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Signal Technician

Non-Commissioned Member | Full Time, Part Time

In Demand

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As a member of the military, Signal Technicians are experts in telecommunication technologies. They maintain, repair, configure, administer, and modify leading edge communication systems. They are a part of a larger team that provides the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) with communications and information services throughout Canada and around the world.

Signal Technicians operate on specialized electronic test equipment. They perform corrective maintenance, preventive maintenance, diagnosis, modifications, installations, configurations, inspections and administration for:

  • Wired and wireless communications systems
  • Radio, satellite, and microwave broadband technology
  • Radar location and detection technology
  • Fibre optic and copper wire broadband technology
  • Voice and data network defence, configuration, and administration


Work environment

Signal Technicians experience the unique adventures and challenges that come with working outdoors, in military vehicles, and in maintenance work shops. Signal Technicians work across the country and around the world wherever the CAF has a footprint.

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'm Master corporal Alex Alder from Langley, B.C. and I'm a Signal Technician.



In a landscape of ever changing technology. Signal technicians play a vital role in keeping communications flowing in the Canadian Armed Forces.




When I tell my friends what my job description is, I like to tell them that I'm a jack of all trades repairman. Whether it be antennas, radios, headsets, satellites, as long as it transmits or receives, I fix it.



On a day to day basis, signal technicians take care of equipment maintenance, service telephone systems and Communication information systems and ensure network security on bases across Canada.


They are responsible for all tactical communications equipment linking soldiers, vehicles and commanders in headquarters and in the field.  They also work on I.T.  related tasks such as cable installations and repairs, analyzing faulty equipment, or performing technical inspections for I.T. security.





You're still a member of the military and you're still expected to be a soldier first. So you get a bit of both worlds. You still get to sleep in the tent, shoot guns and do a lot of the cool Army stuff. But at the same time, you're really using your brain and getting into electronics and fixing them. It's a good mix. It lets you do what you want to do, but also do the army thing.



Signal technicians are responsible for configuring, maintaining and securing communication networks and systems on behalf of the Canadian Armed Forces wherever they operate. They can work closely with information systems technicians, line technicians, Cyber operators, and depending on where they're posted with the combat arms. As their careers develop, technicians will also be called upon to instruct, lead, supervise, and manage subordinates as well as plan and advise Commanders with the employment and deployment of these platforms and systems, all while managing the life cycle of the communications equipment.




The job of a signal technician is critical to every unit you're a part of. You are the sole person responsible for fixing, maintaining and upkeeping all the communications equipment across the entire unit. Sometimes that can involve hundreds of vehicles and hundreds of headsets and hundreds of radios. And so without a signal technician, those things wouldn't be possible. So we are a very important part of any unit in the military.



The best part of the job for me is when I get given a problem where the person doesn't know what's wrong. And it's not something that's in the books where I can't just flip to a manual page and see X is causing Y, so I need to do Z. I like thinking outside the box, fixing things that don't have instructions on how to fix them. And it's that extra challenge of having to figure something out without having been taught it. That makes being a signal tech so gratifying to me.



To maintain their highly adaptive skill set. Signal technicians can expect to travel often throughout the year, participating in exercises and training courses.  They may also have the opportunity to work with Unmanned Aircraft Systems.




In 2020, I was deployed on OP Impact to Taji, Iraq. I was almost relied upon solely to do anything communications related. Not even in my line of work. People would come to me with cell phones. People come to me with equipment I haven't even seen before. But it's expected that I can open this up, diagnose the issue and repair it, and that that sort of thing ties back into the challenges that I look for when I do this job.


I often receive quite a lot of gratitude from the people that I help when I fix their equipment for them. And that kind of gratitude really strengthens the love for my job, knowing that what I do makes a visible impact for the people around me and helps them do their job better.

Related Civilian Occupations

  • Telecommunication Carriers Managers
  • Electrical and electronics engineering technologists
  • Electrical and electronics engineering technicians
  • Electronic Service Technicians


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.

Signal Technicians attend the Canadian Forces School of Communication and Electronics in Kingston, Ontario. Training takes approximately 16 months and is separated into two parts. Part one is equivalent to a two-year electronics engineering technician program and teaches the following skills and knowledge:

  • Electrical and electronic theory
  • Digital electronic theory
  • Signal processing devices and operation
  • Power supplies theory
  • Radio and antenna systems theory
  • Satellite and microwave systems theory
  • Use of basic and advanced test instrumentation

Part two of the program includes specific training on communications systems and equipment. You will learn the following skills and knowledge:

  • Radio communications and information security
  • Installation and operation of communications and information systems
  • Maintenance and operation of power generating systems
  • Communication systems and equipment maintenance and repair techniques
  • Installation and maintenance of fibre optic and copper wire systems
  • Basic Routing and Switching Concepts
  • Use of advanced radio equipment testing instrumentation

Signal Technicians may have the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal military and civilian courses and on-the-job training, including:

  • Cryptographic equipment operation and maintenance
  • Electronic Warfare systems and equipment operation and maintenance
  • Counter-Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device equipment operation and maintenance
  • Satellite terminal operation and maintenance
  • Missile detection and defence equipment operation and maintenance
  • Ground Penetrating Radar equipment operation and maintenance
  • Basic Switches, and router operation, programming, configuring, and maintenance
  • Software and firmware operations and maintenance including software defined radios

As they progress in their career, Signal Technicians who demonstrate the required ability and potential, will be offered advanced training. Courses include:

  • Technical Communications Security Inspector
  • Leadership Courses
  • Life Cycle Materiel Manager

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 including:

  • Gr 10 Academic Math or Secondary 4 in Quebec; and
  • Gr 10 Science 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 a military unit in their community and at military bases within the region where they live. Reservists may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are paid during their training and are not required to move. They can, however, volunteer to move and can also volunteer for deployment opportunities within or outside of Canada.

Reserve Signal Technicians serve with the Canadian Army, providing fast, reliable, wired and wireless communications infrastructure to military units for training and operations. When employed on a part-time or term basis, they usually serve at a Canadian Army Reserve unit in their local community.

Find a Recruiting Centre

Reserve Force members of this occupation are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. They usually begin training in their home unit to ensure they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic military training, arrangements will be made for occupational training. Signal Technician training takes approximately 16 months and is conducted at the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics in Kingston, Ontario.

Reserve Force Signal Technicians usually serve part-time with their home unit for scheduled evenings and weekends. They may also serve in full-time positions at some units for fixed terms, depending what type of work is needed. Most Signal Technicians work in a shop environment either inside a building or in a military vehicle. They are paid 92.8% of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a benefits package, and can contribute to a pension plan.