RAF Survival Equipment Specialist - Level 3 Survival Equipment Fitter Apprenticeship - Advanced (Level 3)

Royal Air Force RAF (Employer)

Ministry of Defence (Training Provider)

Annual wage £18,192.00 to £20,400.00
37.0 hours per week Depending on the role and section you're posted to, you could be working 8-5 Mon-Fri or working shifts 24/7. Total hours per week: 37.00
36 months (duration)
5 October 2021(start date)
Survival equipment fitter (apprenticeship standard)
5 September 2021 (application closing date)
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Job Description

Survival Equipment Specialists are the engineering specialists that fit, repair and maintain aircraft and aircrew Survival Equipment.


RAF Survival Equipment Specialists - known as Survival Equipment Technician - are experts in the modification, maintenance, diagnostics and repair of the Survival Equipment (SE) and Aircrew Equipment Assemblies (AEA) fitted to aircraft and crew members.

As an SE Tech, 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. A core team member, 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.

SE Tech also maintain man-carrying parachuting equipment used by UK Special Forces, Army & Royal Marine units. You will have the opportunity to deploy worldwide, supporting air operations and training in areas as diverse as the USA, Middle East and Europe. Like most people in the RAF, you may move locations every few years as part of your career development (each job is known as an assignment or tour); with further opportunities to diversify into a wide range of roles both within and outside of your trade.

Future Prospects

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

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 Tech 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 opportunities to work outside the trade. As you advance through the ranks on merit, you will have an increased opportunity 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 Technician.

Skills Required

Please view all of the information on the role page on the RAF Recruitment website.

Qualities Required

Please view all of the information on the role page on the RAF Recruitment website.

Qualifications Required

Please view all of the information on the role page on the RAF Recruitment website.

Training Provided

Your training 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 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.

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 Aviation Maintenance (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.

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About the employer

The Royal Air Force is the United Kingdom's aerial warfare force.

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