Avionics Systems Technicians are responsible for maintaining all electronic systems onboard Canadian Forces’ aircraft. As part of the aircraft maintenance team, the Avionics Systems Technician is responsible for first line servicing operations in launching and recovering all types of aircraft.
The primary responsibilities of Avionics Systems Technicians are to:
Carry out performance tests, preventive/ corrective maintenance, and calibration of the following systems and their associated components:
- aircraft communication,
- search radar,
- fire control radar,
- acoustic sensing,
- infra-red radar,
- electronic warfare,
- compass, and
- flight control systems
- Set up and operate test equipment to maintain the above systems
- Operate and maintain computer-controlled automatic test stations
- Serve as an instructor in field technical training units, training squadrons or basic training units
- Prepare and maintain aircraft forms and statistical data
- Operate aircraft support equipment
- Perform first line servicing tasks such as marshalling, parking, towing, starting, refueling, cleaning and de-icing
Avionics Systems Technicians are employed primarily at air bases in aircraft maintenance organizations, in maintenance hangers, in airborne aircraft, lab environments and on the flight line. In the course of their career, Avionics Systems Technicians will be required to work shifts and periods of overtime. In geographic terms, employment can vary from Canadian Forces bases and wings within Canada, including the Arctic, to overseas locations throughout the world in response to NATO and UN commitments.
The starting salary for a fully-trained Avionics Systems Technician is $49,400 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Once all required training is complete, they are posted to a location within Canada where they complete on-the-job training on the equipment specific to their home unit. After field technical training and a period of time in the position, Avionics Systems Technicians may apply for training to become a Non-destructive Testing Technician. Avionics Systems Technicians who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training.
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 Canadian Forces physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.
Avionics Systems Technicians attend the Performance- Oriented Electronics Training course at the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics in Kingston, Ontario. Training takes approximately 30 weeks and teaches the following basic skills:
- DC Circuits Theory
- AC Circuits Theory
- Electro-Mechanical devices
- Solid State devices
- Power sources
- Amplifier circuits
- Oscillator circuits
- Multistage electronic circuits
- Conductors and cables
- AM/FM Theory
- Audio/Video equipment
- Digital circuits
- Computers and peripherals
The second part of the training program takes place at the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering in Borden, Ontario. Training takes approximately 24 weeks and includes:
- Common mechanical training
- Common aircraft servicing
- Solid-state devices
- Digital logic
- Aircraft wiring
- Magnetron, Klystron, Travelling Wave Tubes and Microwave theory
- Computer techniques and architecture
- Inspection and repair of indicator/display, pitot static, flight instrument, compass, aircraft flight recorder and locator, air data computer, automatic flight control, electronic warfare, navigation, radar communications, aircraft data processing, Avionics (AVS) and combined Avionic (AVS)/Aviation (AVN) multi-purpose display systems
Avionics Systems Technicians may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- Instructional Techniques
- Calibration Technician
- Quality Assurance
- Computerized Fault Diagnosis and Analysis
- High Reliability Soldering
- Aircraft Specific Type Courses
As they progress in their career, Avionics Systems Technicians who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:
- Technical Administration
- Leadership and Management Courses
The minimum required education to apply for this position is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 10 or Secondaire IV in Canada. Foreign education may be accepted.
If you already have a college diploma, the Canadian 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.
Non-commissioned Member Subsidized Education Program.
Because this position requires specialty training, the Canadian Forces will pay successful recruits to attend the diploma program at an approved Canadian college. NCM SEP students attend basic training and on-the-job training during the summer months. They receive a 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. If you choose to apply to this program, you must apply both to the Canadian Forces and the appropriate college. For more information, click on Paid College.
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 college diploma 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.
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.