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Avionics tech in AAC vs RAF

lsmi97

Swinger
Hi all, I'm wondering whether I should do the avionics tech role in the Air Corps or the RAF. I am told that in the RAF you get looked after better and a few ex army people have said always go for the RAF over the army no matter what, it's a better career etc. However from my research on the websites I've seen that with the AAC you get a Bsc degree in electrical engineering and after Phase 2 you get promoted straight to Lance Corporal, whereas in the RAF you only get a Level 3 NVQ and I think you start off as regular private/airman. So to me the Army seems like the better option however everyone advises the RAF. Any help would be greatly appreciated thanks!

Oh yeah and I'm wrong already haha it's the REME not AAC that do the avionics.
 

lecky

War Hero
Hi all, I'm wondering whether I should do the avionics tech role in the Air Corps or the RAF. I am told that in the RAF you get looked after better and a few ex army people have said always go for the RAF over the army no matter what, it's a better career etc. However from my research on the websites I've seen that with the AAC you get a Bsc degree in electrical engineering and after Phase 2 you get promoted straight to Lance Corporal, whereas in the RAF you only get a Level 3 NVQ and I think you start off as regular private/airman. So to me the Army seems like the better option however everyone advises the RAF. Any help would be greatly appreciated thanks!

Oh yeah and I'm wrong already haha it's the REME not AAC that do the avionics.
At some stage in your life, you will leave whatever force you choose to join.
Which one of these organisations offer the broadest experience for you to (hopefully) capitalise upon when you leave?
 

lsmi97

Swinger
At some stage in your life, you will leave whatever force you choose to join.
Which one of these organisations offer the broadest experience for you to (hopefully) capitalise upon when you leave?

Seems so far the army based on the qualifications they give. I'm guessing in the REME you'd have the chance to get other quals as well?
 
So to me the Army seems like the better option however everyone advises the RAF.

Yeah, go REME, then you'll only have yourself to blame for the regret later in life.
 

lecky

War Hero
IO
Seems so far the army based on the qualifications they give. I'm guessing in the REME you'd have the chance to get other quals as well?
I didn't say qualifications, I said experience...…...and nobody "gives" qualifications to anybody, they'll be earnt.

Actually, I'm thinking this for you:
 

lsmi97

Swinger
IO

I didn't say qualifications, I said experience...…...and nobody "gives" qualifications to anybody, they'll be earnt.

Actually, I'm thinking this for you:

I suppose "on offer" would have been a better choice of words. And in the case of experience, I don't really know very well, I don't know anybody who is or has been in the RAF. If I had to guess I think the RAF would offer more opportunity to travel and maybe the army would expose me to more different types of jobs and people.
 

lecky

War Hero
I'll spell it out for you. The Experience you'll gain:
Army Air Corps Avionics: Predominantly, you'll get Helicopter experience?
Air Force Avionics: Any and all from Fast Jet, Prop Transport, Trainers, Helicopters, Tankers, Air Liners..... Any and all modes of Air Transport Experience might be open to you?
You'll get a posting roughly every 5 years on average and with it will probably come with a change in a/c Type.

Now, apply that to your chances of continuing your Avionics trade, in employment after your service?

Also, I would check out Post Graduate employment rates for Electrical Degrees, if I were you. Compared to other degree courses, you might be disappointed to find out that you may be overqualified in trade and in the wrong branch of Engineering?
Then again you might be lucky?
 

lsmi97

Swinger
I'll spell it out for you. The Experience you'll gain:
Army Air Corps Avionics: Predominantly, you'll get Helicopter experience?
Air Force Avionics: Any and all from Fast Jet, Prop Transport, Trainers, Helicopters, Tankers, Air Liners..... Any and all modes of Air Transport Experience might be open to you?
You'll get a posting roughly every 5 years on average and with it will probably come with a change in a/c Type.

Now, apply that to your chances of continuing your Avionics trade, in employment after your service?

