About the Job

As an Electronic Warfare Operator, you’ll be trained to intercept and disrupt enemy communications and determine their threat level. You’ll be part of an advanced close-knit team, the Signallers, who are dedicated to providing vital communications, information systems and electronic warfare support to the Army and wider Defence Force.

Electronic Warfare Operators fight on an invisible battlefield to provide valuable intelligence and ensure the Army can communicate effectively. In this highly classified role you'll operate a range of cutting-edge electronic intercepting and attack equipment in both office and field environments, at home and abroad.

This is a career that doesn’t stand still. You’ll be working in situations that call for quick thinking and problem solving from the get-go. You'll also be required to handle sensitive, classified material with a responsible attitude and logical mindset.

To kick off your career, following your initial training, you’ll be employed in a tactical unit, supporting infantry and armoured personnel as they train on exercises around the country. Here you’ll have the opportunity to work in a small team, receiving on-the-job mentoring and support. From there, you could specialise in:

  • Signals Analysis - analyse data and pass critical information to your commander
  • Electronic Attack - deny, disrupt and deceive enemy communications
  • Tactical Cyber Warfare - understand how networks, ICT and operating systems interact with each other in cyberspace

As you progress in your career, you’ll have opportunities to attend specialist courses including learning foreign languages and using state-of-the-art devices to analyse communications.

If you’re ready for a challenge and are interested in operating advanced military technology, this job could be your next step.

In-Service Information
This role is known as Operator Electronic Warfare within the Army.
Employment Category Number (ECN): 663
Employment Category: Combat Support

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Key Information

Preparing for Your Recruitment Process

This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.

National Qualifications

Aspects of your training may result in the award of civil qualifications - something you can check with your Instructional Staff when you conduct your Initial Employment Training.

Salary & Allowances

In the Army you'll get paid a good salary from day one regardless of your age, experience or qualifications; and your pay increases as you progress through training.

In addition to your salary you'll receive a variety of allowances, extra pay for relevant qualifications – plus 16.4% superannuation, a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.

For more details download our Salary Scales.


Electronic Warfare Operators are employed in a number of specialist units throughout Australia. Main posting localities are 7th Signals Regiment in Cabarlah, QLD, Defence Force School of Signals Electronic Warfare Wing in Cabarlah, QLD, and also in Canberra, ACT.



Applicants must be at least 17 years of age and able to complete the Initial Minimum Period of Service before reaching Compulsory Retirement Age (60).

Applicants will not be allowed to enter the ADF until they achieve a minimum of 17 years of age, however they may be able to initiate the application process from 16 years and six months of age.

Education & Experience

Completion of Australian Year 10 education (or equivalent) with passes in English and Mathematics.

If you have not achieved the appropriate passes for this role, an education assessment can be conducted to determine your eligibility. Employment history and other qualifications will be considered. Speak to your ADF Careers Centre representative to discuss options.

Medical & Fitness

To be enlisted or appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.

You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness assessment before appointment.

For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

Period of Service

You will be enlisted for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of six years. Subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service. You may request discharge at any time provided you do not have an outstanding Initial Minimum Period of Service obligation.

Your Careers Coach can advise on how IMPS will relate to your chosen occupation.

Additional Requirements

The Electronic Warfare Operator category applicants are no longer required to undertake the current Defence language aptitude test. This will be conducted as and when required for members applying for long language courses.


The Job Opportunities Assessment (JOA) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete a further evaluation at a later date.

The JOA is used by Defence to establish suitability for ADF entry, and then identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information about the JOA can be found in the Guide to the Job Opportunities Assessment for the ADF.

To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in the Job Opportunities Assessment and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Job Opportunities Assessment Example Questions.


To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.

If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary deferral of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.

Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local ADF Careers Centre.

Security Requirements

The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have a security clearance appropriate to their employment.

A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and if required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.

The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1 (NV1), and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years.

This means applicants must provide credible referees (non-family members) who are able to provide information about the applicant covering an extended period of time. Required information for an NV1 includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Financial information
  • Travel

Some ADF jobs may require a higher level of security clearance such as Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2) or Positive Vetting (PV). Your individual circumstances will determine the number and complexity of the questions and the supporting documents required for these levels.

Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.

The security clearance is critical to an applicant's successful progression through the recruiting process. It is strongly recommended that all applicants action the Security Clearance Package (ePack) and provide the required documentation without delay to provide the best opportunity to commence training and be employed in their preferred employment category.

For more detailed information on the security vetting process and specific clearance level requirements set by AGSVA, please refer to the AGSVA website.

Support will be provided by DFR during the initial application process.


Military Training

As a General Entry recruit, you’ll be required to complete the Recruit Course.

Army Recruit Course
Duration: Approximately 12 weeks.
Location: Kapooka, Wagga Wagga, NSW.

During training, you will take part in physical training, weapon handling and shooting, first aid, drill and field craft. You'll be challenged both mentally and physically.

Although it can be demanding, most recruits gain a sense of achievement, purpose and confidence during basic training, and on completion of the course feel justifiably proud of what they have achieved. The priority of our instructors is to help you succeed.

For more information, visit Soldier Training at Kapooka.

Employment Training

The majority of Army communications personnel receive their communications training at the Defence Force School of Signals (DFSS) at Macleod, VIC. You won't find technical and communication schools with a better teacher/student ratio or better equipment and facilities. DFSS is dedicated to giving you the best technical and communications qualification possible.

So you'll have a real edge in life and be assured of success in whatever employment category you choose. Unlike any other school of its kind, you will be paid while you learn and guaranteed a job when you graduate.

And because you'll learn to be a soldier as well as a qualified technician person, you'll also develop a wide range of additional skills including self-discipline, confidence and a real sense of leadership.

Common Signals Training
Duration: 54 Days.

Note: Course duration may vary depending on public holidays and other Army requirements.

Location of Training: Defence Force School of Signals, Simpson Barracks Macleod, Victoria.

This course provides foundation knowledge of Corps history along with the roles and the basic skills to operate common in-service Communication and Information Systems. This course also serves to qualify graduates as basic combat communicators, operate basic in-service power generation equipment and progress to subsequent courses. 

Following Common Signals Training at DFSS you will undergo Electronic Warfare Operator employment training as follows:

Electronic Warfare Operator
Duration: 31 weeks, not including weekends.

Note: Course duration may vary depending on public holidays and other Army requirements.

Location of Training:
The Electronic Warfare training is delivered at Defence Force School of Signals, Electronic Warfare Wing (DFSS EW Wing), Borneo barracks, Cabarlah, QLD. Trainees must hold a minimum security clearance of Top secret Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2) to attend this training. 

Further Training

Later in your career you may have the opportunity to undertake employment training in a range of skills and equipment courses. Skills courses can include foreign languages conducted at the Defence Force School of Languages at Laverton, Victoria. While equipment, analysis and software skills courses are generally conducted at Cabarlah.