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As an Electronic Technician you will be the ship’s electronic expert. You will learn to maintain a wide range of cutting edge technological systems, from command and control to navigation equipment.

  • Service
  • Specialisation
    Engineering and Technical Trades
  • Location
  • Starting Salary
  • Upcoming Intake
    21 February, 2022
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About the role

One of the key differences between the Navy’s warships and a commercial ship is the advanced weapons, communications and sensor systems onboard. You are the ship’s electronic experts and given the importance of electronic technology onboard, you will make a vital contribution towards ensuring that the ship is ready to complete operations and provide a ‘fight’ capability. You will help to maintain an extensive range of cutting edge, technologically advanced systems.

You will join the Navy as a general Electronic Technician, whereby you will gain an understanding of the ship’s weapons, communications, and sensor systems, before deciding on your specialisation as an ‘Electronic’ or ‘Weapon’ Technician. Your categorisation as ‘Electronic’ or ‘Weapon’ Technician will be determined towards the end of your initial technical training course.

As an Electronic Technician, your work will involve testing, maintaining and repairing the ship’s electronic equipment, which may include: the command and control system, data and satellite communication systems, information systems (including networks), Closed Circuit Television (CCTV), radar, sonar and navigation equipment.

As a Weapon Technician you will be responsible for the testing, maintenance and repair of the ship’s arsenal of modern and accurate weaponry, which may include: small arms, 50cal machine guns, torpedoes, surface to air missiles, Phalanx close in weapons system, 25mm Bushmaster, the Typhoon/Mini Typhoon and the ANZAC Frigate’s 5 inch gun.

Job on base

Shore postings are also possible for Electronic and Weapons Technicians and not only provide a break from life at sea, but also provide an opportunity for you to do further training or to gain experience in areas such as ship maintenance and repair, technical administration and support to the fleet.

Job on deployment

Whilst you are employed on a ship your responsibility is ensuring the electronic systems and weapon systems are maintained and in a state of operational readiness to provide the ship with the ability to ‘fight’. Like everyone else onboard, you will be expected to participate in general shipboard duties and activities not connected with your specialist role and have the opportunity to visit different ports and environments both in New Zealand and overseas.

We play with lots of different electrical equipment, from high powered radars to navigational systems. We also conduct periodic maintenance, because if anything breaks while we're at sea, we can't exactly go to the shop and get a new one!

Jamie Hudson

Leading Electronics Technician

Career progression and training

Career Progression

Basic Training

Job Training

Specialist Training

You will  join the Navy as an Ordinary Rate and will complete the Basic Common Training Course at the Recruit Training Squadron. You will then go on to complete a 48 week Able Technician (Weapon Engineering) course at the Weapon Engineering School, whereby you will be provided with the skills and knowledge required to fill an under training Electronic/Weapon Technician position on a ship. Towards the end of this training your categorisation as either an Electronic Technician or a Weapon Technician will be determined (you and your instructors and career managers will work together to determine your specialisation).

On completion of your Able Technician (Weapon Engineering) course you will then undergo 18-24 months of sea going training and familiarisation, where you will get to put into practice the skills that you have just learnt on course. Throughout this period you will be required to complete a ‘task book’ which is a record of your progress on all the tasks you need to master. Once you have completed your task book you will be eligible for promotion to Able Rate.

On completion of your seagoing period (approx 4th year in the Navy) you will then be posted back to the Weapon Engineering School to do your Leading Hand Professional Course. This course will build on the skills that you have already learnt and will provide you with the more specialist skills and knowledge that you will require to be an Electronic/Weapon Technician in the Navy.

Upon successful enlistment into the Navy you’ll be posted to Devonport Navy base in Auckland. Here you will complete your basic training. Find out more about basic training.


(48 Weeks) Location: Devonport Naval Base (Auckland)
On successful completion of your BCT, you will complete the Able Technician Course, covering the following subjects:

  • Mathematics
  • Electrotechnology theory
  • Analogue and Digital Electronics
  • Control and Electrical theory
  • Mechanics and Hydraulic theory
  • Communications and Radar theory
  • Diagnostic Techniques
  • PC Maintenance
  • Safety
  • Workshop Skills
  • Radar and Communication theory
  • Explosives familiarisation
  • Small Arms Maintenance
  • Ship Systems Overview
  • Technical Administration and communication skills

Towards the end of this course you will branch into Weapons or Electronic specialisations, depending on the best match for your skills, interests and spaces available. On completion, you will then spend approximately two years undergoing on-the-job training both at sea and ashore to gain experience.

For your fourth year of training you will be selected for a Leading Technician course. Successful completion of this advanced course will leave you professionally qualified for promotion to Leading Hand. Depending on your specialisation, you will undertake further specialist Electronic Technician or Weapon Technician training in preparation for returning to a job either at sea or ashore to consolidate your new skills. As your career progresses, further equipment specific courses will be completed to enhance specialised experience and knowledge.

On each training course, you will be required to pass examinations and assessments. But the learning doesn’t stop in the classroom as you will be required to complete ‘task books’ whilst working at sea or ashore. Training combined with specialised postings at sea and ashore continues for the early part of your career. This provides the necessary knowledge and experience required to complete your specialised tasks and prepare you for promotion.


As part of your naval studies as an Electronic or Weapon Technician you will have the opportunity to attain unit standards which contribute towards a National Certificate (Level 4) in Electronics Technology under the National Qualifications Framework. These civilian qualifications are instructed at the Naval College and can be gained in addition to professional naval qualifications. The Navy meets all costs of this training, which is usually completed in the first four years of an Electronic Technicians career.

Later in your career, you will complete the Electrical Service Technician (EST) course. The EST is an industry recognised qualification.

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Salary and benefits

Careers in the Navy 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.




Upon Course Completion


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

  • Be a minimum of 17 years of age upon entry.
  • Be free of any criminal convictions.
  • Must pass the Navy swim test, conducted wearing overalls and gym shoes:
    • Swim of 50 metres and, on completion,
    • Remain afloat unaided by treading water for three minutes.

You must have achieved NCEA level 1 with a minimum of 12 credits in level 1 Science.

Find out more about the NCEA levels and certificate requirements

It should be noted that as you will be an Electronic/Weapon Technician, the academic courses and unit standards that you will be required to successfully pass are largely physics/maths based. They consist of a number of Level 2 to Level 4 Unit Standards. If you have completed maths and some physics as part of your science credits (eg electro-technology, electricity, electronics etc), this will go a long way to help you with your Navy academic studies.

  • You must be medically fit for service.
  • Colour perception restrictions may apply.

There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the SV security clearance required for this trade.

Find out if you’re eligible here.


There may be a return of service period for this trade.

Please contact our 0800 number or talk to your Candidate Experience Facilitator for more information.

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