Capability and Telecoms Engineer Ref. 2889

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Technology Roles
£35,712 - £72,357 depending on your level of skill and experience:

Entry Level - £35,712 - £39,654 dependent on skills and experience (package includes basic salary and skills payment), you will also receive an additional one-off recruitment bonus of £2,000.

Senior Level - £42,806 - 61,312 dependent on skills and experience (package includes basic salary and skills payment), you will also receive an additional one-off recruitment bonus of £3,500.

Principal Level - £55,904 - £72,357 dependent on skills and experience (package includes basic salary and skills payment), you will also receive an additional one-off recruitment bonus of £5,000.

Hours: We offer compressed and part-time hours, and job shares. Depending on business priorities and candidate preferences, there is also the potential for hybrid working. This would involve a mix of working from home and in the office, but this ratio will flex to meet mission needs.

About Us

At GCHQ, we unlock the complex world of data and communications to keep the UK and its citizens safe, both in the real world and online. Working closely with our British Intelligence partners in MI5 and MI6, we protect the UK from threats including serious organised crime, terrorism, and cyber-attacks. A role in GCHQ means you’ll do varied and fascinating work in a supportive and encouraging environment that puts the emphasis on teamwork.

The Roles

We’re currently looking for skilled Engineers to join us in a number of areas, including Telecoms, Digital Signal Processing, Embedded Systems and Multi-Skills. Whatever your specialism, you’ll be responsible for solving mission problems through the novel use of off-the-shelf and custom-built systems, and your day-to-day work will be like nothing you’ve experienced before. 

Join us as a Telecoms Engineer and you’ll use your expertise to understand complex telecoms networks and technologies, and analyse, process and reverse engineer a range of telecoms technologies from physical layer to protocol processing. Our Embedded Systems Engineers focus on building high performance solutions to complex and high rate processing, and work with industry and academia to push the boundaries of how we design and apply embedded systems to manage the challenges we face.

As the digitisation of signals moves closer to the front end, Digital Signal Processing is becoming more and more critical, not only for processing of signals, but also for optimisation through beam forming or to deal with multipath and diversity, and to support reverse engineering or transmission – these issues are the focus of our DSP Engineers. And our Multi-skilled Engineers work on the delivery of tailored end-to-end systems comprising hardware platforms running software applications to perform signal processing, connected back via bespoke networks. This work requires a broad knowledge of different technologies, and the system engineering knowledge to integrate hardware, software and network components into a complete system.

About You

You’ll be working on challenges that require novel solutions, and with this in mind you’ll be a creative and innovative problem solver. Sometimes you’ll find there are partial solutions that others have produced and you can build upon, but often inventive approaches will be needed. While you grow and develop your expertise, we won’t expect you to know everything about a challenge and the approaches that might solve it, but as you’ll be working as a member of a highly diverse team, there’ll be plenty of knowledge and expertise to draw on.

Our challenges come with a lot of uncertainty – sometimes this relates to data, other times to solutions. But whatever the issue, you should be comfortable stepping back and analysing the situation to work out what our data can tell us, and what issues might arise that could harm a solution. You should also be ready to make decisions in uncertain situations – it’s not enough to simply be aware of risks, uncertainty and work through mitigations – we’ll need you to be brave and make the best decisions based on the information available. 

It's also important that you’re curious about new technology, because as our adversaries acquire the latest technology for themselves, so our problem space is continually changing. Our engineers are naturally inquisitive, and constantly growing their knowledge about innovative developments in software, hardware and systems. Self-directed, on-the-job learning will take you a long way, but if you seek wider knowledge ‘just because’, you’ll often find inventive ways to use it later on.

We are looking for people with knowledge and experience at all levels ranging from entry level to people with practical experience for our more senior engineer roles, as described in more detail below.

Entry level - For entry level roles we are looking for a solid interest and aptitude in STEM subjects, such as a degree or equivalent qualification or you could have gained experience and expertise from industry, coupled with a passion to learn new technology.

Senior Engineer - For a senior engineer, you will be expected to have practical experience of applying your technical skills to full lifecycle delivery of capability and outcomes, either with the depth to take ownership of a particular specialism to push the art of the possible, or the breadth to deliver the end-to-end capability from design to productisation and rollout. You’ll be a local lead, coaching and developing other engineers, evaluating and selecting the best options available to deliver against a range of requirements.

