Meteorological Technicians observe, brief on and forecast weather conditions in support of operations at Royal Canadian Air Force Wings and Squadrons, on Royal Canadian Navy Ships at sea and in Army facilities.
Their primary responsibilities are to:
- Observe and record surface, marine and upper air weather conditions
- Process, analyze and interpret meteorological information
- Operate and maintain specialized meteorological instruments and equipment
- Brief wing, ship and land unit personnel on actual and expected weather conditions
- Forecast weather conditions
Generally, meteorological observing offices are located near airfields. While much of a Meteorological Technician’s time is spent indoors in a weather office, duties require regular trips outdoors to observe and report on all types of weather phenomena. Meteorological Technicians work rotating shifts. In a Naval environment, they will work and live onboard a ship. If posted to an artillery unit, they will participate in field exercises under operational and combat conditions.
The starting salary for a fully-trained Meteorological Technician is $49,400 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Meteorological 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
Meteorological Technicians attend training in Winnipeg, Manitoba, for 20 weeks that includes the following subjects:
- Surface weather observations
- Recording and encoding weather data
- Measurement of surface and upper winds
- Operating meteorological instruments
- Weather communications
- Maintenance of weather equipment
- Weather briefing
Meteorological Technicians may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- Navigator’s Yeoman
- Aerological Specialist
- Meteorological Inspector
- Automatic Weather Observation Systems
As they progress in their career, Meteorological Technicians who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:
- Installation and maintenance of meteorological sensors and equipment
- Weather briefings
- Weather forecasting