Understand and control the Army’s deployable computer and radio networks that keep our forces in-the-know across the battlespace. IT Specialists are responsible for modern technologies and equipment that enable voice and data communications, as well as providing technical support across the Army.

  • Service
  • Specialisation
    Intelligence, IT and Communications
  • Location
    Palmerston North | Christchurch
  • Starting Trade Training

About the role

When the Army deploys, it needs to communicate. As an IT Specialist, your role is to ensure that the right information is passed to the right unit at the right time. To achieve this, you will find yourself establishing voice or data radio networks, engineering satellite terminals,  or maintaining secure computer networks with a range of services and applications.

Unlike a civilian IT role, you will not be restricted to working in an office. You may find yourself providing IT support to our soldiers based out of a vehicle, an Army tent, or acquisitioned building on exercise.

In addition to enhancing your technical skills, your day-to-day training will be varied. It will provide opportunities to enhance your weapon skills, gain experience and qualifications for driving military vehicles, first aid, physical fitness and more. As you progress in your career, you may find yourself stepping into leadership roles by commanding others, or providing instruction and training to soldiers.  

You will join the Army and complete your first year of training as an IT Specialist. After this, you will continue your training to specialise in one of five specific roles;

Your training will include a mixture of Defence and Civilian qualifications and courses, with some roles offering funded tertiary study whilst on a salary.

Job on base

You will be a member of a Communications Access Node (CAN), responsible for providing deployable IT services to the Army. Your day-to-day role will be varied, with each day bringing new challenges and opportunities. You and your team will ensure that your IT equipment is maintained and functional, ready to be deployed for training or operational use. Informal and formal training will occur to keep your technical skills fresh, as well as give you the opportunity for further learning. You will also conduct regular training to maintain your physical fitness, weapon handling, first aid and vehicle-based skillsets. 

Job on deployment

The NZ Army deploys on operations within NZ and overseas with its own encrypted communication networks. IT Specialists will be deployed with their own scalable IT solutions, tailored to the size and specific requirements of the force they are supporting. From responding to a natural disaster, training foreign militaries, or conducting security and stability operations, there are a number of missions the NZ Army will conduct.

You will find yourself establishing and maintaining computer and radio networks, ensuring our forces can exchange information with each other in the same country, as well as maintaining strategic communications links back to New Zealand. You will provide user support to our staff, ensuring they have the tools to effectively plan and conduct their tasks in support of the mission. This role may see you operating independently, or as a part of a small team of IT Specialists supporting the mission.

To be an effective Electric Warfare 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


Upon joining the NZ Army, you’ll complete your 16 week Basic Training in Waiouru Military Camp. This course, completed by all NZ Army soldiers teaches you the fundamentals of soldier skills such as weapon handling, fitness, field craft, teamwork, first aid and drill.

Your next course will be 20 weeks of IT Specialist training in Linton Military Camp, Palmerston North. This is designed to familiarise you with the radio and computer networks, physical IT equipment and software / applications used by the NZ Army.

At the end of this course, you will be selected for one of the five specific IT roles within the Army: Radio Frequency Technician, Information Management Specialist, Information Systems Operator, Systems Engineer, or Electronic Warfare Operator. 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.


Upon enlistment into the NZ 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 a soldier in the NZ 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

Your IT Specialist training will begin with 20 weeks in Linton Military Camp, Palmerston North. Regardless of your prior IT experience, this course will teach and test you on the fundamental IT knowledge, skills and equipment needed to excel as an IT Specialist. Course content includes but is not limited to:

  • Operating military radio systems
  • Installing, maintaining and recovering cabling systems
  • Configuring client computers
  • Employing information assurance and communication security principles
  • CCNA1 Introduction to Networks
  • Establishing and fault finding satellite and cellular communication links
  • Installing encryption devices
  • Providing support to Command Post Operations

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.

As a soldier, you will never stop learning. Formal coursing and informal training will be a key part of your military career. As you progress through your career, courses will focus on three key areas:

  • Trade specific – These will enhance your skills and knowledge within your trade, focussing purely on developing your technical expertise as a Radio Frequency Technician, Information Management Specialist, Information Systems Operator, Systems Engineer, or Electronic Warfare Operator
  • IT Specialist specific – These courses focus on the wider IT Specialist skills that all five trades have in common. It will allow you to progress into positions of management of Detachments and Troops of IT Specialists later in your career.
  • Army-wide (a.k.a. All Corps) specific – These are courses for all soldiers in the Army, regardless of trade. They further develop your understanding of leadership within the NZ Army, giving you the knowledge and skills for promotion through the ranks.

Additional courses will also be available on a case by case basis, allowing opportunities to diversify your skills in areas such as shooting, first aid and driving.


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


Higher Rank

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.
  • 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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