Technical and engineering

Engineer Officer (CE)

Engineer Officers (Communications Electronics) are responsible for the RAF’s vast array of information technology, communications services, network systems, RADARs and other airfield traffic services equipment. As an officer you will be a manager in charge of a team of highly trained technicians and also likely to be in charge of the RAF station’s IT budget – traditionally one of the largest accounts on unit – early on in your career. As you progress in your career you will work with many of our partners that the RAF has to be able to communicate with for its daily business – this may be exchanges with the Royal Navy or Army, being embedded with Other Government Organisations or undertaking overseas postings to work with our international allies (e.g. USA and NATO). Typical roles and responsibilities include:

  • Head of IT for Main Operating Bases (up to approximately 5000 users)
  • Cyber security expert and analyst
  • Service Delivery Manager for RADAR and Air Traffic Services
  • Change Project Manager for multi-site and multi-classification computer systems
  • Provision of deployed IT/telephony services in support of exercises and operations worldwide

A £10,000 JOINING BONUS is available for graduate engineers or engineering students in their final year of study, with an engineering degree that is accredited by a professional engineering institution registered with the UK Eng Council. The applicant must commence Initial Officer Training between 1 Sep 16 and 31 Aug 18 and the joining bonus is paid on successful completion of Engineer Officer Foundation Training. The bonus is exclusively available to direct entrants who have not previously been in receipt of a Bursary and are not currently or have previously served in the Armed Forces.

You may also be interested in our Engineer Officer (Aerosystems) role. We also offer sponsorship opportunities for university students, as well as places at Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College, for those looking to eventually become Engineer Officers in the RAF.

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

RAF Regulars and Reserves work side by side.

Scroll down to explore the opportunities as an Engineer Officer (CE) in the RAF.

Key Facts

Full Time
Regular

Initial pay after training

£30,616 + Benefits

Pay during training

£25,727 + Benefits

Entry level

Officer

Commitment

Usual service

12 years

Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College - Information here.

Spare Time
Reserve

Initial pay after training

Day rates dependent on rank, role and experience

Entry level

Only qualified ex-military commissioned personnel, are currently eligible for this role.

Commitment

27 days per year for 12 years minimum. Each year includes a 15 day block for general RAF training, which is taken over a two week period, and 12 days for additional/trade training, or training exercises.

The possibility of being deployed to a UK or overseas base for up to 6 months after the first year.

Locations

606 Sqn RAF Benson, Oxfordshire (Extremely Ltd Vacancies)
611 Sqn RAF Woodvale
614 Sqn Cardiff, Glamorgan (Extremely Ltd Vacancies)

In the RAF

My Role

As a Communications Electronics Engineer my primary role is to provide Information Services within the military environment.  Over 5 years it has already led me to work in a variety of roles.  Currently, my role on Tactical Communications Wing is to command, lead and manage teams of highly skilled Technicians to deploy satellite and radio technology.  From RADAR equipment, to telephones and computers, this deployable equipment provides assured information services, enabling essential Command and Control to Military personnel wherever, and whenever they are deployed worldwide.  This must be done safely, and in a manner that best meets the requirements of a wide range of Users.  In the military environment not everything is going to go to plan, so a key responsibility of a Communications Electronics Engineer is to be ready for rapid changes and have recovery, contingency and disaster plans ready to deal with the unexpected whilst on Operations.

Prior to Tactical Communications Wing I worked in Air Command setting policy, direction and procurement for Network Information Systems across the RAF.  During this time I had the opportunity to deploy to the Falkland Islands for 5 months where my responsibilities involved leading and managing teams of Technicians to maintain aerials, Navigational Aids, and support 3 remote mountain RADAR sites that were often only accessible by helicopter during the winter months.

I joined the RAF with an aim to be given a lot more responsibility at an earlier age than you could ever expect as a civilian.  Having now completed 5 years’ service this has certainly been the case, and my next job will give me the opportunity to take that further supporting acquisition for multi-million pounds contracts to bring the latest high tech equipment to UK military forces, and take me further towards building the necessary portfolio to apply for my Chartered Engineer status.  I'll also be applying to take an MBA through the RAF to ensure that we get the best value, direction and commercial partnership through our Defence Acquisition system.

My Day

Training

Full Time
Regular

Initial Training

Like all our officers, you will begin your RAF career with Initial Officer Training (IOT) at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire.  You will follow a challenging 24-week syllabus to develop your leadership and management skills.  The course includes fitness development, military training and academic study as well as practical outdoor leadership challenges. You can find out more information about IOT in this publication.

