A radar and sonar operator installs, operates and maintains highly advanced radar and sonar equipment. The position involves identifying, searching for and analysing objects concerning a mission or objective from the military command centre or aboard aircraft, ships or submarines. Radar and sonar operators are also requested to forecast the weather and utilise artillery fires.
Duties and responsibilities
- Search, identify, track and analyse objects that are of military interest
- Implement and repair radio and sound wave technology
- Produce acoustic models for optimised sensor performance
- Maintain the equipment to ensure that it can function during any mission
- Document airborne, shipboard and terrestrial positions of identified objects
- Navigate through surveillance during search and rescue missions
- Participate in regular military training to improve and diversify your skills
- Study the latest developments in communications and electronics equipment
- Keep track of system documentation to show if there has been any repairs or maintenance
- Prepare radar equipment or power generators ahead of operations
- Reconfigure systems by removing or replacing inadequate modules and components
- Summarise data collected from radar and sonar systems for actionable intelligence purposes
Skills and knowledge
AVERAGE WORKING HOURS
On a rota
A radar and sonar operator will possess a comparable schedule to other members of the military, maintaining an average full-time workload of 45 to 50 hours. You can anticipate expanding your workings hours to as much as 60 hours if you are on a mission or your country is participating in a war. There will be many occasions where you will work nights, weekends and holidays. The position also requires consistent participation in the classroom to add to your skillset and experience.
Annual salary estimates are based on data published on the Today's Military website.
To become a radar and sonar operator, you will mostly be required to enlist in the military and attend a rigorous 12-week military training. Once you have passed this stage, you will later attend special classes that home in on specific disciplines, including working with radar and sonar equipment. It does help if you have a college or university education that specialises in electronics, computer engineering or any related field.
Like other positions in the military, there is plenty of room for advancement when you start as a radar and sonar operator. The military is a place of meritocracy, so the better you do your job, the more you will be rewarded for your work. Since the military is dependent on technology, there are plenty of employment opportunities in radar and sonar operation. With enough time, you will climb through the ranks and potentially into leadership roles.