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Civilian Vs Military Technical training

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Civilian Vs Military Technical training

Old 18th Apr 2019, 18:26
  #1 (permalink)  
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Location: East Midlands
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Civilian Vs Military Technical training

Hi guys,
Ok so I'm 22, a fully qualified HGV technician looking to make the switch to aviation mechanics, I've always wanted to do this but always been a bit defeatist (not smart enough etc) but I truly think I can be a good engineer if I get given the chance to prove it.
My end goal is B1/B2 Engineer.
But for now I need to get my foot in the door, I've been made aware of civilian apprenticeships (which would suck going back to being an apprentice but its all about the end goal).
However the Royal Navy are currently recruiting for a fast-track apprenticeship into becoming an air engineer, alternative to this is just joining the RAF.
So the big question, civilian (12k-18k for a few years) or Military (32k in Navy, 18k in RAF). I know this is not all about the money and I want to do the job because I have a genuine interest in aircraft and the engineering that it entails but due to personal circumstances, I have to think about the salary also.

TLR ... Are there any particular benefits to doing a civilian apprenticeship or joining the military for getting into the aviation industry as a mechanic?
Haydn237 is offline  
Old 19th Apr 2019, 01:38
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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If you join as an engineer in any of the UK military arms you will receive good training,be pi55ed around by experts and (probably) have a ball. The draw back is that your military experience/training will count for little in the civil licencing world. Having done both,my advice would be to go straight to civil. Once you've completed you're apprenticeship and gained your licences and types,its well paid and the world is your oyster!

Try for an apprenticeship with the likes of BA,Virgin,TUI,Ryanair. Your existing qualification will be a positive. If you want to do it,apply and make it soon. Link below to CAA licencing, which has plenty of useful information. There are many other websites out there with useful info. The ALAE, (Association of Licenced Aircraft Engineers) website and contacts can be helpful.


I've loved my time as an engineer,have lived,worked and travelled all over the world. If I had my time over,I'd do it again!

Give it a go,you won't regret it!

Good luck!
woptb is offline  
Old 19th Apr 2019, 03:01
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I started off in the RAF for 12 years and the training was first class. With an eye on the bigger picture, I managed to avoid fighters and spent most of my time as a liney on the bigger aircraft, in particular the VC10 which came in handy when I came out into the civilian world. I did my A&C Licences as part of my resettlement program and came out with 2 job offers from major UK airlines. Since then I have progressed from technician, to Certifying Engineer and a couple of stints as supervisor and management. Now back as a B1 in an outstation as I missed being out on the aircraft rather than sat in an office arguing the toss in emails. So there is a career path there if with a bit of luck you can get the right postings in the military, and I'm sure there are guys out there who worked on Tornadoes and such like and now working in the civilian airline world quite successfully.

From what I hear, due to the lack of training spaces, competition for apprenticeship with the airlines places can be quite tough, but don't let it deter you. Start talking to RAF/RN Careers as well as applying for any civilian apprenticeships you can find, then see what offers you actually get back. Either way you stand a good chance of getting to your end goal, just the military route may take longer to B1/2, but with a bit more adventure.
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Old 19th Apr 2019, 04:15
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West Atlantic at East Midlands Airport are advertising for an apprentice at the moment.
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Old 19th Apr 2019, 06:09
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Thanks for the replies

Iíve applied to West Atlantic prior to posting this but not heard anything back yet, approx 1 week ago
Iím also awaiting Jet2ís apprentice scheme to go live for this year as I am family friends with a high status member of their engineering department who iím hoping will be able to point me in the right direct down that path,
iíve also started the ball rolling with a fast track apprenticeship in the royal navy, where iíll join as a leading hand as an air engineer.

iíll try to prioritise the civilian route but the navyís chance at a fast track apprenticeship seems to be a good opportunity?
This is why iím so torn in the decision, if the military route does take an extra even 3-4 years to get to the status of B1/B2 back in the civilian world, iím okay with that because the military experience will be like no other?

regards and TIA

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Old 22nd Apr 2019, 00:44
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BA Cityflyer - https://jobs.ba.com/jobs/vacancy/ba-...6/description/
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Old 22nd Apr 2019, 19:24
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Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
The facilities for training are top notch at NWI. I will have my take on the military vs Civil route.I did 25 years in the RAF. It was all on the fighters or on structural repair work. Sheetie work is sheetie work so the cross over for that side was simple for me. I did do the modules before I left but it took me 3 years on the tools to get the ticks in the boxes to get the basic AML. Took me longer to get that free type course with the job and the OJT as my employer never did the homework on the EASA 2012 rule changes for first type. The military do have a couple of types in service that you could get B1 on, Voyager or Shadow and you will get the training if you can get onto them. The military you will have more fun, but there is as Toms says positives and negatives with everything.
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Old 22nd Apr 2019, 21:42
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Thanks for the advice, I've had additional information from a relative who was in the Raf also for 10/12 years I believe too
I've applied for the fast track apprenticeship the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm is currently recruiting for, as it is the best balance of work and wages,
although I am waiting for Jet2 to release their apprentice scheme for this year as I have a family friend who is a significant figure within their engineering department who has said he will give me as much support as possible throughout the application process as he can!

Currently awaiting to sit my Psychometric test for the Royal Navy a week on Wednesday, and I've been told from relative that this will still hold me in good stead when trying to find a civilian job as it is still the same qualification achieved during my time there as the RAF offer; Just the experience might not be the same, but that would be up to a potential employer to decide if I am suitable anyway.
In contrast to this I've also been informed the aviation industry are in need of B1/B2 engineers, so hopefully an employer in years to come would still be willing to support my ambition to achieve B1/2 status and hopefully beyond.

Thanks for all the replies so far, and in regards to the BA Cityflyer apprenticeship, I did look before making this thread and I can't really afford an 18k a year drop in wages, otherwise I'd be willing to go for that say straight out of school for example.

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Old 23rd Apr 2019, 08:50
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While I do not want to do down the military, the training these days is a shadow of its past and I feel you would be better off progressing through the Civi side of things, as said partially due to the reduced services and a lack of engineers leaving the civilian sector had to pick up the training reigns to maintain their manning.
And that pains me to say being ex RAF A and C Camo etc.
Interesting how those ex miitary commenting were type specific during their careers, fighters etc, ( which it tends to be today) my experience was Rotary wing... Wessex, Puma, Chinook, followed by a Jag tour in RAFG and finishing up on the VC10, all first line.
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Old 8th May 2019, 21:35
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BAe at Humberside run a training school, might be of interest.
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Old 13th May 2019, 09:33
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Sounds like a similar path to myself. I was an apprentice HGV mechanic. I joined the RAF aged 20. I had a ball, did 12 years. I did my EASA Part 66 modules while still serving and got a job on offshore helicopters. Still doing that now.
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Old 13th May 2019, 09:54
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Here you go, good luck.

Jet2 Apprentice
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