Marine Technician

Now hiring: we are now accepting applications for this job through direct entry.

*New – Regular Force signing bonus!

The CAF is pleased to announce the creation of a signing bonus for those who have completed certain recognized training programs or who have the necessary practical experience. You may be entitled to a recruiting allowance of either $10,000 or $20,000 (depending on your education, experience and recognized certifications). Please contact your local recruiting office for more information.

Job description

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
Transcript

Marine Technician

PETTY OFFICER 2nd CLASS JOANNE HARLOFF: I’m Petty Officer 2nd Class Joanne Harloff, from Niagara Falls, Ontario, a Marine Technician posted to Naval Fleet School Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

LEADING SEAMAN JEFF DUBINSKY: And I’m Leading Seaman Jeff Dubinsky from Duncan, B.C., a Marine Technician currently serving onboard HMCS Vancouver.

NARRATOR: Our ships and submarines deploy on operations both here at home and internationally. And on every one of those vessels you’ll find Marine Technicians.

HARLOFF: We talk about ships having to move, to fight and to float. As a Marine Technician, we’re in charge of move the ship and float the ship.

NARRATOR: The marine system’s engineering department is responsible for propulsion, the whole superstructure of the ship, and mechanical systems, as well as piping systems, HVAC, sewage treatment, damage control and firefighting equipment, electrical power generation and distribution, and control systems.

HARLOFF: You’ll have a rounds-person look around and just monitor the machinery. We talk to that as just our preventive maintenance on machinery, so just watching and seeing how it’s operating. You also then would have personnel that are in the machinery control room – they’ll be watching the machinery run remotely. And they’ll be directing that rounds-person on certain machinery that may not be running correctly. While one person is doing rounds, there’s other members that will be doing general maintenance on machinery that has to be done. Husbandry within there, definitely oil changes come up with a lot of our machinery, so groups of them will go do maintenance sections.

NARRATOR: This trade is a good fit for the kind of person who’s energized by troubleshooting and problem solving, and working with equipment and tools. Although a strong academic background in math and physics will serve you well, you’ve got to be ready to get your hands dirty. You’ll need the confidence to approach and tackle problems as they arise, even if it’s a situation you’ve never faced before. It’s a challenging trade both physically and mentally, but if you enjoy working with your hands, problem solving and have a passion for life at sea, then a career as a Marine Technician in the Royal Canadian Navy might be just the thing for you.

HARLOFF: On the ship there’s always something going on and something exciting that’s happening that you can always go view and see. I’ve listened to whales underwater, just because I’m onboard and they say: “Hey! Come check this out, it’s really cool!” I’ve fired 50-cal machine guns even though it’s not my job, you still get that opportunity to shadow somebody else and see different trades that are available to the Navy.

DUBINSKY: My favourite thing to do is welding and fabricating throughout the ship. It allows me the opportunity to get creative and do jobs that I really like to do.

HARLOFF: You’re always learning something new as technology and engineering practices change, and engineering changes in general – well, the Navy is staying in front of that.

DUBINSKY: Every day there’s a different job to do in different areas of the ship. So there’s always an opportunity for me to learn more about the ship, as well as get further training on those pieces of equipment.

DUBINSKY: It’s a part of my duties to be a member of the ship’s dive team. I get to jump off the back of the ship, or jump out of helicopters to pull people that have fallen overboard out of the water. Or I do hull inspections and surveys with other members of the team and make sure everything mechanically is running sound underwater.

NARRATOR: Once they complete their training, Marine Technicians will spend a good part of their career aboard ships in either Esquimalt, B.C. or Halifax, Nova Scotia.

HARLOFF: Alongside in port, it’s a normal working day, Monday to Friday, 8 till 4 PM. I go home; I have a husband and child at home that I go to after work, so it’s still a normal everyday life.

DUBINSKY: At sea, we can work a variety of shifts, usually totalling about 12 hours a day, working from being into the engine spaces to working on different systems around the ship.

NARRATOR: Sometimes Marine Techs have to work outside of their normal routine to get the job done. They’ll be involved in ship duties like refuelling at sea, bringing stores on board, or standing watch.

HARLOFF: We also fall into a regular ship’s schedule, assisting other departments on the ship; normal cleaning of the ship, because you have over 200 people living onboard a frigate, it’s just like a floating city. With the Royal Canadian Navy, we spend a lot of time training for situations where we pretend that something’s actually happening. But as a Marine Technician you actually fix things. You actually get to see the end result.

DUBINSKY: In the last year I’ve been to multiple different ports in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, Singapore. Those are the memories and those are the experiences that I value most from this job.

HARLOFF: As a young person starting out, I spent thousands of dollars backpacking through Europe, running into the same people in three different ports I was in, three different countries I went to that were doing it with the Navy. You can see the world while they pay you and while you train to get a career. It’s not just a job, you get a full career out of it.

Overview

Working environment

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 $67,500 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
  • Electrician
  • Equipment Mechanic
  • Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanic
  • Hydro Power Station Operator
  • Marine Engineer
  • Marine Electrical Technician
  • Marine Equipment Electrician
  • Millwright
  • Plumber
  • Sheet Metal Worker
  • Stationary Engineer and Auxiliary Equipment Operator

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Training

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
  • Seamanship

Basic occupational qualification training

Marine Technicians attend Naval Fleet School Pacific in Esquimalt, British Columbia and Naval Fleet School Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Training takes approximately 30 weeks and includes:

  • Basic mechanical, electrical and hull systems theory
  • Basic maintenance procedures for marine systems including but not limited to
    • Pumps, valves, heat exchanger, coolers
    • Batteries, lighting, motor controllers
    • Combustion engines
    • Refrigeration, Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
    • Steam generators
    • Air compressors
  • They conduct watchkeeping on propulsion and supporting systems
  • 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

Specialty training

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
  • Welding
  • 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

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Entry plans

Now hiring: we are now accepting applications for this job through direct entry.

Required education

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.

Direct entry

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.

Part-time option

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.

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Part-time Employment

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.

Working environment

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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