The ability to relay information between air, sea, and ground forces is critical in the military.
The military has
sophisticated communications systems that use a variety of technologies and telecommunications equipment such as radios,
telephones, antennas, satellites, and complex security and network devices.
Communications equipment operators use these
systems to transmit, receive, and decode messages at military locations throughout the world.
What They Do
Communications equipment operators in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
- Transmit, receive, and log messages according to military procedures
- Encode and decode classified messages
- Operate different types of telephone switchboards, satellite communications terminals, and network switches
- Set up and operate communications equipment and security equipment
- Monitor and respond to emergency calls
- Run state-of-the-art command, control, communications and computer and signals intelligence/electronic warfare equipment
- Install, operate and repair communications and security equipment
Helpful school subjects include English and speech. Helpful attributes include:
- Ability to remain calm in an emergency
- Interest in working with codes
- Interest in working with communications equipment
Job training consists of instruction, including practice with equipment. Further training occurs on the job and through
advanced courses. Course content typically includes:
- Installation and usage of various types of communications equipment
- Communications security
- Message encoding and decoding
Communications equipment operators may work either indoors or outdoors, depending on the specialty. They may be assigned
to ships, aircraft, land bases, or mobile field units.
Civilian communications equipment operators work in airports, harbors, police stations, fire stations, telephone
companies, telegraph companies, and many businesses.
They may also work aboard ships. Their duties are similar to those
of military communications equipment operators. They may be called radio operators, telephone operators, communication
center operators, or switchboard operators, depending on their specialty.