Careers at Air Canada

Career Opportunities

Working at Air Canada

Each Air Canada pilot is part of the company's proud history of commercial aviation. The men and women piloting innovative new aircraft like the Boeing 777 are part of a tradition that goes back to our first gleaming silver Lockheed 10A Electra. For more than 70 years, Air Canada pilots have been connecting Canada and the world.

Whether a Captain, a First Officer or Relief Pilot, an Air Canada pilot's number one priority is to conduct each flight safely, with due consideration to passenger comfort and on-time performance. While the typical work month consists of approximately 80 hours of flying, pilots spend many additional hours on such ground duties as preparing flight plans, readying the aircraft for departure, and completing post-flight reports. A day's work may vary from a long-range international flight to a sequence of shorter domestic flights. Reserve duty, in which the pilot is "on call", may also be assigned. Air Canada pilots operate out of one of our four crew bases: Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg or Vancouver. Base preferences are awarded by seniority, so pilots must be willing to relocate as assigned. Pilots typically begin their career as a First Officer on domestic aircraft or as a Relief Pilot on long-range, international flights.

Job Requirements

  • 2000 hours of fixed wing flying time
  • Completion of schooling to the university entrance level
  • Ability to pass the Air Canada and Transport Canada medical and visual acuity requirements for a Category 1 medical certificate
  • Canadian Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL), current Group 1 (Multi-engine) Instrument Rating
  • Canadian citizenship or landed immigrant status

Pilot applications far exceed job vacancies, so preference is given to candidates with qualifications beyond the basic requirements. Examples of desirable additional qualifications include, but are not limited to:

  • Graduates of a three or four year diploma/degree program from a college or university
  • Aviation College degree or diploma
  • Commercial or military flight experience
  • Jet and/or glass cockpit experience

Key Success Factors

  • Safety - Air Canada's pilots put safety first. The safe operation of all flights is paramount.
  • Teamwork - An Air Canada pilot's job requires constant interaction with all areas of the operation. From the co-pilot to the ramp attendants, communication and interpersonal skills are a daily part of the job.
  • Open to change - A pilot's work requires flexibility and adaptability. Air Canada pilots are expected to conduct themselves professionally under all circumstances.

A Day in the Life

Check-in is one hour and 15 minutes prior to departure but I try to show up a little early as it is certain I will bump into some colleagues at flight planning. Undoubtedly, the number one question heard is, "where are you off to?" Answers range from a fifteen-hour polar Hong Kong flight, to a short Rapidair over to Ottawa. We print the flight plan along with the many pertinent weather charts. Sometimes a quick call to flight dispatch located off airport premises is warranted to check on changing weather conditions and ride reports.

Then it’s off to the gate and we settle into the flight deck. Walk-arounds, log book checks, and briefings to the flight attendants are just a few of the many things transpiring as we ready for an on-time departure. Ramp checks, fuel checks, and inputting the flight plan into the onboard computers are all part of the job description.

Push back commences with everything abiding to standard operating procedures. Taxiing to the active runway entails more checks. Finally, a "cleared for takeoff" is read back to the control tower. Again, everyone sticks to the script as we begin the takeoff roll. I think for the majority of us, even after many years on the job, there is still tingle of excitement when the take-off thrust is set, confirming, "We are going flying!"

Doug Morris, YYZ A320 Captain

How I became an Air Canada Pilot

As a ten year old I had the opportunity to visit the flight deck on an Air Canada flight, and with that the aviation bug was firmly planted! I knew then I wanted to be an Air Canada pilot. I joined the Royal Canadian Air Cadets and was successful in receiving my Glider and Private Pilot licences before graduating high school. An engineering program and the remainder of my flying licences were completed over the next few years.

After 10 years of building experience, I got the call, "Your course starts in two weeks, can you be there?" You can guess my answer!

I now have completed over 12 great years of living my dream. I have flown on regional, domestic and international routes. I am currently a Captain on the Airbus 320 and I look forward to the arrival of the 787 Dreamliner.

That's how I became an Air Canada Pilot!

Brian Bartlett, YYZ A320 Captain 

Voted recently as Business Traveler Magazine’s Best Flight Attendants in North America, our Flight Attendants are ambassadors of the customer experience onboard each Air Canada flight. Roles of our Flight Attendants include safety professional, caregiver and service provider. The Flight Attendant demonstrates a sincere desire to be of service to Air Canada’s customers and effectively handles diverse and challenging situations with poise and diplomacy. Air Canada’s Flight Attendants make an immediate and lasting positive impression. 

