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Radar and Sonar Operators

Intelligence, Combat and Readiness

Service Branches

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

Work Environment

Radar and sonar operators in the Military primarily work indoors in security-controlled areas. They work in operations centers and command posts either on land or aboard aircraft ships or submarines. Some may work in a mobile field radar unit.

  • 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 - $217,150


Radar and sonar operators set up, operate, and perform preventive maintenance on sophisticated radar and sonar equipment. They use radar and sonar to detect, track, recognize, analyze, and identify objects. The radar and sonar systems are also used to direct artillery fires and forecast the weather.

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. Radar and sonar operators in the Military will gain skills through classroom study and on-the-job experience. Training length varies by specialty. Job-specific training topics relate to operating radar or sonar equipment and may include:

  • Operation and maintenance of radar and sonar equipment
  • Identification of ships submarines aircraft and missiles
  • Computation of aircraft or missile speed direction and altitude
  • Field tactics and combat communications

Helpful Attributes

  • Ability to concentrate for long periods
  • Ability to work under stress
  • Interest in advanced communications and electronic equipment
  • Detail-oriented

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