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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 N/A
Also Known As

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

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) 
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 08, 2016

Commissioned officers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • plan, organize and command the activities of military combat units and crews on ships and aircraft
  • develop and implement military procedures and policies
  • direct subordinates in training, and co-ordinate and direct the activities of the units under their command
  • assume responsibility for the welfare, morale and discipline of their units
  • review unit performance, prepare reports and provide briefings for superiors
  • command and lead units as part of United Nations' or North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) peace-keeping or peace-making forces.

Commissioned officers are classified in the following groups:

  • Aerospace Control
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Air Field Engineering
  • Air Combat Systems Officer
  • Armour
  • Artillery
  • Chaplain
  • Combat Engineering
  • Communications and Electronics Engineering
  • Dental
  • Electrical and Mechanical Engineering
  • Naval Combat Systems Engineering
  • Health Care Administration
  • Infantry 
  • Intelligence
  • Legal
  • Logistics
  • Maritime Engineering
  • Maritime Surface and Sub-surface
  • Medical
  • Military Police
  • Nursing
  • Personnel Selection
  • Pharmacist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Pilot
  • Public Affairs
  • Social Work
  • Training Development.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 08, 2016

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

  • Strength Required Strength requirements vary
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Commissioned officers need the following characteristics:

  • leadership ability
  • team skills
  • physical fitness
  • self-discipline, perseverance and initiative
  • the ability to conform to rules
  • maturity and good judgment
  • good communication skills.

They should enjoy co-ordinating information to command activities, implementing military policies and procedures, and supervising subordinates.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 08, 2016

There are several entry plans for commissioned officers in the Canadian Armed Forces. For each plan, candidates must:

  • be Canadian citizens
  • meet age requirements and basic medical and physical standards
  • have no outstanding obligations to the judicial system
  • be willing to relocate.

Entry is competitive and not all entry plans are open at all times. Candidates for specific classifications are recruited only when there is a forecasted need for personnel in those classifications. When openings are forecast, applications on file are reviewed and candidates selected.

There are five entry plans:

1. Regular Officer Training Plan (ROTP)

  • This entry plan is for candidates who want to obtain a degree at a military college or civilian university, subsidized by the Canadian Armed Forces.
  • Applicants must be at least 16 years of age and completing a course of study leading to an advanced 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 of study leading to the completion of Grade 11 in an advanced high school curriculum.
  • There is a mandatory period of service of up to five years after graduation. Seven years is standard for pilots.

2. Reserve Entry Training Plan (RETP)

  • This entry plan is for candidates who want to obtain a degree at a military college at their own expense. RETP cadets are not paid during the academic year but are employed in the summer. Scholarships, bursaries and cadetships are available.
  • The entry requirements are the same as those for ROTP.
  • There is no mandatory period of service in the regular forces.

3. Direct Entry Officer (DEO)

  • This entry plan is for candidates who already hold an appropriate university degree for the classification they wish to enter.
  • After wings graduation, there is a seven year mandatory period of service for Pilot and four years for Air Combat Systems Officer.

4. Medical Officer Training Plan (MOTP)

  • This entry plan is designed to subsidize candidates who have been accepted without condition in any of the last three years of medicine at a Canadian university or are in their first or second year of internship and are within 57 months of obtaining a license to practice medicine.
  • There is a three year period of mandatory service, after a license to practice is obtained, for those whose training was subsidized for 46 months or less (four years for those subsidized longer).

5. Dental Officer Training Plan (DOTP)

  • This entry plan is designed to subsidize candidates who have been accepted without condition into any of the last four years of dentistry at a Canadian university.
  • The period of mandatory service varies depending upon how long the candidate's training was subsidized.

All officers must successfully complete a basic training course which is conducted for most classifications at Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruitment School (CFLRS) in St. Jean, Quebec. Unless they are fluently bilingual at the time of enrolment, most officers receive instruction in their second official language in the period between basic officer training and initial classification training.

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 08, 2016

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 08, 2016

While officers are in training, their entry plans determine how much they are paid. ROTP officers earn $1,400 a month while in university.

After training, there are separate rates of pay for general officers and specialist officers. The 2013 sample annual salary ranges for general service officers are:

  • Second Lieutenant: $53,000 to $79,000
  • Lieutenant: $53,000 to $89,000
  • Captain: $74,000 to $98,000

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

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

According to the 2009 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Commissioned Officers, Armed Forces occupational group earned an ovrall average wage of $45.27 an hour. More recent data is not available.

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Aviation
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
  • Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Canadian Armed Forces Recruiting website:

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

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 29, 2015. 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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