Career help..

Hi, I'm looking into joining the RE as a soldier and can't decide which trade to go for. I've got A-levels and want something interesting but not something where I'm stuck behind a desk.
Also I want something that gives me a chance to do some combat engineering and that will give me decent employment prospects for the future. Does CMT fit?
Sorry if there's a similar post out there but I couldn't find anything.
CMTs don't really tend to get do their trade unless they are at 170 Group (this is the design centre of the Royal Engineers). A good trade to go for if you are academically minded is design draughtsman. You will get an HNC once you've finished your Class One and will still get to do a fair bit of combat engineering.
Do not go sigs. There is a very good reason why they have so many signallers getting out: because it's tonk!
If you have Alevels then you should consider officer level enlistment, failing that have a look at some of the design or geo trades, speak to a careers advisor at an office they will be able to give you advice and answer any questions that you may have.
OK thanks. I went to a careers office last week and talked to some people but it was only after I left that I started considering the RE (I made the right choice in the end). I'm going again on wednesday to get a bit more in-depth info. Sorry if I'm being daft but what would a CMT be doing in the time that they weren't doing their trade?
Muching Mud - Well thats the technical term.

Ensures quality of building materials and environmental safety of construction sites
A Construction Materials Technician carries out a range of tasks and is the equivalent of a Construction Site Engineer, Control of Site Works and Ground Investigation and Soil Mechanic in the civilian world.
You will work with, or on, concrete technology, bituminous materials, pollution surveys and geophysical investigations. Construction Materials Technicians provide critical design information during construction tasks and test materials such as soil, rock, cement, concrete, bitumen and tar. It’s a varied job and you will occupy a pivotal role in the construction team since people are depending on your knowledge and judgment.


Military Engineer Design (construction Materials Technician)
Royal Engineers
Regular & Territorial

Responsible for providing critical design information on materials to be used in construction tasks.

The Job

As a Military Engineer (Construction Materials Technician), investigation and testing of materials used during construction tasks to provide critical design information, are your responsibilities. The Army carries out construction tasks in widely dispersed locations and varied, challenging environments, and you are likely to find yourself being critical to the success of such tasks. Also trained as a Soldier and Combat Engineer, your skills will enable you to support all three services and even fight as an Infantry Soldier when required.

The Right Job For Me?

Engineers in the Construction Materials Technician role must have good technical and mathematical aptitude, and want to continue learning throughout their time in the Army. The combat part of the job means you should be ready to play a part in supporting the Services under unpredictable conditions in some of the most challenging environments around the world. This essential role has great potential for job satisfaction and opportunities to learn new skills.

What Training Will I Do?

Initial training For Royal Engineers, Phase 1 training normally takes place at Army Training Regiment Lichfield, Staffordshire. During the 14-week course you will learn military skills such as foot drill, how to handle and fire a weapon, how to live and work in the open, and how to tackle an assault course, as well as developing your stamina and fitness. You will be stretched further than you thought possible, and toughen up both physically and mentally. Having successfully mastered these basic military skills, you will take your place in the Passing Out parade in front of an invited audience of parents, relatives and friends.
Further training After completing your basic training you will go on to be trained as a Military Engineer (Combat) at the Royal School of Military Engineering in Minley, Surrey. Here you will learn how to lay and clear mines, place demolition charges, construct bridges and cross water obstacles. You will also be taught about road and airfield construction, camp construction and water supply. After 10 weeks you will start your Category B driver training, followed by a four-week Design Trades Combined Assessment at the RSME Chatham in Kent. During this you will be assessed in all the Design Technician roles and then selected to attend the employment course you show the most aptitude for. If you are selected for Construction Materials Technician, you will remain at the RSME Chatham for a 19-week training course, which will include:
Equipment At RSME Chatham, you will learn how to operate various equipment used to obtain and test material samples (including field testing equipment).
Practical training You will receive instruction in how to conduct analysis of material properties using a range of test equipment and procedures to prescribed standards. Training is also given on the selection and testing of materials to be used in construction, road building and concrete production. This will include all relevant Health and Safety Legislation training.
Driving Taking driving lessons and tests to qualify for a Driver Licence Group B and Groups C+E (Large Goods Vehicles) and become qualified in the transport of Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT).
What Qualifications Could I Get?
Completing Phase 2 training qualifies you as a Military Engineer (Combat) Class 3 and a Military Engineer (Construction Materials Technician) Class 2. At this stage, an NVQ Level 2 in Laboratory and Associated Technical Activities may be offered.

Future Prospects

Soldiers who display good leadership and managements skills and are competent tradesmen may be promoted quickly. Dependent on performance, you may be selected for Clerk of Works (Construction) training; this is an 84-week course and successful completion leads to promotion to Staff Sergeant and a further possible commission as a Garrison Engineer. Your trade is recognised by civilian organisations. The Royal Engineers have their own Commandos, Parachutists, Army Divers, Bomb Disposal and Amphibious Engineers, and you will have the opportunity to serve in any of these specialised roles provided you display the right level of fitness, aptitude and determination.

Hope this helps
Note from above, don’t go Geo. Rumour is they will be all transferred over to the intelligence corp in a few years.

Try, Draughtsman, Engineering Surveyor or one of the fitter trades (Air Conditioning it’s the way forward). Consider Clerk of Works early on in your career if you want to be on the technical side, or if fancy combat streamed then head for the instructors course to fill out your profile and give you the best chance at promotion.

