tech or black hand? any advice much appreciated!!!

Discussion in 'REME' started by Mossy, Jan 22, 2007.

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  1. It is definatley the REME that I want to join without doubt!! Just wondering which career path is the best in terms of qualifications, excitement and career prospects? BlackHand or Tech???
  2. It's a long time since I was in but in my time it wasn't so much the trade you were in as the unit. I did find however that the blackhand gang tended to be more integrated with the teeth arms and the techs spent more time in static or semi static workshops. As a VM/ Armourer/Recy Mech you can pretty well say that you can get to serve in almost every unit in the army whereas as a tech there is less variety. I was a VMB and served with Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery , Ghurkas,R.Sigs,RASC/RCT,REME Wksps and even the Small Arms School Corps. You takes your pick and you takes your chance.
  3. cheers m8 thanks for the advice
  4. A lot of the tech training is theory, going quite in depth. The drawback is that most military technical equipment is based on "tried and tested" as apposed to cutting edge technology.

    At a Battalion, you would find yourself working on a form of Automated Test Equipment, ATE, which would see you diagnosing faults on individual electronic units (a control consol or display for example). Most of the diagnosis is automated and therefore is "monkey see, monkey do".

    At a Workshop or Light Aid Detachment, you will be more likely to "box change" when working on tanks, missile systems etc. The job is however more rewarding than at a battalion. With the demise of the Vehicle Electrician trade group, you would certainley at a first line unit find yourself chasing electrical faults on vehicles or assisting with the mechs (if they let you!).

    If you are looking for job satisfaction, I would probably say look towards the black hand gang. If you want quicker promotion but a lesser quality of job satisfaction (in my own opinion), go tech.

    Whatever you do choose though, DO NOT GO AIR SYSTEMS!!!
  5. Hey Mossy,
    Usually I would always try to promote the ancient art of "A" Mechary. Even if only because deep down I know that if God had his time again he would've re-traded to an A mech. BUT! Mossy, if you have the Quals required to become a Tech, IMHO you should go for it. All the stuff that Craftsmanx and Rockstar say is true and applicable and in addition to, if you became a tech and ended up hating it, it's a lot easier to try and re-trade to black-hand than it is go vice-versa. Obviously, this is my opinion and should be treated as such but what is LAW is DO NOT GO AIR SYSTEMS!!!

    Enjoy your time!

  6. You'll get accelerated promotion as a tech, a source of much 'banter' between the trade groups, and the chance to work on a great variety of sophisticated weapon platforms. Or you could be stuck in 2nd line working in electronic repair vehicles (Box bodies with test rigs that go 'beep'). The thing is, and I'm sure most will agree, the 'Job' can be dull at times (electronics especially) but it's the banter that most of us enjoy. Okay, there's a certain satisfaction in fixing stuff.

    You'll get quals that are recognised in civvy street for whatever trade you pick so you need to have a think about what you want to be doing in a few years. Are you in for the full career? Just want to get a trade and leave? Something in between? Either way, pick what you want to do and don't be bullied by the careers office staff. Unless, of course, you have a change of heart and just want to "Kill, kill, stab, stab, kill!" Then it's the infantry for you.

    Good luck.

    Notice how I refrained from using this post to bash the Blackhand boys. This is because they lack the wit to defend themselves. He says from the anonymity of t'interweb in that oh so arrogant way that gets us techs a bad name.

    Edited to add: Oh yes, and the air systems thing! It takes a very special person to make an avionics tech. Not to be confused with air techs who demand our respect for being able to work in the air systems world without going postal. Good luck to you too, VMs in powder puff berets.
  7. Cheers for all the info, you have all been very helpful. By Air Systems do you mean Avionics Tech. What everyone i have talked to on and off this site advise me to steer clear. What is so bad about it?, I am totally clueless!
  8. If you want a job that takes you away from the comfort of 'centralised catering' (remember, real soldiers cook their own food in the field) affords you some independence and a job that everyone wishes they were doing... try Recovery Mechanic. Its not the best career for salary or progression but you cannot fault it for cammeraderie and variety.
  9. Easy distinction:
    Tech if you want the education , quick promotion, geek type respect and the opportunity to spend more time at an all REME unit such as 3 bn.
    Black hand if you want to have fun, get great job satisfaction( first line anyway), flexibility in postings (VM,Armr needed everywhere) :highfive: respect from your peers and yourself knowing you have earned promotion, shit quals but who gives a fkcu when you are in the Army.
    As Iremember the first opportunity techs had to have some real fun was about the 6 year point getting one of their few postings with tanks or infantry. there are still a few specialised jobs with cdo forces etc but these tend to be well subscribed.
    Good luck and hope you make the right decision for yourself.
  10. Mossy,

    Let's start from the basics! What qualifications do you have now, and what qualifications are you studying for (and your chances of success)?

