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Pay & Benefits

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.


Competitive Salary

The CAF offers competitive salaries. Your skills, knowledge, experience and training can impact your starting salary. As a new direct entry recruit in the Regular Force, you could earn anywhere from $3,492 to $5,123 per month, while you complete basic training.

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.

Paid Education

If you enroll through one of our paid education plans, you will receive at least $30,200, 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.

Signing Bonus

Some of our featured occupations offer a signing bonus. To be eligible for a signing bonus, you must meet the specific criteria for the occupation. This criteria may include completion of academic or vocational training programs recognized by the CAF, or a combination of education, trade, and specific work experience; or be a former CAF member re-enrolling in the same occupation. Criteria may be different for each occupation. It is recommended that you speak to a recruiter who can help you evaluate your entitlement to a signing bonus. Visit our Help Centre to learn more or get in touch.

Pay Rates

The following table will give you an indication of your expected rate of pay at each rank level. Within each rank there are a number of pay increments (PI) which represent automatic annual increases in pay to recognize advancements in experience, skill and knowledge. All pay rates are exclusive of any allowances, allotments, or deductions which may be applicable to specific occupations, appointments or entry plans.

Depending on if you are serving full-time (Regular Force) or part-time (Reserves), you will be paid at either a monthly or daily rate respectively. Reservists typically work on a part-time basis on evenings and weekends and, as such, are paid a daily rate.

This table is intended for information purposes only. Certain specialist occupations may have a different pay scale. Additionally, pay rates for Pilots, Dental & Medical Officers, and Legal Officers differ from the below. Pay rates are subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date and comprehensive pay information, visit the Military Pay section of

Accelerated Pay Increment: Upon the enrolment and successful completion of Regular Force Basic Training (Basic Military qualification (BMQ)), you will be eligible for an accelerated pay increment if you enrol in one of the designated occupations. Browse Careers to find out which occupations are eligible for this offer.


Medical, Dental, and Vision Care

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.

Maternity and Parental Leave

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.

Secondary School

High School Education Initiative

Complete your high school diploma while serving in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Learn more


When you join the Canadian Armed Forces you join a diverse community that fosters lifelong friendships and provides programs and support for you and your family.


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.


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.

Travel and Adventure

If you want a work experience that is out of the ordinary there is no career more challenging or rewarding than serving in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Whether you choose a career in the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army, or the Royal Air Force, your will have a unique work experience with extraordinary opportunities for travel and adventure. The Canadian Armed Forces have taken major steps to improve career management, education and training systems with the goal of enhancing military service as a career of choice. Equipped with these skills, you will have the opportunities to work anywhere doing almost any job.

Esprit de corps

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.

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 many services to support you and your family during your military and Veteran family journey that are offered both nationally and locally through Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS), and at each Base and Wing through community partners, such as Military Family Resource Centres.

Services and benefits provided for families are targeted to support frequent geographical relocations, job-related absences and transition. These may include, but are not limited to information and awareness, such as community orientation; tailored support including employment assistance and second language training for spouses; physical and mental well-being support specifically recreational activities, low-cost access to sports and fitness facilities, a member assistance program, operational trauma and stress support centres, and personal development workshops; as well as individualized assistance for more urgent situations including short-term counselling and financial services such as insurance and financial planning.

CAF Sports

In the Canadian Armed Forces, playing sports allows you to relive stress, improve your leadership skills, practice self discipline, and to stay operationally fit.

The CAF offers many varieties of sports to its members across Canada. Members are encouraged to participate in sports no matter their skill level. If you are at a competitive skill level, you may have the opportunity to participate in military sports competitions. When you are a part of a team, you make connections with your peers to conquer common goals and build communication skills.

Success Stories

Start a career of your choice within the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and you will be surprised at what you are able to do!


Just being posted all the way from Valcartier to Victoria and we were driving all the way and getting to see each province, that was unbelievable. That, to me, right there, made my life.

I'm Sgt. Mireille Gauthier, medical radiation technologist from 2 Field Amb in Petawawa, Ontario.

I enrolled in the CAF back when I was in college in X-rays school. At that time, it was very intimidating the thought of joining the military. I wanted opportunities to work in different environments and that's exactly what the CAF was offering for me. I grew up in La Tuque, Quebec, and I was in a very small location, 20 kilometres down a dirt road by a lake, very isolated. Thinking about going outside of the province, the country, all of that was very intimidating to me.

My father was definitely somebody who inspired me as I was growing up, for sure. And I'd work with him in whatever he was doing. If it was mechanic for the car, I was with him. So, I felt like I could just do whatever I wanted with him. Whatever he was doing, I was capable of helping as well. He always gave me those opportunities.

I feel like I have the same challenges as my husband has with balancing family and work life. It's always hard when we're going on a deployment exercise course, we both have to say the same good-bye to our kids and that's difficult no matter who you are. As much as I love being posted away and being in different work environments, it's also been difficult to be away from my family, being away from my parents, my sisters. I have lots of amazing memories of my career.

Lately, I had the opportunity to go out and work with the Navy on an exercise. So, we had to cross the Atlantic to get there and to do our exercise over there. And I was part of the medical team there. So, we had our little medical bay and while I was out there, we were on a naval replenishment unit, which meant that we would fuel other ships that would come alongside of us. And I remember just looking at all the sailors working, making that happen, the communication between the ships for all that to be coordinated. It's incredible to see. It's something I never thought I'd get to witness in my career.

