Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

I'm 28, seeking a career change and want to join the RAF Watch

Announcements
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    So, to cut a long story short, when I was 16, was due to join the army - parents agreed everything up until the day it came to sign the papers, and then they changed their minds. Had to do college last minute etc. Then life happened, relationships etc. Have considered the RAF previously too, but was talked out of it.

    Now I'm at a point where I need a career change. I'm currently a postman and it's a dying trade, terms and conditions are terrible. I don't have a degree, so my only real civilian option is to study a part time university course. Doesn't sound too appealing tbh.

    Then there is the RAF, which is something which has always appealed to me. Can join on a decent wage, do a worthwhile job and gain unquestionable experience, be paid to learn and basically have my education provided for very little cost, opening many more doors for me in the future.

    I am 28 now, and I don't want it to sound solely about the money, but I am after a career which within a few years, will mean I have no financial worries. I am extremely open to which branch I could go into, I am happy to learn just about anything.

    I have a 2 year old daughter to my ex partner, so she will be the hardest part about joining, but I want to be able to provide a better future for her, so I feel I need to act now, get a new career, knuckle down and in a few years we can both reap the rewards.

    I'm considering the following roles:

    HR Personnel Support

    Electrician - something I've also considered in civi life, but not really possible to go study at college as have financial commitments. This role seems to read as though would gain lots of qualifications within 3-4 years and could even be a Corporal around the same time frame (30k+), and also be fully qualified for a career post RAF further down the line, so actually a really intriguing option.

    Inelligence Analyst - Very intriguing but not really sure what this job would actual entail or as to how my career prospects would be affected. I believe other roles seem more obvious and would be easier in the future post RAF - please feel free to correct me otherwise?

    Cyberspace Communitions Specialist - Basically lots of IT (Which is what all of my current qualifications are in, but after passing them I said I never wanted to work in IT!) An ever changing world and you have to constantly be learning new technologies, protocols, systems to remain competent. It is something I believe I could do, but would require constant classroom learning. Plus side, great potential after leaving the service - CISCO etc and could gain literally loads of qualifications in the mean time. So, something to consider.


    Can anyone tell me how the pay scale works? £18,489 seems to be the starting wage (post training) for most roles. Does this remain a constant wage, or does it steadily grow? I earn more than that now, so as well as learning and experience, I'd ultimately (within a couple of years) be looking at earning the same, towards more, than I earn now.

    Fitness wise - I don't do any running currently, have been at the gym a short while, and was able to scrape the pre joining fitness requirements yesterday without any prior training. So I feel if I was to dedicate specific training 3 times per week with this in mind and aim for improvement each time, the fitness side is literally nothing to worry about.

    Any comments, opinions, experiences would be great! Particularly anything with regards to other roles which I may have missed which have great career stepping stones to climb the ladder.
    • Political Ambassador
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Bren24)
    So, to cut a long story short, when I was 16, was due to join the army - parents agreed everything up until the day it came to sign the papers, and then they changed their minds. Had to do college last minute etc. Then life happened, relationships etc. Have considered the RAF previously too, but was talked out of it.

    Now I'm at a point where I need a career change. I'm currently a postman and it's a dying trade, terms and conditions are terrible. I don't have a degree, so my only real civilian option is to study a part time university course. Doesn't sound too appealing tbh.

    Then there is the RAF, which is something which has always appealed to me. Can join on a decent wage, do a worthwhile job and gain unquestionable experience, be paid to learn and basically have my education provided for very little cost, opening many more doors for me in the future.

    I am 28 now, and I don't want it to sound solely about the money, but I am after a career which within a few years, will mean I have no financial worries. I am extremely open to which branch I could go into, I am happy to learn just about anything.

    I have a 2 year old daughter to my ex partner, so she will be the hardest part about joining, but I want to be able to provide a better future for her, so I feel I need to act now, get a new career, knuckle down and in a few years we can both reap the rewards.

    I'm considering the following roles:

    HR Personnel Support

    Electrician - something I've also considered in civi life, but not really possible to go study at college as have financial commitments. This role seems to read as though would gain lots of qualifications within 3-4 years and could even be a Corporal around the same time frame (30k+), and also be fully qualified for a career post RAF further down the line, so actually a really intriguing option.

