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RAF aviator

Alternative titles for this job include Enlisted aviator

RAF aviators make up the majority of RAF personnel and maintain its ability to fight and fly.

Average salary (a year)

£18,600 Starter


£25,200 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

Variable variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become RAF aviator

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


RAF apprenticeship roles offer you the chance to learn on the job and gain a UK-recognised trade qualification.

There are more than 20 roles to choose from in professions such as:

  • air and space operations
  • engineering
  • logistics
  • catering
  • medical services
  • cyberspace and intelligence

You'll apply directly to the RAF to discuss which is the best apprenticeship route for you. This will depend on your qualifications and which service role you're interested in.

Entry requirements

  • entry requirements vary

More Information

Direct Application

You can apply directly for roles as an RAF aviator.

Some roles do not need any qualifications while others require qualifications in certain subjects. All roles and entry requirements are listed on RAF Recruitment.

If your application is accepted, you'll be invited to talk to an adviser at your local armed forces careers office about what you want to do. You'll also take a defence aptitude assessment.

If you're successful, you’ll then have an interview and a medical examination. Once this is complete, you will attend a fitness assessment.

RAF Reserve

You can join the RAF Reserve in some roles as a part-time enlisted aviator. This will give you experience of what life is like in the Royal Air Force, and you'll learn new skills at the same time.

You'll need to:

  • be between 18 and 54
  • commit to at least 27 days a year
  • attend a 2-week residential training course each year, though this may not always be the case

Air Cadets

If you're between 13 and 17 years old, you can join the Air Cadets.

The skills you learn and experiences you gain will benefit you whatever career path you choose. Cadets have many opportunities, including UK and overseas camps, leadership courses and air experience flights.

Further information

You'll find more details about how to become an enlisted aviator through RAF Recruitment.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • leadership skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • concentration skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As an RAF aviator, your duties will depend on your job. You could:

  • fix and maintain aircraft
  • load weapons
  • drive a range of vehicles
  • cook for troops
  • monitor airspace
  • protect airfields
  • support medical staff
  • work in human resources (HR)

Working environment

You could work at a military base or in a warzone.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers and physically and emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could move up the ranks from Air Specialist - class 1 (AS1) to Warrant Officer (WO) or higher.

You could go into a wide range of careers once you leave the RAF. Your career choices will depend on the skills, training and qualifications you've gained during your service.

You can find details about support and opportunities from:

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

RAF Regiment Gunner - Full Time Career with Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £21,091 a year Annually
  • Location: Carterton

RAF Regiment Gunner - Full Time Career with Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £21,091 a year Annually
  • Location: Leconfield, Beverley

Courses In England

Uniformed Services Courses (STC)

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: South Shields

L3 Diploma Uniformed Services

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Fareham

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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