ENGINEERING Photographer CURRENTLY RECRUITING

As an RAF Photographer, you will play a varied range of roles, capturing everything from aerial reconnaissance images to public relations portraits.

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 16 – 47 years old (Must attest before 48th birthday)
  • No formal qualifications required. You will need to meet the required AST score for the role
  • 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 Airmen Selection Test
  • Pass a Fitness test - Details below

GREAT FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN:

  • Being creative
  • Travelling the world
  • Gaming & Computers

Apprenticeships available

Advanced Apprenticeship In Photo Imaging

VIEW ALL ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

TYPICAL RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Gather photographic evidence for engineering, security and accident investigations
  • Print target identification images for aircrew
  • Shoot video training films

Be the eyes of the RAF, and create high quality stills and video imagery to support Air Power during times of peace, and periods of conflict. To carry-out your role, you will learn photography skills from a highly respected training provider, which works closely with the internationally recognised British Institute of Professional Photography.

Once trained and assigned to your first Photographic Section, you will use cutting edge digital technology to produce stills and video imagery in a wide variety of disciplines: ceremonial, engineering, executive portraiture, scenes of crime, sports and VIP visits (including royalty). After your first assignment, you could be part of a specialist photographer team; capturing air-to-air imagery of the Red Arrows to promote the RAF brand, processing aerial reconnaissance film to assist UK security forces, flying in rotary and transport aircraft recording airborne delivery trials, or being rapidly deployed worldwide to cover breaking news stories

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 specialist training course at the Defence School of Photography (DSOP) RAF Cosford, near Wolverhampton, which lasts about 7 months. On the Defence Photographer course, you will be taught all aspects of photography, and the training received will give you all the skills required to perform as a photographer within the RAF/MOD environment. As part of the course you will be enrolled on an Advanced Apprenticeship scheme which you are given 18 months to complete.

More details +

ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

As a Photographer you will gain a Level 3 Diploma in Photo Imaging when the Advanced Apprenticeship is completed. Therefore, there will also be scope for an NVQ Level 4 in Digital Photography and Imaging as you continue through the ranks, and/or you could use your Enhanced Learning Credits and study for a Degree. With training received there is also an opportunity to apply for membership to the British Institute of Professional Photography and the Royal Photographic Society.

ONGOING TRAINING/DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

As your career progresses, we will continue to train you in new skills. The Defence Professional Video Techniques course will teach you how to capture and edit moving imagery. Whilst the Defence Media Operations Photographer course will give you the skills and knowledge required to provide targeted audiences with stills and video imagery relating to RAF and Defence key messages. There may also be an opportunity for you to learn how to fly Remotely Piloted Air Systems (Drones), to capture imagery from an aerial platform. You could also have opportunities to complete management and leadership training.

YOUR FIRST TOUR

For your first tour, you will be posted to a Photographic Section on an RAF base in the UK, where you will put into practice and further develop the skills you learnt during training.

YOUR FUTURE CAREER PROSPECTS/PROGRESSION

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 on merit by competitive selection.

TRANSFERABLE SKILLS

The qualifications you can earn are as valuable in the civilian world as they are in the RAF - which means that whenever you decide to leave the RAF, you will be well placed to find a new job. These could include press photographer, commercial and industrial photographer, crime scene photographer, medical photographer, or employment within TV and video production industries.

TRAINING AND CAREER

INITIAL TRAINING

Your training will start with a Basic Recruit Training Course 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:

You 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 16 – 47 years old (Must attest before 48th birthday)

EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

No formal qualifications required. You will need to meet the required AST score during application.

NATIONALITY & RESIDENCY

You 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.

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.

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
  • Have body piercing which causes holes that do not close up
  • Declare yourself to be an 'undischarged' bankrupt

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