Electronic-Optronic Technicians maintain, repair and modify fire control systems to ensure the accurate delivery of ammunition to the intended target.
Electronic-Optronic Technicians belong to the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Branch of the Canadian Forces. The primary responsibilities of the Electronic-Optronic Technician is to:
- Inspect, test, identify faults in, adjust, repair, recondition and modify electrical, electromechanical, electronic, electro-optic and mechanical equipment, optical instruments, and control systems for weapons and missiles
- Repair surveillance and thermal observation systems
- Maintain vehicle satellite navigation systems
- Maintain fibre-optic systems
- Repair laser systems
- Maintain optical, electrical and electronic test equipment
- Repair portable and trailer-mounted power-generating systems
- Operate and maintain general-purpose and specialized tools and equipment
- Drive military-pattern vehicles.
Electronic-Optronic Technicians typically work at a base or station in Canada in a workshop. During field training and on operations in the field, they generally work in temporary or improvised workshops or outdoors. Electronic-Optronic Technicians are dedicated to the Army, but they may support Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Canadian Navy operations.
The starting salary for a fully-trained Electronic-Optronic Technicians is $49,400 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Electronic-Optronic Technicians who demonstrate the required ability, dedication 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.
After Basic Training, Army recruits go to a Military Training centre for the Soldier Qualification course for approximately one month, which covers the following topics:
- Army Physical Fitness
- Dismounted Offensive and Defensive Operations
- Reconnaissance Patrolling
- Advanced Weapons Handling
- Individual Field Craft
Electronic-Optronic Technicians take the Performance-Oriented Electronic Training course, which takes about 26 weeks, at the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics in Kingston, Ontario. You will then attend the Canadian Forces School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering in Borden, Ontario, for training specific to the roles and responsibilities of the Electronic-Optronic Technician. The training takes about 33 weeks but may be less for those with civilian qualifications in the field. Using a combination of classroom instruction, demonstrations and practical work, it covers the following material:
- Basic electrical and electronic theory
- Repair of electrical and electronic equipment
- Basic optical and optronic theory
- Repair of mechanical and optical equipment
- Repair of vehicle-mounted optronic and electronic devices
- Basic computer theory and architecture
- Repair of night-observation devices
- Repair of surveillance equipment
- Repair of surveying equipment
- Basic Soldiering skills, including field-craft and battle-craft
Electronic-Optronic Technicians are initially posted to a unit on a Canadian Forces Base for about 18 months of on-the-job training, which is similar to an apprenticeship program. During this period, you practice and build on your previous training. You are then eligible for additional training at the Canadian Forces School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering to bring your knowledge, skills and experience to that of a civilian journeyman.
Electronic-Optronic Technicians may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- Maintenance of the electrical, electronic and optronic systems of the Leopard tank
- Maintenance of the Javelin missile system
- Maintenance of artillery computers
- Air-conditioning equipment
- Maintenance of the electrical, electronic and optronic systems of low-level air-defence weapons
- Simulators and trainers
As they progress in their career, Electronic-Optronic Technicians who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:
- Maintenance of digital computers
- Maintenance of thermal sights
- Maintenance of advanced surveillance equipment, lasers, and fibre-optics
- Maintenance of simulators and trainers
- Leadership and tactics
- Supervisor-level training
- Manager-level training
The minimum required education 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.