Geomatics Technicians collect geospatial data using imagery and Global Positioning System devices and survey equipment. They capture, analyze, process, present, disseminate and manage this data to support the operations of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.
Geomatics Technicians are members of the Military Engineering Branch of the Canadian Forces. Their primary responsibilities are to:
- Collect geospatial data satellite, aerial and photo imagery, Global Positioning System devices and survey equipment
- Manage and fuse digital geospatial data and products from a wide range of sources
- Produce digital and hard-copy maps, charts, three-dimensional visualizations and other geospatial products to help military leaders understand and move in the battle space
- Generate and reproduce digital geospatial products
- Distribute geospatial products from the Canadian Forces Map Depot to units in garrison and on operations
- Provide expert geomatics advice and liaison to Canadian Forces personnel at all levels of command
Geomatics Technicians are members of the Army, but they may be called upon to support all Canadian Forces’ exercises and operations, including those lead by the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force. Most work at a base or station is done in an office environment in a major headquarters within Canada, using high-tech computer workstations and software designed for geomatics. Geomatics Technicians are also employed aboard ships, on survey duties, and in Army units that train in the field and deploy on operations. Over the course of their career they may be offered international postings, including exchanges with the United States Army.
The starting salary for a fully-trained Geomatics Technician is $49,400 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Geomatics 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
Geomatics Technicians attend the School of Military Mapping at Algonquin College, which is a detachment of the Mapping and Charting Establishment in Ottawa, Ontario. You will receive instruction from civilian and military instructors on the following topics:
- Battle space analysis and visualization products
- Mathematics and survey
- Remote sensing software and data
- Geographic information systems and data
- Production of geospatial data
- Navigation systems
- Geomatics product reproduction process
- Computer hardware and software
- Geomatics product distribution process
Geomatics Technicians may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- Geodetic terrestrial and aerial survey training
- Geospatial database management
- Advanced geomatics applications
- Advanced terrain analysis
- Geomatics engineering diploma
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.
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.