RE Sparky or Engineer Troop Officer

DC.PL

Crow
Hello, I'm new to the forum so do excuse any unintentional stupidity or ignorance of my questions.

I've been browsing through the forum a lot but can't really find answers to questions that are going through my head before actually starting my application.

Basicaly I am interested in serving for maybe up to 10 years and then using the skills and qualifications gained to go back to a civilian life.

I've narrowed down the job that I would want to do to RE officer or sparky but here's some of my issues. The officer role seems to touch on all trades available which is something that really appeals to me but would I actually gain any formal qualifications from those trades? So for example would i get my level 2/3 in electrical instalation if I was an officer? Or would I strictly be gaining management qualifications and stuff to do with overseeing constructions? I am very interested in the sparky life but I've read a fair amount of threads on this forum which claim that since Ive done uni, got my degree etc it would make little sense for me to sign up as a soldier instead of an officer? I'm 22 by the way.

Furthermore, a friend of mine whom was a carpenter in RE said that he didn't end up getting some of his promised qualifications due to poor management even though he was in service for 6 years? Is that really something that could happen?

Finally I know this is a cliche question but generally whom would be more involved in the front line aspect of things? The official army website and (pretty outdated) videos on YouTube both claim that as a royal engineer, whether as an officer or tradesman I would be involved in combat fairly often.

Any insight is very appreciated, I know that this is a good choice for the future for me but I just need a bit more information to ease my brain. I would hate to do one or the other and then regret my choice further down the line.
 

chimera

LE
Moderator
You are comparing apples with oranges.

If you want trade skills (i.e. be an electrician holding the screwdriver) then join as an electrician. If you are seeking to be a supervisor of engineers, with some training in engineering design and resource management then join as a officer. The entry requirements are different and the training is different. Out of interest, why did you go to University if you wanted to be a sparky? Three or four years going through an apprenticeship would have stood you in far better stead than academic study.

As far as trade training is concerned (and following up your mates issue), the trade training courses are good, but will often require further individual personal development to convert them into equivalent civilian qualifications. This is down to the individual rather than the system.

In terms of exposure to the front line, for the first 10 years, there will be little difference.
 

DC.PL

Crow
Thank you for the quick response.

I wasn't ready for a full time job when I was 18 if I'm to be very honest. thought I'd experience the uni life and get it out of my system, probably should of done a more useful degree than music too

I see exactly what you're saying, hmm it's a tough one really as I'd like to do both. Would you say from your knowledge that the management and organizational aspect of being an officer (which does sound like a fair amount of hussle) is worth the rewards? ie pay and potential doors being open after leaving? The website claims possibilities of being site safety supervisors and all that sort of goodness which honestly in the long term would probably be less draining as I get older.

I have read on this forum that often the qualifications you get by being a regular soldier in RE, again for example a sparky or plumber, aren't enough. so like you said I would have to gain additional qualifications outside of the army to actually get a civilian job? Do you know to what extent that is true?

Also I've read that officers generally have an easier and more glamorous life overall. Is that just a general joke of some sorts or is there something true in it?

One last thing which again is probably pretty cliche, if I were to be interested in doing say close protection after leaving the armed forces, would being an officer stand out more to potential employers significantly more? Or maybe would it be the other way round?
 
Thank you for the quick response.

I wasn't ready for a full time job when I was 18 if I'm to be very honest. thought I'd experience the uni life and get it out of my system, probably should of done a more useful degree than music too

I see exactly what you're saying, hmm it's a tough one really as I'd like to do both. Would you say from your knowledge that the management and organizational aspect of being an officer (which does sound like a fair amount of hussle) is worth the rewards? ie pay and potential doors being open after leaving? The website claims possibilities of being site safety supervisors and all that sort of goodness which honestly in the long term would probably be less draining as I get older.

I have read on this forum that often the qualifications you get by being a regular soldier in RE, again for example a sparky or plumber, aren't enough. so like you said I would have to gain additional qualifications outside of the army to actually get a civilian job? Do you know to what extent that is true?

Also I've read that officers generally have an easier and more glamorous life overall. Is that just a general joke of some sorts or is there something true in it?

One last thing which again is probably pretty cliche, if I were to be interested in doing say close protection after leaving the armed forces, would being an officer stand out more to potential employers significantly more? Or maybe would it be the other way round?

