AET or ET(ME)?

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by Newbie14, Feb 15, 2014.

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  1. Hi all,

    I'm trying to decide between a career with the RN as either an Air Engineering Tech or Marine Engineering Tech.

    I currently work as a mechanic so a career in engineering is definitely for me. But I'm struggling to find any real information to help me decide between the two. I love anything mechanical so I reckon I could enjoy either.

    What I'm really after is the nitty-gritty engineering side of things, not just routine maintenance (I know this is a big part of either job) so wanted to find out from the people actually doing the job; which is more technical and relies on you using your head to figure out problems and fix them, and which has better prospects for future pay, promotion and for when I eventually leave? Which is more varied in terms of your work load?

    Also, as a general question; what are the living spaces really like, I've heard it's very cosy to put it lightly. Do people generally get on together without too much agro? I'm female if that makes a difference.

    And how much time generally as either an AET or MET would be spent actually on a ship on deployment vs having a shore draft? I've had it suggested to me before that if I wanted to go for AET that I should just go for the RAF, but they spend most of their time on a base in UK. I want to travel, see the world and have a great career while I'm doing it, and I reckon that can only happen with the RN.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2014
  2. I was with you until the last paragraph and then you mentioned the R word.

    Now you can use the search function like everybody else! :(

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  3. What kind of mechanic are you currently? Automotive, car, light truck or heavy goods/diesel?

    Have you considered REME, who also have helicopter maintainers as well as vehicle mechs? Helicopter maint has been trying to go tri service for years but it seems no closer to me than it ever was.

    If you want to travel, ME would get you the most sea time, but being a Woo you get to be topside and see more of it. This is not to discount Junglie (commando helicopter squadrons) who although have more shore time, will go to more varied places than maritme attack oriented squadrons (Lynx or Merlin HMA, used to be ASuW/HAS)

    Also to consider, air fitters and mechanics who work for contractors on airlines doing mod programs, extended maint (refit) etc travel quite a lot, 6 months in Italy, Israel, Australia, Switzerland for example.
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  4. Aah come on, don't be like that! It was just suggested to me, I think navy blue suits me better ;)

    Ships_Cat: I'm a motorcycle mechanic (my qualification also covers knowledge of cars) but it's mostly bolting off/on parts and PDIs. I occasionally get to use the grey stuff and troubleshoot issues, which is the bit I love and why I became and mechanic. I have considered REME, but I'm just not that keen on the Army, despite knowing some ex-army guys, I just don't think it would suit me. Hadn't thought about an MOD job, thanks. Although what I'm after is the actual military experience and doing my bit for Queen and country.

    It's also mentioned on the website that there are "fast track" opportunities if you have qualifications. I have A levels and the equivalent to an NVQ coming up. What do they mean by this? Is it faster promotion..? The FAA officer actually told me that with Alevels I could go straight in as an engineering officer but the website says it's degrees they're after. I'd prefer to work my way up from rating anyway.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  5. As far as I know , you can go striaght in as an Officer but not engineering officer as you need the degree.
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  6. OMM

    OMM War Hero

    AETs don't go to sea much either.

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  7. Do we reckon that might change with HMS Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales coming in soon?

    On average, what's the ratio of time at sea to on shore for either trade?
  8. First things first. Ditch the noble "working your way up from rating" stuff. If you have A-levels, in a numerate subject eg physics, maths and another science, you would be better served joining as an EO (AEO/WEO/MEO), Ninja Stoker or your AFCO can tell you what the process would look like if search doesn't, but you would study at Southampton for your degree, and Sultan or Collingwood for professional courses.

    If you decide to join as a rating, and hope to be fast tracked, you would be near to the equivalent of the Artificer of old as an ET, and would have a shot at promotion to the upper yardman scheme (officer selection) but its by no means guaranteed. If age doesnt cooperate (you get to be too old for UY) there will still be possibilites as a PO/Chief/WO, but everything in that area is in flux, and with our ever shrinking Navy it would best not to hope that avenue is open when you arrive there as a time served technician in your upper 20s early 30s.

    My advice would be to aim high. A degree may not matter to you now but it will in your forties. Also look at what quals you get from each scheme for ratings/army/crabs (crabs=RAF). If the RAF still offer a proper apprenticeship, or REME, it might be worth considering but beware, like the death of the Artificer corps, the ever reducing defence budgets will squeeze those programs also.

    P.S. Once people cotton on that you are a member of the lumpy jumper club you will find you are immensely popular. Your accom on board is usually pretty spiffy, and I think you are still limited in terms of boats (subs).
  9. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    Ships Cat wrote

    There isn't a polite way to disagree.
  10. Being an ETME I can't say a bad thing about it.

    Sea time is plentiful. Quals are there for taking. Fast track - Nobody really knows how this will work as it's only just been introduced and as the manning numbers are ever decreasing I'm not sure they can achieve it.

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  11. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    In days of yore there used to be a fast-track scheme for Marine Engineering Mechanics, where the top 5% sat a board at the end of phase two branch training & if you passed you were put on a condensed 4 month course. 8 weeks Sultan, 8 weeks sea, to qualify for Leading Rate. It was called "Specially Selected" presumably because we were viewed as "special" - the polite academic term used nowadays for those a bit odd. Maybe things haven't changed that much.

    I was lucky enough to get to Leading Hand almost two years to the day after I joined. You were then "earmarked" for mechanician/artificer training but for many of us, the prospect of being at sea was a bigger draw than spending two and a half years in Sultan paying food and accommodation charges when we could get to Petty Officer as a non-technician in a comparable timescale. The prospect of being an Artificer meant you were capped at pay increment level 7 and had an extra rank to achieve before reaching Warrant Officer and that rank, Charge Chief (later WO2) was bloody hard work for the princely sum of about £1.76 a day extra.

    Nowadays of course, everyone joining as a mechanic is now magically termed "technician", and the only thing that surprises me, is the service hasn't been prosecuted under the trades description act. Then again it could be worse, they could've been re-branded by the knob that gave us "Supply Chain Logistician Food Prep" instead of "Chef". ;-)
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  12. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    I've been saying the same thing. 'Engineering Technician' is a protected title uner the Engineering Council's Royal Charter although- for those who don't know - it appears as the post nominal 'EngTech'. The lowest ratings that can be so registered are LETs. A civil rather than criminal law matter made all the more wrong by the RN having a fast track scheme to registration courtesy of IMarEST and another two major engineering institutions.

    Engineering Council UK
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  13. Ah, my Alevels are Design Technology and Media Studies.. I have GCSEs A-C in Maths, English and Science however..

    Thank you everyone, all your input is really helpful.

    As an AET, would you only ever be based at either Culdrose or Yeovilton whilst not at sea, or could you go to an Army or RAF base?
  14. There are Woo's at Wattisham (Apache), Benson (Merlin) and soon to be Marham (JSF).

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  15. Cheers guys, you've all been a great help. I think AET is the one to aim for. Depends on my test scores I suppose, I'd still be happy if I got in as an ME(ET).
  16. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator


    Good luck.
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  17. ImageUploadedByNavy Net - Rum Ration1393086739.396231.jpg

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  18. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    I wasn't't necessarily advocating ET(ME), merely correcting an outbreak of dyslexia.:wink:
  19. exJenny

    exJenny War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    The curse that is dailysex.
  20. Is this to avoid confusion between a spanner ****** and a weather guesser?
    Is the avoidance of WET for weapons to avoid convusion with Woos...?:tongue10:
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