    Inelligence Analyst - Very intriguing but not really sure what this job would actual entail or as to how my career prospects would be affected. I believe other roles seem more obvious and would be easier in the future post RAF - please feel free to correct me otherwise?

    Cyberspace Communitions Specialist - Basically lots of IT (Which is what all of my current qualifications are in, but after passing them I said I never wanted to work in IT!) An ever changing world and you have to constantly be learning new technologies, protocols, systems to remain competent. It is something I believe I could do, but would require constant classroom learning. Plus side, great potential after leaving the service - CISCO etc and could gain literally loads of qualifications in the mean time. So, something to consider.


    Can anyone tell me how the pay scale works? £18,489 seems to be the starting wage (post training) for most roles. Does this remain a constant wage, or does it steadily grow? I earn more than that now, so as well as learning and experience, I'd ultimately (within a couple of years) be looking at earning the same, towards more, than I earn now.

    Fitness wise - I don't do any running currently, have been at the gym a short while, and was able to scrape the pre joining fitness requirements yesterday without any prior training. So I feel if I was to dedicate specific training 3 times per week with this in mind and aim for improvement each time, the fitness side is literally nothing to worry about.

    Any comments, opinions, experiences would be great! Particularly anything with regards to other roles which I may have missed which have great career stepping stones to climb the ladder.
    https://www.navycs.com/uk/2016-briti...itary-pay.html
    Training you'd get £14931, you then get 19k+ when you're done with training, the actual amount depends on how long you've been in training and what job you have, some jobs are on a higher rate of pay. It then increased depending on how many years you've been in and relevant courses give you supplemental pay. Of course with promotion comes an automatic pay increase.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Have you considered / are you eligible to join as an Officer?
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Bren24)
    x
    I recommend you check out https://ryan9900.wordpress.com/ for info on RAF life/basic training, although it is for a different trade to the ones you have mentioned. You can message ryan9900 with any questions too.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    This is the most up to date pay information I could find. It reflects the new pay structure:

    http://www.armedforces.co.uk/rafpays...p#.WbhTSnOp7qA

    Assuming you don't **** up monumentally, your pay will go up one level every year.
    Out of the trades you've mentioned, I'd say that the last three are all worth looking into. Those three are all either Supp 2 or 3, I can't remember the specifics.
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    Tempest II's link explains the payscale.

    Intelligence Analyst is definitely one to look at (I find it interesting). Supplement 3 so the pay is at a higher level than some of the other trades. There is plenty of chance for career progression and the trade is screaming out for new people. The amount of phase 2 courses per year has doubled to try get people through the door. Check on the career website and google search about imint and sigint. That will give you a better understanding of two of the main areas you can branch out in to with phase 3 training. Opint is another one focusing a lot of briefing. You will deal a lot more with officers and get your name out a lot more. We have some pretty gucci posting opportunities available. A lot of chances to get on numerous courses.

    One thing I will mention is career progression. Not as fast as you might think. A lot of trades, specially ones with a lot of competition will take a bit longer. I think the raf average is about 8 years to get to cpl, well that was the stat briefed to us.
    The average for int is about 5/6 years. Because we are undermanned then progression is a little quicker. I know someone who has been in 8 years and is already a sgt.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    First off, pay will be related to whether you go in within a 'tech' trade or not. The tech trades are on a higher rate of pay. Trade progression depends on the trade itself. With the Int An trades (used to be 3 that go rolled into 1), there was little progression through the rank structure (non-commisioned) due to not having a 'Christmas Tree' rank structure with the big guns at the top, steadily moving outwards toward the lower ranks towards the bottom. I might also add that many RAF Int An roles are actually run within a Tri-Service environment, meaning (usually) that you fall under Army rulings, which absolutely sucked. Pay wise, yes, its very good and training oppurtunities are really good (and widely used), absolutely top notch stuff for sure (free gym usage and time to use in order to pass fintess tests is particulary good!). Increment pay is awarded each year but once you are at the top of your increment levels within your rank, you effectively dont get a pay rise again until you gain promotion to the next rank, which can sometimes be next to impossible due to the state of the rank structure!!
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    When looking at pay remember food and accommodation are heavily subsidised so your disposable income will be higher.

