Engineer Officers help the army live, move and fight. They are members of the Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers. Together with the Armour, Infantry and Artillery, Engineer Officers are an integral part of the Combat Arms.
The primary responsibility of Engineer Officers is combat readiness. Either working within Canada during an emergency or on international missions, Engineer Officers are responsible for:
- Constructing habitable camps
- Breaching minefields
- Using explosives to destroy a road or bridge
- Constructing a bridge or ferry
- Building a combat road
- Disposing explosives
- Constructing obstacles
Engineer Officers are employed at bases and stations across Canada and on deployed operations around the world. They experience the unique adventures and challenges that come with working in different environments and various terrains – Arctic tundra, tropical jungle, desert, mountains, urban complex – and various climates.
Pay and career development
The starting salary for a fully trained Engineer 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.
Engineer Officers may begin their career on missions. Depending on the mission, the Troop may be composed of combat engineers trained as field, armoured or heavy equipment engineers able and ready to fulfill numerous military tasks. The focus will always be on combat readiness. The Engineering Officer is the principal planner and supervisor for all tasks assigned by the Squadron Commander.
To meet the requirements of certain specialized appointments, Engineer Officers may be given opportunities for graduate education.
Related civilian occupations
- Construction Engineer
- Senior Project Manager – Construction
- Geological Engineer
- Mining Engineer
- Utilities/Equipment 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 Canadian Armed Forces (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.
Engineer Officers attend the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering in Gagetown, New Brunswick. For the first two and a half months, training focuses on basic combat engineering skills and includes subjects such as:
- Basic demolitions
- Mine warfare
- Obstacle construction
- Field fortifications
- Dismounted infantry tactics at the platoon level
It ends with a three-week field deployment where the Engineer Officer’s ability to lead a Troop is assessed. The final nine months of training concentrates on reconnaissance, planning, and Troop-level combat engineer tasks. Subjects included are:
- Bridge building
- Minefield construction
- Booby-trap clearance
- Route denial
- Bridge demolition
- Combat road repair and construction
- Defensive works
- Timber and rope field machines
- Destruction of battlefield munitions
- Construction of temporary camps
- Breaching various obstacles in the face of the enemy
At the end of the last phase, during a comprehensive four-week field deployment, the skills acquired are assessed.
Engineer Officers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including after the first tour of duty with a first line unit, they may choose to specialize in one of the following areas:
- Mapping and geodesic support to joint operations
- Infrastructure engineering to both garrison and deployed installations
- Technical engineering to support the procurement and management of equipment
If you already have a university degree, the Forces 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: 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.
Engineer Officers serve with the Canadian Army. Their primary responsibility is combat readiness – to help the army live, move and fight. Together with the Armour, Infantry and Artillery, Engineer Officers are an integral part of the Combat Arms team. When employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis they usually serve with Canadian Army 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, the home unit will arrange for additional training for specialized skills. Engineer Officers attend the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering in Gagetown, New Brunswick for approximately one year 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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