Best Advice I can give is “work on your own career” because your only a number to Glasgow and most young (Maj Level) officers don’t seem to give a toss about anybody other than themselves.

Good Luck
If you are after some specific info on CMT stuff I will ask my next door neighbour. He is the civvy instructor for the CMTs
OK thanks for all your help.
Thanks that would be good plant_life if it's no trouble.
I just read on another thread that air con fitters can't become class 1 cbt engineers. What does this mean and are CMTs the same?
Sorry about all the questions but the army jobs website is a bit sparse with the details.

Thanks again.
Evening all. First post so please bear with me.
Aweston i did the DTCA(design trades combined assessment) recently so got a vague idea of what a CMT does (chews mud). If you want to do combat engineering, forget all the design trades, ie draughty draughty e+m cmt and surveyor you wont be able to do your B1 cbt engr course. The general concensus from all i've been told is that these trades are basically becoming feeder trades for Clk of Works.
If you wont more info on CMT a few on my mates started the course on monday so drop a post or pm me and i'll get you some further information about it.
CMT's get some good quals like labtecs and sh*t like that. Bear in mind that most of the civvy quals at class2 have been removed (surveyors now get nothing at class 2) so if u want them you'll have to stay in a few years and get your class 1.
Hope this helps a little.
Lets put this whole trade thing into perspective. When you join the Royal Engineers you are a Combat Engineer first and foremost. Don’t let yourself think that as soon as you get an artisan trade that this is all you will ever do, All sappers are expected to be able to provide labour on site weather that is filling sandbags, clearing or laying mines, installing demolitions or supporting experienced tradesmen on construction sites. Or the anything on the long, long list of jobs we undertake in the Corp. As a sapper you will be at the bottom of the pile learning the valuable skills which make getting up the ladder more interesting. Also, don’t forget it can be damm hard work!

Design Trades: don’t let anyone tell you that this is only a feeder line to Clk of Works, As an average “design tradesmen” you will practice your trade for about 5% of your time. Only if you get a dedicated post will you be heavily involved in design work. And much of this will be micro managed by over zealous Clk of Wks or other SNCO’s and Officers.

Remember only about 25 to 30 people are selected each year for Clk of Wks courses. (Less Pass)You have to serve for a minimum of 6 to 7 years before you can get on one of these courses. Don’t be fooled, being a Clk of Wks is not a bed of roses. Long hours, Short tour intervals and a general misunderstanding of what you actual do still lingers in the Corp. The rewards however surpass what is offer to the general roster, Good qualifications, wide employment and a very good chance of commissioning if that’s what floats your boat.

Their seems to be a narrow view in a lot of threads like this, don’t discount Combat Engineering, Q Streaming or the Armoured and Amphibian trades.
Plant Ops, Sigs and MT also have their part to play and its only when you get several years in that you can manipulate your career to get exactly what you want. Read the threads but be careful about the advice. Remember, the narrow view and the bitter and twisted remarks is the information you need to filter out. Make an informed judgment on what looks right for you and pick something that you will enjoy.

My advice, Join up, be a good rounded soldier, that is Fit, Interested and Flexible. Look for the best postings but keep one eye on your career. Points to note: No one of any importance is interested in you until you are at least Sergeant. No one really listens to you until you are a Warrant Officer and no one takes any notice until you are a WO1. Additionally get Commando or Para trained it gives you credibility.

Finally: Once you’re in, Enjoy it. Get pissed with your mates, muck about and if its not bolted down, nick it (if it is bolted down, set it on fire :twisted: ) just don’t get caught :) ! Best of Luck.
Witchfindergeneral - absolutely cock on mate - -well, was when I was in - though have to pull you up on your last sentance :-
If it moves salute it, if it don't, nick it :)

nice one mate
WitchfinderGeneral said:
Design Trades: don’t let anyone tell you that this is only a feeder line to Clk of Works,
Once again WFG there I am thinking this individual really talks some sense.....and then you blow it with statements like this. We've all been told "Design Trades are just feeder trades for CoW" already by the SO1 running soldier career management at RE MCM Div! The trades are so valued that the Corps is prepared to chop all the SMI slots at Chatham and turn the training over to a private sector partner paid by how many soldiers pass the course - yet standards will not drop, yeah right.

aweston - most of the advice on here is pretty good. WFG is pretty much spot on and so is pringlelips. I am biased but Surveyor Engineering is probably the best design trade to do. Yes you do not get a civilian qualification at Class 2, but you do earn units towards an HND in Engineering Surveying that you complete at Class 1. To be honest it is the Class 1 qualification that you'll need to take your skills outside the Army (we all have to finish sometime) - and that my friend is where you will excel. Your competition will have completed their training in an academic university environment and will have zero practical experience, even on their courses, whereas surveyors trained at Chatham have an excellent reputation outside because the training is so practically based. If one of your A-levels is in maths you should do well on your survey courses.
TWIF wrote:
We've all been told "Design Trades are just feeder trades for CoW" already by the SO1 running soldier career management at RE MCM Div! The trades are so valued that the Corps is prepared to chop all the SMI slots at Chatham and turn the training over to a private sector partner paid by how many soldiers pass the course - yet standards will not drop, yeah right.

Spot on TWIF, was on that brief....couldnt believe my ears....absolutely shocking in my opinion.

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