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Intelligence Operator

Non-Commissioned Member | Full Time, Part Time

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As a member of the military, Intelligence Operators collect information from various sources to support operations, planning and decision-making for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the Government of Canada.

Intelligence Operators:

  • Collect, process, analyze and disseminate intelligence
  • Identify and analyze intelligence and information from multiple sources, which is likely to affect military operations, national policies and objectives
  • Advise and assist in the coordination of intelligence tools and surveillance systems
  • Provide intelligence briefings and written products to commanders and their staff
  • Operate, manage and safeguard information technology systems
  • Work with and safeguard highly classified material

Work environment

Intelligence Operators work mainly in an office environment at bases and wings across Canada, but they can also work on board ships at sea and in the field in various climates and conditions while participating in national and international operations. As you progress in your career, you may also have the opportunity to be posted internationally.

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






I am Corporal Valérie Larrivée from Rivière-du-Loup and I am an intelligence operator.



Intelligence operators evaluate risks, identify threats, and assess enemy intentions to anticipate the future in an ever-changing world.


Intelligence operators provide commanders and senior leaders with the information they require to make decisions. They do research, provide briefings, answer questions, and provide various types of graphic intelligence products, all contributing to effective decision making.



An intelligence operator is part of what is called the intelligence cycle. So, basically, a commander will initiate an action plan, and we will aim to achieve the objectives that the commander is looking for. And then we will start to make a plan to gather information, and then analyze it. So, it’s really the analysis of all the data that creates the intelligence. And that allows the commander to see all aspects and variables to be able to make an informed decision.



This information also helps brief soldiers before any mission with tactics, doctrine and what to expect from threats, limitations and vulnerabilities.



So, intelligence operators use different systems at different levels to get a holistic view of the situation at hand, whether it’s a geopolitical situation or more technical specifications that could potentially impact Canadian Armed Forces operations, and all that, of course, is based on pre-established needs.  



Intelligence operators follow events, but also ask what the causes are, what's happening behind the scenes and what will happen next. They must make judgements based on incomplete, contradictory and time sensitive information.



Here at 14 Wing, we support the CP-140 Aurora, which will conduct maritime patrols. This plane has significant capabilities to collect images and other types of information. When the images come back to us, we will be in charge of analyzing them, disseminating the reports and images to other agencies, and creating a database and history record.




As their career advances. Intelligence operators will have opportunity for specialisation and promotion in fields like strategic analysis, cyber operations, imagery analysis, targeting, and human intelligence.



The major aspect of this job is the opportunity to get involved in projects and initiatives that are truly bigger than oneself. What I mean is that intelligence operators will often be required to deploy with the CP-140 Aurora. We start with a detachment of around 50 people, so the intelligence operator will be there for all the steps, including the image analysis at the end. And often, we get to see results practically in real time.


Last year, I had the opportunity to deploy to Japan, where I went scuba diving several times. I also participated in a training exercise in the south of France and went mountain biking in the Pyrenees. Taking my mountain bike to the top of a mountain on an aerial cable car was quite an experience and definitely worth it. The last five years have presented me with the challenges I expected and then some. I’ve gotten even more opportunities than I initially anticipated. It is not over yet, and I am definitely proud to have contributed to operations during my deployments.

Related Civilian Occupations

  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Imagery Specialist
  • Information Management Specialist
  • Private Investigator
  • Security Consultant
  • Paralegal


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.

Intelligence Operators attend the Canadian Forces School of Military Intelligence, in Kingston, Ontario. Intelligence Operators will be trained in the unique requirements of providing military intelligence to Commanders in sea, land, or air operations.

Intelligence Operators may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training to be employed in a specific intelligence area, including:

  • Strategic Defence Intelligence Analysis
  • Imagery Intelligence
  • Full-Motion Video Analysis
  • Counter Intelligence
  • Human Intelligence
  • Electronic Warfare Intelligence
  • Foreign Language Training

Entry plans

No previous work experience or career related skills are required. CAF recruiters can help you decide if your personal interests and attributes match the criteria for this occupation.

The minimum required education to apply for this occupation is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 11 or Secondary 5 in Quebec and an English or French course at the Grade 11 level or Secondary 5 level in Quebec.

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 a Reserve Unit within 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 Operators may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army or the Royal Canadian Air Force. They provide military intelligence in support of operations, planning and decision making. 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 training, the home unit will arrange for additional training for specialized skills. Intelligence Operators attend the Canadian Forces School of Military Intelligence in Kingston, Ontario to achieve their qualification and may train to work in tactical, operational and strategic analysis, counter intelligence, electronic warfare, psychological operations or one of several other highly specialized fields.

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% of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.