Also, I would check out Post Graduate employment rates for Electrical Degrees, if I were you. Compared to other degree courses, you might be disappointed to find out that you may be overqualified in trade and in the wrong branch of Engineering?
Then again you might be lucky?

Oh right yeah I get that, I'm not necessarily looking for a career fixing planes after getting out, which is why the degree is attractive. If I purely wanted a career fixing planes then yeah I'd 100% go RAF. I also suspect however there's not that many avionics techs out there (and even apparently in REME they're quite short of avionic and aircraft technicians) so perhaps I'd still have a good chance to become one even still, and how much different can the electrical systems be? I've had a look on sites like Glassdoor and the average rate for an electrical engineer is quite high at like 38k p/y flat which I'd be happy with. Obviously who knows what it's gonna be like when I do leave but then I'd never do anything if that's all I thought about, but I think myself that it would be a useful degree considering everything is going electric like cars and such.

I'm more worried about how my time in the forces might turn out as it's still a pretty significant chunk of my life, is the army really much worse than the RAF in terms of treatment and living conditions and such?
 
lecky has pretty much spelled it out; the variety is what matters. You'll get a wider spread of experience and if you get a civvy qualification (EASA B2) you will walk straight into an airline job afterwards. Working on helis as an avo doesnt just restrict you to staying stuck on helis, as avionics is avionics, no matter what the vehicle is, but the wider experience in the RAF is better for your career. Also, it gives you an opportunity to break into other industries such as oil and gas, chemical, industrial instrumentation work.
 

windswept398

Old-Salt
You are acting like you have both jobs in the bag.
I haven't been in the REME avionics trade but have a mate who is. And he said his postings are very limited. It's a good trade but very narrow. As for the RAF, easier life but and better opportunities once you get out.
But when you are out, you have to admit you were in the RAF. Your call.
 
A friend was RAF Avionics who as a SAC(T) was sent on a 2 year HND course.
At that time a Degree and you ended up as a JEng on a flight, but RAF you stay in trade or are multi trained.
He left the RAF at 9 years with fistful of qualifications, joined the RAFVR and has stayed current with certification.

REME you are Army first, I served with a Tiffy who spent last 5 year till the 24 year mark as Training WO2/WO1.
Both in Regular & Reserves forces and he was bored crapless as not doing his trade.

So RAF will offer you good trade training fixed wing & rotary.
Whist REME (AAC) are predominantly rotary with some fixed wing.
 
As someone who attested to become a BAT, ended-up flying for the AAC, worked with the RAF in a 'Joint' establishment, my advice to the OP is to apply to the RN.

Greenie's work these days seems mainly swapping-out LRU and FOD-plods.
 

lsmi97

Swinger
lecky has pretty much spelled it out; the variety is what matters. You'll get a wider spread of experience and if you get a civvy qualification (EASA B2) you will walk straight into an airline job afterwards. Working on helis as an avo doesnt just restrict you to staying stuck on helis, as avionics is avionics, no matter what the vehicle is, but the wider experience in the RAF is better for your career. Also, it gives you an opportunity to break into other industries such as oil and gas, chemical, industrial instrumentation work.

If you don't mind me being a pain how would that work? In terms of airline jobs I understand that the RAF would be the better call but surely if the army offer the opportunity of a degree that'd open more varied doors?

You are acting like you have both jobs in the bag.
I haven't been in the REME avionics trade but have a mate who is. And he said his postings are very limited. It's a good trade but very narrow. As for the RAF, easier life but and better opportunities once you get out.
But when you are out, you have to admit you were in the RAF. Your call.

Apologies, I don't mean to come off that way but I'm just thinking in terms of what to go for. I've already started the application for the army and met with the recruiter etc. but I'd have to wait a year before applying for the RAF.

As someone who attested to become a BAT, ended-up flying for the AAC, worked with the RAF in a 'Joint' establishment, my advice to the OP is to apply to the RN.

Greenie's work these days seems mainly swapping-out LRU and FOD-plods.

I'd like to do the RN for all the travelling and working on the aircraft carriers but I'd need A-Levels to do this kind of job according to the website, which I don't have.

