You’ll maintain and operate a network of complex communication, radar and information systems worldwide.
Pay after training
16 - 29
Similar civilian jobs
- Telecommunications technician
UK citizen or holder of dual UK/other nationality
male or female
Qualifications you need
Qualified: 3 GCSE/SCEs at Grade C/2 minimum or 3 SNEs at Grade 5 or equivalent, including English Language and Maths. You also require an approved Science/Technology-based subject. We also accept other qualifications, please see the job description for details.
If you do not hold a qualification in an approved Science or Technology-based subject as listed above, you can still apply as a qualified ICT Technician provided you have the required English Language and Maths grades. You will also need to achieve a slightly higher score in the relevant part of the entry test.
This role requires a physics based science subject. Please check by reading this document (opens in a new window).
Qualifications you can gain
Advanced Apprenticeship in Communications Technologies; BSc in Engineering Management; HNC, FDSc or BSc(Hons) Degree in Information Technology and Communications
Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have resided there for the five years immediately preceding your application.
ICT Technicians are responsible for maintaining and repairing a wide range of complex systems, from long-range search radar to aircraft mission and ground support systems, airfield navigation aids to local area networks.
Each of these plays a vital part in processing and communicating the information needed to support effective air operations on a global scale.
As an ICT Technician, you could find yourself working on an airfield, in an underground bunker, office or workshop.
Latest generation aircraft are as reliant on information flow as they are on fuel – and it could be your job to set up, operate and maintain the mission and ground support systems that enable the Typhoon aircraft to complete its mission.
There is also potential for extensive overseas travel, helping to set up deployable communications and control systems, sensors and navigation aids for operations and exercises.
I do this job
‘I’ve had experiences with the RAF that none of my friends or family could possibly dream of. The variety of work is one of the many advantages of a military career.’
‘Since joining, I’ve worked on a huge range of technical equipment and had a variety of interesting jobs. I’ve maintained computer networks, airfield and air defence radar and satellite, and data communications equipment.
‘Currently, I’m a computer network manager supporting users in the UK and overseas. But I’ve just been assigned to instil an awareness of emerging technical threats to UK Service personnel around the world. It’s a tri-Service role, so I’ll be talking to the RAF, Army and Royal Navy about the different threats to telecoms and computer security.’
‘Right now, I’m enjoying a regular Monday to Friday routine. I live in a three-bedroom house on the base so I can eat at home with my wife and family during lunch breaks. I also try to fit in a gym session every day.
‘My hours change from day to day when I’m working away from home in the UK or deployed overseas, but I appreciate a change of pace from time to time – that’s why I joined.’
‘I’ve travelled round the world on military operations, enjoyed jungle and sea survival training, learned to fly gliders, scuba dive, mountaineer and rock climb, scaling the highest peaks in the UK and Africa in the process!
‘I’ve flown in a Hawk fast jet over the mountains of Wales, which was incredibly exciting. But most memorable of all was the occasion when I briefed Her Majesty The Queen aboard HMS Invincible… that was the longest five minutes of my life!’
‘I joined the RAF straight from school. They paid for me to learn to drive and I was offered qualifications exceeding anything I’d planned to take at college. I’ve almost finished a degree in leadership and management.
‘Service life hasn’t always been easy; I’ve had to make compromises with my family and social life. It can sometimes be dangerous too. But I believe my experiences have prepared me for the risks I face and, as long as I feel I can make a difference, this is where I want to be.’
‘The RAF has given me the opportunity to develop myself educationally, mentally and physically.’
‘I work in Number 1 Air Control Centre (1ACC) which employs 182 personnel from various trades within the RAF. 1ACC is responsible for a deployable long-range radar which monitors the skies and feeds the information into our Tactical Air Control Centre (TACC), where it is analysed.
‘My primary responsibilities are the maintenance and deployment of the TACC. My job requires me to be trained in fibre optics and I hold a licence to drive a variety of heavy goods vehicles.’
‘My job is to prepare and maintain the equipment so that the operations staff can complete their own specific roles. I carry out regular fault diagnosis checks and maintain the expected standards associated with the Unit’s high-tech equipment.
‘I’ve had the opportunity to complete many civilian-recognised courses, including a modern apprenticeship in engineering. All of these qualifications further my ability to work, both in and out of the RAF.’
‘1ACC is currently deployed to Afghanistan and I was part of the initial team that deployed the equipment there in 2006. I’ve also been to Portreath in Cornwall and South Wales for training exercises.
‘I regularly participate in adventurous training; I’ve been skiing, diving and sailing. I also play football and go rock climbing with friends from my Unit. I enjoy boxing and have recently qualified as an official for the Amateur Boxing Association – most of my training was funded by the RAF.’
‘The RAF has given me access to many life-changing experiences. I plan to continue furthering my education, whilst pursuing my interests in boxing and adventurous training. My aspiration is to become a commissioned officer.’
The RAF has opened the doors to many life-changing experiences and opportunities.
‘I work as an ICT Technician in the Communications Centre at RAF Wittering in Cambridgeshire. My colleagues and I are responsible for the safe handling, correct transmission and distribution of all communications leaving and entering the base. This can be anything from medical evacuation orders to confidential material.
‘I also work on the IT Service Desk, where the team assists over 1600 personnel with IT equipment issues. With so many people to cover we do a lot of work by remote control via the Local Area Network, but if we encounter a serious complication we’ll go out and solve the problem in person.’
