ENGINEERING Survival Equipment Specialist CURRENTLY RECRUITING

Survival Equipment Specialists fit and repair the equipment that saves lives. They specialise in either Survival Equipment – fitted to aircraft – or individual Aircrew Equipment.

Learn more about this role

Minimum Average Pay Over Your First Year £17,000+ + Benefits

Initial pay after training £18,800+ + Benefits

Is this for you?

APPLICANTS MUST:

  • Be aged 16 – 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 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 to minimum 3 years post Phase Two Training
  • Pass the Airman Selection Test
  • Pass a General Fitness Test

GREAT FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN:

  • Building and Problem solving
  • Aircraft
  • Travelling the world

VIEW ALL ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

TYPICAL RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Test and repair-cutting edge night vision devices and emergency pilot locator systems
  • Maintain anti-G force protective equipment like flying helmets for aircrew
  • Repair emergency-escape parachutes and survival packs

As a Survival Equipment Specialist, you will perform a key role supporting the operation of frontline RAF aircraft, such as Typhoon, Lightning II, Atlas, Sentry and Chinook, as well as Army Air Corps aircraft like Apache helicopters.

You will be an essential member of the team, carrying out safety-critical engineering at a variety of locations in the UK or overseas, you may be responsible for the maintenance of aircrew Vision Enhancement Devices, mission-integrated protective helmets and oxygen masks, emergency location beacons, life preservers and anti-G protection; emergency escape parachutes designed to save the lives of aircrew on ejection; or restraint systems, life rafts & survival packs to help ensure survival in aircraft accidents or emergencies. You will have the opportunity to deploy worldwide, supporting air operations and training in areas as diverse as the USA, Middle East and Europe.

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 CAREERS

TRAINING YOU'LL RECEIVE

Your career will start with 10 weeks of basic recruit training at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. The course is designed to help you adjust to military life. As well as fitness and military training, you will also learn about the RAF lifestyle.

SPECIALIST TRAINING

The next step is Phase 2 Specialist Training at the Defence School of Aeronautical Engineering Cosford, near Wolverhampton, lasting 29 weeks. You will be taught the basic skills of mechanical and electrical engineering and learn the principles of engineering and maintenance of parachutes, life rafts, and AEA; including night vision devices, helmet mounted displays and oxygen systems. On successful completion, you will be promoted to Leading Aircraftman and posted to your first tour.

More details +

ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATION OPPORTUNITIES

During Recruit Training you will gain Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths and English, if required. During Specialist Training you will gain a Level 3 Tech Cert Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering (Survival Equipment Maintenance). During your first tour you will complete the portfolio element of the Level 3 Diploma in Aerospace and Aviation (Development Competence) and, following an End Point Assessment, you will be awarded your Level 3 Survival Equipment Fitter Apprenticeship. As new equipment and aircraft enter Service, the aim is to accredit specialist training, to ensure that you hold recognised civilian qualifications as part of your career development.

YOUR FIRST TOUR

After your initial Recruit and Specialist Training, you will be assigned to a UK unit where, under supervision, you will apply your newly-gained skills in a live environment; adding immediate value to RAF and UK air operations.
You may work on a Royal Air Force flying station providing direct support to the operation of fast jets, multi-engined aircraft or helicopters. Alternatively, you may work within the Airborne Forces environment, maintaining parachute equipment for UK military parachutists; this could involve working on active parachute drop zones both in the UK and overseas.
You may support the delivery of Survival, Evasion, Resistance & Extraction (SERE) training, providing assistance in the instruction of aircrew practicing survival drills on land, in pools, or at sea. For this role, SE specialists are trained to pass the RAF Swimming Competency Test and are then required to pass the RAF Role Related Swim Test on an annual basis.
Once your experience builds, and you demonstrate the required competence levels, supervision will be reduced. After completing one year’s total service, providing you have passed Specialist Training and a Trade Ability Test, you will be eligible for promotion to Senior Aircraftman.

ONGOING TRAINING / DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Throughout your career we will continue to train you and provide you with through-Service career development. There are opportunities to undertake the management and leadership training required for promotion and to join relevant civilian professional associations and bodies; as an SAC holding the Level 3 qualifications as part of your training you meet the UK Engineering Council standard as an Engineering Technician and are able to apply for registration as such. Furthermore, you will be able to employ your new-found military and leadership skills on adventure training

 

YOUR FUTURE CAREER PROSPECTS AND PROGRESSION

As a Senior Aircraftman, you may be able to undertake a tour at an overseas location, such as RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. As your skill levels and leadership potential develop further, promotion to the rank of Corporal and beyond is judged on merit and by competitive selection.
As you gain more experience you may be offered employment in areas such as:

Aircrew Equipment Fitting and Integration and Aircraft Accident Investigation: Undertaking the development, trials, testing and aircraft integration of new, often technologically advanced, SE and AEA entering Service; or providing expert advice in support of aircraft accident investigations and determining causes of equipment failure. As a Corporal, you will be trained in the fitting and function of AEA from an Aviation Medicine perspective.

Instructional Posts: On promotion to Corporal or above, and on completing instructional techniques courses, you may train recruits during specialist training, provide trade-related management training to other SE Fitt tradesmen or teach SERE techniques. You may also be able to undertake further training such as Jungle, Desert, and Extreme Cold Weather environmental survival courses to enhance your abilities as an instructor.

There may well be opportunites to work outside the trade. As you advance through the ranks on merit, you will have an increased opportunities to lead and direct; managing resources and manpower within your work to deliver the required outputs whilst instilling the high standards expected within the RAF, maintaining excellence both within and outside your chosen trade of Survival Equipment Fitter.

TRANSFERABLE SKILLS

The qualifications, experience and skill-sets that you develop as a specialist in SE and AEA are recognised and highly regarded in civilian industry as they are in the RAF, which means that should you ever decide to pursue a career outside the RAF, you will be well placed to find employment.

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

EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

Have these minimum grades:

  GCSE GCSE 2017 SNE
Mathematics C Grade 4 Grade 5
English Language C Grade 4 Grade 5

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

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 two or three separate fitness tests as part of the application process: Selection Fitness Test, Pre-joining Fitness Test or Pre-recruit Training Course.
How fit you need to be to pass these tests can vary depending on role, age and gender.

MALES - 100% pass rates:
AGE 2.4 Km Run Multi-Stage Fitness Test Press-ups Sit-ups
  (Mins) (Score) (No.) (No.)
15-16 11.39 9.03 20 35
17-29 11.11 9.10 20 35
30-34 11.36 9.04 19 32
35-39 12 8.09 18 29
40-44 12.26 8.03 17 26
45-47 12.54 7.07 16 23

 

FEMALES - 100% pass rates:
AGE 2.4 Km Run Multi-Stage Fitness Test Press-ups Sit-ups
  (Mins) (Score) (No.) (No.)
15-16 13.54 6.07 10 32
17-29 13.23 7.02 10 32
30-34 13.47 6.08 9 29
35-39 14.13 6.04 8 26
40-44 14.48 5.08 7 23
45-47 15.19 5.04 6 20

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 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:

Age

Male and female minimum

Male and female maximum

Male maximum with additional assessment

Female maximum with additional assessment

18 +

18

28

32

30

16 to < 18

17

27

27

27

  • 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