Systems Engineer

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.

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.

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.

If you already have a trade qualification, your skills will be highly valued in the New Zealand Army. We will offer you a position/rank equal to your trade qualification, and after basic training, you won't have to start at the bottom. Your expertise will be used and rewarded. So if you think you’re qualified for more, check out further information here.

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.

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

While undertaking initial Recruit Course you will be paid as a Recruit (see attached pay table). On completion of your Recruit Course you will be paid as a Private and your pay will continue to increase as your career progresses.

  • 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 & security requirements to gain TSV security clearance for this trade.
  • Must be an 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.

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

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.

On completion of your recruit training at Waiouru you could be posted to either Linton (Palmerston North) or Burnham (Christchurch).

*keyword Combat Communicator