Aviation Systems Technician
Aviation Systems Technicians handle, service, and maintain Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) aircraft, ground equipment and associated support facilities.
Aviation Systems Technicians are responsible for the maintenance of aircraft aviation systems including propulsion, airframe, basic electrical, and their related components. They also perform the following duties:
- Test, inspect and repair aviation systems
- Perform quality assurance checks
- Prepare and maintain aircraft forms and statistical data
- Perform aircraft handling tasks which include:
- Operate aircraft support equipment
Aviation Systems Technicians work at air bases in aircraft maintenance organizations, in maintenance hangers, in airborne aircraft, and on the flight line. However, they may also work with tactical helicopter field units and on board ships. In the course of their career, Aviation Systems Technicians will be required to work shifts and periods of overtime. In geographic terms, employment can vary from CAF wings and bases within Canada, including the Arctic, to locations throughout the world in response to NATO and UN commitments.
Pay and career development
The starting salary for a fully trained Aviation Systems Technician is $49,400 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Once all required basic occupation training is complete, they are posted to a location within Canada where they complete training on the equipment specific to the home unit. After field technical training and a period of time in the position, an Aviation Systems Technician may apply to become a Non-destructive Testing Technician or Flight Engineer. Those who demonstrate the required ability and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training.
Related civilian occupations
- Aircraft Maintenance Engineer
- Aircraft Maintenance Technician
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 occupational qualification training
Aviation Systems Technicians attend training at the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering in Borden, Ontario. This training takes approximately 38 weeks and includes the following topics:
- Theory of flight (fixed and rotary wing)
- Common mechanical training
- Basic electrical
- Aircraft structures
- Propulsion systems
- Wiring and soldering
- Aircraft servicing
- Aircraft instrumentation
- Aircraft publications
- Aircraft safety
- Flight controls
- Hydraulic, fuel, brake and de-icing systems
- Environment control systems
Aviation Systems Technicians may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal course and on-the-job training, including:
- Instructional Technique
- Aircraft Specific Type Courses
- Aircraft Engine Type Courses
- Life Cycle Materiel Management
- Aircraft Fluid Handling
- Corrosion Identification and Control
- Technical Writing
- Technical Inspection and Quality Assurance
- Flight Safety Investigators Course
As they progress in their career, Aviation 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. Foreign education may be accepted.
If you already have a college diploma, the CAF will decide if your academic program matches the training criteria for this job and may place you directly into the any required on-the-job training program following basic training. Basic training and military occupation training is required before being assigned.
Non-commissioned Member Subsidized Education Program
Because this position requires specialty training, the CAF will pay successful recruits to attend the diploma program at an approved Canadian college. NCM SEP students attend basic training and on-the-job training during the summer months. 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. If you choose to apply to this program, you must apply both to the CAF and the appropriate college. 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.
Aviation Systems Technicians serve with the Royal Canadian Air Force. When employed on a part-time or term basis 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 military training, occupational training for the Aviation Systems Technician qualification takes about 54 weeks and is conducted at the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering in Borden, Ontario.
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. 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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