- Maintain the equipment that supports aircraft on the ground (aircraft ground power units etc)
- Test and repair airfield arrestor systems, which prevent aircraft from overshooting the runway
- Overhaul specialist aircraft refuelling bowsers, sweepers and aircraft loader.
Similar civilian roles include Plant technician, Design and test technician, Mechanical engineering technician or Automotive technician.
The official trade name of a RAF Vehicle & Mechanical Equipment Technician is General Technician Mechanical. You will be a specialist engineering technician that repairs and maintains a wide and diverse fleet of specialist airfield support equipment and airfield vehicles that are essential to the smooth running of the RAF, and ensures that aircraft can take off and complete their missions.
You can work on a vast range of equipment including aircraft ground power units, airfield arrestor systems which catch aircraft from overshooting the runway, specialist aircraft and emergency vehicles, aircraft refuellers, aircraft equipment loaders or RAF Regiment specialist light patrol vehicles.
You will be employed in specialist engineering facilities, where you will carry out equipment servicing, investigate faults and make repairs when you find them. These facilities are equipped for extensive maintenance, rectification and use technically advanced test equipment for fault diagnosis and analysis of a wide and varied range of engine management systems.
Like most people in the RAF, you could move jobs every 3 - 5 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 may get the opportunity to deploy overseas in support of the RAF’s mission.
You are enrolled on the apprenticeship as part of phase two (trade) training for the role, meaning you have a guaranteed job the moment you complete it.
Opportunities exist for individuals to gain further training and qualifications in areas such as F-GAS, where they may be required to work on specialist air conditioning equipment and systems used worldwide in support of operations.
As your career progresses, we will continue to train you in new skills, and you will develop fault diagnosis techniques. You may be posted to a specialist area of employment, such as Air Defence Radar, Tactical Communications, Tactical Supply, or the Expeditionary Airfield Squadron where amongst other things you will build temporary engineering accommodation both in the UK and abroad. There are also opportunities to gain a degree with the foundation degree BEng program in either General Engineering or Engineering Management and also opportunities for management and leadership training; in addition, the qualifications and experience you will gain in your RAF career can be used to meet the joining criteria for civilian professional associations to attain EngTech, IEng or CEng.
To join the RAF you will also need to meet fitness, health, nationality, residency, and other criteria detailed on the RAF Recruitment website.
Please view the eligibility criteria on the RAF Recruitment website.
Amongst other requirements you will need to be aged 16 - 48 (Joined by 48th birthday). Please view the eligibility criteria on the RAF Recruitment website.
GCSEs at 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 in English, mathematics and an approved Science/Technology-based subject. See RAF Recruitment website for more details.
- Apprenticeship detail - Level 3 Apprenticeship Engineering Technician - Mechatronics Maintenance Technician (Mechanical)
- Level 3 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Principles
- Level 2 Functional Skills in English
- Level 2 Functional Skills in maths
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 specialist training course, currently at MOD St Athan, near Cardiff, which lasts approximately 47 weeks but is likely to reduce in the future. You will be enrolled on an Advanced Apprenticeship and a team of RAF and Civilian Instructors will teach you mechanical engineering principles. You will then put the theory into practice when learning how to service and repair airfield support vehicles and aircraft support equipment. On successful completion of this training course, you will receive your first posting. Your specialist training, along with the experience you gain on the job, should lead to the award of an Advanced Apprenticeship Level 3 Engineering Technician - Mechatronics Maintenance Technician (Mechanical) with the additional qualification of a Level 3 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Principles by the 3-year point.