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Document generated on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 4:05:36 AM

Communication Electronic Technician

• Full Time Communication Electronic Technicians maintain and repair the Air Force's vast
array of radar, radios, satellite and computer systems to ensure the Air Force
has an accurate view of the airspace around it.

Job Details
The Communication Electronic trade, within normal employment and supervisory guidelines, is responsible
for the scheduled maintenance, trouble-shooting, fault diagnosis and rectification of Ground
Telecommunication and Electronic Ground Support systems which includes:
Digital Voice Switching;
Local and Wide Area IT Networks; and
Cabling & Transmission Lines.

These systems and equipment require the technician to carry out electrical AC & DC measurements,
alignments using state of the art test equipment, configuration changes and administration of networks,
deployment and setup of equipment to support operations, removal of faulty items, document work carried
out, identification and demanding of technical spares and maintenance of technical publications.

Working Conditions. The working environment varies because of the nature of the work encountered.
Where possible, work is performed in dedicated maintenance facilities. However, there may be occasions
when work will be performed in workshops or temporary facilities that only offer limited environmental
protection, or in open airfield or deployment areas with little or no environmental protection at all. Members
are often exposed to outdoor conditions and inclement weather, working at heights; cramped or awkward
working positions, confined working spaces, poor light conditions, and machinery and equipment noise and
vibration. Personnel need to be practical, efficient and accurate, with an eye for detail and need to be able
to work under pressure when required. Some work is performed outside normal hours and during stand
down periods.

Hazards. The Air Force is committed to the safety of its members and provides personal protective
equipment (PPE) where necessary. Use of this equipment in all cases is mandatory. The nature of the work
leads to inherent hazards associated with electrical shock, radio frequency burns; falls from heights; toxic
materials and ionising and non-ionising radiation. Constant care and development of safe working habits are
all part of the job.
Physical Effort. Strenuous physical effort whilst erecting antenna towers and arrays, and during the
installation of feeder cables may be required. Some handling of both light and heavy tools and equipment is
involved in daily tasks, with an occasional requirement for considerable strength for lifting and handling
equipment, jigs, machinery, tools and components. While the physical effort required is normally low, on
occasions, heavy and awkward objects must be manoeuvred in confined spaces.

Manual Dexterity and Physical Co-ordination. A high level of physical co-ordination and manual
dexterity is required to perform tasks that involve the operation of hand and power tools and machinery.
Close tolerance fits of components, sometimes large and heavy, also require that dexterity and
co-ordination is of a high order.

Speed and Accuracy of Movement. A high degree of accuracy of movement is required for most tasks;
however, rapid and accurate responses are essential for CE personnel employed on Antenna Systems task
working aloft and during erection and dismantling of antenna arrays and associated control lines.

Contact with Others. Communication Electronic Tradespeople are required to frequently interact with
other technical and non-technical trades and civilian staff.

Probability and Consequence of Error. The probabilities of error normal to engineering trades exist. The
consequences of error can be severe in relation to property damage and could result in serious injury or
death and loss of high value assets needed to conduct continued operations. Errors in workmanship may
also lead to expensive wastage of components and/or materials.

Responsibility for Money and Material. The job does not involve any responsibility for the care of
money. However, accounting responsibilities require the custody and correct use of valuable technical
equipment, tools, machinery, publications, materials, job items and other military assets.

Trade Criticality. The duties of a Communication Electronic Tradesperson are critical to the operational
effectiveness of the RAAF. A high standard of workmanship is necessary to satisfy requirements within the

Handling of Classified Documents and Equipment. During the course of duties, Communication
Electronic Tradespeople are required to handle classified documents and equipment.

Each Airman job in the Air Force is referred to as a mustering; for example, Communication Electronic
Technician is a mustering. There are two types of entry into the Communication Electronic Technician
mustering: General entry and Direct entry.

General Entry (Technical Trainee).

General Entry (Technical Trainee) is the term used to describe the large number of technical jobs available
to people entering the Air Force as Airmen (non-Officer entry) and for which trade training is provided.

Direct Method of Entry to the Mustering.  

Direct entry, to LAC CETECH will normally be based on the recruit's prior completion of a recognised radio or
electronic trade course. In addition, the member must demonstrate sufficient AQF Level III competencies
from the Certificate III in Engineering (Electrical/Electronics).  Direct entry personnel may also require a
small amount of time to complete additional competencies that relate to RAAF Maintenance procedures and
familiarisation with service equipment and hardware.

