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 specialist training course at the Defence School of Aeronautical Engineering at Cosford (DSAE Cosford), near Wolverhampton, which lasts about five months. This course is designed to give you a basic understanding of your role, which includes aircraft handling and safety procedures. You’ll complete this course as an Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic (AMM) and then get your first posting, where you will remain for about two years to gain the necessary experience needed for the technician training course.
Your First Tour
As an AMM For your first tour, you will be posted to a flying squadron where you will undertake the role of a flight line operator, ensuring that aircraft are serviced and ready to fly to meet the flying programme. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to assist the aircraft technicians and gain exposure to the technical aspects of aircraft fault diagnostics, maintenance and repair.
Additional Qualification Opportunities
You will be enrolled on an Intermediate Apprenticeship during your AMM training course and will complete an NVQ Level 2 during your employment as an AMM.
Ongoing Training/Development Opportunities
After your first tour as an AMM and, providing you achieve the required specialist standards, you will return to DSAE Cosford to undertake Further Training on a 13 month long technician training course. You will also be enrolled on an Advanced Apprenticeship in Aeronautical Engineering. On successful completion of this part of your specialist training you will be qualified as an Aircraft Technicians (Avionics). You will be enrolled on an NVQ Level 3 in Aeronautical Engineering where on successful completion of the NVQ portfolio, you will have completed all elements of the Advanced Apprenticeship in Aeronautical Engineering. There are a plethora of competencies that you could acquire throughout your Service in the RAF and a wide spectrum of specialist roles such as Non-Destructive Testing, aircraft software development or working within a Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation.
Your First Tour as an Aircraft Technician (Avionics)
For your first tour you will likely be posted to a flying station where, as a specialist, you will use and further develop the skills you learnt during training as you carry out more complex tasks involved with aircraft and aircraft component servicing, maintenance and repair. Your expertise will be used in the diagnosis and rectification of faults to ensure aircraft are fit to fly to meet the station’s mission.
Your Future Career Prospects and Progression
You will initially join the RAF for a period of twelve years on a Notice Engagement. After completing one year’s total service, you will be eligible for promotion to Senior Aircraftman, providing you pass a Trade Ability Test and Basic Trade Training. Further promotion to the rank of Corporal and beyond is by competitive selection.
The NVQs and Apprenticeships that you can earn are as valuable in the civilian world as they are in the RAF. Furthermore, as an aircraft engineer in the RAF, the skills and qualifications you will have gained will place you in good stead for a wide range of employment fields when you leave the RAF.