Air operations support Air Cartographer CURRENTLY RECRUITING

As an RAF Air Cartographer you will create and edit key documents used by UK Armed Forces, foreign air forces and some civilian airlines.

Learn more about this role

Pay During Initial Training £15,670+ + Benefits

After Successful Completion Of Phase Two Training £20,000+ + Benefits

Is this for you?

APPLICANTS MUST:

  • Be aged 17.5 – 47 years old (Must attest before 48th birthday)
  • Have GCSE at Grade C/4-5 or SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National 5 in English Language and GCSE at Grade C/4-5 or SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National 5 in Maths
  • Be a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen since birth
  • Commit minimum 3 years post Phase Two Training
  • Meet the health and fitness criteria
  • Pass the Airman Selection Test
  • Pass a Fitness test - Details below

GREAT FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN:

  • Analysis and maths
  • Being creative
  • Gaming & Computers

VIEW ALL ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

TYPICAL RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Analyse and validate worldwide aeronautical navigation data that is critical to Flight Safety across Defence.
  • Generate a broad range of products that directly support global operations.
  • Use cutting edge development tools to create and develop new products, applications and ways of working.

Your role could be processing digital mapping for use in frontline, aircraft cockpit displays and mission planning systems, or updating charts that guide our aircrew safely through take-off, transit and landing. Additionally, you could be updating charts that detail obstructions, such as buildings and powerlines, that enable fast jets and helicopters to navigate safely at low level, or creating charts depicting airways over countries around the world used by transport aircraft to carry troops to the front line. The majority of Air Cartographers are based at No. 1 Aeronautical Information Documents Unit (No. 1 AIDU), RAF Northolt, West London, with opportunities to deploy on operations and exercises throughout the UK and abroad.

WHY JOIN THE RAF?

Thanks to subsidised food, travel, accommodation and free gym you get more money in your pocket.

Salary
Benefits Salary
Civilian Role
RAF Role
  • Rent from £75p/m
  • Free gym
  • Subsidised food
  • Health care
  • World travel
  • 6 weeks holiday

See All Benefits

TRAINING AND CAREER

TRAINING YOU’LL RECEIVE

Your career will start with a 10 week Basic Recruit Training Course 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.

SPECIALIST TRAINING

The next step is a  8-week Basic Trade Training course at the School of Air Cartography, RAF Northolt. The course comprises of modular lessons, initially providing the theory elements of the trade, including Aeronautical Information, Geodesy and Map Science. Students then progress onto the more technical aspects of the role and will become familiar with some of the specific software that Air Cartographers are required to master to create aeronautical products. Learning predominantly takes place in a classroom environment and is complimented with field trips, practical and team-building exercises.

More details +

ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATION OPPORTUNITIES

No 1 AIDU works closely with the Defence Awarding Organisation (DAO), to accredit courses and after successful completion of Basic Trade Training, you will gain a DAO Level 4 Certificate in Aeronautical Cartography (QCF).

ONGOING TRAINING/DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

With a dedicated training department, No. 1 AIDU is committed to providing Air Cartographers with opportunities in both professional and personal development. You can attain qualifications in Geospatial Analysis, Desktop Publishing and programming. You can develop your skills in areas such as leadership, management, coaching, mentoring. Also, throughout your career there will be many opportunities to gain additional competencies in a range of specialist areas.

YOUR FIRST TOUR

You could maintain a catalogue of enroute charts that facilitate the safe transit of aircraft around the world. You may be required to update the aeronautical information database with worldwide flight safety critical data you have analysed. You will create products to enable safe low-flying training and operations in the UK. Whichever way, no MOD aircraft will fly without the vital information you provide in support of Defence aviation.

YOUR FUTURE CAREER PROSPECTS/PROGRESSION

After completing 1 years total service, you will be eligible for promotion to Senior Aircraftsman, providing you pass a Trade Ability Test and Basic Trade Training. Further promotion to the rank of Corporal and beyond is by competitive selection. Progressive promotion courses, specialising in leadership and management are delivered at the Airman’s Command Squadron, RAF Halton and are accredited by the Chartered Management Institute.

TRANSFERABLE SKILLS

Working to industry standards No 1 AIDU uses commercial Desktop Publishing and Geographic Information System (GIS) software, alongside in-house developed applications and tools; as a result your skills and qualifications will be highly regarded and easily transferable.

TRAINING AND CAREER

INITIAL TRAINING

Your training will start with a Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) consisting of 4 weekends at your chosen RAF Reserves Squadron, followed by a 15 day residential training course at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. This training course will prepare you for service life in one of the most respected military forces in the world; it is also designed to help you tune into the military environment and way of life. As well as military training, you will learn about the core values, code of conduct and history of the RAF, as well as its unique lifestyle

SPECIALIST TRAINING

After successfully completing initial training, you will be trained for your specific role in the RAF either at your squadron or another RAF station in the UK.

Commitment and location

You will have to commit to 27 days per year for 12 years minimum.


Each year includes a 15-day block for general RAF training, and 12 separate days for extra training or exercises.


You might be deployed to a UK or overseas base for up to 6 months after the first year.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

ALL APPLICANTS MUST:

Be a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen since birth.

Be aged 17.5 – 47 years old (Must attest before 48th birthday)

EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

Have these minimum grades:

GCSEGCSE 2017SNE
MathematicsCGrade 4-5Grade 5
English LanguageCGrade 4-5Grade 5

You can see what the RAF accepts in lieu of GCSEs & A Levels here

NATIONALITY & RESIDENCY

Be a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen since birth.

Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have resided there for the 5 years immediately preceding your application. However, candidates with a minimum of 3 years will be considered.

Following the MOD announcement that the UK Armed Forces will now be able to recruit commonwealth citizens without the 5 year residency requirement, please note that the RAF continues to apply standard residency requirements for security clearance,  ie, DV employment requires 7-years UK residency immediately prior to enlistment; SC requires 3-years.

Applications from personnel who do not meet the required 3 year UK residency requirement are now closed until further notice, please continue to check the website for further updates.  If you have previous service and are applying to rejoin the Royal Air Force, or meet the UK residency requirements for service, please call 0345 605 5555 and ask to speak to a RAF Recruitment Specialist. 

FITNESS REQUIREMENTS

You must be physically fit to complete both initial and specialist training, and to do your role effectively. To check your fitness levels, we put every candidate through at least two separate fitness tests as part of the application process.

The first of these is the Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT) which takes place at a fitness centre local to you. This consists of the following:

  • 2.4km (1.5m) run on a treadmill (set to zero incline)
  • Achieve the required number of press-ups - within 60 seconds
  • Achieve the required number of sit-ups - within 60 seconds

The second fitness test will take place at RAF Halton as part of your three-day Pre-Recruit Training Course (PRTC). This consists of the following:

  • Achieving the required score on the Multi-Stage Fitness Test (MSFT or Bleep test)
  • Achieve the required number of press-ups - within 60 seconds
  • Achieve the required number of sit-ups - within 60 seconds

How fit you need to be to pass these tests can vary depending on role, age and gender. The requirements are listed on the charts below (Male and Female).

MALES - 100% pass rates:
AGE2.4 Km RunMulti-Stage Fitness TestPress-upsSit-ups
(Mins)(Score)(No.)(No.)
15-1611.399.032035
17-2911.119.102035
30-3411.369.041932
35-39128.091829
40-4412.268.031726
45-4712.547.071623

FEMALES - 100% pass rates:
AGE2.4 Km RunMulti-Stage Fitness TestPress-upsSit-ups
(Mins)(Score)(No.)(No.)
15-1613.546.071032
17-2913.237.021032
30-3413.476.08929
35-3914.136.04826
40-4414.485.08723
45-4715.195.04620

You can see the protocols for Press Ups & Sit Ups here:

PJFT/PRTC Protocols

You can download an MP3 file of the Multi-Stage Fitness Test below, listen to the introduction file first:

RAF MSFT: Intro

RAF MSFT: Bleep Test

You can see a video demonstration of the PRTC Fitness Test here:

RAF PRTC Fitness Test

A 12-week fitness plan with detailed information to help you get ready for all of the fitness tests can be downloaded here.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

BEFORE YOUR APPLICATION:

There are health requirements that must be met by all applicants:

  • Body Mass Index requirements:
AgeMale and female minimumMale and female maximumMale maximum with additional assessmentFemale maximum with additional assessment
18 +18283230
16 to < 1817272727
  • Eyesight requirements vary for different roles. A requirement to wear glasses or contact lenses may be allowed for aircrew.

Get in touch if you have any questions about the health criteria, or would like to find out if any additional health requirements apply to your role of interest.

DURING YOUR APPLICATION:

The Medical Risk Assessment that all candidates undergo is there to make sure that you are healthy enough for the intense training required by the RAF. Your application will be rejected if you fail to meet the minimum acceptable medical standard for entry. Your medical history is confidential and is not disclosed to those not authorised to hold this information.

BACKGROUND CHECKS

YOU MUST:

  • Declare any previous spent and unspent convictions
  • Check if you qualify under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 through this summary
  • Have a basic background check to get Security Check level clearance

DISQUALIFYING FACTORS

YOU CAN'T APPLY FOR THE RAF IF YOU:

  • Have been or are a member of a group that stirs up racial hatred and violence
  • Are waiting to appear in court, or have unspent convictions. You may also have to declare spent convictions for certain roles
  • Misuse drugs, solvents and anabolic steroids. But each case is considered upon its own merits
  • Have tattoos, brands or bead implants that are obscene or offensive. 
    Any permanent or temporary tattoos, whether ordinarily visible or not, must not be obscene or offensive (eg, racist, anti-religion or belief, crude, overtly sexist, homophobic, drug related or of an extreme political nature). Tattoos may be worn on the side and back of the neck but tattoos on the back of the neck must not extend above the natural hairline (scalp tattoos are not permitted). In addition, tattoos must not be visible below the sleeve cuff while wearing uniform, although a single finger (not thumb) tattoo that could be covered by a ring may be permitted
  • Declare yourself to be an 'undischarged' bankrupt

Beard Policy: A revised facial hair policy has been agreed by the Air Force Board which will allow serving personnel to wear a smart, neatly-trimmed, full-set beard whilst maintaining high standards of appearance. The length of acceptable beards is between Grade 1 (2.5mm) and Grade 8 (25.5mm). The wearing of beards during Phase 1 and Phase 2 training is currently under consideration and details will be advised when available

If you don’t have any of the above, you might still be able to apply. For more information contact your local AFCO.

GOT WHAT IT TAKES?

Apply here and receive an email that invites you to your full online application.

Apply as a Regular