National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces

Ottawa, Ontario

Naval Communicator

Across Canada
Entry Level, Early Career


If you’re looking for a fast-paced job that’s at the heart of the action, becoming a Naval Communicator may be the job for you. You will serve on the Bridge and in the Communications Control Room of Canadian destroyers, frigates and submarines and will have the opportunity to work with some of the most advanced and sophisticated communication and computer systems in the world.
While on board ships, Naval Communicators experience the unique adventures and challenges that come with work at sea such as rough waters and shift-work. They work primarily in the Communications Control Room, Operations Room, on the Bridge and the Flag Deck.
As with all sea-going personnel, Naval Communicators work with their fellow shipmates in out-of-occupation duties such as watchkeeper or sentry, act as a line handler for replenishment at sea, and as a ship-hand for entering and leaving the harbour. They participate in Search and Rescue events, act as a member of the ship’s emergency response team for security watches, and routinely perform ship maintenance and repairs. If necessary, a Naval Communicator may serve as a member of the Naval Boarding Party in order to inspect the cargo of suspect vessels and detain the vessel’s crew during inspections.
When employed ashore, Naval Communicators work in office-like conditions in a high-security environment, typically a restricted-access communications facility. They may work in a wider variety of duties such as providing communications support to ships and shore establishments, performing duties to assist in the communications flow in Naval Radio Stations, or be employed as instructors in Recruit, Leadership or Communication Schools.


As a Naval Communicator, you will establish and manage all external voice, radio teletype and data circuits, and provide real-time tactical information in support of operations. You will maintain communications with national and allied networks over radio frequencies required for mission coordination, using tactical line-of-sight, long-range and satellite communications. It will also be your responsibility to advise Command on tactical signaling and ship maneuvering, encoding/decoding of signals and dissemination of tactical and maneuvering signals. 

Some of your primary duties will also include computer networking, satellite, tactical voice and visual communications, computer-based message processing networks, radio communication control systems, and the handling of cryptographic and satellite equipment in support of high speed data and imagery exchanges.

Salary and Benefits

The starting salary for a fully trained Naval Communicator is $49,400 per year. However, depending on your previous experience and training, the starting salary may be higher. Naval Communicators are posted to their first ship stationed either in Halifax, Nova Scotia, or Esquimalt, British Columbia. 

Professional Training and Development

Naval Communicators usually serve at sea until they reach the rank of Leading Seaman. They then divide their time between jobs at sea and ashore in radio stations, fleet training schools, and in various staff positions at Headquarters and Naval Reserve Divisions throughout Canada. 

As a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, you have access to ongoing training. You also have the opportunity to travel the world and enjoy several other services and benefits. Opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training are available for those who have the right skills and demonstrate ability, dedication and potential.

Basic Military Officer 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 Forces physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.

Naval Environmental Training

Naval recruits attend the Canadian Forces Fleet School either in Esquimalt, British Columbia, or Halifax, Nova Scotia, for approximately five weeks. Training includes the following topics:

  • Naval History and Organization
  • Shipboard Firefighting and Damage Control
  • Shipboard Safety
  • Watchkeeping Duties
  • Seamanship

Basic Occupational Qualification Training
Naval Communicators attend the Canadian Forces Fleet School in Esquimalt, British Columbia, for approximately 29 weeks. Training includes:

  • Communications Security
  • Information Systems Security
  • Basic Communication Procedures, such as:
  • Basic Radio Theory and Computer Skills
  • A Plus and Network Plus Curriculum
  • Keyboarding and Message Processing
  • Frequency Management
  • Operating Radio Communication Equipment
  • Fleet Maneuvering

Specialty Training

Naval Communicators may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:

  • Maritime Semi-automatic Exchange Basic Operator
  • Military Aeronautical Communications
  • Naval Boarding Party
  • Basic Submarine Qualification
  • Ship’s Team Diver
  • Instructional Techniques
  • Ship’s Coxswain

Advanced Training

As they progress in their career, Naval Communicators who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:

  • Computer Operation (Message Handling)
  • Local Area Network Administrator
  • Advanced Cryptography
  • Communications Policy Directive Planning and Implementation
  • Tactical Communication Plan Preparation and Execution
  • Communications Security
  • Information Systems Security
  • Frequency Management
  • Advanced Fleet Tactical Manoeuvring
  • Leadership and Management Courses


Required Education

The minimum required education to apply for this position is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 10 or Secondary IV in Quebec. Foreign education may be accepted.

To be eligible to apply to the Canadian Armed Forces, you must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen.
  • Be 17 years of age (with consent from a parent or legal guardian) or older, except for junior candidates in the Regular Officer Training Plan, who must be 16 or older.
  • Have completed at least Grade 10 or Secondary IV in Quebec.
  • Certain entry programs and occupations require higher levels of education. 

Join the Forces 

Learn how you can become a Naval Communicator in the Canadian Armed Forces and discover over 100 other job opportunities at, by calling 1 800 856-8488 or by visiting a Canadian Armed Forces Recruitment Centre near you. 

How to Apply