As a Systems Engineer your role is to provide network engineering support to the NZ Army’s Communication Information Systems fleet. You will initially recieve a Diploma in Information and Communication Technology and later work towards a Bachelors. This study is all sponsored and you will still earn whle you learn.

  • Service
  • Specialisation
    Intelligence, IT and Communications
  • Location
  • Starting Salary
  • Upcoming Intake
    26 July, 2021
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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. Working with local area networks and routers, you will be able to engineer, diagnose and repair cable systems and 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 networked communications 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, for example short duration missions to establish or upgrade equipment to six month deployments in support of longer operations. 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 nine 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 as well as attending courses on computer networks, system management and network 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, Auckland and Burnham.



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, firewall devices and computers. You will also learn how to operate and engineer satellites, radios, and transmission media so as to provide 'end-to-end' communication platforms within modern day peace keeping and battlefield conflict zones.

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.


Junior Information Systems Operator and Systems Engineer Course

This 9-week course focuses on the installation and configuration of communication equipment used by the army, and teaches you about the hardware, software and security requirements to operate the in a small team as well as the cabling, encryption and network engineering support. The course teaches a combination of Computer Industry technologies using A+, CCNA and Military curriculums. At the completion of this course you will have learnt all the skills that will allow you to sit the Microsoft Client and CISCO ICND exam.


Intermediate Systems Engineer Course

This 6-week course will teach you how to install and configure networking devices and integrate these within a deployed communication asset. This 6 week course is conducted in a laboratory environment where students are taught a technology then given a task to complete as a group through research and experimentation. The course teaches a combination of industry and military specific technologies, network security and audio and video technology.


Senior Systems Engineer Course

This 5 week course encompasses technologies and methods used to enhance a network. You will develop standardised network documentation including creating and implementing baselines and change control. In a laboratory environment you will design a pre-production network simulating existing enterprise networks, conduct testing and enhance the network with technologies such as QoS and WAN Optimisation.


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 more advanced course which will train you in the administration, design and management of communications systems. The course is designed to test your management skills and your ability to manoeuvre communications assets on the battlefield.


Ongoing Training

In addition to the above training is a combination of Polytechnic and on the job training. You will conducting a Diploma and later a Bachelors in Information and Communication Technology, along with various and technology certification programs. Adding to your professional Systems Engineering 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.


Following completion of the RNZ Signals Corps Course training is a combination of Polytechnic, and on the job training. Sponsored tertiary study is included in the form of a Diploma and a Bachelors in Information Communication Technology. 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.


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 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 obligation to the NZ Army.

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