There are more than 23 different RAF Apprenticeships open to school-leavers from the age of 16. You can join the RAF Apprenticeships programme either as a full-time regular or a spare-time reserve. If you join as a regular, you will live and work on one of the RAF’s 55 bases which are located all across the UK. There are RAF bases as far south as Cornwall, and as far north as the North Uist and the Shetlands. The RAF also has bases in the USA, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Ascension Island, and the Falkand Islands.
You can also join the RAF Apprenticeships programme as a spare-time reserve, on stand-by during times of need. You will keep your full-time job and will only attend RAF training for 15 days each year. This makes it an ideal way to learn new skills and broaden your horizons, while still keeping your current job. There are RAF Apprenticeships on offer as spare-time reserves at 29 squadrons and units around the UK.
During your initial training, you can expect to earn a salary of £15,670 per year as a full-time regular. Once you have completed the RAF Apprenticeships training, which is usually 3 years, you can expect to earn £20,000+. There are also a range of benefits such as subsidised rent and meals, as well as a free gym and 6 weeks holiday.
In this blog, we will take a brief look at the RAF Apprenticeships which we have split into four key areas:
RAF Apprenticeships: Engineering
There are several RAF Apprenticeships on offer which require a variety of engineering skills.
- Aircraft Technician – Mechanical. The role of a Mechanical technician is to maintain and repair the airframe and propulsion systems of RAF aircraft.
- Aircraft Technician – Avionics. In this role, you will learn how to maintain and repair sophisticated electronics, as well as on-board avionics systems.
- Vehicle and Mechanical Equipment Technician. You will keep the RAF on the move by carrying out repairs and adjustments on a range of land-based vehicles and equipment.
- Workshop Technician. You will make and repair parts for aircraft, as well as vehicles and other equipment, working in specially-equipped workshops and aircraft maintenance hangars.
- Electrician: You will learn how to maintain and repair a wide range of ground-based electrical equipment used on RAF bases.
- Cyberspace Communication. In this role, you will set up, operate and maintain the technology the RAF relies on to communicate.
To find out more about RAF Apprenticeships in Engineering, click here.
RAF Apprenticeships: Operations Roles
The RAF Apprenticeships programme has a wide range of roles which are responsible for operations, or supporting operations. These include:
- Aerospace Systems. In this role, you will learn how to use modern RADAR and data links, as well as comms and IT systems. You will also contribute to the RAF’s counter air terrorism, missile warning and space surveillance missions.
- RAF Regiment Gunner. This RAF Apprenticeships role specialises in infantry tactics, weaponry and field craft, as well as force protection. You will be part of an elite soldier team defending RAF bases and overseas air operations.
- Weapons Technician. You will be in charge of maintaining and managing weapons and explosives, making sure they’re ready at a moments notice. These include aircraft bombs, smart weapons, missiles and ammunition, as well as individual weapons.
- Air and Ground Steward. In this role, you will begin work as Cabin Crew on the A330-200 Voyager aircraft. Later, you will be part of the RAF’s Specialist Field catering Squadron or work alongside industry partners in Military Messes.
- Flight Operations. You will support aircrew, Air Operations Controllers and Air Operations Officers, both in the UK and on worldwide operations.
To find out more about RAF Apprenticeships in Operations Roles, click here.
RAF Apprenticeships: Emergency Services
The RAF Apprenticeships programme also offers a range of roles in the Emergency Services sector.
- RAF Police. This RAF Apprenticeships role is vital to the safety of the Royal Air Force. You could become a specialist in Aviation Security, Counter Intelligence, Protective Security, Law Enforcement, or Information and Cyber Security. The RAF Police are also responsible for the training, care and deployment of Military Working Dogs.
- Firefighter. In this role, you will provide 24/7 fire and crash rescue protection. You will also learn how to rescue people using highly specialised equipment, such as the “Jaws of Life” cutting tools.
- RAF Medic. You will provide vital medical support and airfield crash cover on RAF bases in the UK. This could be while on operations, but also during training exercises.
- Survival Equipment. In this role, you will be in charge of maintaining the Survival Equipment either fitted to aircraft, or individual aircrew.
To find out more about RAF Apprenticeships in Emergency Services, click here.
RAF Apprenticeships: Support Roles
The Royal Air Force also offers a range of RAF Apprenticeships in support roles which are listed below. For the RAF Apprenticeships role in Personnel Support, you should have at least 2 GCSEs in English and Maths. However, you do not need to have any formal qualifications to apply for the RAF Apprenticeships as a Chef, Driver, Mover or Photographer. For the Communications Infrastructure role, you will also need to complete a climbing test at RAF Digby.
- Personnel Support
- Supply, Storage and Distribution
- Communications Infrastructure
To find out more about RAF Apprenticeships in Support Roles, click here.
RAF Apprenticeships: where next?
Hopefully this blog has shown you there are many RAF Apprenticeships waiting for you. The training you receive will be first-class, and it will be just the start of a rewarding career in the industry. The qualifications you will earn will allow you to progress as you gain further experience.
Why not register with iwantobea.com for direct access to these and many more Apprenticeships just like it? You can search for roles by Location, Industry, Role and Education. If you register, you will receive a newsletter with details of the latest roles, direct to your email box each week.
All images in this blog are copyright the Royal Air Force.