Explore Careers

Communications Equipment Operators

Arts, Audio/Video Technology & Communications

Service Branches

  • Army logo
  • Marines logo
  • navy logo
  • Air Force logo
  • Space Force logo
  • Coast Guard logo

Work Environment

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.

  • Military Status


  • Median Military Salary This is the median, or the midpoint, of the salary range for this career.


    Military Salary Range Salary varies based on years of service, degree level, special pays, family status and location.

    $22,748 - $236,074


Communications equipment operators are responsible for generating, transmitting, tracking, and routing military communications. They operate sophisticated, state-of-the-art, electronic receivers and associated analysis and recording equipment to collect airborne, shipborne, land-based Radio Detection and Ranging (RADAR), and other signals within the electromagnetic spectrum. They use this equipment to communicate a wide range of information, including operational plans and the transmission of classified information.

Military Training

All enlisted service members complete basic military training which includes time spent in a classroom and in the field and covers tactical and survival skills physical training military life and customs and weapons training. Job training for communications equipment operators consists of classroom and on-the-job instruction including practice in operating a variety of communication systems. Training content varies depending on specialty and may include:

  • Radio/satellite equipment installation operation and maintenance
  • Communications security
  • Message encoding and decoding
  • Communications plan development
  • Signals exploitation

Helpful Attributes

  • Ability to remain calm in an emergency
  • Interest in working with codes
  • Interest in working with communications equipment

Related Civilian Careers

  • Computer, Automated Teller and Office Machine Repairers
  • Telecommunications Line Installers and Repairers
  • Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers, Except Line Installers
  • Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers, Transportation Equipment
  • Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment
  • Air Traffic Controllers
  • Radio, Cellular and Tower Equipment Installers and Repairers
  • Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technologists and Technicians
  • Airfield Operations Specialists
  • Computer and Information Systems Managers