One of the key benefits of joining the Forces is paid education.
When you enrol through the paid university or college programs, the Forces will pay for your university or college tuition, books and academic equipment in addition to providing a salary and benefits while you attend school.
In return for paying for your education, the Forces requires you to serve in the forces for a period of time following graduation. Time served is calculated on the basis of two months service for each month of paid education.
A quality education is the foundation for your future no matter which career path you choose.
If you are looking for unique responsibilities, a meaningful career with excellent opportunities and the chance to develop your personal strengths, then your first step is the Regular Officer Training Plan.
A career as an officer in the Forces offers you experiences and challenges that will enable you to maximize your contribution to Canada wherever you serve.
The Advantages of Paid University
You will benefit from paid tuition, a full-time salary and benefits, second language training, an exciting career after graduation, and more opportunities than you can imagine.
Typically, as a successful applicant to the Regular Officer Training Plan, you enter the Canadian Military College system as an officer cadet where you will receive a first-class education that balances academics, leadership, bilingualism, and athletics.
Sometimes there are more qualified candidates than the Canadian Military College system can accommodate or your choice of program is not offered. In these instances, you would be eligible to apply to any Canadian university. Your tuition, books, lab fees, and student fees are covered and you receive a monthly salary.
In addition to a university education, officer cadets receive military training, occupation training, and second language training. The full-time salary includes full medical and dental care as well as vacation with full pay.
The Regular Officer Training Plan selection process
Since an application to the Regular Officer Training Plan is also an application to the Canadian Military College system, all candidates are assessed against:
- an aptitude test
- a medical examination
- an interview
- military potential—an assessment of aptitudes, personality traits, and the choice of occupation
- academic performance—an assessment of a candidate’s top six most recent marks related to the requirements of his or her chosen program.
Based on marks, applicants fall into one of two categories: senior or junior applicants. A senior applicant has an average of at least 75 percent in the subjects required for the program. Most high school graduates or current students are senior applicants. Their first year in an undergraduate program is completed at a Canadian university or at one of the Royal Military College (RMC) campuses: at RMC of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, or at RMC Saint-Jean in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. For those attending RMC Saint-Jean, the last three years of the degree are completed at RMC of Canada.
A junior applicant is typically a Quebec high school student who wishes to study at a Canadian Military College. Junior applicants start their studies through a preparatory year at RMC Saint-Jean, which is equivalent to first year CEGEP in Quebec. However, sometimes the Forces accept into the junior program high-calibre students who fall just below the senior minimum. These students may need additional courses for science or engineering programs, or have a lower average in the required subjects. Once they successfully complete their preparatory year, they pursue their undergraduate degree program. They are part of the paid university program for five years.
Once enrolled in the Regular Officer Training Plan as an officer cadet, you are obliged to maintain satisfactory academic and military performances throughout the program. After successfully completing the Regular Officer Training Plan, you receive a university degree and are granted a commission as an officer in the Forces. Graduates are normally required to serve at least five years.
The Regular Officer Training Plan application deadline for all occupations is January 31 for admission the following September. Basic training is done in two parts: Part 1 starts immediately following your high school completion (end June/early July); and Part 2 will be done at the end of your first academic year. For Quebec residents, senior applicants start their basic training following their first year CEGEP and complete it the following year. Junior applicants start their basic training following their Secondary V and complete it the following year.
All Canadian nationals living abroad who apply to the Regular Officer Training Plan should submit their application and associated paperwork in advance to allow for possible delays in communication and processing. The recommended submission date for candidates applying from outside of Canada is November 30.
How to apply
Sophisticated Technology – State-of-the-Art Equipment – Continuous Learning
Hands-on training experience is the basis for your future as an expert operator or technician. If you want to work with cutting-edge technology, be part of a team and have interesting job opportunities, then your first step is the Non-Commissioned Member Subsidized Training and Education Plan.
A career as a non-commissioned member in the Forces will offer you unique experiences and challenges and a life like no other both at home and overseas.
Typically, as a new recruit, you attend college during the school year through an accredited program at a Canadian college. Recruits attend basic training and on-the-job training during the summer months.
Your full-time salary includes medical and dental care as well as vacation time with full pay. The application deadline for the Non-Commissioned Member Subsidized Training and Education Plan is in January for the fall college session.
The selection process
An application to the Non-Commissioned Member Subsidized Training and Education Plan does not guarantee a spot in an accredited program at a Canadian college. Students are encouraged to apply to an accredited program through the college of their choice before applying to the Forces.
Students benefitting from Paid College are expected to meet and maintain the academic standards of the college where they are enrolled. After graduating, they continue with training to bridge their technical education to the military environment.
In exchange for Paid College, students are required to serve in the Forces for two months for each month they were in the school. That usually works out to three to four years.
