Skip to Main Content
Browse Careers
Army Air Force Navy

Intelligence Officer

OFFICER | Full Time, Part Time

Apply Now


As a member of the military, Intelligence Officers provide military intelligence support in operations, planning and decision-making. Their work has an impact on military and national security, and the political and public relations of the government.

The primary responsibilities of Intelligence Officers are to:

  • Recognize and analyze information which is likely to affect military operations, national policies and objectives
  • Command, direct and control an intelligence unit, section or team
  • Operate and manage information technology systems
  • Advise and plan employment of sophisticated intelligence collection and surveillance systems
  • Safeguard highly classified material

Work environment

Intelligence Officers usually work in an office environment but they can also participate in local, national and international operations, in various climates and conditions.

If you chose a career in the Regular Force, upon completion of all required training, you will be assigned to your first base. While there is some flexibility with regards to postings (relocations), accommodations can’t always be made, and therefore, you can likely expect to move at some point in your career. However, if you decide to join the Primary Reserve Force, you will do so through a specific Reserve unit. Outside of training, your chosen Reserve unit will be your workplace on a part time basis, and you will not be obligated to relocate to a different base. As part of the Primary Reserve Force, you typically work one night per week and some weekends as a minimum with possibilities of full-time employment.

Career Overview




Maj Huet :

I am Major Thomas Huet from Ottawa, Ontario, and I'm an Intelligence Officer.


Narrator :

The days of simply knowing who and where the enemy is and how they fight are over. The job of an intelligence officer is to predict the future in an asymmetrical world. Intelligence officers are responsible for ensuring their commanders are well-informed on the ground, in the air or on the seas. They must understand operating environments as events unfold and lead their teams to collect information, including weather, terrain, enemy forces, people and politics.


Maj Huet :

Intelligence is really a critical function because really we work hand in hand with operations. Our job is to essentially provide them the information necessary to make their decisions.


Narrator :

Collecting intelligence is both an art and a science. Intelligence officers use computerised tools to help their teams analyse massive amounts of information.


Maj Huet :

The first step is direction. We talk to our commanders and understand what the problems are. The second thing we do is collection. So we go out and gather that information that we're looking for. So that could be HUMINT, someone on the ground asking questions that could be ISR, so a UAV platform up in the air or that could be a satellite that is just basically flying around the earth. And so we basically try to pick the best sensor to answer the question that we're looking at. And then the last step is we disseminate that information to the people who need to know.


Narrator :

Intelligence officers must also use their instincts and training to evaluate situations.


Maj Huet :

Intelligence is only as good as it is timely. If we take all the time in the world to get the answer right, sometimes it might be too late. So we have to try to find and strike a balance between getting the right information and getting the information fast enough.


Narrator :

Intelligence officers do a lot of writing and we'll find themselves conveying information to a very senior audience early in their careers. They must become comfortable quickly and feel confident about the information they present.


Maj Huet :

What I'm trying to do is essentially provide the commander with the information he needs to make his decision. And his decision could be, do I fly today or not? Or it could be, do I attack today or how do I attack? So really, we're basically providing the decisional superiority. So we're trying to basically make sure that they are able to make decisions better than the enemy commanders.


For me, I think the most interesting part of my career was when I was deployed recently and I was in charge of an organisation that was responsible for full motion video analysis. So we basically took the videos that were coming off of the different unmanned aerial vehicles in the theatre and we got to analyse them. And so I was in charge of about 80 people doing that analysis and basically directly helping the war fighters on the ground to figure out what was happening in that area of operations.


Intelligence, one of the things I appreciate is just that I get to learn about everything and learn about, you know, what's happening in the world. I just kind of really enjoy the aspect of, you know, figuring it out. And when I have a question, I don't always have the information at hand. And so I have to figure out how do I get that information? And so that to me is really gratifying because I get to basically figure out plans and problems of every day.


I think the piece of advice that I would offer someone who's thinking about a career in the Canadian Forces and in intelligence in particular, is that if you enjoy, you know, knowing about the world, if you enjoy research, then this is probably the career for you.

Being curious about the world would lead to success in this trade.

Related Civilian Occupations

  • Intelligence Analyst or Operator
  • Political Analyst
  • Information Management Specialist
  • Police and Security Investigator and Consultant


After enrolment, you start basic officer training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, for 12 weeks. Topics covered include general military knowledge, the principles of leadership, regulations and customs of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), 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.

Learn more about Basic Training here.

Intelligence Officers attend the Canadian Forces School of Military Intelligence in Kingston, Ontario. This course lasts approximately six months. Training includes intelligence skills and theory, strategic analysis, threat assessment and intelligence support. Emphasis is placed on leadership, administration, writing, oral briefing, and theory and application of intelligence operations. Intelligence Officers will learn to supervise and lead an intelligence section in tactical operations.

Intelligence Officers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:

  • Strategic Defence Intelligence Analyst
  • Advanced Intelligence Officer Course
  • Counter Intelligence
  • Interrogator
  • Source Handling
  • Imagery Analysis

There are different areas an Intelligence Officer can be employed into including for example, Human Intelligence, Counter Intelligence, Targeting Intelligence, among others.

Entry plans

If you already have a university degree, the CAF 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

Due to the requirement for CAF officer to obtain a university degree, the CAF will pay successful recruits to complete a bachelor degree program in the Royal Military College System. Recruits will receive full-time salary including medical and dental care, as well as vacation time with full pay in exchange for working in the CAF 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 rare instances, based on the needs of the CAF, candidates may be approved attend another Canadian University. A determination will be made on a case by case basis. If you are applying for this program, you must apply to the CAF and it is recommended to apply to other Canadian universities of your choice should you not be accepted for ROTP.

Learn more about our Paid Education programs here.

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 a Reserve Unit in their community, and may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are paid during their training. 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.

Intelligence Officers may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army or the Royal Canadian Air Force. They provide military intelligence analysis support in operations, planning and decision-making. Their work has an impact on military and national security, and the political and public relations of the government. When employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis they usually serve at CAF unit locations within Canada.

Find a Recruiting Centre

Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. They usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic officer training, the home unit will arrange for additional training for specialized skills. Intelligence Officers attend the Canadian Forces School of Military Intelligence in Kingston, Ontario for approximately six months to achieve their qualification.

Reserve Force members usually serve part-time with their home unit for scheduled evenings and weekends, although they may also serve in full-time positions at some units for fixed terms, depending on the type of work that they do. They are paid 92.8 percent of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.