Engineer Officer (Communications Electronics)

Job Description

As an Engineer Officer you will be responsible for leading your team and making technical decisions when it matters most. You will receive world-class training, providing you with the skills to lead and manage large teams of highly skilled technicians.

As a Communications Electronics specialist, you are vital in keeping lines of communication open. You will be responsible for global communications and information systems, as well as cybersecurity, aircraft mission planning and support systems, information assurance and ground-based radar.



  • Be ready to deploy all over the World to provide essential communication services in support of air operations, humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
  • Provide engineering and mission support systems that the latest generation of aircraft rely on in order to operate.
  • Specialise in cyber security and help to defend communication networks across Defence.



Your career will start with Initial Officer Training at RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire where you will follow a challenging 24-week syllabus to develop your leadership and management skills.


After Initial Officer Training, you will then move onto Engineer Officer Foundation Training (Communications Electronics); this is a 22-week course at the Defence School of Communications Information Systems (DSCIS) at RAF Cosford that prepare you for your foundation tour and beyond. With additional study, you can also obtain a BSc (Hons) Degree in Communications Engineering Management.


As a Junior Officer (JO) you will lead across the Military Air Environment and signals/cyber domain. This includes managing the maintenance of aircraft, systems or equipment on flying stations (with several squadrons of aircraft) or on other delivery stations which provide non-flying equipment capabilities such as communications operations, explosives maintenance and support equipment.

You will be operationally focused, leading teams of skilled non-commissioned officers and technicians, managing and directing their work as well as looking after their welfare with each posting lasting typically 2-3 years.

After EOFT(CE), your foundation tour is likely to either be in support of an RAF station’s mission-critical information systems and services, or to 90 Signals Unit, our hub of excellence for Communications Information Systems – including elements that deploy bespoke communications solutions in support of exercises and overseas operations.

To broaden you as an officer, regardless of your AS or CE specialization you will also be encouraged to become involved in wider station activities, typically as the Officer in charge of a club or society, or in furthering the engineering profession for example by becoming a STEM Ambassador.


Within your first or second tours, you will automatically be promoted to Flight Lieutenant and given extra responsibility.  As your career progresses you will have the opportunity to work in a variety of different roles and environments; this may range from working within the headquarters of the RAF, or Permanent Joint Headquarters Northwood, planning and supporting overseas operations through to working in Defence Intelligence and being immersed in classified intelligence communities understanding their communication needs.  Roles also include providing RADAR systems to generate the Recognised Air Picture, which allows Air Traffic Control and Aerospace Battlespace Managers to track aircraft over the UK and areas of operation overseas, or providing platform-specific IT systems essential for the maintenance and support of our fourth and fifth generation aircraft.


You will have all the personal development opportunities and career prospects of your civilian counterparts - and possibly more - together with the chance to work around the world, gaining unique engineering experiences in the process. As well as RAF training packages and courses linked to outside professional bodies, we actively support individual study programmes at every level. You could have opportunities to take on Masters’ degree courses, either full-time or part-time in one of 50 paid for courses while you remain on full salary. We have special agreements with the major Professional Engineering Institutions to attain Incorporated Engineer and Chartered Engineer professional status and we will pay for the associated membership fees.


Much of our in-house training is accredited and/or recognised by external awarding bodies.  For engineers, we encourage and have developed a streamlined route with various Professional Engineering Institutes for those looking to obtain their Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and Chartered Engineer (CEng) status.

There are numerous opportunities for both professional and personal development throughout your career; this may be an MSc/MBA from the Defence Academy at Shrivenham, using your Standard or Enhanced Learning Credits for courses which are of benefit to the RAF, or – if your specific role requires – a year’s Master’s degree at a UK university in a specialist topic.  Furthermore, as you are promoted you will receive further leadership and management training to match your responsibilities.


An accredited Bachelors or Masters in an appropriate engineering or scientific subject e.g.: aeronautical engineering; electrical engineering or electronic engineering.

Degrees should be accredited by one or more of the 4 professional engineering institutions most closely aligned to the RAF’s needs:

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET); The Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS); The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE); The British Computer Society (BCS) - (Other degrees might be accepted at the discretion of the Engineer Specialist, please apply and this will be assessed on a case by case basis.)

Degree accreditation status can be determined via the Engineering Council (UK) website

Applicants must also have a GCSE at Grade C /4-5 or SCE at Grade 2 /SNE at Grade C in English Language.

You can see what the RAF accepts in lieu of GCSEs & A Levels here.