Weapons Technician – Land
Weapons Technicians maintain and repair weapons, weapons systems and ancillary equipment. They are members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. They also are responsible for the maintenance and repair of miscellaneous equipment such as scales, hydraulic lifts, locks and security containers, personal flotation devices, rebreathers, and equipment for heating, cooking and lighting in the field.
Weapons Technicians are primarily responsible for the maintenance and repair of the following equipment:
- Rifles, submachine-guns and handguns
- Machine-guns and non-guided anti-tank weapons
- Sub-calibre adapters
- Training devices, including simulators
- Grenade projectors, mortars and launcher systems
- Light weapons and turret systems for armoured fighting vehicles
Weapons Technicians are employed at bases and stations across Canada and on deployed operations around the world. They experience the unique adventures and challenges that come with working in different environments. While on a base, they may be working in small spaces, like a workshop. In the field or on deployment they may work outdoors most of the time or in temporary accommodations.
Pay and career development
The starting salary for a fully trained Weapons Technician is $60,000 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Weapons Technicians who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training.
Related civilian occupations
- Gun Assembler
- Firearms Inspector
- Small Arms Tester
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
Weapons Technicians attend the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers School in Borden, Ontario for 35 weeks. Through a combination of instruction, demonstrations and practical work, they learn the following subjects:
- Care and use of common and special tools and electrical test equipment
- Operation and principles of weapon systems
- Electricity and hydraulics
- Use of firearms, pyrotechnics and grenades
- Maintenance of small arms, mortars, recoilless rifles, towed field guns, and turret systems for armoured fighting vehicles
- Basic identification and handling of ammunition
- Alignment of sighting devices
- Test-firing weapons
- Knowledge of various ancillary equipment
- Basic soldiering skills, including field craft, rescue techniques and first aid and
- Operation of light armoured vehicles, armoured reconnaissance vehicles and armoured personnel carriers
Weapons Technicians are posted to a unit on a CAF base for about 18 months of on-job training which resembles a civilian apprenticeship program.
Weapons Technicians may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including attending further technical training. There is also the possibility of taking training to reach supervisor and manager levels. The supervisor level course takes about 15 weeks, and the manager level course takes about nine weeks.
As they progress in their career, Weapons Technicians who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:
- High security containers and locking devices
- Leopard tank
- GIAT light towed Howitzer
- M777 medium lightweight towed Howitzer
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 Applied Math or Math 426 in Quebec. Foreign education may be accepted.
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.
Weapons Technicians serve with the Canadian Army. They are employed maintaining and repairing weapons, weapons systems and related equipment for military training and operations. When employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis, they usually serve at a military location 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 and Soldier qualification, the home unit will arrange for additional training for specialized skills. Weapons Technicians attend the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers School in Borden, Ontario for 35 weeks.
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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