Aircraft Technician Avionics – Full Time Career with Apprenticeship

Location : United Kingdom


Aircraft Technicians, Avionics (Av), maintain and repair the sophisticated electrical, electronic and sensory systems of RAF aircraft.


  • Advanced avionics furnish the pilot with real-time access to comprehensive battle-space information and the ability to share sensor data and actionable information.
  • Ensure the high performance of aircraft radar, communication, reconnaissance and target acquisition equipment
  • Repair on-board technologies that select, arm and release weapons
  • Maintain the systems that generate and distribute electricity on aircraft


As an aircraft engineering specialist, Aircraft Technicians (Avionics) carry out maintenance and repair work on the sophisticated electronic and avionic on-board RAF aircraft such as:

  • Radar.
  • Communication and Identification systems.
  • Image and data acquisition including reconnaissance and target acquisition equipment.
  • Navigation.
  • Aircraft defensive aides systems.
  • Weapon aiming and delivery systems.
  • Aircraft flight control systems.

You will also maintain the aircraft electrical generation and distribution systems that provide power for the electronic systems on RAF aircraft. In addition, you will maintain on-board weapon management systems that allow aircrew to select, arm and release aircraft weapons. There are also opportunities to undertake instructional duties or work within a software development organisation. Furthermore, you could form part of the aircraft flight crew to provide engineering support to aircraft systems that are operated whilst in flight or to provide aircraft engineering support when the aircraft is deployed. Like most people in the RAF, you will probably move jobs every few years, and each job is known as a ‘tour’. You will normally work at a flying station – an RAF base that is home to one or more squadrons of aircraft. You will also have opportunities for travel overseas when your skills are needed to support our aircraft and equipment around the world on operations and exercises.


The Diplomas and Apprenticeship 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.


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 will also learn about the RAF lifestyle.


The next step is a specialist trade training course at the Defence School of Aeronautical Engineering at Cosford (DSAE Cosford), near Wolverhampton, which lasts approximately 15 months. This course is designed to give you an understanding of your role as an Aircraft Avionics Technician, which includes aerodynamics, electronic and electrical fundamentals, digital fundamentals, hand skills, avionic maintenance practice, avionic systems and integrated avionics systems. In addition to this your training will include aircraft handling and safety procedures.


  • Competitive pay and pension
  • Training and lifelong learning
  • Six weeks paid leave and public holidays
  • Free medical and dental care
  • Subsidised food and accommodation
  • Free gym and sports facilities
  • Adventurous training opportunities


During your specialist training you will be enrolled on a Level 3 Engineering Technician Apprenticeship, the Technical Certificate element of which is a Level 3 Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance (Military) and delivered entirely in training. You will be required to complete the portfolio element of the Level 3 Diploma in Aviation Maintenance competence qualification during your first tour when you leave specialist training and conduct an End Point Assessment to be awarded your Apprenticeship.


As your career progresses, you will continue to be trained in new skills and you will develop as a technician. You may be posted to a specialist area of employment, such as software development or working within a Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation. You could also have opportunities for management and leadership training. The qualifications and experience you will gain in your RAF career can support accreditation and membership of industry recognised professional bodies.


For your first tour you will likely be posted to a flying station where, as a technician, 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.


You will initially join the RAF for a period of 12 years on a Notice Engagement. After completing one years total service, you will be eligible for promotion to Senior Aircraftman, providing you pass a Trade Ability Test and Basic Trade Training. As you gain experience and complete your Level 3 Diploma in Aviation Maintenance competence qualification, you will achieve Technician status. Further promotion to the rank of Corporal and beyond is on merit by competitive selection. As you advance through the ranks, you will have the increased opportunity to lead and direct people, managing resources and manpower within your area of work to deliver the required outputs whilst maintaining and instilling the highest standards expected within the RAF.


Age: 16–47* *Must attest before 48th birthday. (If you are under 18 years of age, you will need consent from a parent or guardian before you apply however you may commence your application from 15 years and 9 months).

Qualifications: Grade C (Grade 4 to 5 with effect from Aug 17) or equivalent in English language, Mathematics or SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National 5(Grade A – C) in English, Mathematics and an approved Science/Technology-based subject.

Residency: Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have resided there for the 5 years immediately preceding your application but candidates with a minimum of 3 years will be considered.

Nationality: You must be a citizen of the United Kingdom or dual UK/Other nationality.

Selection: You will be assessed on physical fitness and medical eligibility. Additionally, you will also be required to complete the Airmen’s Selection Test at your local AFCO to a standard appropriate to your choice of trade.

A Modern Force: The RAF recognises the value of a person’s ability no matter their ethnicity, social background, religion or belief, gender identity, sexual orientation or marital status/civil partnership.

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