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The Non-Commissioned Member Subsidized Training and Education Plan (NCMSTEP) offers full-time paid training or education at Canadian colleges, universities and other postsecondary establishments for authorized courses of study related to military occupations. This program allows our members to attain the knowledge and skills they need to perform demanding tasks in diverse environments, as well as optimize their professional development.

If you wish to work as an expert in your field, you may want to consider enrolling in the NCMSTEP.

This paid program is a competitive application process. An applicant may be a:

  1. Civilian, with or without prior CAF service; or
  2. Non-commissioned member (NCM) in the Regular Force or the Reserve Force.

What is a Non-Commissioned Member?

A non-commissioned member (NCM) is any person, other than an officer, who is enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). NCM are soldiers, sailors and aviators. They are the skilled experts whose hands-on experience and trade specialties are required to conduct all CAF operations domestically and abroad. As they gain leadership experience and go up in rank, they become part of the command team.

Earn a Salary While in School

The salary of an untrained Private is $42,400/year. You will receive this the moment you successfully enroll. This will increase upon graduation from your trades training, and with seniority.

With paid tuition and a salary during school, you can graduate without requiring student loans!

How it Works

Your application to become a non-commissioned member (NCM) in the CAF is also an opportunity to receive paid training and education. Students can join the military and attend one of our Military Training Schools to learn the trades skills required for their career. For certain qualifying occupations, studies can be completed at a qualifying Canadian college or post-secondary establishment.

Military Training

Personnel must normally attain the Basic Military Qualification (BMQ) prior to commencing full-time studies under the program. Attendance may be authorized for BMQ training at the end of the first academic year for those who enroll during that year or have scheduling conflicts that cannot be reconciled. Participants will pursue military training during the summer periods or academic breaks.

Period of Paid Training or Education

While in receipt of pay and allowances, the participant:

  • Is only subsidized for that period of time required to complete an authorized course of study, up to a maximum of four years.
  • Must be registered as a full-time student and follow the number of courses required in each semester as set out in the curriculum for that course of study, to progress normally to the next academic year.

NCMSTEP Programs

Use this table to determine what programs at Canadian Universities and Colleges are approved for the NCMSTEP program. Tap on each occupation to learn more about it, or Browse Careers to see all military occupations.

How to Apply

Your application to become a non-commissioned member (NCM) in the CAF is also an opportunity to receive paid training and education. You can apply to the program if you meet the Eligibility Requirements for our Paid Education programs and fit one of the following situations:

  1. You can prove attendance in good standing at an accredited educational institution
  2. You can prove unconditional acceptance to an eligible program
  3. You have an interest in the NCMSTEP program and can discuss with your local Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre (CFRC) about attending a qualifying Canadian college or post-secondary establishment

All applicants interested in pursuing full-time paid training or education through the NCMSTEP must start their application online. For more information about joining the CAF, visit How to Join or visit our Help Centre if you have questions.

Start Application