Construction Engineering Officer
Construction Engineers provide engineering support, such as facilities management, fire engineering, contract and project management, and construction and environmental engineering.
As members of the Military Engineer Branch, Construction Engineers plan, develop and implement projects involving a wide range of military engineering tasks. Their primary responsibilities are to:
- Prepare or approve construction drawings, designs and cost estimates
- Advise superiors on military engineering matters
- Exercise leadership and technical control over organizations involved in engineering services
- Provide mapping, charting and geodesic support to sea, land and air operations
- Lead and manage a team of skilled personnel
Construction Engineers work as part of a Construction Engineering Flight or Unit. Although the primary role of Construction Engineering Officers is to support the operations of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Construction Engineering Officers may also support Canadian Army operations and missions. After a period of time gaining practical experience, Construction Engineers may be posted to a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) base or headquarters. Over the course of their careers, Construction Engineers will likely be deployed on a domestic or international mission, including operations in support of UN, NATO or Coalition missions.
Pay and career development
The starting salary for a fully trained Construction Engineer is $49,000 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 $79,000 per year.
Initially, a Construction Engineer is posted to a Construction Engineering Flight or to a Construction Engineering organization within the Air Force to reinforce training with practical experience. As they gain more experience and knowledge, they may be employed in a variety of staff positions in operational, personnel or technical fields, and may serve in an international headquarters, on a multinational staff or mission, or in an exchange or liaison capacity. Construction Engineers who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training.
Related civilian occupations
- Construction Engineer
- Civil Engineer
- Realty Asset Manager
- Director of Public Works
- Facilities 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.
Common army phase
After basic training, you will go to the Infantry School at the Combat Training Centre in Gagetown, New Brunswick. You will build upon the leadership training you received in basic officer training in addition to learning the skills required of all Soldiers, including more advanced weapons-handling, field-craft, and section-level tactics.
Construction Engineers attend the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering in Gagetown, New Brunswick. You will learn to lead your team in the execution of basic engineering tasks in both garrison and on deployment. You will also be introduced to Construction Engineering operations such as conducting engineer reconnaissance, preparing reports for military decision makers and planning the installation of facilities and structures to support such operations. You will have the opportunity to become familiar with the various Construction Engineering roles, in different settings and scenarios, and further develop your leadership skills. Upon completion of your training as a Construction Engineering Officer, you will be able to manage infrastructures at main operating bases and to plan and direct infrastructure projects for both domestic and deployed operations.
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 Forces 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 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.
Construction Engineering Officers serve with the Royal Canadian Air Force. When they are employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis they usually serve at CAF bases and tactical units at locations within Canada.
Reserve force training
Reserve Force members usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic officer training, the home unit will arrange for additional training for specialized skills. Training for the Construction Engineering Officer qualification requires about 11 months and is conducted at the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering at Gagetown, New Brunswick.
Air Reserve members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts and are employed in the same unit and perform the same job. Air Reserve members usually serve up to 12 days per month in a regular work day, with opportunities to serve full-time for short durations as needed. Reserve Force members 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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