RE Sparky?
RE Officer?
One does
One manages
Close protection?
How serious are you or are are you just dabbling with thoughts? If you are any good as a sparky you could go for a commission. And no, officers don't necessarily have a more glamorous life - they have a different life. While the lads are on the town, the officers has all your admin to sort before HAVING to attend a mess function...
 

Fake Sheikh

On ROPS
On ROPs
It depends on what you want to do really?

It does depend on what you want, a soldier might have trade quals whilst an officer has management skills.
An officer leads the men or trains them, a soldier does the work or helps others to get the job done.

A relevant degree is useful but the army will train you in a trade/skills they require.

What qualifications do you currently have & what age are you?
 

DC.PL

Crow
See im honestly interested in being both a do-er and a manager and close protection as In contracted security abroad. I am very serious, thought had been dwelling on this decision for a very long time and I do honestly feel like the armed forces are for me, I wanted to join at a younger age but I didn't have a British passport until mid 21.

If I were to first be a sparky and then go into commission, realistically what would be the time scale roughly? Or does it vary individually.

Fake Sheikh
Im interested in having a construction trade to fall back on (sparky is one that seems like it would be up my street) but at the same time with management qualification I could potentially earn more for less work in the civilian world? Or am I wrong to think that.

I have i think 11 gcses, As and Bs, 2 of them being languages. 3 A levels, level 3 btec diploma and a 2:1 BA

I am currently 22 stuck in a not so great job
 

Fake Sheikh

On ROPS
On ROPs
Apply & see what they advise?
 

DC.PL

Crow
Yeah you're right, I'm just gone stop overthinking it and do it, see how things unfold. I'm Polish
 
Yeah you're right, I'm just gone stop overthinking it and do it, see how things unfold. I'm Polish
There was a time when it seemed like half the Royal Engineers were Polish. You’re a generation too late...:)

If you want to do CP you’ll need to look at the RMP.
 
...... @DC.PL you seem to be looking at the army as a means to make life easy for yourself in a few years time. The army does not do that unless you put in a lot of hard work yourself.

Also, a decent qualified electrician may earn more than a middle manager who will not have access to overtime, bonuses and possibly doing jobs for cash on the side.

And as @bob_the_bomb said, the RE is not where you'll get the close protection background.

You seem to be looking at the army as a means to escape from your current job. The army isn't an escape from life. That is not the way to look at it. Be honest with yourself, You may find that you are equally stuck and hacked off spending six months in the Falklands not doing your trade.

You need to speak to a recruiting office.

(Sorry if that's harsh)
 
...... @DC.PL you seem to be looking at the army as a means to make life easy for yourself in a few years time.
SNIP/

You seem to be looking at the army as a means to escape from your current job. The army isn't an escape from life.
SNIP/
Why not take that approach?

It's as good a reason for joining the army as any.
 

DC.PL

Crow
@bob_the_bomb damn that's a shame really haha we might make a comeback.
Also surely any corps can get into CP after service as long as they have some sort of combat experience no? Or am I being a biggot

@Ian525 nah you're not being too harsh mate I appreciate your side of the coin, I need to work on myself and better myself more than just in terms of qualifications so this isn't a way of escaping life at all.

I'm going to put more thought into it all and deffinately have a thorough discussion with the recruiters before making my decision but thank you all for input, really appreciate it
 

chimera

LE
Moderator

chimera

LE
Moderator
Also surely any corps can get into CP after service as long as they have some sort of combat experience no?
Maybe, as a journey man door opener, but the big money on the CP circuit is generally ex SF types, and it is real closed shop. The glory days of Olive/Backwater etc in Iraq have long passed.
 

Fake Sheikh

On ROPS
On ROPs
Most Army skills can be utilized in a civilian career, things like C+E, Rough Terrain FLT & ADR as are Trades.
With the current expansion of potential house building over the next 20 years a sparky or chippy looking good.
That said coupled with instructor courses, leadership and promotion potential, a career in the Army looks good on a CV, Do 22/24 years come out WO1/2 with good workable skills that industry look for.

If I was 18 again & knowing what I do now I would sign up for the full 24 years.
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
A couple of things here - you become an officer, I'd hope, in order to command soldiers. That's what officers do as a core activity, plus staff jobs. If you don't want to lead and command soldiers, don't waste Sandhurst's time.

CP is just grunt work - bodyguarding. If you want to do that and do it properly (and it's a truly crap job with long hours and relatively low rewards except at the very, very top end), go RMP, get the courses and the experience. Other CP-style work, hostile environment media and NGO-minding and training is a touch more interesting and less stressful (if you get it right) but also won't make you rich.
 

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