RAF airman or airwoman

Royal Air Force (RAF) airmen and airwomen use specialist skills for support roles in defence and peacekeeping missions.

Average salary (a year)

£15,200 Starter

to

£38,020 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

Variable variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

How to become an RAF airman or airwoman

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

Apprenticeship

You could apply to join the RAF through an HM forces serviceperson intermediate apprenticeship.

You'll still need to 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

Volunteering and experience

You can join the RAF Reserve to get some experience of what life is like in the air force and to learn new skills.

You'll need to:

  • be between 18 and 54
  • commit to at least 27 days a year
  • attend a 2-week training camp each year

If you're between 13 and 18 years old, you can join the Air Cadets.

You'll visit RAF bases and develop some of the key skills that the RAF will be looking for in their recruitment selection process should you go on to apply.

Direct application

You can apply directly to join the RAF.

You'll need:

  • at least 3 GCSEs grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English and maths, and a science for some roles
  • to be over 16 years old - upper age limit varies depending on the role
  • to be physically fit

If your initial application is accepted, you'll be invited to talk to someone at your local armed forces careers office about what you want to do, and take an aptitude test.

If you successfully complete the initial stage, you'll be invited to attend further interviews and assessments, which include fitness and medical tests.

More information

Further information

You'll find out more about working in the RAF through RAF Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • physical fitness and endurance
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work well with others in a team
  • concentration skills and quick reactions
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You’ll provide specialist support in one of the following areas:

  • aircrew, including non-commissioned aircrew and weapon systems operators
  • engineering and technical roles like aircraft technician
  • catering and hospitality jobs like catering officer
  • security and defence in areas like firefighting and the RAF police
  • medical and medical support work in dental, nursing, medical and laboratory roles
  • personnel support, including administration and training
  • air operations support, like air traffic controllers
  • communications and intelligence roles like photographer and intelligence analyst
  • logistics and equipment, including driver and supply officer roles

Working environment

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

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

As an airman or airwoman you could move up the ranks to a more senior position like corporal or sergeant. You could also apply to become a commissioned officer.

You could go into a wide range of careers once you leave the RAF, depending on your skills, training and qualifications.

The Career Transition Partnership, Quest and Troops to Teachers have more information on careers outside the armed forces.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for an RAF airman or airwoman right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Public Services - Diploma In Public Services (Qcf)

  • Provider: HERTFORD REGIONAL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: Turnford

Extended Diploma in Public Services (QCF) (Ambulance, Police, Fire, Prison, Customs, Armed Forces, Public Services)

  • Provider: Barking & Dagenham College
  • Start date: 04 September 2019
  • Location: Romford

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