ATC Officer or AC?

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by Felix_Cat, Sep 18, 2009.

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  1. Hi all,

    I'm new to RR and have read through many of the forums and threads with great interest. I know that someone else has previously asked a similar question but I am really unsure as to whether I should join as an ATC Officer or as an AC. I have submitted my application form and put ATC officer as my first choice as I have the necessary education qualifications and I do think that I would like to be an Officer however I am also keen to travel and be involved in a more hands-on job and so my local AFCO has suggested that I should go down the route of AC. Does anyone have any advice or could give me a better breakdown of the duties involved with each job as the Royal Navy website doesn't expand greatly on either position.

    Many thanks.
  2. ATC officers are hands-on, for a start. Ask the AFCO for an officers' acquaint course, and see what you think.
  3. If you want to travel, join as an AC, you'll see tthe world, trust me.

    If you want to see flattops, Culdrose and Yeovilton rotating ad nauseam, become an ATCO.

    If travel is high up on your list of priorities it's a no-brainer.
  4. What if he wants a pretty uniform, lots more money and lots more respect. :p
  5. Then ATCO is definitely not for him!
  6. It's a tough one;
    ATCO = more pay, more stability, better uniform, better pension.
    AC = more travel, occasionally more responsibility (debatable admittedly), considerably lower pay.

    In the end, it's up to you, but don't be lead astray by any fairy tales the AFCO may tell you about being an AC, you WON'T be a leading hand within 2 years, probably not even in 3, promotion to PO is then a minimum 2 years away (and typically longer). You'll also not be living a life on the ocean wave for some time after you join (approx 15 months before you'll join your first ship), though once you've passed your LACPQC (Leading Aircraft Controller's Professional Qualifying Course) you'll spend more time at sea than most barnacles do!

    Personally, if I could start again (can't now, too bloody old) then I'd have pushed for the officer route rather than joining as a rating and becoming an AC.
  7. Hi all,

    many thanks for your advice, it has given me alot to think about although to be honest I'm still unsure.

    If I were to go down the ATCO route and don't pass AIB would I still be able to enter as an AC and avoid doing the FATs etc again? Also, looking further down the line, if I was lucky enough to be accepted by the RN, would the experience I got as an AC or ATCO stand me in better stead for a job in commercial aviation when I eventually have to leave the RN?

    Thanks again
  8. Yes and yes, I know of at least two people who've fluffed AIB and ended up being offered AC within the last year. Providing of course you score highly enough on the FATs for AC (if you can't, consider voluntary euthanasia).

    As for employment opportunities after the mob, while you'll get no civilian controlling licenses several agencies around the globe tend to like ex military controllers (Abu Dhabi anyone...) and are often willing to pay for you to get those licenses. As for which would stand you in better stead, it's 6 of one half a dozen of the other these days, as an ATCO you'll be sent on JATCC (Joint Air Traffic Controller's Course) immediately and be an air traffic controller right from the word go, however as an AC you'll need to wait til you reach PO before having a stab at it.

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