A friend was RAF Avionics who as a SAC(T) was sent on a 2 year HND course.
At that time a Degree and you ended up as a JEng on a flight, but RAF you stay in trade or are multi trained.
He left the RAF at 9 years with fistful of qualifications, joined the RAFVR and has stayed current with certification.

REME you are Army first, I served with a Tiffy who spent last 5 year till the 24 year mark as Training WO2/WO1.
Both in Regular & Reserves forces and he was bored crapless as not doing his trade.

So RAF will offer you good trade training fixed wing & rotary.
Whist REME (AAC) are predominantly rotary with some fixed wing.

Interesting.

Thanks all for the advice so far
 
I'd like to do the RN for all the travelling and working on the aircraft carriers but I'd need A-Levels to do this kind of job according to the website, which I don't have.
What's stopping you? Have you enquired about the possibility that the RN are so strapped for suitable candidates they might offer you a job on condition of getting them?
 

lsmi97

Swinger
What's stopping you? Have you enquired about the possibility that the RN are so strapped for suitable candidates they might offer you a job on condition of getting them?
I'm almost 23 and it'd take about 2 years to get them. Plus I work full time at the moment and I don't think I could afford to go back to full time education.
 
I'm almost 23 and it'd take about 2 years to get them. Plus I work full time at the moment and I don't think I could afford to go back to full time education.
You only need A levels if you want to apply for the Accelerated Apprenticeship Program, you don't need any quals to apply for a standard AET role.
My nipper looked at all three Services for avionics tech jobs, and he is one of these people that analyses everything to the nth degree. He discounted the RAF straight away, and only chose the REME over the Navy because he didn't want to be away from home for long periods; that's his choice, if you want to travel more then go with the Navy. Something to consider too is that your electronics training with the REME will mean you can post to units as an Electronics Technician too, so not just working on Helicopters. My nipper's first posting is with the Royal Artillery fixing their UAV (drones). This also means you can deploy on exercise with these land-based units too i.e. California, Canada etc.
 

lsmi97

Swinger
You only need A levels if you want to apply for the Accelerated Apprenticeship Program, you don't need any quals to apply for a standard AET role.
My nipper looked at all three Services for avionics tech jobs, and he is one of these people that analyses everything to the nth degree. He discounted the RAF straight away, and only chose the REME over the Navy because he didn't want to be away from home for long periods; that's his choice, if you want to travel more then go with the Navy. Something to consider too is that your electronics training with the REME will mean you can post to units as an Electronics Technician too, so not just working on Helicopters. My nipper's first posting is with the Royal Artillery fixing their UAV (drones). This also means you can deploy on exercise with these land-based units too i.e. California, Canada etc.

Very cool, is he enjoying it? How come he discounted the RAF straight away?

I initially went in to the recruiters looking to become aviation groundcrew but they recommended me REME jobs based on my GCSE's and aptitude score. It's just that when I spoke to people they all said RAF but I think that's only based on how you're treated when you're in there, and not to forget it's probably different now compared to when they were in the army.
 
Very cool, is he enjoying it? How come he discounted the RAF straight away?

I initially went in to the recruiters looking to become aviation groundcrew but they recommended me REME jobs based on my GCSE's and aptitude score. It's just that when I spoke to people they all said RAF but I think that's only based on how you're treated when you're in there, and not to forget it's probably different now compared to when they were in the army.
Yes he is. If I remember correctly he was more interested in working on helicopters than fixed wing aircraft which put him off the RAF (I know they have Chinook) and the itinerant nature of the on-going training. It really all boils down to what you want from your career; you can always transfer if you're totally dissatisfied.
 

lsmi97

Swinger
Yes he is. If I remember correctly he was more interested in working on helicopters than fixed wing aircraft which put him off the RAF (I know they have Chinook) and the itinerant nature of the on-going training. It really all boils down to what you want from your career; you can always transfer if you're totally dissatisfied.

Ah right. Thanks for the advice.
 

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