Geomatics Technicians collect geospatial data using imagery and Global Positioning System devices and survey equipment. They capture, analyze, process, present, disseminate and manage this data to support the operations of the Navy, the Army and the Air Force.
Geomatics Technicians are members of the Military Engineering Branch of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). Their primary responsibilities are to:
- Collect geospatial data satellite, aerial and photo imagery, Global Positioning System devices and survey equipment
- Manage and fuse digital geospatial data and products from a wide range of sources
- Produce digital and hard-copy maps, charts, three-dimensional visualizations and other geospatial products to help military leaders understand and move in the battle space
- Generate and reproduce digital geospatial products
- Distribute geospatial products from the CAF Map Depot to units in garrison and on operations
- Provide expert geomatics advice and liaison to CAF personnel at all levels of command
Geomatics Technicians are members of the Army, but they may be called upon to support all CAF exercises and operations, including those lead by the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force. Most work at a base or station is done in an office environment in a major headquarters within Canada, using high-tech computer workstations and software designed for geomatics. Geomatics Technicians are also employed aboard ships, on survey duties, and in Army units that train in the field and deploy on operations. Over the course of their career they may be offered international postings, including exchanges with the United States Army.
Pay and career development
The starting salary for a fully trained Geomatics Technician is $49,400 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Geomatics Technicians who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training.
Related civilian occupations
- Geographic Information System Technician
- Geodetic Surveyor
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 military qualification – land course
After Basic Training, Army recruits go to a Military Training centre for the Basic Military Qualification – Land Course for approximately one month, which covers the following topics:
- Army Physical Fitness
- Dismounted Offensive and Defensive Operations
- Reconnaissance Patrolling
- Individual Field Craft
Basic occupational qualification training
Geomatics Technicians attend the School of Military Mapping at Algonquin College, which is a detachment of the Mapping and Charting Establishment in Ottawa, Ontario. You will receive instruction from civilian and military instructors on the following topics:
Battle space analysis and visualization products
- Mathematics and survey
- Remote sensing software and data
- Geographic information systems and data
- Production of geospatial data
- Navigation systems
- Geomatics product reproduction process
- Computer hardware and software
- Geomatics product distribution process
Geomatics Technicians may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- Geodetic terrestrial and aerial survey training
- Geospatial database management
- Advanced geomatics applications
- Advanced terrain analysis
- Geomatics engineering diploma
The minimum required education to apply for this occupation is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 11 with a minimum of 75 percent in College Preparatory Math (Grade 12) or Secondaire IV having a minimum of 75 percent in College Preparatory Math (Secondaire V) in Quebec.
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.
Geomatics Technicians serve with the Canadian Army. They are employed collecting, analyzing and managing geospatial data to support CAF operations. Geomatics technicians employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis usually serve at military 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 military training, the home unit will arrange for additional training for specialized skills. Training for Geomatics Technicians is conducted at the School of Military Mapping at Algonquin College, in Ottawa, Ontario.
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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