Weapon Technician - Engineering Technician Advanced Apprenticeship - Advanced (Level 3)

Royal Air Force RAF (Employer)

Ministry of Defence (Training Provider)

Annual wage £16,235.00 to £20,650.00
40.0 hours per week Depending on the role and section you're posted to, you could be working 8am-5pm Mon-Fri or working shifts.
39 months (duration)
2 June 2022(start date)
Engineering technician (apprenticeship standard)
1 June 2022 (application closing date)
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Job Description

Weapon Technicians are the aircraft engineering specialist for weapons, weapons systems, explosives, pyrotechnics and aircraft assisted escape systems. We have places available on this apprenticeship throughout the year.


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 specialisation. Within your first few years, you will get the opportunity to deploy overseas in support of the RAF’s mission.

Future Prospects

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 be used to meet the joining criteria for relevant civilian professional bodies.

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.

Reality Check

To join the RAF you will also need to meet fitness, health, nationality, residency, and other criteria, details of which can be found on the RAF Recruitment website.

Skills Required

Please view the desired skills on the RAF Recruitment website.

Qualities Required

Please view the desired personal qualities on the RAF Recruitment website.

Qualifications Required

Grade C/4 or equivalent 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

A link to a list of approved Science and Technology qualifications can be found on the RAF Recruitment role page.

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 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.

During your specialist training you will be enrolled, where eligible, 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.

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