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How to Become a SAR Tech

This is just external help not perfect information. I have realized how little information is available even to people already in the military. Ultimately the responsibility is on the member to make sure they're using the most up to date forms and information. Im just trying to steer in the right direction.

Application for this job is complicated. First, you require 4 years of concurrent military service to transfer to SAR. You can get away with 3 years of service should you choose a "combat" trade, as long as you make corporal. If you are an officer there's potential to relinquish your rank and apply for SAR. As for what you do in the 4 years of service leading up to a SAR application; that's for a dedicated post and I have talked about this in many episodes on the podcast.

First step: Who are you?

I am not in the military

Joining the Military

The most important thing about joining the military is doing your own research and picking 3 appealing jobs (called trades) you can see yourself doing for a long time. Pick 3 because there's a possibility your priority 1 is not open thus delaying your application. I say make sure you can see yourself doing it for a long time is because so many thins can happen when applying which includes not being selected. You still want to have a pay cheque from something you enjoy. Do your own research because the recruiter's job is selling you the most desperate trades and there's probably jobs you didn't even know existed.

For specifically SAR trade you need to pick NCM-Regular force

What Job to pick?

There's many ways to look at this question. One way is you pick a trade that matches your weakness so you are better prepared for SAR. Another says to pick something you know because you already enjoy it and you can focus energy on learning other things. Very valid. If you are young and low life experience (no ego here, if you are in your early twenties you have low life experience no biggie) I would recommend combat trades. Combat diver, infantry, etc. You learn a ton of hands on basic skills paramount to a good SAR Tech and you learn to put up with a lot of BS. If you lack in the academic category and worry about medical phase then become a medic so you go through the training twice and are rock solid on it. Alternatively you go Air Force for better pay but you better make yourself suffering your personal workouts because selection will be a shock to you. I know very little about the navy, lots of good SAR Techs came from the Navy.


Application Time Line

A real rough outline of applying for SAR goes like this:

  1. Between April and September: Paperwork application including medical and PT test

  2. September ish maybe October: Applications Due

  3. December: invites sent out to selection (not called this but for policy reasons its called this)

  4. Late Jan: Selection

  5. June/July: Course Starts

  6. Following July: course ends

  7. August: move to unit

  8. April: Upgraded team member on Aircraft

Paperwork Application

When its your year to apply so SAR (remember you need 4 years for the occupation transfer so you may be able to apply sooner then you think) the first thing is talking to your BPSO. There will be a lot of info that I don't explain completely but you can source that info. The BPSO will open a file for you and give you a bunch of paperwork. I have a zip file with all these documents but I can't promise they won't change. It gives you an idea of what is required. Its a lot but completely achievable.

SAR Tech brochure
Download PDF • 768KB

SAR Tech Occupation Specification
Download PDF • 891KB

2021-2022 CANFORGEN Application
Download PDF • 67KB

Minimum Medical Standards for Officers and Non-Commissioned
Download PDF • 107KB

SAR Tech Personal Medical Standards
Download PDF • 64KB

SAR Tech Entry Programs
Download PDF • 132KB

SAR Tech Application Fitness Protocol
Download PDF • 881KB

SAR Tech Fitness Test Form
Download PDF • 737KB

SAR Tech Notice of Intent to Apply
Download PDF • 1.74MB

Aptitude Test

Your BPSO will look up your Aptitude score. There's some very specific things to know about this score. Importantly, there's strict limitations on how and when you do the test and how many times. Also it's the last score that counts not the best score. You want the highest possible score because it's worth a lot of points in the application. You require 0 to BE a SAR Tech but the applications weigh towards these scores. If you have a high score and can only improve a little it may not be ideal to risk a lower score. If you have a low score, study hard.

Application PT Test

Yes, all the references look very old and outdated: that is the test and it's hard if you want a great score. I recommend talking to your PSP, make sure they have a calibrated treadmill and practise practise practise. I have a training program for this test if you're interested reach out through contact or email. 10$ donation to support the project.

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