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Materiel Management Technician

Non-Commissioned Member | Full Time, Part Time

In Demand

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Materiel Management Technicians ensure that all of the supplies and services necessary for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) operations are available when and where they are required. They handle a variety of items such as food, fuel, heavy machinery, spare parts, stationery and clothing.

The primary responsibilities of Materiel Management Technicians are to:

  • Manage the purchasing, warehousing, shipping, receiving, stock control and disposal of obsolete stock and equipment
  • Receive, handle and prepare items for shipment
  • Operate military vehicles weighing up to 10 tons and materials-handling equipment such as forklifts
  • Process invoices and prepare shipping documents
  • Order material from internal and external sources and purchase supplies
  • Deliver supplies and provide services to operational units
  • Perform recordkeeping, stocktaking and inventory control
  • Maintain accounting and financial records
  • Process and coordinate repair and disposal functions

Work environment

Materiel Management Technicians may work in Canada or are deployed abroad, in support of Royal Canadian Navy, Army or Royal Canadian Air Force operations.  Materiel Management Technicians on board a ship experience the unique challenges that come with living and working at sea. They are also called upon to stand duty watches, perform ship's husbandry duties and other related tasks. Materiel Management Technicians working with the Army participate in operations and training with combat teams, including such duties as driving and maintaining vehicles. Those assigned to support the Royal Canadian Air Force may be deployed to remote locations on short notice.

Career Overview


LEADING SEAMAN ALEXA LAFRENIERE: I’m Leading Seaman Alexa Lafreniere, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, a Supply Technician and currently posted at Naval Replenishment Unit Asterix. 

MASTER CORPORAL KAREEM ISHMAEL: And I’m Master Corporal Kareem Ishmael, from Châteauguay, Québec, a Supply Technician at Canadian Armed Forces Base Kingston.

NARRATOR:  Materiel Management Technicians (formerly known as Supply Technicians) manage all supplies and services necessary for Canadian Armed Forces operations, be they foreign or domestic. They are responsible for acquiring state-of-the-art equipment, its care, custody, control and delivery anywhere, anytime and in any climate. They issue everything from life-saving personal protection systems to mission-specific kit.

LAFRENIERE: We provide everything from ammunition, to weapons, to clothing, to food, to parts for the helicopters, to parts for ships. We do everything and in-between.

ISHMAEL:  We have a huge responsibility to ensure that everything is taken care of according to the rules and regulations. And that the soldiers have what they need when they need it. 

LAFRENIERE:  In the supply trade, you’re going to come across so many different items and so many different things, that unusual just becomes normal and you learn to roll with it, which makes it really quite exciting as well.

NARRATOR:  In this trade, adaptability is invaluable because Materiel Management Technicians have to react and provide support to various situations, ranging from small-scale material management to large-scale bulk distribution. They need to be highly organized as well, responsible for maintaining a state of readiness to ensure that the right supplies in the right quantities are ready and delivered to the right location in support of operational needs.

LAFRENIERE: It’s a huge team effort. Not just from the unit, but from the base supply, from maybe the aircraft mechanics. It’s a huge, huge interconnecting web of Supply Techs working together to better provide for the customer.

NARRATOR:  Materiel Management Technicians can be deployed anywhere the Canadian Armed Forces operate. They serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Army, the Royal Canadian Air Force and even Special Operations Forces.  

ISHMAEL:  It’s really important to understand what the end-user needs, and why they need it. I think you get the best of both worlds: you get to be a soldier, but you also get to work in the office and develop some life skills that will help you later on in life. 

LAFRENIERE:  The coolest part about my job as a naval Supply Tech in my experience, has been sailing. We did a lot of exercises with foreign nations, specifically the Americans. It took me up and down the Coast. It was really, really fun to see what other nations – how they play.

NARRATOR: Once at sea, Materiel Management Technicians often coordinate efforts to have supplies delivered to the ship at various locations around the world. They may be tasked with secondary responsibilities such as firefighting and casualty clearing, naval boarding party or ship’s diving team.

