Communicator Research Operator
Communicator Research Operators intercept and analyze electronic transmissions, including foreign communications. They also protect Government of Canada computer networks.
A Communications Research Operator has the following responsibilities:
- Collect, process, analyze and report on electromagnetic activity on radio frequency, using highly sophisticated equipment
- Manage and protect computer networks
- Ensure information technology is secure
- Use and maintain classified publications
Communicator Research Operators work with extremely sensitive information in a high-security, restricted-access facility. They typically work in shifts; however, they also have frequent opportunities to work regular business hours and can be deployed around the world.
Pay and career development
The starting salary for a fully trained Communicator Research Operator is $49,440 per year. However, after four years of military service and upon completion of the intermediate trade’s training, they may receive a salary increase to $63,300 per year. Communicator Research Operators who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training.
Related civilian occupations
- Information Technology Security Consultant
- Computer Incident Response Specialist
- Intelligence Analyst
- Satellite Ground Controller
Basic military qualification
The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course, or Basic Training, held at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. This training provides the basic core skills and knowledge common to all trades. A goal of this course is to ensure that all recruits maintain the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.
Basic military qualification – land course
After Basic Training, Army recruits go to a Military Training centre for the Basic Military Qualification – Land Course for approximately one month, which covers the following topics:
- Army physical fitness
- Dismounted offensive and defensive operations
- Reconnaissance patrolling
- Individual field craft
Basic occupational qualification training
Communicator Research Operators attend the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics in Kingston, Ontario, for 45 weeks. Using a combination of theory instruction, demonstrations, practical work and simulation exercises, it covers the following:
- Signals Intelligence mathematics
- Communications rules and procedures
- Radio direction-finding
- Communications data systems
- Operation of auxiliary equipment
Communicator Research Operators may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- High-Frequency Direction-Finding Operator
- Mobile Research Operator
- Satellite communications
- Foreign languages
- Computer network support
- System administration
- Morse Code Operator
As they progress in their career, Communicator Research Operators who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:
- Signals Development Operator
- Linguistic Operator
The minimum required education to apply for this position is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 10 or Secondaire IV in Quebec including Grade 10 Applied Math or Math 426 in Quebec. Foreign education may be accepted.
This occupation is available part-time within the following environment: Army
Serve with the Reserve Force
Reserve Force members generally work part-time for a Reserve unit in their community. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can volunteer to move to another base. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.
Reserve Force training
Reserve Force members train with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required professional standards of the job. If additional training is required in order to specialize their skills, arrangements will be made by the home unit.
Typically, Reserve Force members work or train with their home unit for at least four evenings and one weekend per month, from September to May of each year. They are paid 85 percent of Regular Force rates of pay and receive a reasonable benefits package. There are two units with Communicator Research Operator positions, one in Ottawa and the other in Kingston Ontario. Communicator Research Operators work in a highly secure environment with restricted access, handling extremely sensitive information.
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