As a Systems Engineer your role is to provide technical engineering support to the NZ Army’s Communication Information Systems fleet.

  • Service
  • Specialisation
    Intelligence, IT and Communications
  • Location
  • Starting Salary
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Army Systems Engineer square

About the role

As a Systems Engineer your role is to provide technical engineering support to the NZ Army's Communication Information Systems (CIS) fleet.

As a Systems Engineer you will need to work in sole charge and in team environments, often in high pressure situations, to ensure integral communication systems are open and maintained at tactical, operational and strategic levels of conflict.

During your training you will learn everything required to provide the full range of services required to keep channels of communication open. From local area networks and routers, to satellites and telephone exchanges, you will be able to engineer, diagnose and repair voice and data communication equipment used by the Army.

Job on base

As a systems engineer your day-to-day roles will see you plan, install, commission and engineer communications systems ranging from single channel telegraphs, to radio and satellite systems.

As well as your day to day system engineer tasks you will also continue your soldier training including weapons, medical and radio/communications training.

Job on deployment

Systems Engineers will deploy on a variety of overseas missions from three to six month deployments in support of peacekeeping and operational deployments. While deployed systems engineers provide technical engineering support to the NZ Army's deployed Communication Information Systems fleet.

Our job’s quite important because we need the infrastructure to be able to send data from way out in the middle of nowhere.

Career progression and training

Career Progression
Basic Training
Job Training
Ongoing Training

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. To start with, you will undergo the National Diploma of Telecommunications Engineering as well as attending courses on computer networks, system management and engineering. Later on, as you move up within rank and seniority in your chosen trade of Systems Engineers, you will be posted to other areas such as Wellington, Trentham and Waiouru.

Upon successful enlistment into the Army you will be posted to Waiouru Army base. Here you will do 16 weeks of basic military training to find out if you have what it takes to be in the Army, and learn various subjects including:

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

You will learn how to configure network devices such as routers, switches, aggregate multiplexes and computers. You will also learn how to operate and engineer satellites, radios, telephone exchanges, transmission media and modems so as to provide 'end-to-end' communication platforms within modern day peace keeping and battlefield conflict zones.


Post recruit training you will start your training with this three-month course, where you will learn radio voice procedure, basic information systems and how to operate a broad range of Army communications equipment utilised at the tactical level. This course will prepare you to progress to advanced training within the Operational Support and Information Specialist environment and will strengthen your comradeship with fellow RNZ Signals Corps members who will become life long friends within the communications environment.

Following completion of the RNZ Signals Corps Course training is a combination of Polytechnic, and on the job training. Adding to your professional engineering development, you will attend a number of junior and senior RNZ Signals 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.

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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 salary


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.
  • Must be a NZ citizen.

You must have achieved NCEA level 2 with a minimum of 12 credits in level 2 Science.

Find out more about the NCEA levels and certificate requirements

  • 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.

Once you have completed training you will be required to give a two year return of service to the NZ Army.

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