Principal Engineer - For a Principal Engineer, you will be expected to be an acknowledged leader in your field of expertise, with a demonstrable record of working with industry to shape their future roadmaps and with academia to push forward the art of the possible. Within GCHQ we would expect you to leverage the partnerships you have created externally to open up new opportunities to how we design and deliver large scale corporate initiatives, supporting the associated business change to ensure mission value. You’ll be leading complex work, defining long term road maps and developing our future talent.

Training and Development

We aim to provide a structured development path to maximise your potential and career opportunities. Initially, this will be a blend of formal and on the job training, and you’ll shadow experienced team members to better understand the role. Later, and when you’re ready, you’ll be given ownership of a particular system component or set of tasks along with responsibility for representing this with partners and industry.

When you’re established and you’ve built up sufficient experience of a system and the associated relationships, you’ll be seen as a system expert and may be eligible for specialist pay. Longer term, there’ll be plenty of opportunities for you to develop into a wide variety of more senior roles, ranging from deep technical specialists and solution architects to team leader. In addition, support with future career opportunities is available and continued personal development is encouraged.

Rewards and Benefits

In addition to your starting salary, you’ll receive other benefits including:

-    25 Days Annual Leave automatically rising to 30 days after 5 years' service, and an additional 10.5 days public and privilege holidays
-    Opportunities to be recognised through our employee performance scheme
-    Interest-free season ticket loan
-    Excellent pension scheme
-    Cycle to work scheme
-    Facilities such as a gym, restaurant and on-site coffee bars (at some locations)
-    Paid parental and adoption leave.

Equal Opportunities

At GCHQ diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission. To protect the UK, we need a truly diverse workforce that reflects the society we serve. This includes diversity in every sense of the word: those with different backgrounds, ages, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ways of thinking and those with disabilities or neurodivergent conditions. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including those from groups that are under-represented in our workforce such as women, those from an ethnic minority background, people with disabilities and those from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Find out more about our culture, working environment and diversity on our website:

We’re Disability Confident

GCHQ are proud to have achieved Leader status within the DWP’s Disability Confident scheme. This is aimed at encouraging employers to think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled people. Being Disability Confident, we aim to offer a person-to-person interview to any candidate who self-identifies as disabled and meets the essential criteria for the role. This is our ‘Offer of Interview’ (OOI). To secure an interview for this vacancy, the essential criteria (in order of application process) are: 

   Able to demonstrate how you have analysed and solved technical problems - assessed at application sift
   Comfortable working as part of a team to develop new capability and able to collaborate with others - assessed at application sift
   An awareness of the basic steps required to develop a capability - assessed at application sift
   Able to demonstrate an inquisitive approach to understanding or adapting technology - assessed at application sift

What to Expect

Our recruitment process is fair, transparent, and based on merit. Here is a brief overview of each stage, in order:

   Application sift
   Interview – to include a presentation (estimate interviews to start W.C 5th June)
   If successful you will receive a conditional offer of employment

Please note, you must successfully pass each stage of the process to progress to the next. Your application may take around 6 - 9 months to process including vetting, so we advise you continue any current employment until you have received your final job offer.

Before You Apply

To work at GCHQ you need to be a British citizen or hold dual British nationality. You can read our full eligibility criteria here.

This role requires the highest security clearance, known as Developed Vetting (DV). It’s something everyone in the UK Intelligence Community undertakes. You can find out more about the vetting process here.

Please note we have a strict drugs policy, so once you start your application, you can’t take any recreational drugs and you’ll need to declare your previous drug usage at the relevant stage.

The role is based in Cheltenham, so you’ll need to live within a commutable distance. Please consider any financial implications and practicalities before submitting an application, as we do not offer relocation costs.
Please note, you should only launch your application from within the UK. If you are based overseas, you should wait until you visit the UK to launch an application. Applying from outside the UK will impact on our ability to progress your application. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member. 

Right to Withdraw Statement:

Please be aware that we withhold the right to bring forward the closing date for this role from the original closing date once a certain number of applications have been received. Please be mindful of this and submit your application at your earliest convenience to avoid disappointment. 

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.