Aircraft Technician, Avionics Technician or Armourer?

Hello New guy to ARRSE, excellent site. Hoping for some help and quality advice from those who know.

I am in the process of applying to join the REME and have passed my BARB and first interview.

Currently getting my weight and run time down before I can have my interview with a Sergeant Major and then be put forward to the Recruit Selection Centre.

For my three choices of trade I have gone with Aircraft Technician, Avionics Technician and Armourer.

I have read all of the available information on each trade but I am hoping that some knowledgeable people here can give me their opinions on any of the above trades.

Your experience in the trade? Postings? Recommendations? Any info would be much appreciated.

1. When you finally get fed-up with the Army (or they get fed up with you), you will be much better off with an aviation qualification than a gunsmithing one. :D

2. The working accomodation in the aircraft world is a damned sight better than your average armourer's shop in an inf bn. :D

3. I'm not sure but I think the money is better as well. :?:

4. On the other hand, you won't get to make too many barbecues if you don't work in A&G! :(
Agree with Ex-Para on all of the above, and the money is good (I believe some techs get flying pay when testing aircraft). Downside is that the AAC lads will kick your butt in the block or down town, so learn to box or kung foo.
Well, apart from the last post being a little on the bleak side (I mean really, AAC beating up REME ?! - more liable to lose to the illustrious Corps in a drinking competition in the NAAFI).

Anyways me ol' son, Armourer is a noble trade and an intresting one if you get a decent unit (Anything with Joint in it !) however, Promotion and working conditions and not to mention Civilian Qualifications and prospects are far better (far far far far) as a tech - especially an air/avionics tech.

Be warned though young fella - you had better be shit hot at maths and learning an awful lot very quickly if you are gonna pass the course, if you think you aren't all that good at speed learning then go Armourer (or indeed pick another noble trade) unfortunately Vehicle Electricians are being phased out or you could have become a true REME Tradesman
And you better be good at darts, drinking plenty of brews, telling people to go away, and completing the Sun Crossword if you want to become an armourer. :)
one down side of joining the powder poof side of life that everyone seems to have left out is that the postings in the aircraft world are limited... very limited. If you like Ipswich, you will be fine....

Join as an electronics tech, and the pay/qualifications is the same as the avionics world and the postings and the job is alot more varied...

but as mentioned before, be prepared to put in some serious graft in the classroom before you get out to your unit.
Thanks for the help.

I will go for Aircraft / Avionics tech for the reasons listed here.

I am concerned about the level of learning though.

Can anybody detail the standard needed to pass the maths test at RSC? Is it simple adding and subtraction? Fractions? Percentages? My maths is pretty poor now but I am prepared to study to reach the required level.

On the fitness side of things I went for a "Pipeline Test" run today with 12 potential recruits ran by my careers office. I finished the 1.5 mile run in 12:08.

Can anybody tell me the required time for the REME? I think that I need to do the run in 11:30 at the RSC. Is this correct?

Thanks again for the help.
finished the 1.5 mile run in 12:08
You will need to get that down to 10.30 at least!!
Speedy said:
You will need to get that down to 10.30 at least!!
Failing that, as you seem to determined to go BAT side, try and skive off it by claiming you have "very important" work to do and then bog off down the chippy to fill your face full of pies.

If I had to make the decision (shudder to think), I would definitley go Air Tech as most armourers seem to be very pasty looking fellows that are never exposed to the sun.

You may also wish to learn how to play ukkers, walk around arrogantly at 19 staring at your ill earned stripe, learn to scoff pies like you were Ginsters Cheif Pie Tester and have a complete personality removal.

By doing all of the above, you will qualify for one year knocked off your trade training :D
Some very interesting replies on here! Without revealing all....

Go for Greenie (Avionics) then when you fail the exams, you could get offered normal tech or VE/VM anyway! If you get through, get some time in, study for Civvy Licence (JAR66), get out and make a shed load of cash in USA!

If you dont enjoy Mafffs then aim lower and if guns excite you, then Armourer is a respectable job - always need them on them big action movies - there are some ex-armourers out there doing it! :roll:
Adding ???, Subtracting ????? Deary me young fella, perhaps you SHOULD go Armourer !!!!, We are talking serious maths here Boyo - Equations, Transposition of Formulae (lots and lots of it) and when (and if) you get onto AC theory - lots of phase diagrams with leading and lagging phases, 45 Deg here and there and oodles of Trigonometry !!!!.

Perhaps if you think that Advanced Maths is Addition, Fractions etc you should be looking at another trade !!

Oh and 11.30 I believe is the required time for a BPFA in a TRAINING unit (basic training and trade training) but thats after 2 mins of sit ups and 2 min of press ups as well as an 800 metre warm-up. And the good news ? - you have to do all that in under 10.30 in a proper field army unit i.e. when and if you pass your course, maybe you wanna be running a bit faster me 'ol son !!!.

