this period you will be required to complete a ‘task book’ which will make you eligible for promotion to Able rate. During your Leading Hands professional Course, you will be given the opportunity to decide whether you would like to specialise as a Weapons Technician or an Electronics Technician before continuing further development within your specialisation.
Careers in the Navy are well-rewarded, as well as being diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, you will see your salary rise accordingly.
While undertaking Basic Recruit Course you will be paid as a Recruit (see attached pay table). On completion of your Recruit Course you will be paid as an Ordinary Rate and your pay will continue to increase as your career progresses.
Upon successful enlistment into the Navy you’ll be posted to Devonport Navy base in Auckland. Here you will do 13 weeks of basic military training to find out if you’ve got what it takes to be in the Navy, and learn various subjects including:
Following your BCT, you will complete a 44 week Able Technician course at Devonport Naval Base, Auckland. On completion, you will then spend two years undergoing on-the-job training both at sea and ashore to gain experience.
For your fourth year of training you will be selected for a Leading Technician course. On completion you will be branched into either a Weapons or Electronic specialisation that best matches your skills, interests and the needs of the Service. Successful completion of this advanced course will leave you professionally qualified for promotion to Leading Hand. Depending on your specialisation, you will undertake further specialist Electronic Technician or Weapon Technician training in preparation for returning to a job either at sea or ashore to consolidate the new skills you will have learnt. As your career progresses, further equipment specific courses are completed to enhance specialised experience and knowledge, such as:
On each training course, you will be are required to pass examinations and assessments. But the learning doesn’t stop in the classroom as you will be required to complete two ‘task books’ whilst working at sea or ashore. Training combined with specialised postings at sea and ashore continues for the majority of a junior Electronic and Weapon Technician’s career. This provides the necessary knowledge and experience required to complete this specialised role and prepare them for promotion.
As part of your naval studies as an Electronic or Weapon Technician you will have the opportunity to attain unit standards which contribute towards a National Certificate (Level 4) in Electronics Technology under the National Qualifications Framework. These civilian qualifications are instructed at the Naval College and can be gained in addition to professional naval qualifications. The Navy meets all costs of this training, which is usually completed in the first four years of an Electronic Technicians career.
Later in your career, you will complete the Electrical Service Technician (EST) course. The EST is an industry recognised qualification.
As an Electronic Technician you will be posted to Devonport Naval Base for the first 12-18 months conducting specialist training. On completion you will either be posted to ship or to the Devonport Naval Base.