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Air Force

Aerospace Telecommunication and Information Systems Technician

Non-Commissioned Member | Full Time, Part Time

In Demand

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Aerospace Telecommunications and Information Systems Technicians perform, supervise and direct the repair and maintenance of all types of Air Force & Joint telecommunications and information systems. They also manage and maintain mobile and fixed satellite communications systems, microwave systems, switchboards, cable plants, and all forms of command and control computer systems and networks.

Aerospace Telecommunications and Information Systems Technicians perform preventive and corrective maintenance, system restoration, special inspections, modifications, installations and acceptance checks, as well as the repair and overhaul of all types of telecommunications, navigation and cryptographic systems.

Their primary responsibilities are to:

  • Perform preventive and corrective maintenance on all types of radios, radar and data processing, cryptographic, terminal, audio and video equipment
  • Perform inspections, performance tests and adjustments on strategic and tactical fixed and mobile telecommunications equipment
  • Perform repairs, overhaul and support maintenance on telecommunications equipment
  • Perform installations and acceptance tests
  • Liaise with all levels of command and functional groups, including base level personnel
  • Maintain and/or advise other occupations on the maintenance of the electromechanical and refrigeration requirements of telecommunications equipment
  • Deploy as part of the Air Force Support Capability as part of 8 Air Communications and Control Squadron, as part of a Tactical Control Radar Squadron, as part of the Canadian Forces Joint Signals Regiment, or as part of all CANSOFCOM Units
  • Manage the life-cycle of material related to various telecommunications and information systems

Work environment

The duties of an Aerospace Telecommunications and Information Systems Technician are performed in operation centres, in static and mobile workshops, or outdoors. Aerospace Telecommunications and Information Systems Technicians may work at bases within Canada and the USA, including the Arctic, to locations throughout the world.

Career Overview




Reviewed – 3 Apr 23


MASTER CORPORAL PHILIPPE ROY:  I’m Master Corporal Philippe Roy from Trenton, Ontario, an Aerospace Telecommunications and Information Systems Technician posted to CFB Greenwood.


NARRATOR: Aerospace Telecommunication and Information Systems Technicians, or ATIS Techs, are the technology professionals who install and maintain communication systems within the Royal Canadian Air Force, ensuring their integrity and availability. 

They are highly trained specialists that work with command and control networks, data links, radio and satellite communication systems, and air defence and air traffic management systems such as radars and navigational aids.  


MASTER CORPORAL PHILIPPE ROY:  I like to refer to ATIS Techs as IT Swiss Army knives. We have the capability of fixing, troubleshooting, installing, repairing any number of various electronics, communications equipment, radios, radar, computers, switching, routing.

NARRATOR: Regular Force or Reserve, ATIS Techs ensure the operations, performance and defence of these integrated systems from the sensor to the decision makers in the command centre, enabling commanders to make educated decisions. Their work is critical for mission success as everything in today’s modern battlespace is reliant on information technology and communication systems integration.


ATIS Techs often work in a joint setting with the Army, Navy, and Special Operations Forces, as well as with military allies such as NORAD and NATO to provide critical interoperability amongst the various members of the team.


MASTER CORPORAL PHILIPPE ROY: The coolest part of the job is the satisfaction you get from solving a problem and enabling the Canadian Armed Forces to have the capability that they require in an environment where they normally wouldn't have it. Being able to fix radar and radio equipment in the field or off base in order to provide communication so that things can happen is really where the cool part of the trade is.


NARRATOR: Once they complete their initial occupation training, ATIS Techs are typically posted to an operational unit of the Royal Canadian Air Force, where they get paired with a senior technician to continue their learning on the job to expand their skillset.  


MASTER CORPORAL PHILIPPE ROY: Once you arrive to your first posting, you'll be given a mentor and then they'll give you the ins and outs of the base. And when you get sent to shops on your rotation, each shop is going to have a mentor to teach you the tools of the trade and what needs to be done in the shop for your rotation.