Airmen and Airwomen graduate from recruit training with the rank of Aircraftman/Aircraftwoman (AC/ACW)
and progress to Leading Aircraftman/Leading Aircraftwoman (LAC/LACW) following completion of trade
training and 12 months on-the-job training at an air base.

Corporals are referred to as Non-Commissioned Officers, or NCOs, while sergeants and flight sergeants are
called Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs). Warrant officer is the most senior Airman rank. A
corporal will normally have some responsibility for the supervision of junior staff and this progressively
increases on promotion to sergeant and flight sergeant. A warrant officer normally has a substantial
personnel management role.

The Air Force has a system whereby serving Airmen may, in certain circumstances, be appointed as
Officers. The prerequisites vary depending on your mustering, the preferred Officer specialisation, your
rank, performance history and a number of other factors.

Pay & Allowances

Salary while undertaking Military (Recruit) Training: $1,178 per fortnight ($30,709 per year).*

Salary while undertaking Employment Training commences at $1,346 per fortnight ($35,096 per year) and
increases to $1,514 per fortnight ($39,483) after 12 months of training.*

While under training, you will also receive $326 per fortnight ($8,512 per year) pro rata Trainee Allowance.

To assist you in maintaining your uniforms in good order and condition, you will receive a Uniform
Allowance of $16 per fortnight ($419 per year).

Salary (excluding allowances) on completion of Initial Employment Training: $1,683 per fortnight ($43,870
per year).*

In addition to your salary, you will also receive Service Allowance of $435 per fortnight ($11,355 per year)
except while undertaking Military (Initial) or Employment training. This allowance compensates a member
for the unique requirements that service life may impose on an individual and his or her family.

As well as your salary, you will also be entitled to the following Commonwealth Government Initiatives:

The Tools For Your Trade initiative provides a tool box and tools to the value of $800 for every
registered apprentice;
The Apprenticeship Wage Top Up Scheme provides further financial support to Communication
Electronic Fitter trainees (who are under 30 at commencement of their apprenticeship) who will
receive four tax exempt payments of $500 at the 6, 12, 18 and 24 month points of their
Each General Entry job in the Australian Defence Force is classified into a pay grade. This particular job is
classified as a Pay Grade 3 occupation, with the following progressions as applicable:

Communication Electronic Fitter Grade 1, Pay Grade 3;

Communication Electronic Fitter Grade 2, Pay Grade 4;
Communication Electronic Technician Pay Grade 5;
Communication Electronic Supervisor Pay Grade 6;
Communication Electronic Technical Manager Pay Grade 7; and
Communication Electronic Systems Technician Pay Grade 7.

Refer to the Salary Scales and the Pay & Benefits section for further details.

* Please note that these figures do not include compulsory deductions for taxation; meals, accommodation
and utilities (as applicable); and superannuation.

General Requirements

Age Requirement
Applicants must be aged between 17 and 53 years of age inclusive on entry.

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, depending upon
the capacity of their local recruiting centre.

Citizenship Requirement
Only Australian citizens are permitted to serve in the ADF.

If you are a Permanent Resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary waiver 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.

More information on citizenship requirements and the citizenship waiver process is available from the
Recruitment Centre and your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

Security Requirement
The Department of Defence requires ADF entrants to obtain a security clearance appropriate to their avenue
of entry.

A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and, as required, interviews enables the
Regional Security Office to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security
Current policy requires applicants for this particular avenue of entry to have lived in Australia for the
preceding 10 years, or have a checkable background for this period.

Aptitude Requirement
The application process to join the Australian Defence Force requires you to complete a series of aptitude
tests including verbal, spatial and numerical ability and a general maths test. Some jobs may also need
additional testing at a later date.

Psychology support staff will explain what is involved with each test.

The aptitude tests provide information about your suitability for the Defence Force and for particular jobs.
Defence Force Recruiting can then help you identify jobs that match your abilities.

Further information on the aptitude testing requirements can be found here.

Gender Restriction
Employment available for males and females.

Education Requirements
It is essential that the applicant has completed Year 10 with passes in English, Mathematics and Science.

Completion of a Basic Electronics Certificate would be an advantage,


If you do not satisfy the education requirements for this trade or do not possess evidence of your
educational attainment there is an alternative pathway available to you.

