Aircraft Technician Mechanical – Full Time Career with Apprenticeship

Location : United Kingdom


Aircraft Technicians, Mechanical, specialise in maintaining aircraft structure, propulsion systems and associated equipment. Their work ensures the optimum flying performance of all RAF aircraft.


  • Examine and maintain all mechanical, structural and electrical components.
  • Ensure the high performance of engines, flying controls, pneumatics and hydraulic systems.
  • Test and repair equipment on fast jets, transport aircraft, helicopters, ISTAR platforms and air-to-air refuelling aircraft.


As an aircraft engineering specialist, Aircraft Technicians (Mechanical) carry out maintenance and repair work on the airframe and propulsion systems on RAF aircraft such as:

  • Engines.
  • Flying controls.
  • Hydraulics.
  • Air conditioning.
  • Landing gear.
  • Fuel.

If you work on our helicopters, you may also check rotor blades, rotor heads and transmission systems and be involved in the adjustment, repair or replacement of any defective parts. All our aircraft get a full overhaul at regular intervals. When this happens, Aircraft Technicians (Mechanical) examine all the mechanical components, the structure of the aircraft, the engines and the associated electrical components that support these functions and you could examine test and repair equipment on everything from fast jets to air transport, helicopters and air to air refuelling aircraft. There are also opportunities to undertake instructional duties or expand your skills in the role of an Aircraft Ground Engineer who provide aircraft engineering support when the aircraft is deployed. In addition to the specialist work you will be trained to undertake aircraft servicing work, preparing aircraft for flight and ensuring that they are fit for flight.


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.


  • 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


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 and, as well as fitness and military training, you will also learn about life in the RAF.


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 16 months. This course is designed to give you an understanding of your role as an Aircraft Mechanical Technician, which includes Mechanical Engineering Hand Skills, General Aircraft Maintenance Activities, Aircraft Mechanical Control and Operating Systems, Airframe Structures, Hydraulics and Flight Control Systems, Landing Gear, Fault Finding and Off-Aircraft Maintenance, Mechanical Systems and Helicopters. In addition to this your training will include aircraft handling and safety procedures.


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 Non-Destructive Testing, Structural Repairs 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. Further promotion to the rank of Corporal and beyond is 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 the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen since birth.

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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