Career as REME Avionic/Electronic Tech.

Discussion in 'REME' started by Ondy, Jul 15, 2008.

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  1. Hallo,

    Soonish il be signing up as Avionic Electronic technician, but as yet have not met anyone from REME an poked their ribs with questions until there dog tired about said trade. So if anyone here feels like answering a few questions or just discussing this career please go ahead.

    Forgot to add im hoping to go down the avionic route.

    Does your maths have to pretty hot or is this feed into you at phase 2?
    Do you spend most of the time working with helicopters or do you work with other aircrafts aswell?
    Can you choose between avionic & electronic or are you designated to whichever is in higher demand?
    What are the promotion/travel prospects?
    After 12 years service, what are the civvie propects when your finished?

    Theres more, but thatll do for now hey :D Thanks in advance.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to answers that, and is very helpful. The haters might even have to agree, that avionic tech sounds like a great trade :wink:

    Actually i cant think of any more questions, wouldnt mind knowing what a greenie is though? An if anything else pops up ill post that aswell.
  3. Ahhh, there was another one lurking up there somewhere. Are there any text books i could buy prior to phase 2 to help give a head start, albeit a very nerdy one.
  4. Good post VG, can't really add anything to that from an SEAE point of view.

    All I will say is that when I conduct induction visits to those new to the school, approx 75%+ will say that they want to be either Aircraft or Avionic techs. I then ask why and very few give me a convincing answer. Essentially, a lot of lads and lasses are being fed some duff info (faster promotion, more money, better quals) from the ACIO staff which shapes them towards the light blue side of the Corps. I would approximate that a class of 12 would have 8 go land systems and 4 air so some will be disappointed.

    What I say to all (and this includes those who may want to go Land Systems) is that they should use their time in the school to form an opinion of their own and not be guided by what an Inf or whatever recruiting Sgt has told them at the ACIO.

    Speak to the lads and lasses in front of you on equipment courses, definitelt speak to the Upgraders and make the choice that suits you.
  5. Sounds like great advice that, thanks for your info.

    I really want to go avionic tech,; its what my grandad did when he was serving in WWII, hes top a bloke who everyone in the famiy can always rely on; an I admire him greatly for his accomplishments in and out of the army and hope to achieve a few of my own successes in that industry.

    Hopefully if i show enough enthusiasm i wont get put onto land systems, but can you give some pointers to help prevent future disappointment? Dont get me wrong though i do think land systems is a good trade (before i step on someones toes :D ), just already got the mind set on being avionic tech.
  6. I'm in exactly the same shoes as you at the moment mate. Really wanting to go for Avioncs.. I can't think of anything better than working on the electronics for Apache helicopters, or even on the Lynx!

    If i get put into land systems, i won't complain but i'll be a little disappointed. I've got still got selection to get out the way first tho next week, so one hurdle at a time me thinks!
  7. Exactly how i feel about it man, in my opinion avionic technology is almost peaking so being able to operate on these machines when were at the height of engineering would be something in itself. Would you start learning the syllabus before phase 2 or do you reckon thats excessive?

    Good look at selection anyway mate, hope everything goes well for you. The TST is a doodle aswell, but might want to take your own calculator, the ones at lichfield were pretty useless.
  8. Im gonna try take it one step at a time.. I think basic will have enough pressure on you, nevermind trying to learn Phase 2.

    I'll let u know how selection goes :)
  9. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the "old" electornics trades of ECE, Tels and Radar that now constitute land systems I believe, in fact there are a few ups to not going Air.

    There is more scope for "engineering" ie actually getting in there and fixing a problem in the field by whatever means necessary in land systems than there is in Air (for some very good reasons). i.e if you havn't got the correct part torqued to the correct setting using the proper tool then the cab doesn't fly, Tanks etc are a little more forgiving on that front.

    The Posting are more varied

    There is nothing quite like mucking in with a fitter section on an armoured squadron and giving the VM's and Recce mechs a hand with there job even if at first it is only handing them spanners.

    In my day (swings lantern) Tech's were fair game for micky taking by the rest of the Corps but the light blue side got it even more, probably because the rest of the Corps never actually got to serve with the Air side as then their training was conducted at Middle Wallop and not at SEAE, I'm sure this is less of the case now.

    Anyway as sparky says get a good look at trades other than Air tech and Av tech, they are not the be all and end all and you will get just as much satisfaction and just as much chance to impress in the other three.

  10. Yeah post back, would be good to see how you find it.

    Although im heavilly biased towards avionic, you guys do have the blessing of hindsight and much experiance so will definatley speak to those already at the SEAE about how they feel on the trades.

    Basically i thought avionic would have more long term benifits for when youve finished serving but it sounds like that is not the case, especially if you need to get more proper quals later on.

  11. If you're looking at the long term, then there are ex greenies (and blackies for that matter, although we won't talk too much about them, they'll only get angry if we use words with more than two syllables!!) working in civvie street, earning more than £20 an hour. That's over £40,000 a year. That's unlicensed, in the UK and non conny. There's load of work out there and even bigger money if you're prepared to travel and work short term contracts. Or you could fix tanks--loads of them in civvie street!!!!! INCOMING!!!!!!!!!!!!
  12. The only tanks you see in civvie street are pink ones at gay parades. Not that ive been to a gay parade just something ive heard :oops: . Tax & mot exempt though :wink:

    Somewhere on this site, when i applied to join up, at the same time as the 'forward as one' add campaign (worked on me!) someone said that you can do your 12 years, then bugger off to the USA an work other there. Although im not 100% sure ill do 12, havent even started yet, can say that travel would not be an issue.

