Combat Engineers ensure that troops can live, move and fight on the battlefield. They also perform construction and maintenance tasks, operate vehicles and equipment in support of engineer operations, and maintain field installations and facilities.
Combat Engineers have the following responsibilities:
- Construct and maintain roads, airfields, heliports, bridges, causeways, rafts, permanent and temporary buildings
- Construct field defences and obstacles
- Provide drinking water by testing, purifying and filtering local supplies and by constructing local distribution systems
- Detect and dispose of mines and bulk explosives
- Demolish roads and bridges, and lay minefields to prevent enemy movement
- Maintain and operate engineering equipment, including weapons, vehicles, heavy equipment and supplies
- Provide engineer communications on the battlefield
Combat Engineers experience the unique adventures and challenges that come with work in the field. Qualified Combat Engineers may apply to Combat Diver Training.
Pay and career development
The starting salary for fully trained Combat Engineer is $49,400 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training, the starting salary may be higher. Combat Engineers who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression and advancement.
Related civilian occupations
- Highway Construction Foreman
- Heavy Equipment Operator
- Rough Carpenter
- Construction Engineering Technician
- Civil Engineering Technician
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 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.
Basic military qualification – land course
After Basic Training, Army recruits go to a Military Training centre for the Basic Military Qualification – Land Course for approximately one month, which covers the following topics:
- Army physical fitness
- Dismounted offensive and defensive operations
- Reconnaissance patrolling
- Individual field craft
Basic occupational qualification training
Combat Engineers attend the Canadian Forces School of Administration and Logistics in Borden, Ontario, for two weeks of driver training. They are then required to attend the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering at Gagetown, New Brunswick for 20 weeks of training in the following subjects:
- Construction of field defences and obstacles
- Construction of roads, airfields and helicopter landing sites
- Construction of rafts and bridges
- Radio communications for combat arms operations
- Mathematics, military writing, basic military organization, and military history
- Personal camouflage and camouflage of section positions
- Operation of troop weapons and section defensive tasks and procedures
- Basic procedures of rigging and firing of explosive charges, mine laying and booby-trapping
- Use and care of section tools and safety equipment
Combat Engineers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- Combat diver
- Soils analyst
- Explosive ordnance disposal
- Instructional techniques
As they progress in their career, Combat Engineers who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:
- Radio communications — field operations
- Water supply — advanced
- Power boat operator
- Heavy equipment operator
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.
This occupation is available part-time within the following environment: Army
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.
Combat Engineers serve with the Canadian Army. They perform construction and maintenance tasks, operate vehicles and equipment in support of engineer operations, and maintain field installations and facilities. When they are employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis, they usually serve at a CAF unit located 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, Canadian Army recruits train for the Soldier qualification for approximately one month. Combat Engineers then attend the Canadian Forces School of Administration and Logistics in Borden, Ontario, for two weeks of driver training and the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering at Gagetown, New Brunswick for 20 weeks, to achieve their qualification.
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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