Traffic Technician

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

Job description

Traffic Technician plan, execute and manage the movement of all Canadian Armed Forces equipment and personnel. They use all modes of transport from any local, regional, national or international location in support of all Canadian Armed Forces Exercises and Operations. Traffic technicians operate in teams in existing or fabricated supply chains.

The primary responsibilities of Traffic Technicians are to:

  • Prepare, process, record and account for all transportation documents and forms relating to cargo/equipment and personnel movements
  • Plan, administer, execute and manage the loading and offloading of cargo/equipment, personnel and baggage from military and commercial road, rail, air and maritime transport vehicles
  • Dangerous cargo processing
  • Customs documentation and liaison
  • Operate military vehicles and materiel handling equipment, and
  • Process transportation contracts, invoices and maintain financial records

Traffic Technician

O’CONNOR : We get the Forces where they need to go. We keep the flow of supplies running and, when all is said and done, we bring everyone and everything back home.

I’m Private Kit O’Connor from British Columbia, and I’m a Traffic Technician with the Canadian Forces.

And I’m Corporal Tim Dymond from Winnipeg, Manitoba, and I’m a Traffic Technician in the Canadian Forces. 

In the Forces, there’s always something on the move and Traffic Techs are there to make that move safe and smooth.

DYMOND: Millions of pounds of freight and thousands of passengers are on the move in the Forces every year.  We may be moving supplies, equipment, vehicles, or troops.  We may be involved in humanitarian airdrops, or combat re-supply missions. 

O’CONNOR: Every move starts with detailed planning; making sure everything is accurately measured and accounted for.

DYMOND: For a Traffic Tech, strong mathematical skills are essential. 

O’CONNOR: Loads are built with precision to fit exact weight and space requirements, and placed and secured for maximum safety.

Moving loads for ground, sea and air transport requires a variety of vehicles and equipment, and it’s a Traffic Tech you’ll find at the controls, skilfully manoeuvring even the largest loader to within inches of an aircraft. You could even find yourself working with transportation specialists from other countries.

DYMOND: When it comes to passenger reception, we operate just like a normal airport.  Traffic Techs rely on the same sophisticated technology as civilian airlines to process travellers and their baggage.  We take care of getting the food on board and are responsible for sanitation services too.  It’s all part of what we do to keep the flow of Forces traffic moving safely and smoothly throughout Canada and the world. 

O’CONNOR: As a Traffic Tech, you will definitely get to travel. In theatre, Traffic Techs are the first in and last out. Even before the troops arrive, we’re there - part of the team that brings in the materials and supplies used to set up operations. When the mission is complete, we make sure everything is packed up and returned to where it’s supposed to be. And, of course, we get our members home safely. 

When I tell people what I do, they always want to know what it will take for them to join. First, I tell them you need to be the kind of person who enjoys working with numbers. You should be physically fit and good with your hands.

Training for a Traffic Tech begins with three months of Basic Military Training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.

DYMOND: Then, at the Canadian Forces School of Administration and Logistics in Borden, Ontario, you’ll undergo training specific to the Traffic Technician’s occupation.

O’CONNOR: You’ll learn to operate and maintain military vehicles and specialized loading equipment. You’ll also receive basic administrative training to prepare you to be a Traffic Tech.

DYMOND: As your career progresses, you can train in dangerous cargo handling or take advanced training to become a Loadmaster specializing in a specific aircraft. Or you can take it to the next level and train in tactical airlifts or search and rescue operations.

O’CONNOR: With new aircraft coming on line, it’s a very exciting time to be a Traffic Tech in the Canadian Forces.

DYMOND: Being a Traffic Tech is a great occupation! I’m not confined to a desk. I have the opportunity to travel, to see the world and be part of a great team – a team that really makes you feel like you’re part of it!

O’CONNOR: I know that what I do makes a difference to the Forces and to Canada. If you’d like to do the same, then think about joining our team. 


Working environment

Traffic Technicians work in warehouses, offices, terminals, the field and flying squadrons in Canada and around the world in support to Canadian Armed Forces operations. They may be required to work shifts and be employed in both established and isolated locations with extreme climates and conditions.

Career development

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

Traffic Technician specialty occupation employment may include crew duties as a Loadmaster on transport aircraft and/or employment within Special Operations Command. These employment opportunities are available after the core occupational skills have been achieved.

Related civilian occupations

  • Warehouse Manager
  • Cargo Agent (Air, Rail, Land and Sea)
  • Customs Agent, and
  • Shipping and Receiving Agent

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Basic military qualification

The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course (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 Forces physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.

Basic occupational qualification training

Traffic Technicians attend the Canadian Forces Logistics Training Centre in Borden, Ontario. The initial Training lasts approximately 15 weeks and includes the following topics:

  • Driver Training:
    •  Operation, maintenance and servicing of military vehicles and material handling equipment
    • Operation, maintenance and servicing of forklifts and other container movers
  •  Traffic Technicians Training:
    • Cargo/equipment movement by road, rail, sea and air
    • Basic aircraft loading principles  for fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft
    • Rail load planning for vehicles
    • Customs and international movements requirements
    • Passenger processing
    • Transportation invoices and financial records, and
    • Process documentation applicable to cargo/equipment and personnel movement

Specialty training

Traffic Technicians are employed as Loadmasters on transport aircraft after acquiring the core occupational skills and successfully completing training on the aircraft. The RCAF employs Loadmasters on the following aircraft:

  • CC130H Hercules Aircraft
  • CC130J Hercules Aircraft
  • CC150 Airbus Aircraft
  • CC177 Globemaster Aircraft, and
  • CH147F Chinook Helicopter

Advanced training

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

  • Dangerous cargo handling
  • Helicopter Underslung Operations
  • Ship Loading and Stowage
  • Tactical Airlift Support
  • CC177 Loading Specialist
  • Aerial Delivery – Basic, and
  • Airline Host Check-In System

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Entry plans

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

We accept applications for this job through Direct Entry, Occupational Transfer, or Component Transfer.

Required education

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

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Part-time option (Reserve Force)

This job is available within the following environments: Air Force, and Army at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members can serve at an Air Force Wing, Navy Base, or an Army base 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.

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 the Reserve Force mirrors that of the Regular force as described above. 

Working environment

Reserve Force members usually serve part-time with their home unit for scheduled evenings and weekends (Air and Army Reserve Traffic Technicians usually serve up to 12 days per month in a regular work day), 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% of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.

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