Full-time or part-time jobs
You can apply to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) as a full- or part-time member. Full-time members make up the Regular Force. Part-time members make up the Reserve Force.
Regular Force (full time)
Members of the Regular Force serve full time protecting Canada and defending our sovereignty. They contribute to international peace and security, and work with the United States to defend North America. They are ready to respond at a moment’s notice to threats, natural disasters or humanitarian crises at home and around the world.
Where you will serve
After you have gone through basic and occupational training, you will be posted to a military base, wing or unit in Canada. Although your preferences will be considered, the CAF will post you where your skills are needed most. Usually, you can expect to move to a different base every few years.
You may also be deployed overseas if a military mission needs your skills and abilities. Missions can last a few days or weeks when responding to a disaster such as the earthquake in Haiti. They can also last up to one year as part of a long-term commitment like Canada's former participation in the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan.
How to join the Regular Force
To join the Regular Force you must have completed your Grade 10 or Secondaire IV (in Quebec). However, there are a number of jobs that require post-secondary education, specific courses, a professional certification or a licence.
There are two plans available for entry into the Regular Force:
- Direct Entry plans are for applicants who have the minimum education required for their chosen career.
- Paid Education plans are for applicants who will have their college or university tuition paid for by the CAF.
Reserve Force (part time)
Members of the Reserve Force serve part time in the CAF. Their main role is to support the Regular Force at home and abroad. Reservists typically serve one or more evenings a week and/or during weekends at locations close to home. Some Reservists may volunteer to be deployed on operations, if there are positions available.
Where you will serve
There are Reserve Force units in hundreds of communities across Canada. Reservists work close to home to support Canadians during natural disaster relief operations, sovereignty exercises and more. They do not have to serve overseas, but many choose to do so.
Missions can last a few days or weeks when responding to something like a natural disaster. They could also last up to one year as part of a long-term commitment like Canada's participation in the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan. Depending on the mission, international operations may involve significant pre-deployment training to ensure Reservists and their Regular Force colleagues have equivalent skill sets.
How to join the Reserve Force
Your first step is to contact one of your local Reserve units to find out which positions are available and then apply online. Your local recruiting centre will process your application and ensure that you complete the required steps of the application process.
You must meet the minimum education requirements for your entry plan and occupation, which can vary from Grade 10 or Secondaire IV (in Quebec) to a university degree.
There are also several Aboriginal Entry Plans, which offer candidates the opportunity to learn more about military life before they decide to join. These plans are only open to Indigenous peoples.
You should talk to a recruiter about the plan that’s right for you.
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