Specialist Training

After Initial Officer Training, you will then move onto Engineer Officer Foundation Training (Communications Electronics) (EOFT(CE)); this is a 24-week course at the Defence School of Communications Information Systems (DSCIS) at RAF Cosford that takes the knowledge you gained from your degree and supplements it with the RAF-specific information you will require for your foundation tour and beyond.
This includes topics such as:

  • Fundamentals of RADAR, electronics and communications theory
  • Cyber, networks, cryptographic and IT security procedure and policy
  • Information services management, operational planning and business continuity
  • Human factors and health & safety training
  • Management training/personnel line management responsibilities
  • Project and Change Management (including ITIL)

Your competency and knowledge will be assessed throughout via written examinations, formal presentations, scenario-based exercises and a viva voce/oral board. EOFT(CE) is accredited in part by Lincoln University; with additional study students can obtain a BSc(Hons) in Communications Engineering Management .

Foundation Tours

After EOFT(CE), your foundation tour is likely to either be in support of an RAF station’s fixed IT/telephony systems or to 90 Signals Unit, our hub of excellence for Communications Information Systems – including elements that deploy bespoke communications solutions in support of exercises and overseas operations.

Your Career Prospects

Within your first or second tours you will automatically be promoted to Flight Lieutenant and given extra responsibility.  As your career progresses you will have the opportunity to work in a variety of different roles and environments; this may range from working within the headquarters of the RAF, or Permanent Joint Headquarters Northwood, planning and supporting overseas operations through to working in Defence Intelligence and being immersed in classified intelligence communities understanding their communication needs.  Roles also include providing RADAR systems to generate the Recognised Air Picture, which allows Air Traffic Control and Aerospace Battlespace Managers to track aircraft over the UK and areas of operation overseas, or providing platform-specific IT systems essential for the maintenance and support of our fourth and fifth generation aircraft.

Ongoing Development

There are numerous opportunities for both professional and personal development throughout your career; this may be an MSc/MBA from the Defence Academy at Shrivenham, using your Standard or Enhanced Learning Credits for courses which are of benefit to the RAF, or – if your specific role requires – a year’s Master’s degree at a UK university in a specialist topic.  Furthermore, as you are promoted you will receive further leadership and management training to match your responsibilities.

Transferable Skills

Much of our in-house training is accredited and/or recognised by external awarding bodies.  For engineers, we encourage and have developed a streamline route with various Professional Engineering Institutes for those looking to obtain their Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and Chartered Engineer (CEng) status.

Spare Time
Reserve

Reserve Officer Initial Training

After basic training, recruits go on to Reserve Officer Initial Training during their second year. This combines distance learning with residential weekends at the prestigious RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. It also includes a two-week residential phase at Cranwell where Reserves mix with Regular Officers on their initial training. During this period you will gain the skills and knowledge to command and lead in military roles and beyond. 

Requirements

Full Time
Regular

Job requirements

Qualifications:

An accredited Bachelors or Masters degree in an appropriate engineering or scientific subject, eg: aeronautical engineering; IT/IS engineering; mechanical engineering; electrical engineering; or electronic engineering.

Degrees must be accredited by one or more of the 4 professional engineering institutions most closely aligned to the RAF’s needs: the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS); the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE); the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET); or (for CE officers only) the British Computer Society (BCS). Degree accreditation status can be determined via the Engineering Council (UK) website www.engc.org.uk

Other engineering degrees might be accepted at the discretion of the Officers & Aircrew Selection Centre (OASC) Engineer Specialist.

Applicants must also have a GCSE at Grade C (Grade 4 to 5 with effect from Aug 17) or Scottish Certificate of Education (SCE) at Grade 2 or Scottish National Equivalent (SNE) at Grade 5 in English Language.

Age:

RAF Requirements

To join the RAF you will need to meet the fitness, health, nationality, residency and other criteria detailed below.

Spare Time
Reserve

Job requirements

Qualifications:

An accredited Bachelors or Masters degree in an appropriate engineering or scientific subject, eg: aeronautical engineering; IT/IS engineering; mechanical engineering; electrical engineering; or electronic engineering.

Degrees must be accredited by one or more of the 4 professional engineering institutions most closely aligned to the RAF’s needs: the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS); the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE); the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET); or (for CE officers only) the British Computer Society (BCS). Degree accreditation status can be determined via the Engineering Council (UK) website www.engc.org.uk

Other engineering degrees might be accepted at the discretion of the Officers & Aircrew Selection Centre (OASC) Engineer Specialist.

Applicants must also have a GCSE at Grade C (Grade 4 to 5 with effect from Aug 17) or Scottish Certificate of Education (SCE) at Grade 2 or Scottish National Equivalent (SNE) at Grade 5 in English Language.

Only qualified ex-military personnel, are currently eligible for this role.

Age:

18 – 54 (Must attest before 55th birthday – Ex Regulars over the age of 55 may be considered on a case by case basis)

RAF Requirements

To join the RAF you will also need to meet fitness, health, nationality, residency, and other criteria detailed below.

Apply


Full Time
Regular

Spare Time
Reserve