National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces

Ottawa, Ontario

Frequently Asked Questions

1. If I apply to DND, am I applying to join the military?

No. The Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are two distinct organizations. The CAF employs our country's military personnel: Army, Navy and Air Force. DND is a federal government department that engages civilian employees to support the CAF. Employees of DND are employees of the public service of Canada.

2. If I work at DND, do I wear a uniform?

Civilian employees are not in the military so they do not wear a military uniform. Although there are some civilian professions within the Department, such as firefighters, whose work involves wearing a uniform, most civilians working at DND do NOT come to work dressed in a uniform.

3. How many civilians work at DND?

Across Canada there are over 24,000 civilians working in various roles at DND.

4. Where can I work for DND?

We have civilian employees working from coast to coast, in over 40 locations across Canada. Some of our largest civilian populations are in Halifax, Ottawa-Gatineau, Montreal and on Vancouver Island. Over 1,500 civilian DND employees work in each of these regions.

5. What kinds of jobs can I do at DND?

There are approximately 70 occupational groups at DND. As a department, we have the largest variety of civilian jobs in the federal government. We employ project managers, financial analysts, carpenters, policy analysts, human resources professionals, electricians, accountants, nurses, communications professionals, welders, doctors, plumbers, engineers, purchasing managers, intelligence analysts, ship repair personnel, firefighters, dentists and MANY more.

6. Are there programs for students to work at DND?

Yes. DND hires Co-op students, Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) students and recent graduates from a variety of programs. We value the experience and knowledge students have gathered through their studies and encourage them to apply to the Department through Public Service Commission (PSC) programs to facilitate the hiring process. Read more about our student employment opportunities.

7. What is the relationship between DND and the CAF?

DND exists to carry out the work assigned to the Minister of National Defence. The Department's relationship with the CAF is that of a support system.

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