Marine Technicians operate and maintain highly technical propulsion, mechanical and power generation systems, enabling Royal Canadian Navy warships to float, move and fight.
The primary responsibilities of Marine Technicians are to operate all marine systems engineering equipment onboard ship, troubleshoot failures, advise command on limitations and repair as required to restore system function. They execute and track maintenance schedules to keep the ship’s engineering equipment in prime condition. They respond to emergencies as the onboard experts in firefighting and damage control, including helicopter crash rescue. They are the ship’s metal workers and carry out burning, welding and machining.
Command relies on the Marine Technician’s in-depth knowledge of the following systems:
- Propulsion gas turbine and diesel engines and associated systems, including gearing and shafting
- Generators and power distribution systems, including casualty power
- Hydraulic equipment and systems
- Electronic machinery control systems
- Fitted and portable damage control and firefighting equipment
- Refrigeration, air conditioning and ventilation equipment
- Fuel and other liquid management systems
Marine Technicians spend much of their career on board ships based in either Halifax, Nova Scotia or Esquimalt, British Columbia. They experience the unique adventures and challenges that come with work at sea, such as working in limited light conditions and small spaces. There may be occasions when they work on open deck surfaces in a variety of weather conditions repairing or maintaining equipment. While at sea, all members of the ship's company stand watch in shifts. When the ship is alongside, Marine Technicians usually work a regular day-shift schedule.
In addition to their primary duties, junior Marine Technicians may spend time working outside their occupation performing general duties such as cleaning, painting, working in the cafeteria or loading supplies.
Pay and career development
The starting salary for fully-trained Marine Technicians is $63,372 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Marine Technicians who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training. With advanced technical training, they are assigned higher-level technical maintenance responsibilities, including supervisory and managerial duties.
Related civilian occupations
- Arc/Acetylene Welder
- Construction Millwright and Industrial Mechanic
- Equipment Mechanic
- Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanic
- Hydro Power Station Operator
- Marine Engineer
- Marine Electrical Technician
- Marine Equipment Electrician
- Sheet Metal Worker
- Stationary Engineer and Auxiliary Equipment Operator
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 Forces physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.
Naval environmental training
Naval recruits attend Naval Fleet School Pacific in Esquimalt, British Columbia or Naval Fleet School Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia for approximately five weeks. Training includes the following topics:
- Naval history and organization
- Shipboard firefighting and damage control
- Shipboard safety and ship’s security
- Watchkeeping duties
Basic occupational qualification training
Marine Technicians attend Naval Fleet School Pacific in Esquimalt, British Columbia. Training takes several months and includes:
- Basic mechanical, electrical and hull systems theory
- Basic preventive and corrective maintenance for marine systems
- The conduct of propulsion and ancillary rounds
- Equipment flash-up and shut-down procedures
- Basic emergency responses to equipment failures
- Emergency burning and welding equipment and procedures
- Repair of watertight and non-watertight closures
Marine Technicians may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and/or on-the-job training, including:
- Helicopter Crash Rescue Firefighting
- Fabrication / Machining
- Diesel Inspection
- Gas Turbine Maintenance
As they progress in their career, Marine Technicians who demonstrate the required ability and potential may be offered advanced training. Available courses include:
- Advanced mechanical preventive / corrective maintenance
- Advanced electrical preventive / corrective maintenance
- Plant operation and watch supervision
- Advanced firefighting / damage control
- Refit management
- Equipment lifecycle management
- Maintenance management
The minimum required education to apply for this position is the completion of provincial requirements for Grade 10 or Secondary IV in Quebec, including:
- Academic Math (Quebec Sec IV, Math 436); or
- Applied Math (Quebec Sec Math 426)
A GED would only be acceptable if applicant also has grade 10 Academic Math or Grade 12 Applied Math. It is an advantage to have completed a physics course at any level.
If you already have a college diploma or Red Seal for a related civilian occupation, the Forces will decide if your academic program matches the training criteria for this job and may place you directly into the required on-the-job training program following basic training. Basic training and military occupation training is required before being assigned.
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 a Naval Reserve Division (NRD) in their community, and may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. Naval Reservists are paid during their training. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can voluntarily transfer from one NRD to another. They may also volunteer for deployment on military missions within or outside Canada.
Marine Technician – Reserve serve as members of the Royal Canadian Navy. Like their Regular Force counterparts, they are employed for the operation and maintenance of all mechanical, electrical and structural systems onboard RCN ships up to the rank of Leading Seaman. Reserves provide technical expertise in support of boatsheds, performing advanced preventive and corrective maintenance on small boats. In support of Naval Security Teams (NSTs), Reserves conduct setup, operation and maintenance of power generation, ventilation, and related systems for portable operation centers and camps. In support of operations, Reserves may progress to taking charge of the maintenance teams and the equipment under their responsibility. Part-time employment is normally in the Marine Technician’s NRD; some part-time training is conducted on weekends at naval schools or in ships afloat. Casual full-time employment in ships, NST exercises and operations, and at naval schools is normally available in the summer months.
Reserve Force Training
Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts for work that is common to the two components. Reservists usually begin training in their Naval Reserve Division to prepare them for the Basic Military Naval Qualification course at Naval Fleet School Quebec. Following basic training and naval environmental training, Marine Technician’s complete their occupation qualification at either Naval Fleet School Pacific in Esquimalt, British Columbia or Naval Fleet School Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia for approximately nine weeks.
Reserve Force members usually serve part-time with their home NRD for scheduled evenings and occasional weekends. They are paid 85% of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package including a pension plan, and may qualify for reimbursement of civilian education expenses.
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