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Army Air Force

Traffic Technician

Non-Commissioned Member | Full Time, Part Time

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Traffic Technician plan, execute and manage the movement of all Canadian Armed Forces equipment and personnel. They use all modes of transport from any local, regional, national or international location in support of all Canadian Armed Forces Exercises and Operations. Traffic technicians operate in teams in existing or fabricated supply chains.

The primary responsibilities of Traffic Technicians are to:

  • Prepare, process, record and account for all transportation documents and forms relating to cargo/equipment and personnel movements
  • Plan, administer, execute and manage the loading and offloading of cargo/equipment, personnel and baggage from military and commercial road, rail, air and maritime transport vehicles
  • Dangerous cargo processing
  • Customs documentation and liaision
  • Operate military vehicles and materiel handling equipment, and
  • Process transportation contracts, invoices and maintain financial records

Work environment

Traffic Technicians work in warehouses, offices, terminals, the field and flying squadrons in Canada and around the world in support to Canadian Armed Forces operations. They may be required to work shifts and be employed in both established and isolated locations with extreme climates and conditions.

Career Overview




MASTER CORPORAL REESE PATON: I’m Master Corporal Reese Paton from London, Ontario. I’m a Traffic Technician posted at 450 Squadron at CFB Petawawa.

Traffic Technicians play a key support role in the Canadian Armed Forces, organizing the transport of materiel, equipment and personnel around the world using every mode of transport.

PATON: Let’s say you have a parcel you want to deliver. So what you do is you’ll write up all the paperwork – what’s inside, where it needs to go – then you’ll present it to us. That’s when the Traff Techs step in. The Traff Techs are going to do up the waybills, they’re going to do all the customs paperwork, the dangerous goods paperwork, they’re going to make sure it goes to where it needs to be – either by road, or by air, sea, or by train.

These technicians help to move everyone and everything – be it helicopters, vehicles, ammunition, humanitarian relief supplies, or people. They are responsible for the safe processing of dangerous commodities and handle all customs documentation and liaison. 

PATON: There’s a lot of office work and there’s a lot of physical work involved. When you’re in the office, you’re doing the paperwork, you’re making sure everything’s legal, there’s customs, dangerous goods. When you start working with your hands, that’s when you’re loading stuff on an aircraft palette, loading stuff on the back of a truck, loading stuff on the back of a train.

Traffic Technicians work across Canada and internationally to coordinate the movement of materials and people back and forth. That could mean shipping a Leopard tank by rail, packing weapons on a helicopter, or sending troops by air to their destination.

They operate military vehicles and specialized loading equipment. They often travel to exotic locations around the world in support of military operations, and are typically among the first ones on the ground to set up a military operation with supplies and equipment.

PATON: At 450 Squadron, I’m employed as a loadmaster. My job is to deal with passengers, to deal with internal cargo, to deal with paperwork, customs – also responsible for checking slung loads. Slung loads is what we use underneath the aircraft, so if we lift up a C-can, or we lift up a big artillery gun.

Traffic Techs carefully plan and coordinate each mission to ensure the Canadian Armed Forces can operate anywhere in the world.

PATON: The best part of the job – we get to do stuff that civilians normally don’t get to do. For example, for me, being a Chinook loadmaster, doing door gunnery, being able to shoot a weapon from a moving aircraft, probably the best part of my job.

The other part of the job I love is being able to travel the world, see interesting people, interesting cultures, and all being paid by the Queen.

On completion of their training, Traffic Technicians are posted to an operational unit to directly support the Royal Canadian Navy, the army or the Royal Canadian Air Force. As they gain experience, Traffic Techs can pursue advanced training in dangerous cargo handling, helicopter operations, tactical airlift support, as well as ship loading and stowage among other specialized skills.

Traffic Techs are also employed as loadmasters on military transport aircraft. This specialty qualification enables Traffic Techs to fly as aircrew on aircraft like the CC-177 Globemaster and the CH-147F Chinook helicopter.

PATON: Being a Traff Tech, you need to be knowledgeable, and you need to be able to work on your feet. You also need to be able to adapt and overcome certain scenarios that pop up that’ll change everything.

PATON: If I were to tell you why you should become a Traff Tech: 1- you get to travel the world. 2- you get to travel the world with unique and fun friends. Third: you get to travel on the back of military aircraft, you get to do deployments here and there, you get tours here and there. I have tons and tons of stories with day-to-day events and with being on deployments that I get to carry and pass on to my grandchildren. And at the end of the day, we get to be a part of history, not necessarily just at home, but abroad.





Related Civilian Occupations

  • Warehouse Manager
  • Cargo Agent (Air, Rail, Land and Sea)
  • Customs Agent
  • Shipping and Receiving Agent


The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course (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.

Traffic Technicians attend the Canadian Forces Logistics Training Centre in Borden, Ontario. The initial Training lasts approximately 12 weeks and includes the following topics:

  • Driver Training:
    •  Operation, maintenance and servicing of military vehicles and materiel handling equipment
    • Operation, maintenance and servicing of forklifts and other container movers
  •  Traffic Technicians Training:
    • Cargo/equipment movement by road, rail, sea and air
    • Basic aircraft loading principles  for fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft
    • Rail load planning for vehicles
    • Customs and international movements requirements
    • Passenger processing
    • Transportation invoices and financial records, and
    • Process documentation applicable to cargo/equipment and personnel movement

Traffic Technicians are employed as Loadmasters on transport aircraft after acquiring the core occupational skills and successfully completing training on the aircraft. The RCAF employs Loadmasters on the following aircraft:

  • CC130H Hercules Aircraft
  • CC130J Hercules Aircraft
  • CC150 Airbus Aircraft
  • CC177 Globemaster Aircraft, and
  • CH147F Chinook Helicopter

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

  • Dangerous cargo handling
  • Helicopter Underslung Operations
  • Ship Loading and Stowage
  • Tactical Airlift Support
  • CC177 Loading Specialist
  • Aerial Delivery – Basic, and
  • Airline Host Check-In System

Entry plans

The minimum required education to apply for this job 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.

This job is available within the following environments: Air Force, and Army at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members can serve at an Air Force Wing, Navy Base, or an Army base 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.

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 the Reserve Force mirrors that of the Regular force as described above. 

Reserve Force members usually serve part-time with their home unit for scheduled evenings and weekends (Air and Army Reserve Traffic Technicians usually serve up to 12 days per month in a regular work day), 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.