How to apply
Talk to a recruiter. They will 1) help you choose the best paid education plan for your specific career path, and 2) will tell you which college programs are currently supported by the Forces.
The Military Colleges
The Canadian Military College system is made up of two colleges.
The Royal Military College (RMC) of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, grants undergraduate university degrees in arts, science and engineering. It also offers graduate programs.
The Royal Military College (RMC) Saint-Jean in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, offers academic programs at the college level and prepares students for university studies at the Royal Military College.
Programs at both colleges are four years long or five years for Secondaire V (Sec V) students in Quebec.
When deciding which post-secondary path to follow, students in the Canadian Military College system have three choices:
- four years of studies at the Royal Military College of Canada;
- one year of studies at the Royal Military College Saint-Jean (CEGEP 2) followed by three years of university at the Royal Military College of Canada; or
- two years of studies at the Royal Military College Saint-Jean (CEGEP 1 and CEGEP 2) followed by three years of university at the Royal Military College of Canada.
Candidates can apply to both colleges but first year at the Royal Military College Saint-Jean is mandatory for Quebec high school graduates. Students from other Canadian provinces who are missing prerequisites may have to complete a Preparatory Year at the Royal Military College Saint-Jean.
Royal Military College of Canada (Kingston)
The Royal Military College (RMC) of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, is the arm of the Canadian Military College system which grants university degrees. It offers the same top-notch university education as the best Canadian academic institutions with the added emphasis on grooming officer cadets to become leaders in the Forces.
Your education and military training are built on a foundation of the four components of achievement – academics, leadership, bilingualism and athletics. In a holistic approach to military education, all four components are integrated into each day and all aspects of education.
With over 25 clubs, a complete intramural sports program and extensive recreational facilities, the Royal Military College of Canada strives to foster the development of well-rounded officer cadets. Students are encouraged to get involved, pursue their personal interests, be creative and have fun.
The core curriculum
The Royal Military College of Canada offers 19 Baccalaureate degree programs in arts, science and engineering. As a foundation for academic excellence, all undergraduate students are required to complete the core curriculum which is designed to provide a balanced liberal arts, science and military education. Here is a brief overview of these programs:
- Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree gain practical communication and critical thinking skills, as well as specialized hands-on experience in their chosen field. Programs include: Business Administration, Economics, English, French Studies, History, Military and Strategic Studies, Military Psychology and Leadership, and Politics.
- The science programs are relevant to occupations in both the Forces and the civilian sector. Programs include: Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics and Space Science.
- Engineers account for 50 to 60 per cent of the university’s graduates. The engineering curriculum is a mixture of engineering and humanities courses with specialization beginning in second year. The program is highly regarded due to its practical application to military problems and includes the following fields: Aeronautical, Chemical, Civil, Computer, Electrical and Mechanical.
In conjunction with the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Science also offers three joint honours degrees. See the Royal Military College of Canada calendar for more information on these academic programs.
Candidates applying to the Royal Military College of Canada must have completed or be completing one of the following streams:
- Grade 12 high school at a level acceptable to the Royal Military College of Canada and a university in the province where the student is completing secondary education.
- The first year of a two-year pre-university program at a Quebec CEGEP.
- The equivalent to Grade 12 high school or CEGEP 1.• Have academic standards higher than those above or the requirements for admission as a mature student.
As well, Quebec students who have completed Sec V will complete a five-year undergraduate program which includes first year CEGEP (or Preparatory Year) at the Royal Military College in Saint-Jean followed by university studies at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston.
The Royal Military College (Saint-Jean)
A successful officer cadet requires a solid foundation of education and leadership training. The Royal Military College (RMC) Saint-Jean is the arm of the Canadian Military College system that ensures the smooth transition of selected cadets from high school to university education by providing pre-university and college-level programs.
The programs are normally two years long (CEGEP 1 + CEGEP 2). Students with a Quebec high school diploma (Grade 11) or a Grade 12 high school diploma from elsewhere in Canada typically complete the two-year program.
The programs are harmonized with those at the Royal Military College of Canada. The education and military training are founded on the same four components of achievement – academics, leadership, bilingualism and athletics.
The Royal Military College Saint-Jean offers a low teacher-student ratio, a superior physical fitness program, high-quality teaching with an experienced military team, and a variety of leadership activities. The Royal Military College Saint-Jean is located on the historic site of Fort Saint-Jean, originally built in 1666, which is now part of the town of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, 40 km south of Montreal.
To apply to the Royal Military College Saint-Jean, students must be on the verge of obtaining a high school diploma – Sec V in Quebec and Grade 12 in other provinces.
The preparatory year (CEGEP 1)
The Preparatory – or Prep – Year is designed for students who have completed high school in Quebec or students outside Quebec who demonstrate strong academic ability but are missing prerequisites for direct admission to the Royal Military College of Canada.