You may be eligible to sit an Alternative Education Equivalency (AEE) Assessment to ascertain your ability at
the required educational level for this trade. Recruiting staff can provide further information.

Medical & Fitness Requirements

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 test before enlistment.

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
Qualified entrants are enlisted for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of four years while entrants
requiring full trade training are enlisted for 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 and provide a
minimum of three months notice.

Military Training
Duration: 10 weeks and four days

Location: RAAF Base Wagga (NSW)

No 1 Recruit Training Unit (1RTU) conducts initial recruit training for Airmen and Airwomen. The 10 week
and four day recruit course is an intensive period of learning and adjustment to a military lifestyle. The aims
of the course are to: provide an orderly transition from civilian to Air Force life; equip the recruit with the
basic knowledge, skills and physical fitness to perform future roles in the Air Force; and instil in the recruit
the motivation to become a dedicated and productive Air Force member.

For more details on recruit training, refer to the Joining instructions. These instructions will provide you
and your family with enough information to arrange your personal affairs before enlistment in the Air Force,
and give you an idea of what you will be doing on the recruit course.

Further details on recruit training are also available on the 1RTU website.

Upon graduation, most Airmen and Airwomen undertake specialist employment training before moving on to
full employment in their chosen mustering in the Air Force.

During Military (Initial Recruit) Training and (Initial) Employment Training, members may be required to pay
a contribution towards meals, accommodation and utilities.

Employment Training
Fitter Course.

Duration: 30-38 weeks depending on trainee's ability.

Location: HMAS CERBERUS at Crib Point, Victoria.

The Fitter Course provides underpinning theoretical knowledge in electronics which is reinforced through
conducting practical exercises and assessments on circuit cards using common test equipment. It also
includes training on safety, basic use of hand tools, wiring and cable termination, soldering, IT equipment,
and Air Force maintenance procedures. The majority of the course is instructed by qualified specialist civilian
instructors in a joint Air Force and Navy training environment. A large portion of the course is conducted in
Flexible Learning Centres using Computer Aided Instruction (CAI), allowing the trainee some degree of
control over the learning pace. Air Force specific modules are conducted in single service classes prior to

On completion of this training, trainees graduate as an Aircraftman/Aircraftwoman (AC/ACW)

Communication Electronic Fitter Grade 1 and are then posted to an air base to undergo on-the-job training.
Graduates are issued with a competency log journal which requires them to be assessed against various
competency based tasks. Upon successful completion of the journal they will be awarded a Certificate III in
Engineering – Electrical/Electronics Trade.

Fitter Progression.

On completion of basic recruit training and the Communication Electronic Fitters course, the member is
regraded to AC/ACW Communication Electronic Fitter Grade 1 (CEFITT1). After 12 months of employment
as a Fitter Grade 1 and completion of part 1 of their competency log journal, the member will be promoted
to Leading Aircraftman/Leading Aircraftwoman (LAC/LACW) and regraded to Communication Electronic
Fitter Grade 2 (CEFITT2).

Progression to Communication Electronic Technician (CETECH) is achieved after successful completion of

the competency log journal and a further 12 months on the job training. Eligibility for further promotion
through the ranks to Warrant Officer will be in competition with all other time qualified members within

Further Training
Technician Progression Options

Progression through Promotion.

CETECHs may choose to remain at the Technician skill level and seek advancement through the ranks to
Warrant Officer.

Progression to Systems Technician.

There are a number of methods by which progression to Communication Electronic Systems Technician
(CESYSTECH) may be achieved however, in every case, such progression will require the completion of a
formal course of study at the Advanced Diploma level followed by the completion of the Systems Technician
Course. Those who are eligible to apply for training leading to remuster to the Systems Technician are
CETECHs with two years experience as a Corporal (CPL), including at least one year as a Trade Supervisor.
Graduates from the Systems Technician Course are remustered and promoted to Sergeant (SGT)

Civil Accreditation
The Royal Australian Air Force is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) under the Australian Quality
Training Framework (AQTF). This allows the Air Force to issue national awards, which in principle have the
same standing as those provided by Universities and other Institutes of TAFE. Where feasible and
appropriate, the Air Force will continue to obtain national accreditation for their courses and training
programs. For more information ask your Careers Counsellor.

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