Life in the Military

Make a difference. Travel the world to provide humanitarian efforts or engage in a mission using innovative technology all while recieving competitive benefits, paid education and training.

Diversity

Diversity is the strength of Canada’s population and is essential to our military’s operational effectiveness and long-term success.

Individuals in the Canadian Armed Forces will always be seen as a soldier first, regarded for your duty, work and contributions above all else. The Forces welcome applicants from all genders, religions, ethnicities and sexual orientations.

Flexibility

The Canadian Forces have taken major steps to improve career management, education and training systems with the goal of enhancing military service a career of choice. With the right tools under your belt you will have the opportunities to work anywhere doing almost any job.

In the Canadian Armed Forces we have over 100 job opportunities that come with excellent pay and benefits. You also have the opportunity to take time and improve your skills through education at any point in your career.

You can apply to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) as an Officer or a Non-Commissioned Member. The path that you choose will depend on your skillset, interests and educational background.

Careers are available in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) as a full-time or part-time member. Full-time members make up the Regular Force. Part-time members make up the Reserve Force.

Community

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are well supported from the moment they join, throughout their career, and finally as they transition out of the military. This also includes keeping the door open to Veterans wishing to return to service, or who later need assistance and support.

From the moment you begin basic training, you’ll be welcomed into a team of dedicated professionals who will soon become like family. Members of the CAF come from all across Canada, each bringing something unique and valuable to the team as a whole. As you progress in rank and skill, you’ll learn something new from every member you meet, and develop lifelong friendships along the way.

Salary

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) offers competitive salaries and world-class benefit packages – including health, dental, vision, from four to six weeks paid vacation annually, great pension plans and continuous training – that start from the moment you put on the uniform.

Your skills, knowledge, experience and training can impact your starting salary. As a new direct entry recruit, you could earn anywhere from $35,820 - $62,424 annually while you complete basic training. Please note that certain specialist occupations may have a different pay scale, please talk to a recruiter.

If you enroll through one of our paid education plans, you will receive at least $20,000, while you complete your paid education. Depending on your enrolment plan, this could be significantly more. Your pay also increases once you graduate. Take a look at some of our paid education plans to find out more about pay and benefits for students.

Once you are fully trained for your chosen occupation, your salary will continue to increase based on your time in the military, rank and acquired skills. Starting salaries are based on equivalent careers for entry level positions within the private sector. The benefits of continuous professional development, training, healthcare and pension from the moment you enroll separate the CAF from every other private sector opportunity.

Talk to a Recruiter
Regular force member

Here are the starting salaries for a few of our jobs:

Cook

Approx. $60,000 per year

Vehicle Technician

Approx. $60,000 per year

Legal Officer

Approx. $77,000 per year

Engineer

Approx. $51,000 per year

Doctor

Approx. $148,700 per year

Dentist

Approx. $186,000 per year

Benefits

You and your family will receive health and dental coverage throughout your career. If you enrol as a part-time member, you may also benefit from the medical and dental care during specified periods, depending on your duty status.

As a full-time member, you will start with 20 paid vacation days per year. These can normally be scheduled around training and operational requirements. The vacation time will increase throughout your career, to a maximum of 30 days. If you enrol as a part-time member, you will receive one paid vacation day for each 15 consecutive calendar days.

We offer signing bonuses for some of our jobs – the bonus you receive will depend on your contract with the CAF. As a student, you may also be eligible to receive signing bonuses based on the number of months you receive paid training.

The CAF offers maternity and parental leave benefits to spend time with your newest family member with 93% of your normal salary. Our pension plans provide you with peace of mind today and for years to come. Whether you are joining full time or part-time, you can rest assured that you can retire with a pension.

Education & Training

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) recognizes that education is the best investment an organization can make toward the development of its members and has a number of paid education plans for college, university and graduate-level programs. Learn more about our Paid Education programs

A modernized training and education platform ensures soldiers receive the training they need at each step of their careers. Education within the CAF focuses not only on the military application of job specific roles, but also on marketable skills that can prepare a Member for life outside the CAF.

Many courses within the CAF are credit transferable to post-secondary institutions via a prior learning assessment (PLAR) out process. The same applies for the PLAR in process, where civilians with post-secondary accreditation can receive advanced standing upon joining the Forces.

Canadian Armed Forces members and Department of National Defence employees have access to the Defence Learning Network which houses technologically advanced professional development tools, courses and training.

Family Support

Families are a major source of support to CAF members and integral to the success of the military – they are the strength behind the uniform.

There are numerous programs to support you and your family during challenging times. Every base has a Military Family Resource Centre to provide services like career counselling for spouses and daycare for children.

Additional services and benefits provided for families include community orientation, low-cost access sports and fitness facilities, employment assistance and second language training for spouses, relocation benefits and services and cost-of-living differential allowances, morale and psychological support, including a member assistance program, operational trauma and stress support centres, family separation and reunion counseling and self-help groups, financial services such as insurance, financial planning and income tax preparation.

Successful careers begin in the Forces

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are consistently ranked among the top 25 employers in Canada.

All our members enjoy a range of prestigious full-and part-time career options in fields like healthcare, law, IT and engineering, the possibility of specializing in your career, accelerated responsibilities and faster advancement opportunities than in the civilian world, the chance to travel and work around the world, and a full range of enviable benefits and advantages.

“High risk, high consequence and high rewards”

- Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Kutryk, Astronaut Candidate Training Program

Push your limits

Sports inspire CAF members to improve their physical fitness and build their leadership and self-discipline skills. Sports also promote teamwork, esprit de corps, loyalty, and commitment. Every base, unit and wing has a variety of both team and individual sports for athletes of all kinds. If you qualify at the competitive level, you may have the opportunity to participate in regional, national and international military sporting competitions. Team and individual sports range from recreational to highly competitive Olympic levels.

Exceed your expectations

Transcend with a career in the Canadian Armed Forces. CAF Members are well supported and trained to progress through their career goals and beyond.

As a member of the Canadian Armed Forces you will gain unique experiences, work hard and can achieve beyond your percieved limits.

“When things get a little bit hairy and scary, that’s what I’m about.”

- Leading Seaman Vincent MacLean, HMCS Oriole