NARRATOR: A willingness to learn and keep pace with the ever-changing and evolving world of communications and information technology systems is a key quality of ATIS Techs.


MASTER CORPORAL PHILIPPE ROY: We constantly have to be learning a lot of new upcoming technology as well as figuring out how to not only integrate it with what we have currently, but also figure out what needs to be pushed to the back burner and slowly be decommissioned. We're always learning about new types of equipment that the Canadian Armed Forces wants as a capability and we figure out how to set it up, how to get it working, and how to fix it overseas.

NARRATOR: Some ATIS Techs will be employed in high-readiness units and master specific deployable systems that are critical for mission success. ATIS Techs deploy around the world in support of active military operations and humanitarian efforts. They can also be deployed within Canada to support security or sovereignty operations, as well as to aid civil powers in times of crisis like floods and wildfires.  


MASTER CORPORAL PHILIPPE ROY: My father was in the military for the majority of my life, and I spent a lot of time on bases. I enjoyed the lifestyle. As for joining the trade in particular, I enjoy computers – I enjoy pretty much everything that the trade has to offer. There’s a lot of troubleshooting, figuring out how to fix electronics. So the trade had a lot of appeal to me.


Related Civilian Occupations

  • Electronic Engineering Technician or Technologist
  • Electronic Service Technician
  • Radio Communications Equipment Repairer
  • Telecommunications Equipment Installer


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 Armed Forces (CAF) physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.

Learn more about Basic Training here.

Aerospace Telecommunications and Information Systems Technicians attend the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics in Kingston, Ontario, to complete the Performance Oriented Electronics Training course which includes the following topics:

  • Circuits Theory
  • Electro-Mechanical and Solid State devices
  • Power sources
  • Amplifier, Oscillator and Digital circuits
  • Multistage electronic circuits
  • Conductors and cables
  • AM/FM Theory
  • Audio/Video equipment
  • Computers and peripherals

They continue with 20 weeks of training specific to their duties:

  • Technical administration
  • Automated information systems
  • Switchboards and terminal equipment
  • Cable distribution systems
  • Data communication systems
  • Audio and video systems
  • Airfield navigational aids and meteorological systems
  • Communications and crypto systems
  • Radar systems

Aerospace Telecommunications and Information Systems Technicians may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:

  • Airport Secondary/Surveillance Radar
  • Communications Control Systems
  • Precision Approach Landing Aids
  • E3A AWACS Airborne Equipment
  • Microwave Radio Systems and Associated Equipment
  • Instructional Techniques
  • Communications/Information Security
  • Meteorological Systems
  • Cryptographic Equipment Maintenance

As they progress in their career, Aerospace Telecommunications and Information Systems Technicians who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:

  • Fibre Optics Communications Systems
  • Design Building Network for Communication Systems
  • Computer System Management
  • Advanced Radar Maintenance
  • Advanced Communications Operations
  • Management and Leadership Training
  • Deployed Communications Systems

Entry plans

The minimum required education for this occupation is :

The minimum required education to apply for this occupation is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 10 or equivalent (Secondary 4 in Quebec) with Grade 10 applied Math (Math 416 / CST 4 in Quebec).

The ideal candidate will already have a college diploma, the CAF 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.

Foreign education may be accepted.

Part time options

This position is available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time at an Air Force wing 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.

Aerospace Telecommunication and Information Systems Technicians serve with the Royal Canadian Air Force. When employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis they usually serve at CAF locations within Canada, including the Arctic.

Find a Recruiting Centre

Reserve Force members usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic military training, occupational training for the Aerospace Telecommunication and Information Systems Technician qualification requires about a year and is conducted at the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics in Kingston, Ontario.

Air Reserve members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts and are employed in the same unit and perform the same job. Air Reserve members usually serve up to 12 days per month in a regular work day, with opportunities to serve full time for short durations as needed. Reserve Force members are paid 92.8% of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.