Supply Technician

Now hiring: we are now accepting applications for this job through direct entry.

Job description

Supply Technicians ensure that all of the supplies and services necessary for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) operations are available when and where they are required. They handle a variety of items such as food, fuel, heavy machinery, spare parts, stationery and clothing.

The primary responsibilities of Supply Technicians are to:

  • Manage the purchasing, warehousing, shipping, receiving, stock control and disposal of obsolete stock and equipment
  • Receive, handle and prepare items for shipment
  • Operate military vehicles weighing up to 10 tonnes and materials-handling equipment such as forklifts
  • Process invoices and prepare shipping documents
  • Order material from internal and external sources and purchase supplies
  • Deliver supplies and provide services to operational units
  • Perform recordkeeping, stocktaking and inventory control
  • Maintain accounting and financial records
  • Process and coordinate repair and disposal functions
Transcript

Supply Technician

LEADING SEAMAN ALEXA LAFRENIERE: I’m Leading Seaman Alexa Lafreniere, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Supply Technician and currently posted at Naval Replenishment Unit Asterix.

MASTER CORPORAL KAREEM ISHMAEL: And I’m Master Corporal Kareem Ishmael, from Châteauguay, Québec, a Supply Technician at Canadian Armed Forces Base Kingston.

NARRATOR: Supply Technicians manage all supplies and services necessary for Canadian Armed Forces operations, be they foreign or domestic. They are responsible for acquiring state-of-the-art equipment, its care, custody, control and delivery anywhere, anytime and in any climate. They issue everything from life-saving personal protection systems to mission-specific kit.

LAFRENIERE: We provide everything from ammunition, to weapons, to clothing, to food, to parts for the helicopters, to parts for ships. We do everything and in-between.

ISHMAEL: We have a huge responsibility to ensure that everything is taken care of according to the rules and regulations. And that the soldiers have what they need when they need it.

LAFRENIERE: In the supply trade, you’re going to come across so many different items and so many different things, that unusual just becomes normal and you learn to roll with it, which makes it really quite exciting as well.

NARRATOR: In this trade, adaptability is invaluable because Supply Techs have to react and provide support to various situations, ranging from small-scale material management to large-scale bulk distribution. They need to be highly organized as well, responsible for maintaining a state of readiness to ensure that the right supplies in the right quantities are ready and delivered to the right location in support of operational needs.

LAFRENIERE: It’s a huge team effort. Not just from the unit, but from the base supply, from maybe the aircraft mechanics. It’s a huge, huge interconnecting web of Supply Techs working together to better provide for the customer.

NARRATOR: Supply Technicians can be deployed anywhere the Canadian Armed Forces operate. They serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Army, the Royal Canadian Air Force and even Special Operations Forces.

ISHMAEL: It’s really important to understand what the end-user needs, and why they need it. I think you get the best of both worlds: you get to be a soldier, but you also get to work in the office and develop some life skills that will help you later on in life.

LAFRENIERE: The coolest part about my job as a naval Supply Tech in my experience, has been sailing. We did a lot of exercises with foreign nations, specifically the Americans. It took me up and down the Coast. It was really, really fun to see what other nations – how they play.

NARRATOR: Once at sea, Supply Technicians often coordinate efforts to have supplies delivered to the ship at various locations around the world. They may be tasked with secondary responsibilities such as firefighting and casualty clearing, naval boarding party or ship’s diving team.

ISHMAEL: The entire job, I think is very cool. You get to train, you get to work out, you get to stay physically fit, you get to try out new things that the average office worker wouldn’t even get to try. Next week we’re going on the rappel tower. You get to deploy, you get to see the world and meet interesting people; practise your craft all over the planet.

NARRATOR: Once you’ve completed your training, you’re ready for your first posting, which could be to any Canadian Armed Forces base, wing, ship or operational unit across the country.

LAFRENIERE: I started in Shearwater in the clothing stores and I started learning clothing store functions. However, at the same time, you’re going to be given a package to learn some on-the-job training: computer functions, warehousing work, clothing stores if you’re not posted there. And then from there, if you were lucky like me, I actually got posted to a ship, the HMCS Athabaskan, and I did shipboard work, which is a completely other kettle-of-fish altogether. It’s really fun, you get to know everybody in your unit because you’re the stores person. They’re going to come to you with a request for something. So it’s really great to get to know other people and even get to know other trades and see what dynamic they’re into. And it gives you an understanding as to why it is that you need to provide these items for them.

NARRATOR: One of the more unique roles of this trade is to become a parachute rigger. Supply Techs provide the Canadian Armed Forces with parachute packing and maintenance services including the major repair of parachutes.

