Aerospace Engineering Officers are responsible for all aspects of the engineering, maintenance and management of military aircraft; and all of their support equipment and facilities during military operations.
The responsibilities of the Aerospace Engineering Officer are to:
- Manage and supervise the personnel and resources required for the servicing, inspection and repair of aircraft.
- Oversee designing, developing and testing new systems and modifying existing ones or for conducting the life cycle management of aircraft and air weapon systems.
- Participate in the formulation of plans, policies, standards and specifications for present and future military aircraft and their support equipment and facilities.
- Provide technical advice on aircraft operation.
The starting salary for a fully-trained Aerospace Engineering 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, their salary is approximately $74,000 per year.
After enrolment, you start basic officer training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, for 14 weeks. Topics covered include general military knowledge, the principles of leadership, regulations and customs of the Canadian Forces, basic weapons handling, and first aid. Opportunities will also be provided to apply such newly acquired military skills in training exercises involving force protection, field training, navigation and leadership. A rigorous physical fitness program is also a vital part of basic training. Basic officer training is provided in English or French and successful completion is a prerequisite for further training.
Second language training is available following basic officer training; depending on your ability in your second language, it may take from two to nine months.
The training program ensures that Aerospace Engineering Officers become familiar with the operations of an air wing and the duties of the position. This training also provides practical experience by working with aircraft maintenance technicians and supervisors, and allows them to become familiar with maintenance operations on individual aircraft types.
Initially, Aerospace Engineering Officers attend the one-week Orientation Course, which introduces them to the aircraft operations branch, the occupation and the fundamentals of safety when working around aircraft. Each summer, they attend one of three practical phases ranging from eight to 11 weeks in duration. Upon graduation, Aerospace Engineering Officers attend a six-month basic course conducted in English or French at the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering in Borden, Ontario. This course combines theoretical and practical exercises and covers leadership, management and business skills on top of the core aeronautical fundamentals including operations, maintenance and safety.
Aerospace Engineering Officers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- Administrative and management skills.
- Graduate training in engineering.
If you already have a university degree, the Canadian 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.
Regular Officer Training Plan
Because this position requires a university degree, the Canadian Forces will pay successful recruits to complete a Bachelor degree program at a Canadian university. They receive full-time salary including medical and dental care, as well as vacation time with full-pay in exchange for working with the Canadian Forces for a period of time. Typically, candidates enter the Canadian Military College System as an Officer Cadet where they study subjects relevant to both their military and academic career. In some instances, the Canadian Forces is able to pay for Officer Cadets to attend other Canadian universities in a relevant degree program. Officer Cadets who attend other Canadian universities typically attend university during the regular academic year and participate in additional military training during the summer months. If you choose to apply to this program, you must apply both to the Canadian Forces and the Canadian university of your choice. For more information, click on Paid University.
This position is available for part-time employment through the Reserves. Reservists generally work part-time for a Reserve unit in their community. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can volunteer to move to another base. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.
Reservists train with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required professional standards of the job. If additional training is required in order to specialize skills, arrangements will be made by the home unit.
It is also possible to set up an “Individual Learning Plan” to take courses leading to a university degree related to this job, and upon successful completion, be reimbursed for up to 50% of tuition and other mandatory costs. Education fees for successfully completed courses are reimbursed as long as the student was a Reservist during the entire duration of the course.
This position is available through the Reserve Entry Training Plan. Through this program Reservists attend the Royal Military College, and are eligible for tuition reimbursement up to $2000 per year. They are paid as a part-time officer cadet for any additional military training required.
Typically, Reservists work or train with their home unit for at least four evenings and one weekend per month, from September to May of each year. They are paid 85% of Regular Force rates of pay and receive a reasonable benefits package.