Flying on the Air Canada Team

Have you ever dreamt of travelling the world?  Of being part of an industry-leading team striving to reach new heights?  Of graciously welcoming and hosting over 40 million customers annually as they embark on memorable, and life-changing travels?  Of proudly representing Canada on the world stage?

You will play a critical role in helping take us from the Best Airline in North America to becoming a top-10 Global Airline.  You will be a brand ambassador for Air Canada, helping us shape the next chapter of our 80-year story. Every trip is special, and that starts and ends with attracting the best people to our team.

The world needs more Canada, and we are proud to share the qualities that make our country great with our customers: empathy and warmth delivered with care and class.  As a team of ambassadors for Canada and Air Canada, through your passion for service excellence you will deliver unforgettable customer experiences every time we fly.

We’re proud to share some of Air Canada’s most recent recognition:

  • 2017 Skytrax World Airline Awards: Best Airline in North America
  • Business Traveler Magazine:  Best Flight Attendants in North America
  • 2017 Indeed:  One of the 25 best places to work in Canada 

Essential Functions

  • Every trip is important.  Air Canada Flight Attendants offer the care and class that Canadian hosts are renowned for.
  • Air travel can be stressful and we can help.  Air Canada Flight Attendants put themselves in our customers’ shoes, acting with warmth, graciousness and dignity to provide the most elevated, comfortable and safe flying experience possible.  
  • Air Canada Flight Attendants are ambassadors of Canada.  As Canada’s flag bearing carrier, we’re proud to share our Canadian values with the world and provide a customer experience  as unique as our great country.   

Minimum Requirements

  • A minimum of 18 years of age.
  • You must be able to travel!  Please provide us with a valid Canadian passport that allows travel to all countries served by Air Canada.
  • Ready to wear our uniform perfectly and adhere to impeccable personal grooming standards.
  • Air Canada medical standards must be met in order to qualify for the role.
  • To ensure that you have the security clearance required by Transport Canada, we will undertake a criminal background check on all candidates.
  • It is important to ensure our Flight Attendants get the best training. possible.  You will participate in our 7-week, full-time, Air Canada Flight Attendant training program held in Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal.
  • A flexible work schedule with irregular working hours are part of the job, so availability includes shift work (mornings, evenings, weekends) stat holidays and on-call shifts
  • As Canada's flag carrier, we're proud to offer bilingual services.  Candidates who speak both English and French fluently are preferred.  As well, if you speak one or more of the following languages, make sure to let us know:  Japanese, Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, Italian, German, Arabic, Hebrew, Portuguese, Greek, Danish, Dutch, Hindi, Punjabi and Turkish.

Key Success Factors

  • Safety is your priority:  You will have a safety-first attitude, always.
  • Customer-obsessed:  You will strive to deliver experiences that are exceptional in every way, creating a relaxing and enjoyable bookend to every trip.
  • A gracious Canadian host:  You will represent the best of Canada and exemplify the qualities that make our country great: hospitality, warmth, care, empathy, and the kind of
  • Always wins as a team:  To deliver an elevated experience, you will value the power of working as a team through strong communication, mutual respect and natural leadership.
  • Naturally adaptable:  Air travel is ever-changing. This requires you to be flexible, adaptable, available and solution oriented at all times, while acting with the utmost care and kindness.

Air Canada Maintenance department is responsible for the airworthiness of all our aircraft. Aircraft Maintenance Engineers make the final decision as to whether an aircraft is ready for flight, a decision governed by the principle of “Safety First”. As such, maintenance is involved in almost all aspects of the airline, from where we fly, to how often we fly and when we fly.

Air Canada maintenance teams are required to complete highly technical work, including maintaining and repairing the aircraft, operating aircraft systems and engines, as well as taxiing the aircraft. Ask a pilot what he thinks about maintenance, and you will learn that this may very well be the most important department within an airline.

Skilled trades involved in the maintenance of aircraft at Air Canada

Previous experience is required for employment as a technician / mechanic. However, from time to time openings are available to candidates with little or no technical experience in aircraft maintenance. In such cases applicants are placed in the "junior" classification. These employees can progress from the "junior" to the aircraft technician / mechanic classification.

The educational requirement for “junior” is High School completion. However preference is given to candidates who, in addition, have completed a technical course at a recognized institution, such as a Transport Canada approved school. Certain trades (*) require a diploma from a Transport Canada approved school.

