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

Supply Technician

ANDERSON: The success of any mission depends on our ability to support it.

And in the Canadian Forces, Supply Technicians, or Supply Techs, are an integral part of that support system.

Hi, my name is Master Corporal Amanda Anderson, I’m from St. John’s, Newfoundland and I’m a Supply Technician in the Canadian Forces.

And I’m Sergeant Michael Cousins from Bordabast, Newfoundland - I’m currently posted to CFB Petawawa, Ontario.

COUSINS: One of the reasons why I like being a Supply Tech is that I’ve had the opportunity and privilege to serve in all 3 elements - Navy, Army and Air Force.



COUSINS: We make sure that all supplies and services necessary for all operations, be they foreign or domestic, are where they need to be when they are needed.

ANDERSON: It’s a significant task. To name just a few of the many commodities we manage, we handle everything from ammunition, food and fuel to spare parts and clothing.

We’re responsible for “kitting-out” all personnel, which means providing each individual with the environment-specific gear they need to be effective at their job.

We issue everything from standard items to life-saving personal protection systems, and everything in between.

COUSINS: As a Supply Tech adaptability is invaluable because your duties and responsibilities will diversify and evolve throughout the course of your career.

We have to be prepared to work in diverse circumstances, from small scale personal issues, to large scale, bulk distribution.

ANDERSON: You need to be highly organized as well. It’s our job to ensure the right supplies in the right quantities are ready and delivered to the right location.

We manage large warehouses and inventories through modern computer and filing systems.

And in order to do that effectively, we have to be able to operate several different types of equipment.

COUSINS: All of your training comes into play when you’re deployed with operational units.

In the Navy it’s a very diverse world. To ensure you have all the supplies & equipment on board before you sail and even at sea, you need to be the one that they call upon to send out messages and get the material sent to them wherever they are in the world.

When you’re stationed on a ship, you’re part of its company and tasked with secondary duties just like everyone else onboard.

In addition to contributing to the day-to-day operation and maintenance of the ship, you have the opportunity to become part of the Naval Boarding Party or ship’s diving team.

ANDERSON: If you’re deployed to the field, you’ll be required to operate equipment suited to that environment.

You’ll stand duty watches, train with combat arms and will be expected to be ready to perform like a soldier in addition to carrying out the duties of your trade.

You will travel in Canada and beyond, and will most likely work in places you never thought you’d be.

My most rewarding experience was when I was deployed to Israel. It was like a snapshot of another culture, something that I never would have gotten to see if I had stayed in Canada.

COUSINS: Aircraft have rigid maintenance schedules, and our contribution to keeping the Air Force flying is critical.

Closely tied to aircraft maintenance is the requirement to manage a significant number of high priority aircraft parts and equipment.

If you’re posted with the Air Force, you could be supporting one of the many fleets within the air community, including CF18 fighters, CC130 Hercules, C17 Globemaster or Canada’s famed Snowbirds.

As a Supply Tech, your military career will start the same way it does for everyone else, with the basic military qualification course, or BMQ.

If you’re still in school and/or looking for a part-time job, you can become a Reserve Force Supply Technician and take all of your training during the summer.

ANDERSON: The Canadian Forces School of Administration and Logistics, or CFSAL, in Borden, Ontario is the home of all Logistics Branch training.

And this is where you’ll learn the specifics of the Supply Tech trade.

The training on this sixty-day course encompasses our role in the larger Canadian Forces Supply System through a wide variety of formal courses and hands-on training.

It covers things like inventory control, warehousing techniques, shipping procedures and some aspects of budget and financial considerations.

Successful completion of your trades training means you’re ready for your first posting, which will be at one of the many bases, wings or operational units across the country, depending on which element you’ve been assigned to.

Career development is part of the Canadian Forces lifestyle.

You’ll earn a competitive salary, receive competitive benefits and have opportunities to attend advanced and specialty training courses at any time throughout your career.

COUSINS: One of the more unique Supply Tech roles is to become a Parachute Rigger.

Opportunities will arise to further develop your administrative abilities by attending courses in contract management, budgeting and Internal Audit Procedures.

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

ANDERSON: Everything we do contributes directly to the operational readiness of the Canadian Forces and its members.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a career in the Canadian Forces, or anywhere else for that matter, that would offer as much variety as the Supply Technician trade.


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 $49,400 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

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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

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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.

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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.

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