Air Weapons Systems Technician
Air Weapons Systems Technicians maintain aircraft air weapons systems. They also perform explosives storage and handling, and provide Explosive Ordnance Disposal duties for the Air Force.
Their primary responsibilities are to:
- Test, inspect and repair Air Weapons Systems
- Perform quality assurance checks
- Prepare and maintain aircraft forms and statistical data
- Perform aircraft handling tasks that include:
- Loading/unloading weapons
- Weapons systems
- Operate aircraft support equipment
Air Weapons Systems Technicians are employed primarily at air bases in aircraft maintenance organizations, in maintenance hangers, shop environments and on flight lines. Air Weapons Systems Technicians may also perform these same duties and responsibilities onboard a ship at sea or on an airfield at a deployed site. They will also be called upon to perform some duties in airborne aircraft. In geographic terms, employment can vary from Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) wings and bases within Canada, including the Arctic, to locations throughout the world in response to internationals commitments.
Pay and career development
The starting salary for a fully trained Air Weapons Systems Technician is $67,500 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. At their first unit, Air Weapons Systems Technician candidates will receive training on the specific aircraft and equipment employed by their unit. Air Weapons Systems Technicians who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression and advancement.
Related civilian occupations
- Aircraft Mechanics and Aircraft Inspectors
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technologists and Technicians
- Explosives and ammunition magazine Supervisor
Basic military qualification
The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course, or Basic Training, held at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. This training provides the basic core skills and knowledge common to all trades. A goal of this course is to ensure that all recruits maintain the CAF physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.
Basic Air Force training
Air Force recruits are introduced to the working environment and culture through a four-day course before starting the training in their chosen job.
Basic occupational qualification training
Air Weapons Systems Technicians attend the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering in Borden, Ontario. This training takes approximately 32 weeks and includes:
- Utilize Tools and Test/Support Equipment
- Complete Aircraft and AMSE Records
- Perform Flight Line Servicing Duties
- Maintain Aircraft Weapon Systems
- Perform Loading/Unloading Operations
- Control Explosives Inventory
- Store Explosives
- Maintain Explosives and Ancillary Hardware
- Operate Destruction Areas
- Disposal of Surplus and Obsolete Ammunition
Air Weapons Systems Technicians may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- Conventional Munitions Disposal (Advanced)
- Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (Operator or Assistant)
- Missile Maintenance Courses
- Air Weapons Range Specialist
- Instructional Technique
- Aircraft Specific Type Courses
- Life Cycle Material management
As they progress in their career, Air Weapons Systems Technicians who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:
- Technical Administration
- Leadership and Management Courses
The minimum required education to apply for this position is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 10 or Secondaire IV in Quebec including Grade 10 Academic Math or Math 426 in Quebec. Foreign education may be accepted.
This occupation is available part-time within the following environment: Air Force
A career 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.
Reserve Force training
Reservists 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 acquire specialized skills, arrangements will be made by the home unit.
Reserve Force 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. 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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