This academic year is equivalent to Grade 12 in most provinces and to the first year of college-level studies (CEGEP) in Quebec. The CEGEP program is the normal entry point into Canadian military colleges for Quebec high school graduates.
Following successful completion of Prep Year, students begin their undergraduate degree at either the Royal Military College of Canada or first year at the Royal Military College Saint-Jean.
First year (CEGEP 2)
First year at Royal Military College Saint-Jean is designed to provide the same university-level programs offered at Royal Military College of Canada. Students who meet the prerequisites may be allowed to complete first year at the Royal Military College Saint-Jean without having to attend Prep Year.
Quebec students with one year of college studies (CEGEP 1) and those from other provinces with high school (Grade 12) are eligible for this one-year university-level diploma program. Students eventually obtain a Diploma of College Studies in either social science or science.
When preparing for continued studies at the Royal Military College of Canada, students selecting the social science program are usually pursuing a degree in arts while students choosing the science program are opting for a degree in engineering or science.
Upon completion of Preparatory Year and first year at Royal Military College Saint-Jean, students move on to Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston.
For a complete listing of all the programs offered at the Royal Military College Saint-Jean, see Programs of Study on their website.
Specialized Paid Education
The Forces currently provides paid education for the following four specialized professions:
- medical officer
- dental officer
- social work officer
Regardless of the profession, all successful candidates are required to complete basic officer training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.
Medical officers provide primary health care services wherever Forces members are based in Canada or overseas. Similar to a civilian family physician, they work in fully equipped medical clinics at a base or garrison, or a temporary clinic while supporting operations. The Forces provides office space and support services and pays all licensing fees.
Medical Officer Training Plan (MOTP)
Because this position requires a medical degree, the Forces will pay you to complete an undergraduate medicine program leading to a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree at a Canadian university. The Forces covers your tuition and educational expenses such as books and instruments. You will also receive a salary, medical and dental care, and paid vacation in exchange for working for the Forces for a period of time
Residents and students already enrolled in an undergraduate medical education program are also eligible for the Medical Officer Training Plan. They receive a salary, benefits and paid vacation for the remainder of their studies and residency. Candidates attend university during the regular academic year and participate in military training during the summer months.
To apply, you must apply both to the Forces and the Canadian university of your choice that offers a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree program.
Dental officers practice dentistry in a military setting either on a base in Canada or deployed overseas, and occasionally assist other health care professionals when particular skills are needed.
They work in a fully equipped dental office in temporary facilities, a semi-industrial setting or on a ship at sea. The Dental Officer Training Plan provides office space and support services and pays all licensing fees.
Dental Officer Training Plan (DOTP)
Because this position requires a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree, the Forces will pay you to complete a Doctor of Dental Surgery program at a Canadian university. You receive a salary, medical and dental care, and paid vacation in exchange for working for the Forces for a period of time.
Students already enrolled in a dental program are also eligible for the Dental Officer Training Plan and entitled to a salary, benefits and paid vacation for the remainder of their studies. Candidates attend university during the regular academic year and participate in military training during the summer months.
To apply, you must apply both to the Forces and the Canadian university of your choice that offers a dentistry program.
Forces pilots fly a range of military aircraft in a variety of roles:
- Search and rescue pilots are deployed across Canada to rescue people in distress and emergency situations.
- Fighter pilots protect Canadians and defend our interests abroad.
- Transport pilots deliver humanitarian aid to people around the world.
- Tactical helicopter pilots support aid distribution and peacekeeping missions.
- Maritime patrol pilots protect Canadian coasts.
Continuing Education Officer Training Program (CEOTP)
The Forces offers a unique combined degree and pilot training program so you can obtain a Bachelor of Aviation Technology at Seneca College and your Pilot’s Wings in four years as opposed to earning a four-year degree prior to starting pilot training. The Continuing Education Officer Training Program allows officer candidates to train and work in their military occupations while earning their degrees.
You will receive a salary, medical and dental care, and paid vacation in exchange for working for the Forces for a period of time. Graduates of this program must serve seven years as a pilot with the Forces.
To apply for this combined degree and pilot training program, select “CEOTP – Pilot” when filling out the online application.
Social Work Officer
Social work officers deliver professional social work services to support the morale, efficiency and mental health of Forces members and their families. Working at a base, wing or garrison, or deployed overseas, their work is similar to what community mental health and social services agencies provide.
Their duties range from clinical intervention services to programs relating to pre- and post-deployment stress, suicide prevention and family violence.
Subsidized Education for Entry Level Masters (SEELM)
If you have a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a recognized Canadian university, the Forces will pay you to complete a Master of Social Work program at a Canadian university.
You will receive a salary, medical and dental care, and paid vacation in exchange for working for the Forces for a period of time.
To apply, you must have been accepted without condition to a Master of Social Work program at a Canadian university in a social work program accredited by the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work.