Weapon Technician – Full Time Career with Apprenticeship

Location : United Kingdom


Aircraft Engineering Specialist for weapons, weapons systems, explosives, pyrotechnics and aircraft assisted escape systems


A unique opportunity to be trained as an Armourer and become responsible for all the weapons, explosives and associated equipment used by the RAF both on and off aircraft:

  • Ejection seat removal/fit/maintenance. Canopy/Pylon/Role equipment removal/fit
  • Smart bombs/Guided missiles/Weapon aiming systems/ Gun ammunition and Decoy Flares
  • Explosive Safety/Storage of explosives


It is a job with a great deal of responsibility as the equipment you handle is often extremely dangerous and safety is always crucial. There is also plenty of variety; from quite early in your career, you could be arming aircraft with bombs, guided weapons, missiles, loading aircraft guns or working on an aircraft flight line, servicing aircraft and preparing them for flight. You will be responsible for the servicing, maintenance and repair of ejection seats, aircraft gun systems and missile launchers. You will have other responsibilities too such as the maintenance, care and issue of the weapons used by your station, including rifles, pistols and machine guns, as well as heavier weapons such as mortars used by the RAF Regiment. You could be responsible for the safe storage and control of aircraft weapons and flares and also the building and the fitment of smart weapons and flares to the aircraft.

Like most people in the RAF, you could move jobs every few years as part of your through service career management and have the opportunity to diversify and experience a wide range of jobs and equipment (each job is known as a ‘tour’). You will be able to set preferences for the type of tour you would like to undertake and there is also the opportunity to undertake roles outside of your trade. Within your first few years, you will get the opportunity to deploy overseas in support of the RAF’s mission.


The Diplomas and Apprenticeship that you can earn are as valuable in the civilian world as they are in the RAF. Furthermore, as an armament specialist and 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 and enjoy yourself.


The next step is a specialist training course at Defence School of Aeronautical Engineering Cosford, near Wolverhampton, which lasts about 12 months. This course is designed to give you a basic understanding of your role as an RAF Armament Specialist, including the awareness of explosive safety requirements and the maintenance and repair skills of aircraft weapon systems, weapon launching systems and aircraft escape systems.


  • 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, we will continue to train you in new skills, and you will develop as a technician. You may be posted to a specialist area of employment, such as an aircraft squadron, an RAF Regiment squadron, or as part of an Expeditionary Armament Squadron. 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 may join a flying squadron at an RAF base where you could be employed on the maintenance and repair of aircraft weapon systems and involved in storing and handling different types of weapons; you could also be responsible for fitting these weapons onto aircraft ensuring that they are fit for use. Also, you could be responsible for the care and maintenance of weapons used by your station and, whichever role you undertake, you will work alongside experienced technicians and gain exposure to more complex maintenance and repair work which will help your professional development.


After completing one year’s total service, you will be eligible for promotion to Senior Aircraftsman, providing you pass a Trade Ability Test and Basic Trade Training. As you gain experience and complete your Level 3 development competence qualification, you will achieve Technician status. Further promotion to the rank of Corporal and beyond is dependant on successful completion of the Engineering Technician apprenticeship and then 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 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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