Career Progression

Whether you’re joining as an apprentice or well into your career, the Royal Air Force can help you further develop and grow.

ROLE STRUCTURE & PROMOTION

ROLE LEVELS IN THE RAF

Like any global organisation, the RAF is built on a highly effective management structure. Everyone has a role and a rank. Their rank defines the level of responsibility within the role.

RANK STRUCTURE

As RAF personnel you’ll come under one of three different rank structures depending on your role. These are Commissioned Officer, Airman or Airwoman or Non-Commissioned Aircrew.

COMMISIONED OFFICER

Officers are the RAF’s equivalent of a management role. The rank structure for officers, in descending order, is:

RANKS

  • Air Chief Marshal
  • Air Marshal
  • Air Vice Marshal
  • Air Commodore
  • Group Captain
  • Wing Commander
  • Squadron Leader
  • Flight Lieutenant
  • Flying Officer
  • Pilot Officer

AIRMEN OR AIRWOMEN

Airmen and Airwomen make up the majority of RAF personnel, bringing their specialist skills to provide vital ground support roles. The rank structure for airmen and airwomen, in descending order, is:

RANKS

  • Warrant Officer
  • Flight Sergeant
  • Chief Technician (Technical Trades Only)
  • Sergeant
  • Corporal
  • Lance Corporal (Regt Gunner Only)
  • SAC Technician (Technical Trades Only)
  • Senior Aircraftman/Aircraftwoman (SAC)
  • Leading Aircraftman/Aircraftwoman
  • Aircraftman/Aircraftwoman

NON-COMMISSIONED AIRCREW

RAF Non-Commissioned Aircrew fly aircraft and helicopters to carry out air patrols over the UK. The rank structure for Non-Commissioned Aircrew, in descending order, is:

RANKS

  • Master Aircrew
  • Flight Sergeant (Aircrew)
  • Sergeant (Aircrew)
Job levels in the civilian world can vary from company to company - in the RAF it’s easy to see what your next step is.

Job levels in the civilian world can vary from company to company - in the RAF it’s easy to see what your next step is. SOURCE: GUARDIAN BUSINESS WEEKLY

BECOME AN EXPERT IN YOUR FIELD

ROLE TRAINING

Whether a Chef, Engineer or Pilot, in the RAF you will receive plenty of training to help you do your role effectively and with confidence.

TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

The RAF provides some of the best training you will ever receive, in a wide variety of roles and spanning many subjects. No matter what role you are planning to do, you will always receive basic training first to get you accustomed to military life; specialist training will then follow, tailor-made for your particular choice of role and a wide range of follow up training after that, taking you all the way through your career in the RAF and beyond. Many roles also offer award-winning apprenticeships that are recognised in the civilian world.

STRIVING FOR EXCELLENCE

We have a long and distinguished heritage, of which we are rightly proud, but our focus is on the future rather than the past – the technology we use is some of the most advanced in the world. Our reputation in combat and peacekeeping operations is second to none – whether providing air support for British troops in action or flying missions alongside our many international allies. The work we do is vital; it demands high standards and brings great rewards.

LEARNING FROM EACH OTHER

In the RAF you’ll find people from every background and with diverse life outlooks and interests, working side by side. RAF personnel learn a great deal from one and other through living, training and working closely together. Whatever your role, you will be trained and supported throughout your career and grow both personally and professionally whilst making lifelong friends.

FIND YOUR ROLE

Whether you want to fly a fast jet, gather intelligence or cater for our personnel, we have the role for you.

SOCIAL, SPORTS & ADVENTURE

Our vast choice of sports and activities on and off base means you can take part at all levels.

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

We train everyone to the highest standards in order to gain invaluable skills and qualifications.

FIND YOUR ROLE

Whether you want to fly a fast jet, gather intelligence or cater for our personnel, we have the role for you.

SOCIAL, SPORTS & ADVENTURE

Our vast choice of sports and activities on and off base means you can take part at all levels.

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

We train everyone to the highest standards in order to gain invaluable skills and qualifications.

GOT WHAT IT TAKES?

FIND YOUR ROLE