Sparky or Avionics tech

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Just completed ADSC and passed with a high A so pretty chuffed!

When being interviewed my first choice phase 1 intake isnt untill the second part of 2014 so interviewer suggested my second choice of sparky and also if I had considered avionics tech. They had pushed it when I first started the process of joining, but I wasnt sure. Hoping for some advice from any of you guys on here as to whether it is what its cracked up to be? also thinking of careers outside the army - I know ten years ago this was the case but are the jobs available nowadays really that good?

Apollogises if this is posted incorrectly, this forum is far busier than ones Ive used before!


Hello Pend, welcome to ARRSe.

What you asked is a bit like saying "I'm thinking of emigrating to Dubai, is it any good?"

As with most things, there will be good and bad points about it. This should have been posted in the REME Forum is you wanted max viewing by the SMEs, but not to worry as it may well get moved there anyway.

Avionics (if you're thinking onward career) will give you a solid knowledge base in aviation, but you would still need to do your civilian licenses before getting out if you wanted to attract the higher salary of a basic fitter. It is unlikely you'll find yourself really earning your wage in Afghanistan however, given that we're supposedly drawing down by the end of 14. We are however, returning to contingency (if you've been keeping up on current affairs). Transitional Intervention Capability, personnel at R2, bergens always packed, guys on 72 hours NTM standby, exercises etc. So you could say the aviation world (along with the rest of the Armed Forces) are heading into interesting times.

I found throughout the last 22 years there have been times where I've been sat with brain in neutral and thumb up arse, and times when I have been max-chat wondering when it's all going to stop. There have also been times where I thought I was getting fragged, but I look back in it and wonder what the fuss was all about. Majority of the time, it's money for old rope - and provided you're happy with what you're doing, why you're doing it, and have the resources and equipment to do what you're doing - morale will generally be high. Unfortunately in this current climate with redundancies, people giving Notice to Terminate (NTT) and heavy past commitments, we have been in some dark times which has hit morale considerably.

Bottom line is, whatever career you choose in the forces, it has been for me (and always will be) about those you serve with. Mates for life in the best cases, and the chance to tango with some interesting characters at worst. You get your choppers and mongs in all walks of life - so unsurprisngly you'll have one or two in your unit / section / platoon. These are what the normal people refer to as the 'lower third', which comes from your annual appraisals in where you sit among your peers, so if you find yourself not reading Trekkie mags at weekends on your own in the block at weekends, wanting to kill yourself at the first sign of stress - you can rest yourself assured you're doing ok. On a similar note, don't be too hard on the mongs because at the end of the day - they're propping you up when it comes to promotion time.

Sidetracked a little there - I hope some of that helps. If you really want some better info on the job, I suggest starting with the sticky in the REME forum (Avionics Life) and check out the Army website as it's fairly accurate with the latest guff.

Finally, if you do eventually become an Avionics Tech - you'll be on of God's chosen few. Ladies will fall at your feet. Aircraft Techs will rant with jealousy and try to belittle you. And you will be erotically drawn to mirrors for however many years you stay in.

Good luck though, whatever you decide.
First off Wow! Thank you for such an in depth thought out reply :)

I will be sure to look on the REME threads for more info.

You are exactly right I want to be in the army for the fact it is the army - all the people, PT and humour you dont get anywhere else. I have said myself the trade isnt the be all and end all for me so I think I will go for sparky as that is more interesting for me currently. From looking more in depth at the training and competition for avionics I dont think I want it enough to go for it, being a sparky has always been interesting to me and its not like it leaves you lacking in prospects after the army either.

Thank you again for your thoughts.
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