Always loved computers? Want a career where everyday brings a new challenge? Then this is the role for you! As a Signals Officer, you will lead teams of Communication and Information Systems Specialists and other skilled personnel at headquarters, at command centres in Canada and overseas, and at remote bases in the field. Ensuring military operations run smoothly is the all-important task of the Signals Officer. Signals Officers are leaders in the four Cs that the military relies on: command, control, computers and communication. They supply soldiers with the information they need to do their jobs effectively.
As a Signals Officer, you will be responsible for the operations and maintenance of all communications systems that are not built into aircraft, boats, or ships. You could be employed in policy development, project management, systems engineering, and network operation. You will manage the operation of purpose-designed, computer-based information systems, radio systems, electronic and cyber warfare capabilities, and cryptographic and communications security capabilities.
Signals Officers work in all climates, environments, and circumstances, from the office-like setting of a base or garrison, to service with an operational Army unit, both in Canada and on overseas deployments that may involve combat. Signals Officers may be deployed overseas on operations, be posted to an international headquarters, or to an exchange or liaison assignment in an allied nation.
To be eligible to apply to the Canadian Armed Forces, you must:
- Be a Canadian citizen.
- Be 17 years of age (with consent from a parent or legal guardian) or older, except for junior candidates in the Regular Officer Training Plan, who must be 16 or older.
- Have completed at least Grade 10 or Secondary IV in Quebec.
- Certain entry programs and occupations require higher levels of education.
Salary and Benefits
The starting salary for a fully-trained Signals Officer is $51,000 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Regular promotions through the junior officer ranks take place based on the completion of required training and on the length of service as an officer. Once promoted to the rank of Captain their salary is approximately $74,000 per year.
Signals Officers’ first posting will be to an operational Army unit where they will prepare for their first leadership appointment. At this early stage they work under the supervision of a senior Signals Officer. As their career develops, they may be employed in administrative and technical fields as well as operations. Signals Officers who demonstrate the required ability, dedication, and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion, and advanced training.
Professional Training and Development
As a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, you have access to ongoing training. You also have the opportunity to travel the world and enjoy several other services and benefits.
Basic Military Officer Qualification
After enrolment, you start basic officer training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, for 15 weeks. Topics covered include general military knowledge, the principles of leadership, regulations and customs of the Forces, basic weapons handling, and first aid. Opportunities will also be provided to apply such newly acquired military skills in training exercises involving force protection, field training, navigation and leadership. A rigorous physical fitness program is also a vital part of basic training. Basic officer training is provided in English or French and successful completion is a prerequisite for further training.
Following basic officer training, official second language training may be offered to you. Training could take from two to nine months to complete, depending on your ability in your second language.
Common Army Phase
After basic training, you will go to the Infantry School at the Combat Training Centre in Gagetown, New Brunswick. You will build upon the leadership training you received in basic officer training in addition to learning the skills required of all Combat Arms Soldiers, including more advanced weapons-handling, field-craft, and section-level tactics.
Signals Officers will attend the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics in Kingston, Ontario. During this period, they learn the skills and knowledge required to supervise and lead a Troop in tactical operations in the field, applying and building on the skills and knowledge gained during earlier training events. Emphasis will be placed on leadership, administration, and more advanced theory of communications and electronics and their application.
Signals Officers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training.
If you already have a university degree, the Forces will decide if your academic program matches the criteria for this job and may place you directly into the required on-the-job training program following basic training. Basic training and military officer qualification training are required before being assigned.
Regular Officer Training Plan
Because this position requires a university degree, the Forces will pay successful recruits to complete a Bachelor degree program at a Canadian university. They receive full-time salary including medical and dental care, as well as vacation time with full-pay in exchange for working with the Forces for a period of time. Typically, candidates enter the Canadian Military College System as an Officer Cadet where they study subjects relevant to both their military and academic career. In some instances, the Forces is able to pay for Officer Cadets to attend other Canadian universities in a relevant degree program. Officer Cadets who attend other Canadian universities typically attend university during the regular academic year and participate in additional military training during the summer months. If you choose to apply to this program, you must apply both to the Forces and the Canadian university of your choice. For more information, click on Paid University.
Join the Forces
Learn more about a career as a Signals Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces and discover over 100 other job opportunities at Canada.ca/forces-jobs, by calling 1 800 856-8488 or by visiting a Canadian Armed Forces Recruitment Centre near you.
This position is also available part-time.
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