Hull Technicians maintain the ship’s structure, stability, plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, damage control and fire fighting equipment. They are the ship’s carpenter, welder, metal worker and damage control expert.
The primary duties of the Hull Technician are to:
- Maintain air-conditioning and ventilation systems
- Test, maintain and repair ship structure and hull fittings
- Perform arc and oxyacetylene welding
- Perform carpentry and painting to maintain and repair ship fittings
- Operate and maintain firefighting and damage repair equipment
- Read and interpret sketches, engineering and mechanical drawings
- Maintain and repair ship piping systems, pumping and flooding systems, steam heating and de-icing equipment, and the ship’s pollution and sanitation systems
- Calculate ship stability and identify potential problems
Hull Technicians spend much of their career on board ships with “home ports” in either Halifax, Nova Scotia or Esquimalt, British Columbia. They experience the unique adventures and challenges that come with work at sea, such as working in small spaces, on open deck surfaces, in a variety of weather conditions and have a rotating shift or watch system.
When the ship is ashore, Hull Technicians may work closely with civilian tradespersons in dockyards, performing or overseeing ship refit or repairs. In addition to their primary duties, Hull Technicians spend time working outside their occupation performing general duties such as cleaning, painting, working in the cafeteria, standing sentry duty or loading supplies.
The starting salary for fully-trained Hull Technicians is $49,400 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Hull Technicians who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression and advancement.
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.
Naval recruits attend the Canadian Forces Fleet School either in Esquimalt, British Columbia or Halifax, Nova Scotia for approximately five weeks. Training includes the following topics:
- Naval history and organization
- Shipboard firefighting and damage control
- Shipboard Safety
- Watchkeeping duties
Hull Technicians attend Canadian Forces Fleet School in Esquimalt, British Columbia, for approximately 20 weeks. This training includes the following topics:
- Reading and interpreting ship’s drawings, blueprints and sketches
- Maintenance and repair of watertight and non-watertight openings
- Ship’s plumbing and piping systems
- Sheet metal work
- Nuclear, biological and chemical defence
- Firefighting and damage control
- Ventilation and air-conditioning
Hull Technicians may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- Petroleum Products Handling
- Welder – Inert Gas
- Instructional Techniques
- Air-Conditioning Controls
As they progress in their career, Hull Technicians who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:
- Pollution Abatement
- Helicopter Firefighting, Crash and Rescue
- Quality Assurance and Quality Control
- Advanced Damage Control