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Canadian Armed Forces Personnel - Non Commissioned

Non-commissioned members are skilled trades personnel who work for the Canadian Armed Forces. They provide operational and support services.

Also Known As

Air Force Personnel, Armed Forces Personnel, Aviator, Combat Arms Personnel, Guard, Infantryman, Logistics Officer, Military Personnel, Navy Personnel, NCM, Sailor, Soldier, Supply Technician, Traffic Technician

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

  • 6464: Occupations Unique to the Armed Forces

2006 NOC-S

  • G624: Other Ranks, Armed Forces

2011 NOC

  • 4313: Non-commissioned ranks of the Canadian Forces

2016 NOC

  • 4313: Non-commissioned ranks of the Canadian Armed Forces
Updated Mar 21, 2023

A non-commissioned member (NCM) is any person other than an officer who is enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). They conduct all CAF operations in Canada and abroad.

NCMs are soldiers, sailors, and aviators with hands-on experience and trade specialties. They are skilled experts. Many occupations that are considered trades in the CAF are similar to civilian trades. Others are unique to the military.

The CAF has over 100 trades. They include:

  • Aerospace control operator
  • Aerospace telecommunication and information systems technician
  • Aircraft structures technician
  • Ammunition technician
  • Armoured soldier
  • Aviation systems technician
  • Avionics systems technician
  • Biomedical electronics technologist
  • Boatswain
  • Combat engineer
  • Construction technician
  • Cook
  • Cyber operator
  • Dental technician
  • Electrical distribution technician
  • Electrical generating systems technician
  • Electronic-optronic technician (land)
  • Financial services administrator
  • Firefighter
  • Gunner
  • Human resources administrator
  • Imagery technician
  • Infanteer
  • Marine technician
  • Materials technician
  • Medical laboratory technologist
  • Medical radiation technologist
  • Medical technician
  • Meteorological technician
  • Military police
  • Mobile support equipment operator
  • Musician
  • Naval combat information operator
  • Naval communicator
  • Naval electronic sensor operator
  • Plumbing and heating technician
  • Postal clerk
  • Refrigeration and mechanical systems technician
  • Traffic technician
  • Vehicle technician
  • Water, fuels and environmental technician
  • Weapons engineering technician
  • Weapons technician - land

For the full list of military trades, visit the CAF website.

NCMs can be part of the Regular Force or the Primary Reserve.

The Regular Force comprises full-time military personnel who protect and defend Canada. Its members can be deployed on operations in Canada and abroad in response to crises or natural disasters.

Members of the Primary Reserve support the Regular Force. Most of its members serve part-time while working at civilian jobs or attending post-secondary school. They may volunteer for full-time deployment as opportunities and needs arise. However, they cannot be ordered to deploy.

As NCMs gain leadership experience and go up in rank, they may become part of the command team. For more information, see Canadian Armed Forces Personnel - Commissioned Officer.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 21, 2023
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

Military personnel must wear uniforms when on duty. They must conform to Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) rules and regulations.

Some roles involve being exposed to dangerous situations.

Non-commissioned members (NCMs) in the Regular Force serve full-time in the CAF. The work setting and hours vary from one trade to another. Most work Monday to Friday with occasional weekend work. Some have shift work. Regular Force members can be permanently transferred.

NCMs in the Primary Reserve serve part-time in the CAF. They must attend military training or provide military services (such as local disaster relief) 1 or more evenings per week and 1 weekend per month. They must attend 2 weeks of basic military training during the summer.

Most large cities have at least 1 CAF Reserve unit. Reservists most often work close to home but can be relocated temporarily for training.

The Reserves offer part-time military training in a variety of trades during the school year. They subsidize civilian trades training at accredited trade schools. They also offer non-mandatory full-time work during the summer.

Fully trained Reserve personnel may work full-time for a fixed period.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Occupations Unique to the Armed Forces

2006 NOC: 6464

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

Interest in analyzing information to provide aid in emergency situations such as civil disorder, natural disasters and major accidents, as well as to perform administrative and guard duties


Interest in controlling armoured vehicles, artillery, hand-held weapons and other military combat and defence equipment


Interest in speaking - signalling to engage in drills and other training in preparation for peacekeeping, combat and natural disaster relief duties

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 21, 2023

Non-commissioned members of the Canadian Armed Forces need:

  • Ambition
  • Reliability
  • Self-discipline
  • Physical conditioning
  • The ability to work as part of a team
  • A willingness to conform to rules and follow orders
  • Loyalty
  • Respect for the dignity of others
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 21, 2023
  • Minimum Education At least Grade 10

Applicants for non-commissioned Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel positions must:

  • Be Canadian citizens
  • Be at least 16 years of age (for Primary Reserve) and enrolled in school or 17 (for full-time Regular Force) with parental consent
  • Have at least Grade 10 (33 Alberta high school credits) or equivalent education
  • Have no outstanding obligations to the legal system, such as a court date or parole conditions
  • Be subject to financial screening
  • Meet medical and physical requirements
  • Be willing to relocate as required (for Regular Force)
  • Be subject to drug testing

The selection process is competitive. As a rule, those who have more education or related training have a better chance.

The selection process includes a personal interview, aptitude tests, fitness tests (Reserves only), and a medical exam. Applicants must provide documents like official high school transcripts, birth certificate, and a completed CAF application form.

The Regular Force offers positions in different trades as they become available. Applicants should choose their trade with care. Changing trades is allowed only in special circumstances. If there are no vacancies, they should consider applying again later rather than joining a trade that does not interest them.

Recruits have a reasonable amount of time to settle their personal affairs or complete a school year. Then they are sent for basic training. Training is at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School (CFLRS) in St. Jean, Quebec.

Basic training emphasizes teamwork, drills, physical fitness, and classroom learning about the CAF. After completing basic training, recruits go to other bases, units, or ships across Canada to learn their trade. Depending on their trade, they may take specialized job training.

The CAF offers special programs for Indigenous people who are considering employment with the military. For more information, visit the CAF’s Programs for Indigenous Peoples website.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 21, 2023
  • Certification Not Regulated

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

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 21, 2023

Regular Force recruits commit to a variable initial contract, generally from 3 to 5 years.

People in the military trades start as privates. After 4 years, privates are automatically promoted to corporal. Some entry plans offer the chance to advance to the rank of corporal after a shorter time.

After corporal, promotions are by competition. They are awarded according to skill, time in a rank, and performance. Corporals may advance to master corporal, sergeant, warrant officer, master warrant officer, and chief warrant officer. Retirement is compulsory at age 60, but the CAF may allow extensions to age 65 in some cases.

Primary Reserve recruits do not commit to a contract.

After leaving the Canadian Armed Forces, those in trades that are similar to those under the Alberta Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education Act [pdf] may apply for a journeyperson certificate. Each application is assessed on its own to see if the certification requirements have been met. Applicants may need to take journeyperson or progressive exams. For more information, see the Tradesecrets website.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 4313: Non-commissioned ranks of the Canadian Armed Forces occupational group, 99.3% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 4313: Non-commissioned ranks of the Canadian Armed Forces occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 0 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 21, 2023

In the Regular Force, privates earn from $38,016 to $55,800 a year. Annual salaries for corporals range from $63,840 to $84,624 a year (Source: Government of Canada, 2022 estimates).

Primary Reserve members receive 92.8% of Regular Force pay rates.

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 21, 2023

Canadian Armed Forces Recruiting website:

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

Updated Mar 21, 2023. 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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