What makes me smile the most within the Canadian Armed Forces are the patients. Some days, I'm doing admin, admin, admin and I'm swamped and I'm having a difficult day myself and I'd say: "You know what? I'm gonna do the next patient." Because sometimes, as a sergeant, you're more into the administrative side of things. Performing an exam on the patient, you ask them a few questions and you know that for them, it's a difficult day. No one is excited to come and take X-rays. They're either injured or something is wrong with them and they want answers. And that's when the magic happens. That's when we get to use our equipment and our skillset. So, you have to talk a little bit with them. And usually, when I can get a smile off of them, then, that gives me a smile. That makes my day. Patients are kings when they walk in here and that's what I try to work by.

Successful careers begin in the Forces

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.

“It's incredible to see. It's something I never thought I'd get to witness in my career.”

- Sergeant Mireille Gauthier

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.

“It's a place for people who want to be leaders.”

- Second Lieutenant Alyssa Kane

(AK) Our friends pretty much thought: "Oh my God! They're going to war!"

(JK) Yeah!

(AK) That's what we got a lot. No, we're just going to school! Ha, ha! Don't worry!

(JK) We're in the Air Force. Engineers.

(AK) We have no military experience in our family whatsoever.

(JK) And we weren't cadets or anything, so... we knew that...

(AK) We came in blind.

(JK) Yeah, pretty blind. You see movies and stuff about basic training and then... So, basic training was very scary, 'cause you're expecting it to be what it's like in movies, but it was not, so... So, it's definitely scary, but it's exciting.

(AK) But no, it's a place for people who want to be leaders. And everybody who goes to university and college has a little bit of "I have the save the world" in them. And it's a direct way to help people, which is, I think, a big draw to RMC. And you get to be a leader.

(JK) We were in almost every single sport we could possibly manage to be in. Through high school and elementary school, we played, like, you name it: basketball, volleyball, alpine skiing, javelin and rugby, hockey, soccer.

(AK) And in order to go to our hockey tournaments, or whatever, we had to be performing well in school or else we weren't allowed to go.

(JK) In Grade 10-ish, we said that we were interested in RMC. And we just kind of put out feelers. And then, the athletic department contacted us and recruited us as athletes.

(AK) For all three female varsity sports, so volleyball, soccer and fencing.

(JK) And we could decide which one that we wanted to be recruited for. We went out for fencing. And we have always been interested in trying new sports and see what we can dip our toes into. So, we went for that.

(AK) But our personalities fit nicely with the weapons that we chose. Jen is a saberist, and the sabres are typically more offensive and aggressive on the piste. I'm foilist, which is a little bit more calculated, which is exactly what our personalities are. So, that was nice to find something that really fits you.

(JK) Yeah. And for the record, we did try fencing the same weapon against each other one time. One day, we tried it 'cause we thought it could be fun. And it went exactly how our coach expected it to. And we just ended up getting mad at each other. So, then, we were: "OK! We will back off."

(PH) What was interesting about the OUA championship this year is that, when I went back after the competition was over, and I calculated the points that we have to acquire in order to get our final placing, the Kane sisters totalled about 53% of the points for the whole team. So, I think that's quite phenomenal. The ability to problem-solve is a huge factor in fencing, because we are faced with a series of technical and tactical problems at lightning speed that you have to solve on the go. So, I think that's good for people in general. But I also think that's great for military personnel. My priority is developing officer cadets, using the sport of fencing as the tool that brings us together. The students that come to attend the Royal Military College are different in the sense that they are not just here for fencing. They are not just here for a degree. They have a deeper requirement, and that is to serve the country. And so, I think the fit is really good in terms of their pathway as future officers in the Armed Forces.

(JK) The biggest draw for RMC, for me, was the fact that so many people graduate and have no idea what they're gonna do, have no secured job. And then, they're like: "OK, I'll take a master's." And then, they are more in debt and they still have no secured job. At RMC, we are graduating and commissioning and have secured jobs and have a pension... and in the fields that go with our degrees. We love being together, but we are also excited to explore individual lives. I think we might actually talk more that we are separated. Because, like Aly said a lot of times, it's like "I know. I've been there. It's OK." But we're going to have new things to teach each other. So...


I’m Capt Flavie Tchoko, and I was born in Cameroon. I’m the Communications and Electronics Engineer at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa.

My occupation involves providing telecommunications and information management services to support Canadian Armed Forces operations in Canada and abroad. Another aspect of my work is coordinating surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence communications systems.

I may also be assigned other tasks by the chain of command. For instance, I’m currently doing strategic planning for recruitment.

I enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces 13 years ago. I have four children and six grandchildren. I immigrated to Canada 26 years ago and I decided to stay here in order to give my children a better future.

What attracted me to the Forces? I was seeking permanency, as well as job stability, variety of employment and of work settings, security and good pay. My career in the Forces also enabled me to discover skills I never knew I had.

What I would say to young people is that a career in the Canadian Armed Forces, first of all, gives you the opportunity to fulfill your potential, both mentally and physically. A feeling of belonging to a big family. Esprit de corps. Travel, exploring the world. A life full of adventure.

And joining the Forces will provide you with a variety of challenges over time. As you meet each one of them, you will become a better version of yourself.

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 perceived limits.

“My career in the Forces enabled me to discover skills I never knew I had.”

- Captain Flavie Tchoko

Life in the Forces

Pay & Benefits