    An electrician in the RAF is NOT a house electrician (they use civilians for that) but someone who works on aircraft electrics.

    When choosing a trade look at leaving! I know that sounds daft but there's not much call for armorers in civvie street. Choose a trade that will always be needed (eg motor mechanic) or one you think will be needed when you come out.

    The computer industry for example is ageist. You will be at least 40 when you come out so unless you have a rare skill or move into management jobs are either low payed or scarce.

    Choose which ones interest you and go talk to someone in a recruitment office. They will try to steer you into the role they most want filled but will be able to answer your questions.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Sorry, a little off topic, but I saw you were talking about the different supplements and I was wondering where I'd find out what supplement the Aircraft Technician trade falls under ?
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    'The computer industry for example is ageist. You will be at least 40 when you come out so unless you have a rare skill or move into management jobs are either low payed or scarce' - I get what you are saying, but if you use your time in to get skilled up in script writing for example, especially within a DV cleared environment, you will be snapped up upon leaving straight onto decent pay (contractors I was working with were clearing £79 p/h or daily rates of £600+ for Java Script writing).
    • CV Helper
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Globex99)
    The computer industry for example is ageist. You will be at least 40 when you come out so unless you have a rare skill or move into management jobs are either low payed or scarce.
    If you're not in a supervisory or management position, you'll not be in the forces aged 40. You have to hit certain ranks by certain ages in most trades (at least in the RAF, think most others are now the same) so progression of responsibility is there.
    Offline

    6
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ProStacker)
    If you're not in a supervisory or management position, you'll not be in the forces aged 40. You have to hit certain ranks by certain ages in most trades (at least in the RAF, think most others are now the same) so progression of responsibility is there.
    I beg to differ, the upper age restriction for the FOA and ASOp trades is 40. Given that you’d be signing on for 12 years initially, you’d be well into your 40s as an SAC (a non-authoritative rank in the RAF) I’ve also worked alongside regiment SACs in their mid 40s. It’s uncommon, but certainly not unheard of.
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    Very true; a DV (along with experience and certs) can open some very lucrative doors. I’ve known Cpls to leave, and the following week be earning over double their previous salary as a contractor, working on the same kit in the same workshop.
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ProStacker)
    If you're not in a supervisory or management position, you'll not be in the forces aged 40. You have to hit certain ranks by certain ages in most trades (at least in the RAF, think most others are now the same) so progression of responsibility is there.
    22 yr SACs becoming more common.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    It's going to be difficult at your age to join unless you go the officer route.
    I spent 14 years inn the RAF and another 14 doing similar work and yes a DV is nice to get but does not last long !

    At your age and having already served in the forces my honest recommendation would be to join as a reservist. The RAF need people at your age in the reserves and Int Anal is a very very good way to go with one of the major bases such as Warrington having several units of reserve staff.
    It is also possible to transfer from Reserv to full time at latter date
    With having a family etc you need to also think of others.

    Ask at your local CIO about the reserves in the areas of work you are interested in as well as for other roles
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    Only you can decide what you want to do. Personally, I would say 'go for it', however do as much research as possible and make sure that you go into anything with your eyes wide open.

    Many people in the forces live away from their family. You will be able to have an influence on where you are posted, however there is no guarantee and the needs of the RAF will come first.

    Age wise, you would not be at a disadvantage, however you would need to get used to the fact that you could have people younger than you, telling you what to do. Your life experience would put you at an advantage.

    There are no guarantees on progression career-wise, especially in the ranks. Ultimately, it comes down to your performance and the ability of your boss to write you up well. That said, 3/4 years to Cpl is doable which would see you earning around £30k. The Int trade is known for quick progression. I was on a course recently with a 9 year Sgt which is very good going.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Break up or unrequited love?
    Useful resources

    Articles:

    Guide to the armed forcesGuide to the Royal Air ForceA job in the Army

    Featured recruiter profiles:

    Army logo

    The Army is recruiting now

    "With hundreds of roles available, there’s more than one way to be the best."

    Quick Link:

    Unanswered Armed Forces Threads

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.