Communications and Electronics Engineering (Air) Officer
Communications and Electronics Engineering Officers provide telecommunications and information management services that support Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) operations in Canada and abroad.
The primary responsibilities of the Communications and Electronics Engineering Officers are to:
- Provide telecommunications and information management services
- Operate and maintain tactical Air Force and strategic communications systems
- Manage air traffic control and electronics systems
- Advise on the planning and acquisition of ground based surveillance, communications and information technology systems
- Oversee surveillance, reconnaissance, and intelligence communications systems
- Administer data, information, and knowledge management systems
- Be involved with the full spectrum of terrestrial radio and satellite communications from HF to EHF radar and navigation systems, electronic warfare, cryptography, electronic intelligence, or communications and network security
While working on a base, Air Wing or headquarters during peacetime, Communications and Electronic Engineering Officer work in an environment similar to civilian managers and engineers. They may be employed on exercises or deployed in combat situations. They may also work in an international headquarters, on a multinational staff or mission.
Pay and career development
The starting salary for a fully trained Communications and Electronic Engineering Officer is $51,000 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Regular promotions through the junior officer ranks take place based on the completion of required training and on the length of service as an officer. Once promoted to the rank of Captain, their salary is approximately $74,000 per year.
As they progress in their career, Communications and Electronic Engineering Officers have the opportunity to work in a variety of positions in operations, personnel management, or technical fields. Communications and Electronic Engineering Officers who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training.
Related civilian occupations
- Network Operations Manager
- Telecommunications and Information Systems Manager
- Information Systems Engineering
- Network and Information Security
- Information Technology Project Manager
Basic military officer qualification
After enrolment, you start basic officer training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, for 15 weeks. Topics covered include general military knowledge, the principles of leadership, regulations and customs of the CAF, basic weapons handling, and first aid. Opportunities will also be provided to apply such newly acquired military skills in training exercises involving force protection, field training, navigation and leadership. A rigorous physical fitness program is also a vital part of basic training. Basic officer training is provided in English or French and successful completion is a prerequisite for further training.
Following basic officer training, official second language training may be offered to you. Training could take from two to nine months to complete depending on your ability in your second language.
Communications and Electronic Engineering Officers attend the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics in Kingston, Ontario. Training lasts 19 weeks and covers the following topics:
- Organization of the Communications and Electronics Branch
- Communications information systems and airfield systems management
- Advanced military communications and electronics theory
- Communications information systems support planning for deployed operations
- Deployment of communications information systems equipment
- Business management skills
Communications and Electronic Engineering Officers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- Air operations command and control information systems course
- Radio and satellite communications
- Electronic intelligence
- Communications and network security
- Cryptographic systems
As they progress in their career, Communications and Electronic Engineering Officers who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced or graduate training in selected disciplines.
If you already have a university degree, the CAF will decide if your academic program matches the criteria for this job and may place you directly into the required on-the-job training program following basic training. Basic training and military officer qualification training are required before being assigned.
Regular Officer Training Plan
Because this position requires a university degree, the CAF will pay successful recruits to complete a Bachelor degree program at a Canadian university. They receive full-time salary including medical and dental care, as well as vacation time with full pay in exchange for working with the CAF for a period of time.
Typically, candidates enter the Canadian Military College System as an Officer Cadet where they study subjects relevant to both their military and academic career. In some instances, the CAF is able to pay for Officer Cadets to attend other Canadian universities in a relevant degree program. Officer Cadets who attend other Canadian universities typically attend university during the regular academic year and participate in additional military training during the summer months. If you choose to apply to this program, you must apply both to the CAF and the Canadian university of your choice. For more information, see Paid education.
This occupation is available part-time within the following environment: Air Force
Serve with the Reserve Force
This position is available for part-time employment through the Reserve Force. Reserve Force members generally work part-time for a Reserve unit in their community. 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 train with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required professional standards of the job. If additional training is required in order to specialize their skills, arrangements will be made by the home unit.
It is also possible to set up an “Individual Learning Plan” to take courses leading to a university degree related to this job, and upon successful completion, be reimbursed for up to 50 percent of tuition and other mandatory costs. Education fees for successfully completed courses are reimbursed as long as the student was a Reserve Force member during the entire duration of the course.
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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