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raf jobs and application

Hi, I am about to apply for the RAF but i’m kinda undecided on wha job i wanna do. I’ve got two in mind but I don’t know between WSOP and Avionics Technician. I know they are quite different but they both appeal. I like being able to figure stuff out and fix things but i don’t know being in the plane just sounds so good. Does anyone have any tips or info that could help cause i rlly don’t know what to do. I think mainly i just need to know what the job includes like on a daily basis
Reply 1
Original post by libbyglanister
Hi, I am about to apply for the RAF but i’m kinda undecided on wha job i wanna do. I’ve got two in mind but I don’t know between WSOP and Avionics Technician. I know they are quite different but they both appeal. I like being able to figure stuff out and fix things but i don’t know being in the plane just sounds so good. Does anyone have any tips or info that could help cause i rlly don’t know what to do. I think mainly i just need to know what the job includes like on a daily basis

Hi Libby, I can’t help you on the Technician side; however, I was an AEOp for 32 years (retired from the RAF over 10 years ago) . In 2003 the role I was in was subsumed with all other Non Commissioned Aircrew roles under the overarching title of WSOp.

It’s impossible to give a simple answer to “what’s the normal day to day life like” for the WSOp job as there are 4 different types of WSOp and within the ISR sub category, it’s broken down again into 4 different specialisms. Each category and sub category of WSOp will have a different daily / weekly / monthly rhythm, so it would very much depend which path you wanted to go down, and actually which specialism you were streamed to after common training courses. The only thing you can do is read up as much as you can from recruiting material, but also speak to your local AFCO to see if there’s still a WSOp liaison team that you can communicate with, and maybe arrange a visit to a station which has WSOps. In the good old days, we used to host such visits all the time.

I spent my whole RAF career in the equivalent role of WSOp ISR-EW, bouncing around various front line Squadrons, as well as working in Ops as an intelligence briefer/ debriefer, and as an OCU instructor (ground and air). I can honestly say it was an epic job, rarely with two days the same. I’ve been to war a few times, been round the world a few times, seen some awesome natural sights that most people would pay thousands to see, been first on scene for some headline making disasters, lost far too many friends but gained many more lifetime pals. But I read the recruitment material and it barely touches the surface of the life I recognised. One things for sure, flying in the RAF is a career choice like few others. I’ve just retired from my second career (which was very interesting and impactive in a different sector) and I always felt sorry for the young people who are condemned to office jobs for their whole lives. They will never experience what I experienced and have the same fun in and out of work while getting paid handsomely.

Interested yet?
Original post by Ikaruss

Hi Libby, I can’t help you on the Technician side; however, I was an AEOp for 32 years (retired from the RAF over 10 years ago) . In 2003 the role I was in was subsumed with all other Non Commissioned Aircrew roles under the overarching title of WSOp.

It’s impossible to give a simple answer to “what’s the normal day to day life like” for the WSOp job as there are 4 different types of WSOp and within the ISR sub category, it’s broken down again into 4 different specialisms. Each category and sub category of WSOp will have a different daily / weekly / monthly rhythm, so it would very much depend which path you wanted to go down, and actually which specialism you were streamed to after common training courses. The only thing you can do is read up as much as you can from recruiting material, but also speak to your local AFCO to see if there’s still a WSOp liaison team that you can communicate with, and maybe arrange a visit to a station which has WSOps. In the good old days, we used to host such visits all the time.

I spent my whole RAF career in the equivalent role of WSOp ISR-EW, bouncing around various front line Squadrons, as well as working in Ops as an intelligence briefer/ debriefer, and as an OCU instructor (ground and air). I can honestly say it was an epic job, rarely with two days the same. I’ve been to war a few times, been round the world a few times, seen some awesome natural sights that most people would pay thousands to see, been first on scene for some headline making disasters, lost far too many friends but gained many more lifetime pals. But I read the recruitment material and it barely touches the surface of the life I recognised. One things for sure, flying in the RAF is a career choice like few others. I’ve just retired from my second career (which was very interesting and impactive in a different sector) and I always felt sorry for the young people who are condemned to office jobs for their whole lives. They will never experience what I experienced and have the same fun in and out of work while getting paid handsomely.

Interested yet?


wow that honestly makes it sound so good an ye i really like the sound of it. i get wha ye mean when no two days are the same which is why i’m interested in it cause i don’t want to do the same thing all day every day pretty much why i’m joining in the first place.

just wondering tho wha kind of career does it set you up for in civilian life cause obvs with the technicians role tha would be and aviation engineering job but wsop wha would tha lead to?

and i’ve already been the afco did an informal interview thing just a chat rlly and going through just like what basic is like and potential roles an that’s when i kinda came across technician but wsop has been in my mind from 2022 when i visited lossiemouth for a week on base
Reply 3
Original post by libbyglanister
wow that honestly makes it sound so good an ye i really like the sound of it. i get wha ye mean when no two days are the same which is why i’m interested in it cause i don’t want to do the same thing all day every day pretty much why i’m joining in the first place.

just wondering tho wha kind of career does it set you up for in civilian life cause obvs with the technicians role tha would be and aviation engineering job but wsop wha would tha lead to?

and i’ve already been the afco did an informal interview thing just a chat rlly and going through just like what basic is like and potential roles an that’s when i kinda came across technician but wsop has been in my mind from 2022 when i visited lossiemouth for a week on base

Libby, sounds like you’ve done some decent research already. If you visited Lossie you may have met and talked to some of my pals on the P8 Squadrons.

In terms of opportunities post service, there are many diverse options open to you. Some may be directly related to military aviation eg civilian simulator instructor and some may be completely unrelated to the WSOp role using transferable skills that you develop while in uniform. I have friends who work in the energy sector (nuclear, oil & gas and renewables) others who trained as pilots and work for airlines. Yet others who work in education and as defence contractors in small companies training UK and overseas clients in ISR . I have former WSOp friends who work for large defence companies in quite senior management roles earning salaries just shy of £100k . Personally, I got a job as an intelligence analyst working for a police force and latterly for another law enforcement agency where I covered one of the English regions and worked closely with national and regional police resources to tackle organised crime. Another friend, who was a female WSOp I’ve worked with, managed to get herself a position setting up and managing an intelligence academy for one of the UKs largest police forces.

The bottom line is, you could have a long and fulfilling career in the RAF, but if you decide to move on, you would be well placed to find work in many diverse sectors. I don’t know of any Non Commissioned Aircrew friends (and I know many) who haven’t done well for themselves beyond the RAF. The RAF is great for developing your potential but not so good at allowing you to reach the limits of your potential ! Ultimately that’s up to you, but the confidence you will gain in the RAF will set you up well for the rest of your life.

Best of luck

Ikky
(edited 1 month ago)

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