‘My role is so varied that I never get bored. I could be solving problems remotely from my desk or meeting people face-to-face. Our team also runs workshops where we re-build PCs and servers.
‘I enjoy the fact that when you get posted you’re not always going to get sent into the same job. In my first posting I experienced three different parts of the ICT Technician trade. You’re constantly learning and trying different things.’
‘Since joining I’ve have several overseas detachments, including four months in Bahrain where I carried out a similar role to my job in the UK. I’ve also been to India for four weeks and Cyprus for a week where I assisted the aircrew with their telecommunications equipment, making sure it was in good working order at all times.
‘My job often requires me to drive – especially on exercises – so the RAF paid for me totake my driving test. I’ve also had a lot of help in gaining external qualifications. I recently qualified as a spinning instructor and was able to reclaim the majority of my course fees.’
‘Outside of work I’ve been to Austria on a week long skiing expedition which was partially subsidised by the RAF. I love to go to the gym and take part in circuit training in the evening.
‘If you want to do something that gives you a challenge as well as great experiences, provides the opportunity to travel and make good friends then this is definitely the right job for you.’
Your career will start with a 10 week Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. The course is designed to help you adjust to a military environment. As well as fitness and military training, you’ll also learn about the RAF lifestyle.
The next step is a trade training course at No 1 Radio School (No 1 RS) at Cosford near Wolverhampton.
This foundation course, which lasts for approx 12 months, is designed to prepare you for your first tour by giving you a breadth of skills and knowledge across a range of duties you may be employed in.
You will study a range of subjects, including: mathematics; electrical and electronic principles; radar and radio principles; satellite and data communications; video-conferencing; information systems and network administration and security.
Additionally, you will also be instructed in health and safety, air safety, maintenance practices and the hands-on technical skills required for deploying and maintaining our communications networks, information systems and sensors.
You will have the opportunity to gain civilian recognised qualifications, as part of an Advanced Apprenticeship.
Your trade training also incorporates a number of other non-technical elements designed to develop self-confidence, team working and communications skills and to build on the experience gained during your recruit training.
Opportunities for sport and adventurous training are also programmed in to enable development of physical fitness, leadership skills and personal qualities.
The training you will receive is recognised by a wide range of civilian employers and you will gain transferable qualifications.
As an ICT Technician you will be enrolled on an Advanced Apprenticeship in Communications Technologies.
You will complete both the BTEC Level 3 Diploma in ICT Systems and Principles and the Level 2 Functional Skills elements of the apprenticeship during your recruit and trade training course.
The third element of your Advanced Apprenticeship is the Diploma in Professional Competence for IT and Telecoms Professionals.
Half of this is also completed within the realistic working environments of your initial trade training; however, the remainder of the Diploma is undertaken in the course of your duties during your first tour, overseen by work-place assessors.
On completion of these qualifications you are entitled to register as an ICT Tech with the Engineering Council.
No 1 Radio School is a Microsoft- and Cisco-accredited academy, and the training you will receive is recognised by a wide range of civilian employers and backed by transferable qualifications. As an ICT Technician, you will be enrolled on an Advanced Apprenticeship in Communications Technologies during your specialist training. You'll go on to the BTEC National Award in Communications Electronic Engineering/Technology at Level 3 and you’ll also be able to start the Communications Technology Professional Level 3 NVQ, which can be completed in the workplace during your first tour.
You can also gain a Foundation Degree in Information Technology and Communications from Staffordshire University. Details of the course can be found here. ?
Your first tour
During your first tour, you will be employed as part of a team responsible for managing your unit’s ICT systems. You will have the opportunity to develop a range of skills, which may include maintenance tasks associated with satellite terminals, fibre optics, aircraft support and other systems vital to the operation of the RAF. Alternatively you could be employed on an airfield maintaining air traffic services, within an information hub (IHub), where you will be the first port of call providing advice on software applications, information management and exploitation and system administration or within an engineering section repairing IT systems and installing software and hardware.
A major advantage of being an ICT Technician is the breadth and diversity of the tasks you are expected to undertake further post graduate training is available to ensure that you are properly trained for every role.
Training may involve the study of the complex electrical/electronic principles associated with radar and radio theory.
Skills in this area allow you to develop the additional technical expertise required to analyse and investigate complex faults on these systems as well as carry out specialist in-depth repair.
If required specialist training will be given in application support, web-skills, database and network management and CYBER security to assure the integrity and efficient operation and management of the RAF’s and other military networks.
The additional training that you undertake may provide the opportunity to acquire further nationally-recognised qualifications.
You will initially join the RAF for a period of nine years. After a year, you will be eligible for promotion to Senior Aircraftman/woman (SAC) if you pass a Trade Ability Test.
Promotion to the rank of Corporal and beyond is on merit by competitive selection, and you will have to undergo further Command and Management Training to prepare you for the demands of your new rank.
For those ICT Technicians who have the desire, aptitude and potential to become a commissioned officer, there will be an opportunity to compete for selection to undertake a Foundation Degree course to meet the academic requirements to be commissioned as a Communications-Electronics Engineer Officer.
At No 1 RS, students undertake a university-accredited Foundation Degree in ICT which, after successful completion of Engineer Officer Foundation Training and further self-study, will lead to a BSc in Engineering Management.
The qualifications you can earn are as valuable in the civilian world as they are in the RAF. When added to your RAF experience, you will be well-placed to attract potential civilian employers.
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