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Canadian Armed Forces Personnel - Commissioned Officer

Commissioned officers plan, organize, lead, and manage operations and training activities in the Canadian Armed Forces.

  • Avg. Salary N/A
  • Avg. Wage N/A
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook below avg
Also Known As

Air Force Personnel, Armed Forces Personnel, Logistics Manager, Military Personnel, Navy Personnel, Nurse, Pilot, Signals Officer

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Commissioned Officers, Armed Forces (0643) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Commissioned Officers, Armed Forces (A353) 
  • 2011 NOC: Commissioned officers of the Canadian Forces (0433) 
  • 2016 NOC: Commissioned officers of the Canadian Armed Forces (0433) 
Interest Codes
The Canadian Armed Forces Personnel - Commissioned Officer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Commissioned Officers, Armed Forces

Interest in co-ordinating information to command activities of military combat units such as armoured, artillery and infantry battalions; in developing policies and directing training; and in evaluating unit performance; may command and lead units as part of United Nations' peacekeeping role in foreign countries


Interest in implementing military procedures and policies and in ensuring activities of units are conducted according to military practices


Interest in supervising subordinates in training; and in assuming responsibility for welfare, morale and discipline of units

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Mar 31, 2019

Commissioned officers’ tasks vary. But in general, they:

  • Plan, organize, and command the activities of military combat units and crews on ships and aircraft
  • Develop and put into place military procedures and policies
  • Direct subordinates in training
  • Co-ordinate and direct the units under their command
  • Are responsible for the welfare, morale, and discipline of their units
  • Review unit performance, prepare reports, and brief superiors
  • Command and lead units as part of United Nations or North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) peacekeeping or peace-making forces

Commissioned officers are classified into the following groups:

  • Aerospace Control
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Air Combat Systems Officer
  • Air Field Engineering
  • Armour
  • Artillery
  • Chaplain
  • Combat Engineering
  • Communications and Electronics Engineering
  • Dental
  • Electrical and Mechanical Engineering
  • Health Care Administration
  • Infantry
  • Intelligence
  • Legal
  • Logistics
  • Maritime Engineering
  • Medical
  • Military Police
  • Naval Combat Systems Engineering
  • Naval Warfare Officer
  • Nursing
  • Personnel Selection
  • Pharmacist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Pilot
  • Public Affairs
  • Social Work
  • Training Development
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Commissioned officers must wear uniforms when on duty. They must conform to Canadian Armed Forces rules and regulations. Other working conditions vary a great deal. Commissioned officers may be posted anywhere in Canada or overseas. They are subject to transfer. Some assignments involve dangerous situations.

  • Strength Required Strength requirements vary
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Commissioned officers need:

  • Maturity and good judgment
  • Self-discipline, perseverance and initiative
  • Leadership ability
  • Team skills
  • Physical fitness
  • The ability to conform to rules
  • Communication skills

They should enjoy:

  • Supervising subordinates
  • Co-ordinating information in order to command activities
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

There are several “entry plans” (ways to join) for commissioned officers in the Canadian Armed Forces. For each plan, candidates must:

  • Be Canadian citizens
  • Meet age requirements
  • Meet basic medical and physical standards
  • Have no outstanding obligations to the judicial system, such as parole conditions
  • Be willing to relocate

Entry is competitive. Not all entry plans are always open. Candidates for certain classifications are recruited only as needed. When openings are forecast, the Canadian Armed Forces reviews applications on file and chooses candidates.

There are 5 entry plans:

1. Regular Officer Training Plan (ROTP)

  • For candidates who want to earn a degree at a military college or civilian university. The Canadian Armed Forces subsidizes the degree.
  • Applicants must be at least 16 and completing a high school diploma with English Language Arts 30-1 (or French 30) and Pure Math 30. Math 31 is recommended.
  • Applicants for science and engineering programs must have Physics 30, Chemistry 30, and Math 31.
  • Applicants for the preparatory year must be in a program leading to the completion of Grade 11 in an advanced high school curriculum.
  • Graduates must serve for at least 5 years after graduation. For pilots, 7 years is standard.

2. Reserve Entry Training Plan (RETP)

  • For candidates who want to earn a degree at a military college at their own expense. RETP cadets are not paid during the school year, but work in the summer. Scholarships, bursaries, and cadetships are available.
  • Entry requirements are the same as for ROTP.
  • There is no mandatory period of service in the regular forces.

3. Direct Entry Officer (DEO)

  • For candidates who already hold a university degree for the classification they wish to enter.
  • After graduation, there is a 7-year mandatory period of service for pilots and a 4-year mandatory period for air combat systems officers.

4. Medical Officer Training Plan (MOTP)

  • Designed to subsidize candidates who have been accepted without condition in any of the last 3 years of medicine at a Canadian university, or those in their first or second year of internship and within 57 months of earning a licence to practise medicine.
  • There is a 3-year period of mandatory service after a licence to practise is obtained for those whose training was subsidized for 46 months or less. There is a 4-year period of mandatory service for those subsidized longer.

5. Dental Officer Training Plan (DOTP)

  • Designed to subsidize candidates who have been accepted without condition into any of the last 4 years of dentistry at a Canadian university.
  • The period of mandatory service depends on how long the candidate’s training was subsidized.

All officers must complete a basic training course. These are conducted for most classifications at Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School (CFLRS) in St. Jean, Quebec. Unless they are fluently bilingual when they enrol, most officers take courses in their second official language in the period between basic officer training and initial classification training.

A special program, the Aboriginal Leadership Opportunities Year (ALOY), is a 1-year educational and leadership experience through the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario. For more information, visit the Canadian Forces Indigenous programs website.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Commissioned officers are employed by the Canadian Armed Forces. Competition for officer training positions is keen.

Promotions are based on time in rank, performance and the availability of positions. After completing the required term of service, officers may transfer their skills to related civilian occupations.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019

While officers are in training, their entry plans determine how much they are paid. ROTP officers earn $1,600 a month while in university.

After training, there are separate rates of pay for general officers and specialist officers. The 2019 sample annual salary ranges for general service officers are:

  • Second Lieutenant: $57,288 to $84,984
  • Lieutenant: $62,424 to $98,784
  • Captain: $79,152 to $104,616

Medical, dental, legal, and pilot officers have higher pay scales than general service officers.

Benefits include annual holidays, clothing upkeep allowance, pension plan, free medical and dental coverage, education allowance, and environmental allowances, which depend on postings.

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Aviation
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
  • Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Canadian Armed Forces Recruiting website:

Royal Military College of Canada (Kingston, Ontario) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2019. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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