ISHMAEL: The entire job, I think is very cool. You get to train, you get to work out, you get to stay physically fit, you get to try out new things that the average office worker wouldn’t even get to try. Next week we’re going on the rappel tower. You get to deploy, you get to see the world and meet interesting people; practise your craft all over the planet. 

NARRATOR:  Once they’ve completed their training, Materiel Management Technicians are ready for their first posting, which could be to any Canadian Armed Forces base, wing, ship or operational unit across the country. 

LAFRENIERE: I started in Shearwater in the clothing stores and I started learning clothing store functions. However, at the same time, you’re going to be given a package to learn some on-the-job training: computer functions, warehousing work, clothing stores if you’re not posted there. And then from there, if you were lucky like me, I actually got posted to a ship, the HMCS Athabaskan, and I did shipboard work, which is a completely other kettle-of-fish altogether. It’s really fun, you get to know everybody in your unit because you’re the stores person. They’re going to come to you with a request for something. So it’s really great to get to know other people and even get to know other trades and see what dynamic they’re into. And it gives you an understanding as to why it is that you need to provide these items for them.

NARRATOR:  Materiel Management Technicians manage large warehouses and inventories using proven supply chain management and best business practices. They receive advanced logistics training, including the leading SAP inventory management system. 

They may have the opportunity to receive Hazmat qualification. If assigned to an army unit, they will train as soldiers, and operate specialized rough terrain and communication equipment in addition to carrying out their regular duties. 

They may also have the opportunity to further develop their administrative abilities by attending courses in contract management, budgeting and internal audit procedures.

How far you take your career is ultimately up to you.

ISHMAEL: You’re put into leadership positions very early. And they’re always trying to develop your leadership potential. You’re always being coached by your supervisor. When I was a Corporal, I was being coached, and now that I’m a Master Corporal, I’m coaching my subordinates and I’m being coached by my superiors as well.

LAFRENIERE: If you’re highly organized, you like to work with your hands, you enjoy interacting with other people and working with other people, Supply is definitely the trade for you. 

ISHMAEL:  I think most of the guys on the pointy end do appreciate what we do and how we do it, and the effort we put into making sure that they get the items they need.

LAFRENIERE:  I’m looking forward to see where my trade goes. It’s a very large trade, there’s a lot of dynamics. I’d like to definitely get a couple of deployments under my belt and see the different aspects of Supply overseas and what that entails. The sky’s the limit in this trade and I’m looking forward to testing that limit.

Related Civilian Occupations

  • Contract Administrator
  • Purchasing Officer
  • Warehouse Supervisor
  • Material Manager


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.

Materiel Management Technicians attend the Canadian Forces Logistics Training Centre in Borden, Ontario. Training takes approximately 70 days at the apprentice level and covers the following topics within the CAF supply system:

  • Action customer inquiries
  • Requesting, receiving, issuing and warehousing materiel
  • Processing of materiel for repair and disposal
  • Use of materiel handling aids
  • Processing issues and receipts
  • Preservation and packaging of materiel
  • Supply-related administrative and support functions
  • Process clothing, footwear, for issues, returns or exchanges

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

  • Instructional Techniques
  • Control of Hazardous Material
  • Hazardous Material Packaging

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

  • Military Contracts
  • Internal Audit Procedures
  • Personnel Management
  • Material Management
  • Budget Management
  • Business Planning Process

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 10 or Secondary 4 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 an Air Force Wing 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.

Material Management Technicians may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army or Royal Canadian Air Force, ensuring that necessary supplies are available for military training and operations. Material Management Technicians employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis usually serve at a CAF location 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 military training, the home unit will arrange for additional training for specialized skills. Training for Material Management Technicians takes about 70 days and is conducted at the Canadian Forces School of Administration and Logistics in Borden, Ontario.

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.