As an Electronic Warfare Operator (EWOP), you will find yourself working with an extensive range of communications technologies and analytical tools, working to protect our forces and gather information for input into the intelligence cycle.

  • Service
  • Specialisation
    Intelligence, IT and Communications
  • Location
  • Starting Trade Training

About the role

For future intakes, you will join the Army as an IT Specialist, before branching into a specific trade towards the end of Signals Corps training: Either Electronic Warfare Operator, Information Management SpecialistInformation Systems Operator, Radio Frequency Technician or Systems Engineer.


As an Electronic Warfare Operator, you will find yourself working with an extensive range of communications technologies. You will detect, intercept, collect, identify, analyse and exploit electronic emissions contained within the electromagnetic spectrum.


You will work in a team environment, sometimes in high pressure situations, to detect electronic emissions and analyse the information you have collected. During your training, you will be taught to operate a number of military radios and other voice and data communication networks. This will be done in a variety of scenarios, Electronic Warfare Operators can expect to work from hard standing buildings, out of vehicles or on foot.

Job on base

Within camp, you will be responsible for maintaining your skillset on a number of sensor and communication systems, as well as being able to apply analytical processes towards a number of problems. You will also conduct training to stay proficient in general soldiering skills such as physical fitness, weapon handling, infantry tactics, medical and vehicle based training tasks. In the field, you will operate as a small team, or be embedded with other units such as Infantry, Logistics or Engineers. You may find yourself living and working out of a tent or vehicle for periods of time. Or you may be operating on foot, carrying everything that you need on your back.

Job on deployment

Electronic Warfare Operators can be found in small contingents overseas, in support of New Zealand's military commitments on operations. This may also include working with our Navy or Air force. Your responsibilities may range from for providing force protection to our troops, or producing reports through applying analytical procedures to a range of information. Additional opportunities also exist to train and exercise with other military nations such as Australia, Canada, UK, and the US.

To be an effective EW Operator you need to like the outdoors, be an effective problem solver and be able to think fast on your feet in short windows of time.

Career progression and training


Basic training

Job training

Ongoing training

Your trade training includes a mixture of courses and on the job training, and will span over an approximate eight year period. Courses to progress your career will vary in content. Trade specific coursing will focus on your individual technical skills as an Electronic Warfare Operator. Promotion coursing will focus on your personal communication, decision making and leadership ability. Further coursing will focus on your ability to make technical and tactical decisions in order to support a commander’s ability to achieve their mission.


You will initially be posted to Burnham Military Camp, Christchurch. As your career progresses, job opportunities in Auckland, Waiouru and Wellington can become available. 

Upon enlistment into the Army you will be posted to Waiouru Military Camp. Here you will complete 16 weeks of basic military training to find out if you have what it takes to be in the Army. The training will include:

  • Organisation and Administration
  • Army Customs and Protocol
  • Drill and Parades
  • Military Field Skills and Weapon Training
  • First Aid
  • Physical Fitness

Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals Corps Training Course

You will start your initial communications training with a five month course at Linton Military Camp. On this course you will learn to operate a broad range of radio and communications equipment, whilst gaining an understanding of computer and networking systems. This primary course is the building block of comradeship within the Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals. 

During this course, you will gain exposure to the five individual trades that make up our IT Specialists. This will help to inform your selection of which career path to pursue going forward. Selections for these trades are based on factors such as your personal and location-based preferences, existing qualifications and experience, your performance as well as the availability of positions. 

Junior Electronic Warfare Operators Course

This seven week course focuses on providing you with the fundamental principles of collection and dissemination of information from within the electromagnetic spectrum. You will learn to conduct Electronic Warfare Operations in a small team, under tactical conditions by day and night. You can expect to operate out of a vehicle and on foot for the field training components of this course. Your ability to apply communications security principles, matched with your capacity to operate specialist Electronic Warfare equipment will be the foundation of learning over the course.


Intermediate Electronic Warfare Operators Course

This six week course will focus on information analysis, report writing, and presentation skills. During this course you will be introduced to the specifics of the analysis process, including of a range of tools and capabilities. This will allow you to derive patterns and linkages of communications systems and other electronic targets of interest. As an intelligence product, what your team compile and brief to the commander on the ground will directly affect their decisions on the battlefield. 


Senior Electronic Warfare Operators Course

This four week course will teach you to plan tactical level Electronic Warfare operations and to manage Electronic Warfare capabilities and personnel. You will learn to understand policy, prioritise workloads, apply / advise on security considerations and manage the dissemination of information. You will also gain exposure to other Electronic Warfare capabilities used by the New Zealand Navy and Air force.

Trade Promotion Courses

The Troop Sergeants Course will also be a part of your career progression. It is designed to test your trade knowledge and skills as well as your leadership ability. The skills you learn on this course are then put to use during your day to day work back at your unit and in the field. The Communications Information System Electronic Warfare Managers Course is a more advanced course which will train you in the administration, design and management of communications and information systems. The course is designed to test your management skills and your ability to plan and manoeuvre communications assets on the battlefield.


Additional Courses

Additional coursing opportunities will arise both within NZ and overseas. Adding to your professional development, you will attend a number of NZ Army command courses to enable you to develop your leadership. These will combine to make for a diverse and challenging learning environment within the NZ Army. 

Further coursing, available to NZ Army personnel also exists outside of your trade training. This includes (but is not limited to), driver licensing courses, first aid and medical courses, shooting instruction courses, written and verbal communication coursing and more. 


Salary and benefits

Careers in the Army are well-rewarded, diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, your salary will rise accordingly.


Under Initial Training


Starting Trade Training


Future Potential Earnings

Figures updated on July 1st 2023

Benefits and allowances

Earn a competitive salary while training or learning your trade, along with additional allowances for time spent in the field, at sea, overseas, or deployed on operations.

In addition to salary and allowances, other benefits of joining the New Zealand Defence Force include:

Access to your Service marae or tūrangawaewae

Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels

Free access to gyms and swimming pools on camp and bases

Opportunities to travel

Free and subsidised medical and dental care

Subsidised food and accommodation on camps and bases

Free and subsidised insurance cover

Help to buy a home and save for retirement

Entry requirements



Fitness and Medical


Period of Service

  • You must be at least 18 years of age upon completion of recruit course (basic training)
  • You must have been a NZ Citizen for a minimum of 10 years
  • Complete a 10 year background history check that can be checked with the New Zealand authorities to obtain high level security clearance
  • You must be able to obtain a TSV security clearance (see Citizenship tab)

There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the required TSV security clearance for this trade, including having been a New Zealand citizen for at least 10 years.

Find out if you’re eligible here.

On completion of your training, there may be a return of service period for this trade.

Please contact our 0800 number or talk to your Candidate Engagement Facilitator for more information.


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