The Royal Air Force (RAF) is one of the three branches of the armed forces in the United Kingdom. The RAF employs a number of professionals in the engineering, aviation, technology, intelligence, communications and hospitality fields. Job requirements and responsibilities vary significantly by department and level of experience, but all candidates who apply and work for the RAF must meet certain physical and educational requirements.
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Employees of the Royal Air Force serve the United Kingdom and its allies through defence, search and rescue, and disaster relief services. Some positions with the RAF work solely on RAF projects, while others work closely with the Royal Navy and the British Army on joint operations in the U.K, and abroad. In the United Kingdom, the Royal Air Force's primary responsibilities are to undertake life-saving operations both on land and at sea.
Jobs with the RAF exist in the following fields: communications and intelligence; logistics and equipment; medical and medical support; personnel support; force protection; engineering and technical; air operations support; aircrew; and catering and hospitality.
RAF careers in the communications and intelligence division consist of: aerial erector, ICT specialist, intelligence analyst, intelligence officer or photographer.
Jobs in logistics and equipment include: driver, mover, supplier or supply officer.
Jobs in the medical and medical support field include: biomedical scientist, dental nurse, dental officer, dental technician, environmental health technician, medical officer, medical support officer and nursing officer.
Jobs in the personnel support field include: chaplain, legal officer, musician, personnel support officer, physical education officer, physical training instructor and training office.
Force protection jobs with the RAF include: firefighter, RAF police officer, RAF regiment gunner, and RAF regiment officer.
Engineering and technical jobs with the RAF include: aircraft technician in the avionics or mechanical division, engineer officer, general technician in the electrical or mechanical division, survival equipment fitter, and weapon technician.
Air operations support jobs with the RAF include: aerospace battle manager, aerospace systems operator, air cartographer, air traffic control officer, flight operations assistant or officer, and SNCO air traffic controller.
Aircrew jobs include: pilot, weapon systems officer, and weapon systems operators for acoustic, crewman, electronic warfare and linguist divisions.
Catering and hospitality jobs with the RAF include: caterer, catering officer or chef.
The RAF provides extensive on-the-job training and runs an apprenticeship program for new recruits. RAF apprenticeships are paid positions with benefits. These positions can last between six months to three years, and are offered within each division of the RAF. Successful completion of an apprenticeship leads to a permanent position with the RAF, and a pay increase.
Positions that demand travelling overseas are trained to become part of the elite fighting force called the RAF Regiment. The RAF Regiment receives advanced weapons training, combat skills training and surveillance training so taht they can serve anywhere in the world. The RAF Regiment provides support for the Special Forces operations around the globe.
Anyone interested in pursuing a career with the Royal Air Force must provide transcripts from any school, college or university attended, and meet certain educational requirements. Some jobs ask for specific A-level, degree subjects and GCSE subjects, while others require the completion of general education requirements or their equivalent. Candidates must be British, Commonwealth, Irish, British protected or dual national citizens at the time of application; some jobs require the candidate to have been a British citizen or UK resident since birth.
All applicants must also have lived in the UK for five consecutive years before applying. Minimum and maximum age requirements vary depending on position, but the minimum age requirement to join the RAF is 15 years and nine months old. Individuals who are under 16 years of age can enrol in the RAF's Altitude program.
All applicants must also pass a medical assessment; applications can be rejected for those who suffer from asthma, Crohn's disease, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and several other health conditions. Fitness tests and physical training segments are also conducted as part of the employment application.
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