    Are you a doer or a thinker? Do you mind getting cold and wet?

    Then tell us where your interests lie. Are you mad about anything? Aviation? Cars? Computers? Have you dismantled a car engine? Or are you the computer expert to whom everyone turns when the computer makes 5 beeps on start-up and then sulks?

    Once we have that information, we'll take the mickey and point you in the right(ish) direction.

  11. Well, I have the required GCSE's to become a tech although I have no education beyond secondary school. I am interested in computers but I am by no means an expert (wouldnt know how to fix them for instance).

    I would consider myself a person who like to get stuck in. I have worked on numerous buding sites since leaving school and I am currently doing manual labour in a factory.

    Going by all your advice on this thread (its been of massive help to me) I am leaning more towards the blackhand side of the corps. I like being 'one of the lads'. The thing putting me off the tech side of the job is the apparent lack of respect they seem to get. I believe they work very hard should be graced with more respect. A part of me is inclined to say f*** the people who are prejudice towards techs in this way and just go for it. For though I am still undecided!
  12. Thanks for the vote of confidence!

    I am an Aircraft Tech, ie Helicopter VM. If you want to learn all about electronics then choose Avionics tech, or other electrical based trade such as Electronics tech or Radar tech etc. If you want to learn about gearboxes, jet and piston engines, theory of flight etc etc then choose Aircraft tech. If i were you i wouldn't go to a black hand trade and would choose any tech trade. You will be a Sgt at 5 years, and you will have real qualifications you can use in civvy street when you eventually leave.

    With the new regulations regarding promotion if you dont go tiffy, you are no longer limited to Artisan SSgt, as you can choose the RQMS route later to get promoted and increase your pension.

    If you do choose a black hand trade, then realistically you can expect to be a Sgt at or around you 12 year point, with exactly the same career prospects as a Tech, ie Tiffy or Artisan, with the same restrictions.

    And before anyone starts slagging me as a tech w####er, i served for 7 years in the Royal Engineers as a Plant Fitter, which is the RE equivalent of a VM, and i have seen both sides of the fence, so i regard myself as pretty impartial when it comes to stuff like this. What i would say though is, whatever you decide to do don't spend your time slagging off people who do a different job to you.

    If you choose to take on a black hand jod then i guarantee you will enjoy it....i did. I spent 6 years working with VM's in Germany, and thoroughly enjoyed my time doing a varied and interesting job. If you choose a tech trade be prepared to get slagged off most black hand trades, but sit back in the knowledge that you will be getting paid more, more quickly.

    Whatever you decide i am sure you will enjoy yourself when you get out of trade training, be that at Arborfield, St. Athan, or Bordon.

    Good Luck
  13. You don't want too take too much notice of the slagging off of different trades and tiffies, it's just the Corps sport and doesn't really mean a great deal. In fact most p**s taking in the army is done very much tongue in cheek, a thing few civvies can appreciate as sometimes it can seem quite brutal.
  14. Mossy,

    If you have the necessary qualifications and the potential, apply to be a Tech. It will do you no harm to try, especially as you are currently undecided. Prepare yourself for 18-24 months of studying and passing conventional exams every 4-6 weeks. If that doesn't grab you, go to Bordon and follow the Vehicle Mechanic/Armourer/Recovery Mechanic route. The training package is shorter and you will be out in the field long before the techs. However, you won't get the promotion that the techs get. Some people, techs included, don't want the promotion because with it comes responsibility; but that's a decision only you can make.

    The inter-trade rivalry has always been there and always will be. The bottom line is that no matter what trade you are, you will become part of a team that delivers the goods in usually awful conditions with very few resources - and no-one else (ie; the User) will notice or thank you!

    Good luck if you decide to join. But keep reading the fora and remember that you would be joining an under-resourced and over-extended organisation! And I bet the pay on the building site was better than a newly minted Craftsman would earn!

  15. Litotes, are you on the corps recruiting team?