Aerospace Control Officer
Aerospace Control Officers contribute to air operations by providing air traffic control services and air weapons control.
Aerospace Control Officers are responsible for the conduct of aerospace surveillance, warning, and control of airborne objects throughout Canadian airspace. As an integral part of the Canadian Air Navigation System, they also provide control to civilian and military aircraft during combat and training operations worldwide.
Aerospace Control Officers may be deployed to a ship, aircraft, or in the field throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. Initially, Aerospace Control Officers are employed as either air traffic controllers at Canadian military airbases, or in the air defence realm, controlling fighter aircraft at the Canadian Air Defence Sector.
Pay and career development
The starting salary for a fully trained Aerospace Control 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.
Related civilian occupations
- Air Traffic Controller
- Flight Service Specialist
- Railway and Maritime Traffic Controller
- Human Resources Manager
- Airport 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.
Aerospace Control Officers attend the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Control Operations in Cornwall, Ontario, for three to five months. Aerospace Control Officer candidates learn to apply control techniques for both air defence and air traffic control duties. They also receive instruction and simulator training on the following topics:
- Airborne weapons systems
- Ground control systems and radar
- Radiotelephony and procedure
- Air regulations and navigation orders
- Aircraft performance characteristics
- Command and control directives governing the control of interceptor aircraft
- Aerospace Control Officers are granted a licence in the control of live aircraft after passing an examination on local operating procedures.
Aerospace Control Officers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- Airborne Warning and Control System
- Space and Missile operations
- Tactical Air Control Party (Land)
- Maritime Fighter Control (Navy)
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 with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time at an Air Force wing 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.
Aerospace Control Officers employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis usually serve at CAF bases and tactical units at locations within Canada.
Reserve Force training
This occupation is only open to members of the Regular Force who have been trained as Aerospace Control Officers and wish to transfer to the Reserve Force, or former military members who have the Aerospace Control Officer qualification.
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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