Avionics/Electronics Tech or Armourer?

Evening all,

I recently completed my BARB (Score 70), Numeracy and Literacy tests (Level 2 on both). I have my first interview on Saturday so i'm now at the point where i have to make my final decision on a trade. I've been pulling my hair out for the last few months, i would come to a decision only to read things on ARRSE that would put me off or make my think twice. I'm looking for some info on a few different trades but also some general advice from people in the know. Where better to ask than here?

It might help if i tell you what appeals to me about the army, first and foremost i want to learn a trade that i will be able to use after the 22 years as i intend to do the max term, a job where every day is different and possibly have postings abroad so i would also get the chance to see the world. Although a fat pay packet sounds nice its not essential, just a trade where its possible to progress and get promoted. Also, generally when on tours/ops i wouldnt want to be stuck at the main bases, i would like to get out in the thick of things, supporting the infantry.

After looking at Intel, Signals and REME i have narrowed the choices down to 2 or 3.

First of all - Avionics Technician. This trade has been recommended to me by pretty much everybody. Although it sounds like a great career move most of the positive things said about it (advice from previous Av techs, my recruiter etc) have been about life after 8 or 10 years in to service or on Civvy street, or about the free time that i would get to participate in sport. Yes i know that its possible to come out and end up in a 30 - 40k job but what is life like as an Avionics Tech for the first 10 years? Is it true that they get a lot more free time than, say Ammo techs or Armourers? Do they ever see any action or are they, like i said stuck at main bases? Whats the postings like? I've heard they are very limited these days and i should not choose this trade unless i love Waitsham.

Second - Armourer. This trade appeals to me massively but when i discuss it with people serving at the moment they dont seem so sure. The way i'm looking at it - i would be supporting the infantry in a variety of roles. There would be a chance to gain qualifications that i could use in later life and there would be plenty of postings. Some of the negative things i have heard about this trade is that the qualifications i would get wouldnt be as useful on civvy street. People have said that with my quals (12 GCSE's A*-C) and BARB results that i should be aiming for something higher. Would you agree with this? With the information i've got i'm not sure i do as Armourer looks a challenging role anyway.

I also have an interest in contruction/demolition - can anybody suggest any other possible trades that i may have overlooked before i make my mind up?

Also, my recruiter has told me to go for the highest and if i am not happy while training i would be able to transfer. How easy is this to do after starting training?

For people with information or past experience with these trades, could you give me some information on what you are likely to be doing day to day for the first few years?

Obviously a massive decision to make so any advice would be appreciated


Welsh Soldier PP



War Hero
First of all it is better to start of doing the trade you want to do you can transfer but it is not always as easy as people might imply.

I can recommend Armourer, If I was to join again I would Join up as an Armourer I have done 8 Op tours and served with 4 Inf Bns 7 of the 8 tours with the Inf. If that is what you want you can push to go to the infantry Units.

It used to be the case that who ever did best on the Basic course got the choice of postings not sure if it is still the case but that is a bit of an incentive to do well.

Armourers deploy forward with the Inf Coys even if no other tradesmen are required so as a Cfn Armourer you might be the only REME in an isolated location and people will expect you to cut the mustard. Fantastic job and very rewarding.

As for a job after the Army very few REME tradesmen continue in the trade they have learnt in the Army including the Mechanics most go in to some aspect of management.

What ever you choose to good luck.

The 3 careers i chose were Avionics technician, Ammunitions technician, and the infantry.
dont just check here for advice, some people are right sarky gits :p

Anyway, according to one of my friends, even though avionics technician has a decent wage, its apparently crap (for lack of a better word), it apparently isnt "out there" in the thick of it and even though im hoping to pass my test at ADSC to get the avionics job, im hoping i might fail aswell because of that ;) I would much rather be out there "in the thick of it" as you said.
D3ENT - you're friend is right. Life as an Avionics technician isn't out in the thick of it.

The Army is a big company and as such we have a range of guys and girls who fill certain posts. Avionics is a particularly cerebral trade and to be able to do that you have to have a certain aptitude. If you then also factor in the long training (approx 2 and a wee bit years) then the end result is a fairly bright, well trained soldier who should be able to turn their hand to complex technical tasks. If these people were to be in the thick of it then we would lose a lot more. I am aware of the timing of this post and the recnt events before someone wants a pop. Quite simply, the Army can't afford to lose that skillset so often.

If being further forward is your thing, then go for it and I wish you the best of luck in your career. Please though have a little think about the future. What skills will you leave the Army with? What will you be able to do once you leave? If you could be an ammo tech or an avionics tech you might just find that a trade will suit you more for the future. After all you're not always going to be a young man and you may not always want to be in the thick of it.
You have been told about Armourers and Av Tech. Im an ECE or Elec Tech as it is now :x

The REME is short of Armourers so you will get lots of postings and trawls for Tours. Too many baby Techs in the REME so you could have a crap boring time or be lucky and get some of the good postings.

We work on the Warrior, CR2, AS90, CVR(T) so we get to the front "In the thick of it" too. With a CR2 Regt on the Fitter Sect CRRARV you could be pulling a Tank out of a battle for repair.

I was lucky enough to be in Basra Palace for the last 3 months before the pullout in Sept 07. There was no front line there, everyone was in the thick of the mortar action.

With everything in life, its as good as you make it. All 3 trades are needed, all 3 trades can get in "the thick of it" and all 3 trades can get killed on tour.

What do you enjoy more day to day? That should sway your thinking.

Good luck with your application.