Aerospace Control Officers contribute to air operations by providing air traffic control services and air weapons control.
Aerospace Control Officers are responsible for the conduct of aerospace surveillance, warning, and control of airborne objects throughout Canadian airspace. As an integral part of the Canadian Air Navigation System, they also provide control to civilian and military aircraft during combat and training operations world-wide.
Aerospace Control Officers may be deployed to a ship, aircraft, or in the field throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe. Initially, Aerospace Control Officers are employed as either air traffic controllers at Canadian military airbases, or in the air defence realm, controlling fighter aircraft at the Canadian Air Defence Sector.
The starting salary for a fully-trained Aerospace Control 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.
After enrolment, you start basic officer training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, for 14 weeks. Topics covered include general military knowledge, the principles of leadership, regulations and customs of the Canadian 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.
Second language training is available following basic officer training; depending on your ability in your second language, it may take from two to nine months.
Aerospace Control Officers attend the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Control Operations in Cornwall, Ontario, for three to five months. Aerospace Control Officer candidates learn to apply control techniques for both air defence and air traffic control duties. They also receive instruction and simulator training on the following topics:
- Airborne weapons systems
- Ground control systems and radar
- Radiotelephony and procedure
- Air regulations and navigation orders
- Aircraft performance characteristics
- Command and control directives governing the control of interceptor aircraft
Aerospace Control Officers are granted a license in the control of live aircraft after passing an examination on local operating procedures.
Aerospace Control Officers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- Airborne Warning and Control System
- Space and Missile operations
- Tactical Air Control Party (Land)
- Maritime Fighter Control (Navy)
If you already have a university degree, the Canadian 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 Canadian 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 Canadian 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 Canadian 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 Canadian Forces and the Canadian university of your choice. For more information, click on Paid University.
This position is available for part-time employment through the Reserves. Reservists generally work part-time for a Reserve unit in their community. 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.
Reservists train with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required professional standards of the job. If additional training is required in order to specialize skills, arrangements will be made by the home unit.
It is also possible to set up an “Individual Learning Plan” to take courses leading to a university degree related to this job, and upon successful completion, be reimbursed for up to 50% of tuition and other mandatory costs. Education fees for successfully completed courses are reimbursed as long as the student was a Reservist during the entire duration of the course.
This position is available through the Reserve Entry Training Plan. Through this program Reservists attend the Royal Military College, and are eligible for tuition reimbursement up to $2000 per year. They are paid as a part-time officer cadet for any additional military training required.
Typically, Reservists work or train with their home unit for at least four evenings and one weekend per month, from September to May of each year. They are paid 85% of Regular Force rates of pay and receive a reasonable benefits package.