Don't be put off by the truth but perhaps be a little realistic - Avionics Techs (although a cracking trade) have a very high course failure rate - And REME is a brilliant Corps with many other opportunities, maybe a bit of thought will save you a lot of heartache
I am starting to wonder about my trade choices now.

My maths at the moment is poor. I have a grade C GCSE but I am now 27 and haven't used any maths since leaving school. I would have to learn how to do long division again now, never mind Trigonometry and Equations!

From what you say it seems like I would be expected to learn a very high level of maths (A level / degree standard?) in a few months!

Bearing in mind my standard of maths do you think I would be setting myself up to fail?

While training could I expect to have several hours each evening to study and revise?

Does anybody know what would happen if I could not learn the maths at the required rate? Would I be told what trade I was moving into? Would I have a choice?

Thanks again for the advice, I am off to look at other job choices.
Speak to your recruiter reference the maths exam at RSC he/she should have a copy of a past paper, the entry standard for the phys is lower than once your in so basically show some fibre and do your best in all test even if you can't pass them you'll still probably get in. Don't go armourer look at Mil Engr A or B as third options, aim high shoot low and its easier to fall than climb. Good Luck
Its not all its cracked up to be. Im currently transfering out of the REME cos i am fed up with doing the job and being the last one working on a friday afternoon while the regiment i am with is on the piss.

REME is not all its cracked up to be!!!
Logan, serious side now. Your 27, and attempting to join the Regular Army. You’re considering the aviation side with the REME. I don't think you've really thought about what you’re attempting. Has your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend finished with you and your joining on a whim? First, your fitness. You’re running a 1.5-mile run at 12.08. The basic minimum time is 11.30 in training. That's the MINIMUM time your need to get UNDER. So back in reality, I'd suggest you spend less time here and more time working on your basic fitness. Anything over 10.30 in a unit won't be tolerated. An Army Careers Office will be able to furnish you with literature that will show you what you need to do to bring yourself to this requirement. Don’t think you can blag it and turn up at the Training Regt still running a 12.08. Your attitude and determination will take a battering within days when your in the gym and out on a run with the PTI’s. Next, your education. Aviation tech side, when I served, was difficult to enter into because the standard of education needed to pass the exams. I don't think it would have changed that much in the last few years, as your working on machines that 'fly', hence a high degree of common sense and, dare I say, intellect is required to ensure they don’t fall out of the sky with mechanical problems.

If your failing on both your fitness and maths at the mo, but is serious about your future, I'd work at the above before going anywhere near the careers office.

If you do make it to a unit (either Dishcloth in Yorkshire, Whatasham in Suffolk or overseas), you can look forward to a stripe on your arm straight away, a fully stocked crew room with luxuries denied to the AAC, and more money then you’d know what to spend on (Dishforth is near to Ripon, York and Harrogate, excellent drink towns full of eager ladies). Good luck.
The fact that you have stated on 2 separate occasions that your maths is poor means you may not get the choice of tech trades anyway once you have attempted the aptitude test. Don't know how they do it now but they used to give you a list of trades you could select from based on these scores and all the tech trades were towards the top. Have a look in the library under differentitaion, integration and 'hard' maths subjects and see what you will be letting yourself in for. Good luck by the way as my 24 years as a tech ends this year and I've had a ball!! Proper tech tho', not blue at all.
Some advice for Logan, echoing the comments on these pages...

The maths is tough, chap , but I got through that system with no maths qualifications to my name (well not ones worth it anyway! No GSEs, CSEs, but by hell worked hard at it. The level of maths for Aircraft Tech is lower than Avionics (or it blody used to be!).

If you ask for help you'll get it, but you do need to to work at it. If your'e married/in a relationship consider moving into the camp as you'll need all the time God sends to study in the evening - I did!

But - I dont regret it at all - only donwside is the postings overseas have all but gone now, so a mainstream Tech Electronics or Armourer/VM may offer better chances of seeing the world, getting pissed, meeting strange ladies and generally enjoying it.

Hope you get your choices sorted! :wink:
Go for Greenie (Avionics) then when you fail the exams, you could get offered normal tech
Sort of true, the system is now changing whereby failed Greenies cannot sidestep into the aviation world by taking a "second option" blackie course, and damn right as well. How many failed blackies have gone greenie? A grand total of bugger all!

Logan: I only have a GCSE grade C in maths, and I managed to pass my greenie maths at Artificer level on my upgrader course - its not that bad if you apply yourself and work at it, and seek help where required.
Snakebite - good to see the system is changing!

I had a CSE in 'riffmatic' and managed to get there too!
I hear that you can now get a degree from your Tiffy course? This true?

Can I make a retrospective application - only kidding!
Happy days and memories of Mr B**nes and Math lessons, sweating to death in high summer in the Glass Mountain classrooms. Ahhhhh.....
I hear that you can now get a degree from your Tiffy course? This true?
it certainly is.. i know, i got one.... :lol: :lol:

and i only had a "C" grade GCSE in maths, just had to work damn hard on the course, like everyone does....

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