Aircraft Maintenance Technician - Technicians are responsible for performing scheduled maintenance, defect rectification, and troubleshooting Company and customer aircraft. Working in the hangar and on the ramp, technicians are involved in repairing such things as flight control systems, landing gear, fuel systems, hydraulic systems, etc. Candidates hired as Aircraft Technicians require a college certificate (in Aviation maintenance) or equivalent schooling from a Ministry of Transport approved school. In order to be eligible for promotion above the level of a Technician, a suitably rated Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) ‘M” license is required and can be sought after four years of documented work experience.

Aircraft Avionics Technician - Technicians are responsible for scheduled maintenance, defect rectification, and troubleshooting Company and customer aircraft. Working in the hangar and on the ramp, technicians are involved in the maintenance of electronic and electrical systems on the aircraft such as communications, navigation, auto pilot, flight recording, in-flight entertainment systems, lighting, and all electrically controlled systems. Candidates hired as Avionics Technicians require a college certificate (in Aviation) or equivalent schooling from a Ministry of Transport approved school. In order to be eligible for promotion above the level of a Technician, a suitably rated Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) “E” license is required and can be sought after four years of documented work experience.

Aircraft Sheet Metal technicians - Technician assessing damage and corrosion of aircraft structures; repairing, replacing and modifying sheet metal or composite structures Candidates hired as Structural Technicians require a college certificate (in Aviation) or equivalent schooling from a Ministry of Transport approved school. In order to be eligible for promotion above the level of a Technician, a suitably rated Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) “S” license is required and can be sought after three years of documented work experience.

Trim and Fabrication Mechanic - Mechanics are engaged in the repair of all aircraft furnishing, fabric work (which include chairs, carpets, drapes, and paneling). Mechanics may also be involved in the maintenance of the interior of the aircraft, including doors, windows, and the replacement of evacuation slides and windshields. Candidates hired as Trim and Fabrication Mechanics require a High School trade certificate. Preference is given to candidates who are a Canadian Aviation Maintenance Council (CAMC) registered Aircraft Interior Technician, or have knowledge of upholstery work and cabinet making.

Painting - This includes all paint work relating to the aircraft, engines, units and ground equipment. Preference is given to candidates who are a Canadian Aviation Maintenance Council (CAMC) registered Aviation Painter.

A Day in the Life of an Aircraft Technician

My working hours are from 20:45 to 07:45, so my day starts at 18:30 after my after-dinner nap. I get ready quickly and drive to work. At the beginning of the shift we have a briefing on our work duties for the night. The nights are quite busy. I move the aircraft that I will be working on to the hangar, plus some aircraft on the ramp that my coworkers and I have to take care of. My work includes changing units of different systems, engine changes, trouble-shooting, and completing the log books. This is to ensure that by the early the next morning at 06:00, the aircraft are ready to be dispatched. At 07:00 the aircraft are cleaned and prepared, unless we have any surprises on any departures. The rest of my day is spent sleeping and participating in family obligations.

How I became an Air Canada Aircraft Technician

I finished college with a Diploma as an Aircraft Technician (Mechanic) and my first job was at Pratt-Whitney on engine overhaul. It was a great experience but I wanted more. My next job was at Bombardier where I worked building the first Challenger. However, my dream was to work for an airline. One day I was talking to an ex-classmate and he told me that Air Canada was hiring. Well, the next day I went to work late so that I could apply at Air Canada. Three weeks later I was a permanent employee. As the years passed, I went through all of the levels for a technician and obtained the licenses for different aircraft. At Air Canada, I have always worked in line maintenance. What a dream!

A Day in the Life of an Aircraft Technician

It is 6 o'clock and I enter in the hangar where there are 2 aircraft being worked on by the midnight shift. My partner and I will be taking care of aircraft fin 318 which has one of its radio altimeter systems giving erratic indications to the flight crew.

The transceiver has previously been replaced which did not fix the problem. Before removing the antennas, we search the maintenance manuals (our bible) to find the procedures to address the problem, and we also to put in a requisition for gaskets for the antennas. It's 07:30 and our lead tells us that the other aircraft is ready for flight and we have to bring it to the ramp on gate for departure.

When we get back to the hangar, we continue work on the antenna. We eventually discover the coax connector is full of fluid and that corrosion has started to settle in. Bingo, we got it. We move back to the office to order an antenna and a cable.

While ordering the part, our lead comes in the office and tells us that aircraft 232 needs to be picked-up at gate 74. The crew is reassembled and we go pick the aircraft up and take it to the hangar.

The parts for the radio altimeter arrive and we install them. Final system checks are carried out, after informing our lead of the situation, he lets us know that the plane will be used on an 18:00 hrs departure to Miami.