I am not certain whether this is the correct audience for my questions but here goes
I am in the process of carrying out a complete career change from the a medic in the navy to aircraft technician in the Army. I have been considering aircraft engineering for the past 3 years but due to operations and personal life i have only now managed to take the plunge and submit my notice to leave the navy.
I am going through the normal career office approach for the army at present, but i am curious if i am making the right decision by going to the army as opposed to a civilian training academy for qualifications/ future employability etc. I would like to remain in a military environment but if there are any ex army technicians reading this could they advise me from less rose tinted perspective about the pros and cons of my decision
just for some perspective i have spent most of my career on land ops with the royal marines so i am not coming from a typical naval perspective, and every time i looked at the apaches supporting our patrol i wanted to be the one working on them
Almost 40 years ago to the month I went in to Army aviation. Since then I have never been out of work unless through choice. Current salaries in the UK between £50/60000 working North Sea.
Civilian training is a minefield and standards are not high. If you are happy in the military environment then get the training while being paid a decent wage. Get good experience and you will find yourself at the head of the queue for jobs when you get out providing you get your end game sorted out. Employers still like ex military staff and most helicopter engineers in the UK come from one of the services. Probably as high as 80%. By end game I mean you need to get an EASA licence before you leave or very shortly after.
Think about which trade band you want to go in to, mechanical or avionics. At the moment in civvy street B2 (avionics) licensed engineers are like hens teeth.
Postings are better in civvy street as well, plus overtime!!!!!! If you dont a job you just leave, its not a prison.
Remember things change and aviation has always been cyclic. At the moment the helicopter world is hitting a peak but no predictions for where we will be in six plus years from now.
Last edited by ericferret; 14th Oct 2012 at 17:22.
i appreciate your honest and frank reply, i intend to go to university and study aircraft a maintenance as i cannot justify to myself going back to the military just because i miss the life. I also feel that i want to immerse myself in study as opposed to coping with the Army regimented life
Also i am eligible for my tuition fees to be paid for me so it seems like a win win!
Miles....I expect CM is talking about an Aviation Maintenance degree that includes the Part66 license modules as part of the study.....so whilst I agree with the statement that the degree probbaly isn't going to be that much use....it will allow him to gain an AML by studying fulltime, and if his tuition fees are paid it will be a great plan!
Do the course, if it's an Approved Part 147 Basic Training course then you'll only need two years in industry before you may meet the minimum requirements to apply for a license.
Location: A civilised little County..with a bit of eccentricity to boot
Ar the risk of thread drift, but following Erics encounter with a graduate, I recently encountered one with the same qualifications.
Until our meeting, he had, it appears, been merrily impressing his friends by informing them he was a "type rated B737 engineer" by virtue of having trained on the type at a "well known North East location", said 73 in question having no engines fitted, but no matter.
Alas, the ego received Cat 5 damage as they used to say in Gov't circles.
Last edited by Krystal n chips; 21st Oct 2012 at 03:55.
Just in case anybody thinks this is just an exercise in graduate bashing ( er well it probably is actually) I have been looking at this myself. University of Glamorgan.
Doubt it will be the slightest bit of use to me as I am at the back end of my career. However a challenge is a challenge and it will look good amongst all the other certificate I have accumulated over the years.
I think every B1 B2 should do it, to put it in to perspective. Be nice to say yeah we all got one of those!!!!
Sounds a bit like an NVQ level one in office management "allowed to stick stamps on envelopes and lick the flap but not to address them"
This is supposed to be a light hearted aside so dont take me too seriously.
Its another route to a licence, but however you do it the licence is a starting point not an end in itself. Its the practical experience that counts and there are no short cuts.
Last edited by ericferret; 21st Oct 2012 at 11:29.
Is 2 years practical experience enough to safely, and effectively, exercise the privileges of a B1 or a B2 licence?
In my opinion, no. Not even close.
It sickens me that people can pay a fortune, go to a college for a couple of years, get spoon fed the exam material then do 2 years and get a license.
I've had people come from the likes of Bristol college & AST Perth (not limited to these 2, but they're the 2 that spring to mind) with every B1 and B2 module certificate, and they don't even know what way round to hold a screwdriver.
After a four year apprenticeship, three years further study while working on large aircraft, as they call them nowadays, to gain the equivalent of a B2 license followed by my first type course, I finally started to learn about aircraft maintenance – and I'm still learning thirty four years later.
i have just been to university of glamorgan open day and chatted with a few people there about the maintenance degree and it is beginning to seem to me that an apprenticeship would be the best opinion as a degree is only necessary if you want to progress to management in the future. Going by what i have read on this forum having line experience and competence are what really counts in this industry and practical knowledge is much more valuable than being theory savvy, so thank you for that.
Oh and thanks for the wake up call about graduates!lol
it feels now like a toss up between the army and raf as the navy wont allow me transfer across to the FAA as my job in in a shortage cat!...good thing my notice is in so they have no say in my career choice anymore
It just comes down to whether the other two services are willing to give me the opportunity to retrain with them now
Back in 75 the army took no notice of civilian qualifications of any type. It was all about passing the aptitude tests.
We had at least one engineer on my course with no educational qualifications at all. Passed with flying colours. Looking back I think this was a great system, everybody had a chance and obviously the better educated and intelligent the better the chance, neverless everybody had a chance.
The test was the same for all and the jobs you were offered a choice of be it infantryman or aircraft technician depended on the results achieved.
I remember being really concerned because there were pages of the test that I had not even got too. The recruiting sergeant noting my concerned face said " vacancies for field marshalls are a bit thin on the ground but otherwise you should be ok"
Last edited by ericferret; 24th Oct 2012 at 11:01.
There are a lot of folks around leaving the Army aviation world after commencing/getting their basic B2/B1. It seems to the route of choice for some. 2yrs+ basic maintenance training, then a couple of years in trade on Lynx or wApache. Some get to spend a little time on Gazelle or Islander, but normally later on. The best experience however is at class 1 level, after about 6 years total in the job. This is where all the good stuff starts to happen, although the workload increases exponentially! Brilliantly though, there is also a new guy with a PhD in biology kicking around!!