NARRATOR: Supply Technicians manage large warehouses and inventories using proven supply chain management and best business practices. They receive advanced logistics training, including the leading SAP inventory management system.

They may have the opportunity to receive Hazmat qualification. If assigned to an army unit, they will train as soldiers, and operate specialized rough terrain and communication equipment in addition to carrying out their regular duties.

They may also have the opportunity to further develop their administrative abilities by attending courses in contract management, budgeting and internal audit procedures.

How far you take your career is ultimately up to you.

ISHMAEL: You’re put into leadership positions very early. And they’re always trying to develop your leadership potential. You’re always being coached by your supervisor. When I was a Corporal, I was being coached, and now that I’m a Master Corporal, I’m coaching my subordinates and I’m being coached by my superiors as well.

LAFRENIERE: If you’re highly organized, you like to work with your hands, you enjoy interacting with other people and working with other people, Supply is definitely the trade for you.

ISHMAEL: I think most of the guys on the pointy end do appreciate what we do and how we do it, and the effort we put into making sure that they get the items they need.

LAFRENIERE: I’m looking forward to see where my trade goes. It’s a very large trade, there’s a lot of dynamics. I’d like to definitely get a couple of deployments under my belt and see the different aspects of Supply overseas and what that entails. The sky’s the limit in this trade and I’m looking forward to testing that limit.

Overview

Working environment

Supply Technicians may work in Canada or are deployed abroad, in support of Royal Canadian Navy, Army or Royal Canadian Air Force operations.  Supply Technicians on board a ship experience the unique challenges that come with living and working at sea. They are also called upon to stand duty watches, perform ship's husbandry duties and other related tasks. Supply Technicians working with the Army participate in operations and training with combat teams, including such duties as driving and maintaining vehicles. Those assigned to support the Royal Canadian Air Force may be deployed to remote locations on short notice.

Pay and career development

The starting salary for a fully trained Supply Technician is $60,000 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Supply Technicians who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training.

Related civilian occupations

  • Contract Administrator
  • Purchasing Officer
  • Warehouse Supervisor
  • Material Manager

Back to top

Training

Basic military qualification

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 CAF physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.

Basic occupational qualification training

Supply Technicians attend the Canadian Forces School of Administration and Logistics in Borden, Ontario. Training takes approximately 70 days and covers the following topics within the CAF supply system:

  • Inventory control, stocktaking and accounting procedures
  • Requesting, receiving, issuing and warehousing materiel
  • Handling and accounting for petroleum, oils and lubricants
  • Handling and accounting for rations
  • Accounting for ammunition
  • Materiel and services procurement
  • Processing of materiel for repair and disposal
  • Financial management procedures
  • Budget management
  • Supply operations
  • Materiel identification
  • Preparation of requisitions
  • Warehouse stock location system
  • Use of materiel handling aids
  • Military correspondence
  • Processing issues and receipts
  • Computer operation and maintenance
  • Loan procedures
  • Preservation and packaging of materiel
  • Serially numbered materiel control and accounting
  • Supply-related administrative and support functions

Specialty training

Supply Technicians may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:

  • Instructional Techniques
  • Parachute Packer/Rigger
  • Control of Hazardous Material
  • Hazardous Material Packaging
  • Storage and Packaging
  • Special Packaging

Advanced training

As they progress in their career, Supply Technicians who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:

  • Military Contracts
  • Internal Audit Procedures
  • Personnel Management
  • Material Management
  • Budget Management
  • Business Planning Process

Back to top

Entry plans

Now hiring: we are now accepting applications for this job through direct entry.

Required education

The minimum required education to apply for this position is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 10 or Secondaire IV in Quebec. Foreign education may be accepted.

Back to top

Part-time option

This occupation is available part-time within the following environments: Navy, Army, Air Force

Serve with the Reserve Force

This position is available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time at an Air Force Wing in their community, and may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are paid during their training. 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.

Part-time employment

Supply Technicians may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army or Royal Canadian Air Force, ensuring that necessary supplies are available for military training and operations. Supply Technicians employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis usually serve at a CAF location within Canada.

Reserve Force training

Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. They usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic military training, the home unit will arrange for additional training for specialized skills. Training for Supply Technicians takes about 70 days and is conducted at the Canadian Forces School of Administration and Logistics in Borden, Ontario.

Working environment

Reserve Force members usually serve part-time with their home unit for scheduled evenings and weekends, although they may also serve in full-time positions at some units for fixed terms, depending on the type of work that they do. They are paid 85 percent of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.

Back to top

Get started!

Apply now

Back to top

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: