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Communications and Information Systems Specialist (CIS)
Job Role

Communications and Information Systems Specialist (CIS)

You’ll be in the thick of the action, in charge of the cutting-edge communication systems that are essential to global operations.

Fast trackEngineeringITCommunicationsApprenticeships
  • £18,500 - £58,599
  • No qualifications
  • Surface Fleet
  • Engineering
  • Rating level

At a glance

This role puts you in the thick of the action, transmitting and receiving crucial messages. You’re constantly relied upon by your Commanding Officer, who uses the information you provide to make key strategic decisions.
I've travelled all over the world, doing what i love. My role is vital to keeping the ship communicating with our colleagues ashore and afloat, whilst also making sure that my shipmates can keep in touch with their families back home. 


Communications Specialist

Role details

What you’ll do

Being an Engineering Technician Communications and Information Systems (CIS) Specialist means that you are always in the thick of the action working as an Online Network Engineer at the heart of every mission solving complex issues, enabling the secure exchange of mission critical and often Top-Secret information. It is your responsibility to administer and provide specialist communications and IT equipment including classified information and cryptographic material to guarantee Operational Capability is delivered to the Command.

Your role

  • CIS Specialists will keep military Task Groups of warships and F35B aircraft communicating in the Battlespace via any possible means.
  • Operate sophisticated global networked information systems, so you’re always able to receive communications that are crucial to the day-to-day operation of the ship.
  • Work with your team to take responsibility for the ship’s complex data-processing network systems, including the internet and satellite, placing you at the heart of tactical and strategic communications.
  • Find a solution to whatever problem comes your way, working with your team in challenging environments and high-pressure situations.

Pay & benefits

  • Earn over £23,496 after training, rising to over £58,599 as your career progresses
  • Adventurous training - from skiing to diving
  • Wide range of benefits including a House Purchase Scheme
  • Six weeks of paid holiday every year plus bank holidays
  • Free medical and dental care
  • Access to superb sport and fitness facilities
  • Subsidised travel and accommodation
  • Excellent pension scheme

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • Professional qualifications including a Level 3 and 4 Apprenticeship in IT.

The opportunity to gain

  • Study for GCSEs, then A-Levels in subjects including English, Maths and Science. 
  • Or choose, NVQs like IT Systems, User Skills or Office Administration. 
  • Eventually, you can work toward a degree like Information Systems.

Skills you'll develop

  • Learn to operate and maintain sophisticated communications equipment, including global radio and satellite systems.
  • Build practical skills like thinking on your feet to find a solution if a problem arises.
  • Become the ultimate team player, working with your colleagues in the Engineering branch to keep the ship operational, and collaborating with your crewmates on other projects.


  • You need to be aged between 16 to 39
  • No qualifications are required for this role
  • You must be a United Kingdom citizen or British Dual National. Dual Nationality restrictions do apply
  • You must have lived in the UK for 5 years continuously prior to application
  • A Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18 and 28 (between 17 and 27 if under 18)
  • Pass the Naval Swimming Test

Skills & Interests

  • A quick thinker, with a passion for working with the latest equipment and technology
  • A problem-solver, with a common sense approach, who can work well as part of a team
  • A real sense of adventure, with a high level of physical and mental fitness
  • Enthusiasm for networks, information systems and communications

Joining Process

From picking your role to starting on your first day, these are the steps you'll take to join as a rating.

Career Progression

From responsibilities to pay, find out where this role can take you.

Got a question?

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