    But thats really looking ahead, ill just get down, work hard at the SEAE and get away from the bars so hopefully ill be picked to go on as greenie.
  13. Ondy - dont worry most of the Greenies and Blackies find it hard to be in the nars as they mostly have problems with socialising and being around non wargamers.

    Zapped - good post, you cant move for the amount of Apache's that are buzing around on civvy street either. Think of something electronic and then remember that we can all fix it. My ex tiffy is now out and works on security systems installed in Airports all over the world. A pretty interesting job which pays a lot more than the £40k p a quoted by someone else with free travel to boot.

    We all have the same training boys, a box change is a box change no matter what the end item is!
  14. Alright all.

    Just left Arborfield myself, after a rather lengthy tenure of phase 2 training. I'll add what I can.

    You probably have a basic break-down/insight of the courses involved with being a tech, but I know for a fact that the information I was given in the Careers Office was significantly wide of the mark, so here it is as I see it.

    After a one week induction (visiting various departments, signing paperwork, meeting the key personalities of the regiment) the next scheduled course is Key Skills. I honestly cannot remember the length of this, although the figure of two weeks is stuck in my head. Very basic, can you switch on a computer, etc.

    Next is Common Foundation, or CF. Then comes Technical Foundation, or TF. Each is six weeks long, with a healthy dose of bench fitting (two weeks) thrown in for good measure. Bench fitting is basic hand skills, cutting, filing, measuring etc.
    CF and TF are very basic maths/science courses, broke up into modules with each module culminating in an exam. Nothing too difficult.

    It is at this point that you will decide whether you are going to be a Blackie (Aircraft Tech) or a Electronics Tech (Land Systems or Avionics are not defined at this point).

    Next is Basic Electronics, or BE. Approximately 6 months long and again, nothing outrageously taxing. Some modules are more difficult than others, you'll be introduced to pieces of kit that wouldn't look out of place in a sci-fi movie, but don't let it phase you.

    Ater this you will be deciding whether to be an Avionics Technician (Greenie) or to embark upon the hallowed CEA (Common Electrical Applications) course to become a Land Systems Technician.

    I think the Avionics course is a further 6 months, whereas CEA is 12 weeks, and then a Land Systems tech will specialise in a particular equipment (timings vary depending upon the equipment) before being posted out to his unit.

    Now when I arrived at SEAE much of our induction was geared to making us understand that despite signing up as Aircraft, Avionics or Land Systems, at this point we were generic technicians and our paths would be determined by aptitude showed on the courses. For instance, an aspiring Aircraft technician would be expected to prove he can work with his hands on the bench-fitting course.
    We were also told that competition for Avionics courses would be extremely tough, and that only the top one or two from each BE course of 12-16 might make it.

    This as it turned out, wasn't the case.
    Not one person from my course wanted to go Avionics, the course in front had volunteered only one or two people and the course behind didn't plan on volunteering anybody either.
    The ASM came down and told us in no uncertain terms that at least four of us WOULD be on that course, and if we couldn't decide between ourselves then he would start pulling names out of a hat. Either way, the next course WOULD be filled.

    It got sorted in the end.

    It is certainly not my place to guess why the numbers of people opting for Avionics has dropped, and it would seem there are people here far better armed to answer that question.
    I do know the reasons that none of my course wanted an Avionics trade, and I'll put them forwards if I recieve the blessings of those involved with the trade.

    A few things about Arborfied;

    - Nobody is going to hold your hand, regarding the workload. It is a fairly intense course, all very academic. You will be treated like an adult and expected to work on your own shortcomings. If you're a prodigy who can spend every night down the NAAFI and still pass exams, fair play. If you have to revise of an evening to obtain good marks then this is showing discipline, which is expected of you.
    You will see those who spend every night on the lash, scrape through exams but stay on course by achieving the bare minimum. So be it, but more often than not these blokes do come unstuck.

    - SEAE itself is an excellent place in my opinion. I've been to various other units on detatchments/courses during my time there, and Arborfield exceeds them all.
    Other phase 2 regiments can be extremely keen on "bullshit," or messing you around for the sake of messing you around. This can include endless parades eating up your spare time.
    SEAE understands (or at least this is my take on it, I could be completely wrong) that phase 2 technician training is long enough as it is, without making it any more unbearable.
    You are still a phase 2 soldier, and as such you will still be expected to act like a soldier under training, but it is far more relaxed than some other establishments.
    Mind your P's and Q's, pay the correct compliments, keep your nose clean and run like the wind. Couldn't be simpler.

    If there's anything else you want to know I'll be happy to help.
    If anybody else feels I've overstepped my mark here then please let me know, and I'll remove any offending lines of my post.

    • Like Like x 1
  15. Those glass cockpits in Spitfires, Hurricanes, Typhoons and Lancasters were real buggers to maintain, and as for the helicopters....

    Someone is pulling your plonker....

    Reminder to everyone:

    Modern electronics hadn't been invented in WW2: they used valves, the "burn yourself on hot glass" type.

    Helicopters are a more recent invention, too: Only 400 American models had been built by the end of the War and they were not used in Europe, although Germany had built a prototype in the mid-1930s.