Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Officer
Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Officers maintain and support all Army equipment, and the land-based equipment of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force. They are commissioned members of the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Branch of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).
Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Officers lead the soldier technicians who keep equipment in top condition and work in every equipment life-cycle phase, from design, evaluation and acquisition through in-service support to eventual disposal. Their duties involve leading staff and providing specialized engineering knowledge. They lead a team of highly skilled technicians of the Vehicle, Weapon, Electronic-Optronic and Materials occupations.
Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Officers experience the unique adventures and challenges that come with working in different environments. Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Officers are employed at bases and garrisons across Canada and on deployed operations around the world. In the field or on deployment they may work outdoors.
Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Officers are first posted generally to a large workshop, where they lead a group of up to 30 technicians who maintain a wide range of equipment. Under the guidance and supervision of more senior officers they make the technical, administrative and training decisions for their team.
Pay and career development
The starting salary for a fully trained Electrical and Mechanical 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. To meet the requirements of certain specialized appointments, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Officers may be given opportunities for graduate education.
Related civilian occupations
- Electrical and Electronics Engineers
- Metallurgical and Manufacturing Engineers
- Mechanical Engineering
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineer
- Chemical Engineer
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 Combat Arms Soldiers, including more advanced weapons-handling, field-craft, and section-level tactics.
Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Officers attend the Infantry School at the Combat Training Centre in Gagetown, New Brunswick. They build upon the leadership and other skills training they received and develop the skills required of all Army officers, including more advanced weapons-handling, field-craft and section-level tactics. They also continue the rigorous fitness-training and sports program.
Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Officers then apply their field skills to maintenance operations and begin to apply their engineering skills to military technology. Through classroom instruction and practical work, they learn the maintenance engineering requirements of combat and special-purpose vehicles, land weapons, electronic and optronic sensors, and instrumentation and communications systems. Training also covers safe handling and storage of petroleum products and ammunition.
Throughout the final stages of training, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Officers learn the tactical deployment of a Maintenance Company comprising about 200 Soldier maintainers and 100 vehicles. They control and plan the workload of a maintenance organization, and to handle unit-level personnel administration.
Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Officers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- Ammunition Technical Officer
- Nuclear Engineering
- Guided Weapons System
As they progress in their career, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Officers who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include Advanced Ammunition Engineering.
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: 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.
Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Officers serve with the Canadian Army and maintain and support all Forces land-based equipment. They lead a soldier team of highly skilled technicians and provide the team with specialized engineering knowledge. When employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis they usually serve with military units at locations 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 officer training, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Officers attend the Combat Training Centre in Gagetown, New Brunswick and then the Canadian Forces School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering in Borden, Ontario 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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