As a Telecommunications Specialist, or Signals Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces, you are a commissioned member of the Communications and Electronics Branch. You will support operations in Canada and abroad by delivering telecommunications and information management services to the Canadian Armed Forces, especially the Army and command units.
Signals Officers plan and manage communications systems, and are responsible for the operations and maintenance of all Canadian Armed Forces communications systems that are not built into aircraft, boats or ships. As a staff officer, you may also be employed in policy development and project management.
You will be extensively involved in systems engineering and network operations, working with Army command support equipment such as purpose designed, computer based information systems that assist with battlefield command and control, reconnaissance and surveillance, and target acquisition; the full spectrum of radio systems from HF to EHF; electronic warfare capabilities; cyber warfare capabilities; and cryptographic and communications-security systems. To perform well in this career, you must be fully competent in the conduct of land operations.
Signals Officers must be able to lead troops in close support of combat units, and are frequently required to perform many physical and mental tasks at once in adverse circumstances. Signals Officers work in all climates, environments and circumstances, from a base or garrison to the discomforts and risks of service with an operational Army unit, both on exercise in Canada and on overseas deployments that may involve combat.
Appropriate training, environmental clothing and protective equipment are provided. Support for your health, safety and morale is essential and readily available.
Pay and Benefits
Your pay in the Canadian Armed Forces is based on your occupation and rank. The starting salary for a fully-trained Signals Officer is $51,000 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Regular promotions through the junior officer ranks take place based on the completion of required training and on the length of service as an officer. Once promoted to the rank of Captain your salary is approximately $73,000 per year.
All service personnel, men and women, married or single, are paid on the same scale. As a Regular Force member, you will also receive valuable opportunities for ongoing education and training, as well as family and personal benefits supporting work-life balance and a strong pension plan.
Training and Advancement
As a Canadian Armed Forces member, you will receive continuous support to advance your career, the chance to travel the world, and many other tangible services and benefits.
Your career in the Canadian Armed Forces starts with training, including several months at facilities across Canada, followed by a period of obligatory service.
If you demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential, you will receive opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training.
Phase 1: Basic Military Officer Qualification (14 weeks)
Following your successful application, you will be enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces and undertake the Basic Military Officer Qualification (BMOQ) at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. You will learn the principles of leadership, the regulations and customs of the service, basic weapons handling and first aid. You will also take part in a rigorous program of sports and fitness training. The BMOQ is instructed in English or in French and successful completion is a prerequisite for further training.
After the BMOQ, you may attend a second language training course lasting from two to 12 months, depending on your second language proficiency.
Phase 2: Common Army Phase
Build upon the leadership training you received during BMOQ and develop the skills required of all Army officers, including more advanced weapons-handling, field-craft and section-level tactics at the Infantry School at the Combat Training Centre at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, N.B. You will also continue the rigorous fitness training and sports program.
Phase 3: Basic Signals Officers' Course
Military occupation training with the Basic Signals Officers' Course (BSOC) begins at the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics in Kingston, Ont. You will learn the skills and knowledge required to supervise and lead a Troop in tactical operations in the field. Emphasis will be placed on leadership, administration, and more advanced theory of communications and electronics and its application.
Phase 4: Completion of BSOC
Prepare for your first posting with training in operations and command at the Signal Troop or Platoon level in both the field and garrison environments. You will learn every facet of command support, acquiring knowledge of communications requirements and maintenance as well as the employment of communications in operations. You will also receive an introduction to project management in the communications and electronics field.
A successful candidate must:
- Be a Canadian Citizen
- Be 17 years of age or older (with parental or guardian consent if under 18), except Regular Officer Training Plan - Junior applications must be 16 or older
- Meet Canadian Armed Forces medical standards
- Successfully complete selection process, interview and examinations
- Pass physical fitness tests
The Canadian military is one of the most highly trained and respected forces in the world. Above all, the Canadian Armed Forces values strength of character and team contributions. This means that regardless of your gender, religion or ethnicity, the Canadian Armed Forces invites you to be a part of its team and to explore the opportunities it has to offer.
The Canadian Armed Forces has also taken great strides in safeguarding the equality of women. By adopting a "no exclusion policy," it has become one of the only militaries in the world to remove all barriers to full and equal service for all its members. This means that women have the opportunity to work any job in the Canadian Armed Forces.
How to Apply
Regular Officer Training Plan
Through this plan, you will earn an undergraduate education at the Royal Military College of Canada (or another accredited Canadian university) followed by a period of obligatory service in the Regular component of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Direct Entry Officer
If you already have a university degree, the Canadian Armed Forces will decide if your academic program matches the criteria for this job and may place you directly into the required on-the-job training program following basic training. Basic training and military officer qualification training are required before being assigned.
Find out more about becoming a Canadian Armed Forces Signals Officer, and see what other opportunities are available at FORCES.CA, call 1-800-856-8488 or visit your nearest Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre.
This position is also available in part-time employment. If interested, please visit FORCES.CA for more information.