Stephane Lacasse -
Aviation Systems Technician
Aviation Systems Technicians handle, service, and maintain Canadian Forces aircraft, ground equipment and associated support facilities.
Aviation Systems Technicians are responsible for the maintenance of aircraft aviation systems including propulsion, airframe, electrical, weapon, and aircraft life support and their related components. They also perform the following duties:
- Test, inspect and repair aviation systems
- Perform quality assurance checks
- Prepare and maintain aircraft forms and statistical data
Perform aircraft handling tasks which include:
- Operate aircraft support equipment
Aviation Systems Technicians work at air bases in aircraft maintenance organisations, in maintenance hangers, in airborne aircraft, and on the flight line. However, they may also work with tactical helicopter field units and on board ships. In the course of their career, Aviation Systems Technicians will be required to work shifts and periods of overtime. In geographic terms, employment can vary from Canadian Forces Wings and Bases within Canada, including the Arctic, to locations throughout the world in response to NATO and UN commitments.
The starting salary for a fully-trained Aviation Systems Technician is $49,400 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Once all required training is complete, they are posted to a location within Canada where they complete on-the job training on the equipment specific to the home unit. After field technical training and a period of time in the position, an Aviation Systems Technician may apply for training to become a Non-destructive Testing Technician or Flight Engineer. Those who demonstrate the required ability and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training.
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 Canadian Forces physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.
Aviation Systems Technicians attend training at the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering in Borden, Ontario. This training takes approximately 54 weeks and includes the following topics:
- Theory of flight (fixed and rotary wing)
- Common mechanical training
- Aircraft structures
- Propulsion systems
- Wiring and soldering
- Aircraft servicing
- Aircraft life support equipment
- Aircraft instrumentation
- Aircraft publications
- Aircraft safety
- Flight controls
- Hydraulic, fuel, brake and de-icing systems
- Environment control systems
- Aircraft weapons systems
- Explosive safety and storage
Aviation Systems Technicians may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal course and on-the-job training, including:
- Instructional Technique
- Non-Destructive Testing
- Aircraft Specific Type Courses
- Aircraft Engine Type Courses
- Cryogenic Bulk Storage and Handling
- Aircraft NICAD Battery Maintenance
- Life Cycle Materiel Management
- Aircraft Fluid Handling
- Corrosion Identification and Control
- Technical Writing
- Technical Inspection and Quality Assurance
- Flight Safety Investigators Course
- Explosive Ordinance Disposal
As they progress in their career, Aviation Systems Technicians who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:
- Technical Administration
- Leadership and Management Courses
The minimum required education to apply for this position is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 10 or Secondaire IV in Canada. Foreign education may be accepted.
If you already have a college diploma, the Canadian Forces will decide if your academic program matches the training criteria for this job and may place you directly into the any required on-the-job training program following basic training. Basic training and military occupation training is required before being assigned.
Non-commissioned Member Subsidized Education Program
Because this position requires specialty training, the Canadian Forces will pay successful recruits to attend the diploma program at an approved Canadian college. NCM SEP students attend basic training and on-the-job training during the summer months. 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. If you choose to apply to this program, you must apply both to the Canadian Forces and the appropriate college. For more information, click on Paid College.
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 college diploma 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.
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.