With excellent training in the operation of sophisticated computer systems, this is an IT job unlike any in the civilian world. As part of your training you will initially receive a diploma, and later a Bachelors in Information and Communication Technology. All while getting paid and experiencing the best the Army has to offer.

  • Service
  • Specialisation
    Intelligence, IT and Communications
  • Location
    Linton, Burnham
  • Starting Salary
  • Upcoming Intake
    26 July, 2021

About the role

As an Information Systems Operator (ISOP) your role is to provide technical IT support to the NZ Army's Communication Information Systems (CIS) fleet.

In this role you will work in teams, often in high pressure situations, to ensure integral IT services and applications are open and maintained at tactical, operational, and strategic environments.

During your training you will be taught everything required to provide the full range of services required to ensure all channels of communication are available. From client laptops and user support, to local area networks and server hardware, you will be able to design, build, configure, and maintain the IT equipment used by the Army.

Job on base

Your day-to-day activities will see you installing and administrating operating systems on laptops, computers, servers, and networks.  Additionally, as an applications specialist your role may see you working face to face with customers or over the phone from a service desk.  Gymnasiums, Swimming pools and the like are provided to allow individuals to maintain a high level of Physical fitness during and after work as this is a key part of Army life.

Job on deployment

Information Systems Operators are highly deployable, and are employed in a variety of overseas missions and exercises, primarily in support of other units. While on deployment overseas you can expect to work alongside other countries and nationalities establishing and supporting high tech IT equipment, establishing and supporting IT systems for the NZDF and or supported country.

I wanted to go to University, but did not want to go into debt. I realised that in the Army I would get paid while studying, and at the same time get hands-on IT experience through a digital aprenticeship.

Career progression and training

Basic Training

Job Training

Career Progression

Upon enlistment into the Army you will be posted to the Waiouru Army 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 Signals Corps Training Course

You will start your initial communications training with a 3 month course at, Linton, Palmerston North. On this course you will learn to operate a broad range of Army Radio and Communications equipment whilst gaining a good understanding of computer and networking systems. This primary course is the building block of Esprit de Corps & comradeship to the RNZ Signals Corps and its members whom will become lifelong friends within and outside of the NZ Army.

Information Systems Operator and Systems Engineers Junior Course

This initial course will give you a level of training required to operate as a system admin. This 6-week course focuses on the installation and configuration of the Remote Communications Access Node (RCAN), and teaches you about the hardware, software and security requirements to operate the RCAN as well as the cabling, encryption and network administration to support the RCAN. The course teaches a combination of Computer Industry technologies using CCNA and Military curriculums. At the completion of this course you will immediately commence two years at UCOL starting your BICT.

Information Systems Operator Intermediate Course

This course will be run after you have finished your two years at UCOL and focuses on the military specific applications and their employment in the battlefield using the Forward Communications Access Node (FCAN), utilising a combination of Computer Industry applications from Microsoft and VM Ware and Military curriculums such as the military Battle Management System. Managing a service support desk and Implementing Infrastructure design documents are also covered in this course. Upon completion of this course you will be the equivalent of a system engineer.

Information Systems Operator Senior Course

This course prepares you to fill the role of a system designer. It focuses on enterprise hardware configuration which affect the Design and Implementation of Information System solutions to meet battlefield requirements in a Local or Wide Area Network configuration. This course also includes the implementation and management of secure computer network architectures, computer network defence and high availability planning. As part of this course you will also learn and qualify in the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) foundation exam. 

Ongoing Training

In addition to the above training is a combination of Polytechnic and on the job training. You will be conducting a Diploma and a Bachelors of Information and Communication Technology and various technology certification programs. Adding to your professional development, you will attend a number of command courses so as to develop your leadership and command strategy thinking within various demanding operational scenario settings. All of this training will make for a diverse and challenging learning environment within the NZ Army.

Trade Promotion Courses

The Detachment Commanders Course and the Troop Sergeants Course are part of your career progression. They are designed to test your trade knowledge and skills as well as your leadership ability. Base level management is conducted during these courses and enhanced at Unit level. 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 manoeuvre communications assets on the battlefield.

Your trade training will take approximately six years to complete. Throughout this time the NZ Army will provide training within your chosen professional field of employment. You will undergo initial training towards the Bachelor of Information and Communication Technology (BICT) where you will receive training ranging from client and various desktop applications, Microsoft Server and Virtualisation concepts, through to Cisco Inter-networking technologies. Later on, as you move up within rank and seniority there are posting opportunities to areas such as Burnham, Auckland ,Wellington, Trentham and Christchurch.


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.




Starting Trade Training


Higher Rank

Benefits and allowances

There are many additional benefits to being in the Defence Force, that will make your money go further.

For example, on top of your basic salary you can expect ‘Military Factor’. This provides you with significant extra financial rewards because of the commitment you’ve made to serve your country.

Free medical and dental

Access to subsidised equipment on base

Subsidised food on base

Competitive superannuation, up to 4% with KiwiSaver

Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels

Entry requirements



Fitness and Medical


Period of Service

  • You must be at least 17.5 years old due to the requirement to hold a TSV clearance. However, the preferred minimum age is 20 years old.
  • Meet the citizenship and security requirements to gain TSV security clearance for this trade.
  • You must be medically fit for service.
  • Colour perception restrictions may apply.

There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the required TSV security clearance for this trade.

Find out if you’re eligible here.

Depending on which higher qualifications you choose to undertake, the return of service can be up to two years.

NOTE: Certified Network Engineer (LAN Manager) has a 24 month period of service.

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