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Info for Advisors

As a guidance counsellor or academic advisor, you play a unique role in offering support to high school seniors as they decide what to do after graduation. Typically, students feel they have two choices: continue to post-secondary school or find secure employment. The Forces offers high-school graduates the best of both worlds with fully-funded education through Canadian colleges & universities, and a rewarding career with opportunities for travel, adventure, and promotion.

Joining the Forces is not for everyone. In this section, you will find tools and resources to assist you in providing advice and guidance to the students who want to take advantage of the unique opportunity of a Forces career and to reach their fullest potential.

Useful links

Forces members are strong, physically active and enjoy teamwork. But there are several different paths high school graduates may choose. Selecting the right path is important to ensure the overall satisfaction in their future career. 

Non-Commissioned Members are the backbone of the military. They are high school graduates with specialized training for specific occupations. In some cases they hold diplomas in specialized fields from Canadian colleges. Often they are technicians and operators. 

Ideal candidates for NCM positions are people interested in technology, in working directly with the systems that keep military operations up and running. They enjoy working with others to problem-solve and are motivated by a job well-done.

Officers are the leaders or managers. They hold bachelor degrees from either the Canadian Military College System or another Canadian university in a field relevant to the type of work they will be doing. Often they do specialized, strategic jobs like pilots, marine engineers, and command troops. (Link to Service Options, Officer)

Ideal candidates for Officer positions are people interested in leading teams, being responsible for very important projects, and who think strategically. They enjoy motivating others and working with teams to solve problems.

Paid Education

The key benefit of a military career for most high-school graduates is the option of paid post-secondary education. There is both a college stream for Non-Commissioned Members, and a university stream for Officers. In either stream, recruits receive full salary and benefits while attending a Canadian post-secondary institution. 


Paid College

Every year, more diploma programs at Canadian colleges are receiving accreditation to train Non-Commissioned Members. Candidates who want to take advantage of this program must meet the educational requirements set by the college administering the training. They are also required to apply for the selected college program and the Forces in tandem. At the end of their training, recruits are required to serve 2 months for each month they received paid education. 

The following Forces jobs are available for paid education:


Paid University

Officer cadets typically attend university through the Canadian Military College System, at either the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario or the Royal Military College in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. They receive an education balanced between academics and military training. 

However, there are instances when either a degree program is not offered through the Colleges, such as Nursing, or there are more applicants than the Colleges can accommodate. In these instances, applicants are offered the opportunity to attend a civilian university. They receive a full salary, benefits, paid tuition & equipment, and military training over the summer months. 

Candidates who want to take advantage of this program must meet the academic standards set by the Canadian Military College System or the admission criteria of the Canadian university they would like to attend. They are also required to apply for the selected university program and the Forces in tandem. At the end of their training, they receive a commission as an Officer and are required to serve two months for every month of paid education. In most cases, the required service commitment is five years.

For paid education programs, interested candidates should submit their applications to the Forces as soon as possible, but no later than January 16 for enrolment by September of the same year.  If they want to apply for the position of Military Police Officer, candidates should submit their application no later than November 14, due to the high interest and competition for this job.


On-the-job Training

High-school graduates do not have to apply to a post-secondary training or education program in order to join the Forces. There are a number of jobs where the Forces provides the necessary classroom and on-the-job training. Applicants for these positions must have completed Grade 10 or Secondaire IV in Quebec, in addition to the prerequisites of the specific job.

Minimum Number of Courses/Credits Required to Submit Application to the CF
6 courses
33 credits
8 credits
10 credits
15 credits
24 credits
6 credits
6 credits
6 credits
6 credits

Once the application and selection processes are completed, successful candidates receive an offer of employment. And, they are given time to decide whether or not they will accept that offer. The length of time they are expected to serve depends on the Forces’s need for their skills and the training time. The minimum is usually about three years; however, if they will receive paid education they will be expected to serve longer. Basic training and training specific to the Army, Navy or Air Force are the next steps. 

Once all their training is complete, Forces members receive their first posting, based on where their new skills are most needed. We try to accommodate the member’s preferred location whenever possible for future postings, but it ultimately depends on where their skills are needed to best support the entire Forces operation. Deployment, which is the requirement for a member to go on a domestic or international military operation, depends on their skill-set, skill-level and the needs of the individual mission. 

Generally, the average work day for a Forces member is the same for a person in a comparable civilian job. They usually work regular full-time work hours; they get 20 days of vacation a year; they get full dental and medical benefits; they usually live in their own house or apartment; they play sports; they spend time with their families and friends.