Canadian Armed Forces (Commissioned Officers)

Occupation:Canadian Armed Forces

About the job

Nature of work:

This group of jobs includes commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs) or members of other non-commissioned ranks of the Canadian Armed Forces. All ranks of commissioned and non-commissioned personnel in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Canadian Army, and Royal Canadian Navy are included in this group.

Job duties:
Commissioned officers of the Canadian Forces perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Plan, organize and command the activities of Canadian Forces combat units such as armour, artillery and infantry battalions.
  • Develop and implement military procedures and policies based on detailed knowledge of units' capabilities and performance.
  • Direct subordinates in training and coordinate and direct activities of units in accordance with military practices.
  • Assume responsibility for welfare, morale and discipline of units.
  • Review and evaluate unit performance, prepare reports and provide briefings for superiors.
  • May command and lead units engaged in non-combat operations for disaster relief and humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts domestically and internationally.
Personnel in non-commissioned ranks of the Canadian Forces perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Operate armoured vehicles, artillery, hand-held weapons and other military combat equipment and defence systems.
  • Conduct peacekeeping operations and enforce cease-fire agreements.
  • Engage in non-combat operations for humanitarian efforts.
  • Provide assistance in emergency situations, such as civil disorder, natural disasters and major accidents.
  • Participate in drills and other training in preparation for peacekeeping, combat and natural disaster relief duties.
  • Perform administrative and guard duties.

Personnel in this group are assigned to specific operations related to reconnaissance, peacekeeping, disaster relief and combat.

Sample job titles:
  • able seaman
  • admiral
  • captain
  • colonel
  • corporal
  • lieutenant commander
  • major general
  • master seaman
  • officer
  • petty officer
  • private recruit
  • sergeant
  • soldier
  • warrant officer

To work in these jobs you need good organizational and managerial skills. An ability to work under pressure is important. You must be decisive. You need to work well with others. Effective communication skills, both written and oral, are also important.

Job requirements:
Commissioned officers of the Canadian Forces:
  • A university degree is usually required.
  • Completion of military training is required.
Non-commissioned ranks of the Canadian Forces:
  • Completion of secondary school is usually required for non-commissioned work.
  • Three months of basic military training is provided.
  • Specialized training in the operation and maintenance of military equipment and systems is provided.
Other considerations:

Progression to commissioned officer positions is possible with additional training and experience. Experience as a non-commissioned member of the armed forces and demonstrated leadership ability may substitute for a university degree. Senior commissioned ranks, such as colonel, require several years of experience.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Undetermined

This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Canadian Forces most commonly work full-time hours. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 69% of Canadian Forces who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $74,855. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Canadian Armed Forces (Commissioned Officers)7,015Moderate growth10x
Minimum:  N/A
Median:  N/A
Maximum:  N/A
Minimum: $24,897
Median: $70,498
Maximum: $100,470
All NS Occupations427,305Weak growth33,315Moderate
Minimum: $11.00
Median: $19.89
Maximum: $40.00
Minimum: $2,872
Median: $29,983
Maximum: $83,126
Canadian Armed Forces (Commissioned Officers)Compared to: All NS Occupations
Percent employed full-time91%78%
Percent self-employed21%10%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentCanadian Armed Forces (Commissioned Officers)Compared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton4%x13%$32,974
Annapolis Valley20%$60,84313%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeCanadian Armed Forces (Commissioned Officers)Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services
% Employed% Employed
Median Agex44
GenderCanadian Armed Forces (Commissioned Officers)Compared to: All NS Occupations
% Employed% Employed
EducationCanadian Armed Forces (Commissioned Officers)Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school5.5%$5242.8%$11,346
High school36.2%$7,32714.3%$25,801
Trades certificate9.5%$6,1384.2%$35,678
College certificate or diploma23.5%$9,88421.5%$28,183
University certificate or diploma2.0%x2.6%$35,967
Bachelor's degree19.6%$2,81629.2%$43,533
University advanced certificate or diploma0.5%x3.4%$47,801
Master's degree0.1%$9,42017.2%$35,978
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry0.2%x0.2%$83,456
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre
6960 Mumford Road, Suite 130
Halifax, NS B3L 4P1
Tel: (800) 856-8488
Fax: (902) 721-0403

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
Program Name:Crisis/emergency/disaster management
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program focusing on the application of the incident command system model to formulating and implementing effective response to natural and man-made disasters. These programs include courses in contingency planning, hazard and risk assessment, joint operations, law and ethics, emergency response and recovery, event mitigation, emergency rescue and medical operations, incident command, terrorism and national security issues, law enforcement, relief administration, volunteer and citizen coordination, public relations and applications to specific types of incidents.
See all institutions providing this program+
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
Program Name:Social sciences - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the general study of human social behaviour and social institutions using any of the methodologies common to the social sciences and/or history, or an undifferentiated program of study in the social sciences.
There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.