Engineering tech advice?

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by sneakyserpent, Nov 12, 2015.

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  1. Just a few questions for those of you engineering tech's or anyone else that can help!

    Yes, I have heard of the search function and yes I have scrolled through all I can find but my thirst for knowledge remains, and as I'm living out my last few months in New Zealand, I can't go chat to the AFCO so I'm relying on you guys to help :)

    Pretty torn between marine engineering tech and weapons tech. Firstly, how varied is the marine tech and do they have you doing pretty much anything marine related? I have been checking out the shipwright role on the REME website and that seems fun but I'd much rather join the navy. Could anyone detail the main differences? And how much workshop work on board would there be as ME tech, fabricating parts etc, as actually making things as well as fixing things definately appeals.

    Secondly, I'm generally more interested in things that go boom than engines so enjoyment wise I think I'm leaning towards weapons tech, but I can't help but consider life after the navy and the transferable skills id get in this trade. I have read that these guys will do some sensors and electronics etc as well as weapons but just wondering to what extent and what the civvie equivalent may be. Of course, after a long career doing any role there is a chance you may want to do something completely different when you finally get out but I can't help but wonder about long term prospects, even if I'm decades away from being there.

    Any help would be greatly, greatly appreciated.

    Thanks guys
  2. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    There are "hands-on" mechanical aspects to both ME & WE branches and there are certainly cross-over aspects with a quite diverse range of equipment for which you are responsible.

    ME tends to be largely overall wearing, watchkeeping (shifts) starting/stopping/condition monitoring & maintaining/repairing electro-mechanical equipment such as gas turbines, diesel generators/power & distribution equipment and diesel engines, refrigeration/air conditioning, pneumatics, hydraulics, fluid systems, ships boats, etc. The main thrust tends to be mechanical more than electronic, when viewed overall. That said many of the controls systems are now electronic.

    WE tends to be largely condition monitoring & maintaining, diagnostics and repair of computers and electronic equipment. Kit includes stuff such as radar & sonar sensors, communications, fixed weapons, magazines and their systems and although they do work on hydraulics/fluid systems and mechanical weapon system components, the main thrust tends to electrical and electronic more than mechanical, when viewed overall.

    Both branches can take you to foundation degree, which you can top-up, through the OU, to BSc.
  3. WE if you have an unhealthy interest in pornography and guns.

    ME if you like drinking your mess mate's urine.

    Otherwise it's pretty much the same.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Thanks for the varied info so far haha.

    So stoker, what would each job entail if you aren't at sea?

    Also, as of literally a few days ago, experian rehashed the way they work out credit rating so my credit went from fair to poor. I've also spent a good few years out of the U.K. Travelling (left in 2011 and spent 2 and a bit years in Australia and Asia, came home for 15 months, and left the uk in June to do about a year in NZ before I come home to be a big boy and join the service). I know the latter would exclude me from the RFA for example but would either of these issues be a problem for me in the real navy?

  5. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    The main difference when you are alongside is the kit isn't essential so you can shut it down to work on it.

    Don't expect much time shore-based beyond professional courses in between sea drafts for the first 4 years.

    Considering you've spent so long overseas but still managing to run-up a poor credit rating in UK, you may well have an issue gaining security clearance if you don't get your finances in order.

    You'll also need to gain a residency waiver if overseas for more than six months in the last 5 years. To achieve this you'll need to produce an accurate list of addresses & dates, references & ideally police check print-outs for each country visited.

    Good luck.
  6. Thanks for the info. I'm not worried about the credit at this stage, like I said it was 'fair' but dropped 300 something points a week ago for no reasons other than how it's calculated. During my travels a few years ago I got in a bit of an emergency situation and bills had to take a back seat. I'm sure I can sort that pretty quickly once I'm home.

    Im much more concerned about the documentation of my travels. I could get rough dates and ask for employer references by email but I was/am backpacking. Tons of travel done on a whim and stays in hostels/couch surfing etc. How thorough will this list need to be? Will scans of passport stamps and print outs of visa grant emails, plus employer references be sufficient? Or will I also need to document every place I stayed because I think the latter would just be impossible. I'm bound to miss or forget something.

  7. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    You need to be as accurate as possible. SC will involve police checks in the countries visited, so the more you can produce, the quicker it can be processed. There's seldom an issue with Commonwealth countries such as Australia& New Zealand, it's more of an issue and delay if your travels have involved visits to countries that do not have a reciprocal intelligence protocol.
  8. Ok, will do. Thanks for the info. Really appreciate it.
  9. As far as ME training goes, a lot of it is theory - you do some basic fabrication in week 5 and 6 from there on it's theory based predominately till about the last 4 weeks of the course to which you'll be doing practical work.
  10. Sorry b33, I didn't realise you'd contributed until I checked the thread again. Thanks. So you do use the workshops to actually fabricate things? From my research, it sounds like ME's get worked the hardest and pull the short straw with the watch' but literally do pretty much everything. Can't help but think that the transferable skills would be somewhat more useful. As an ME, what's your honest opinion of the WE's then? Apart from the sleeping and porn, they obviously deal with weapons and electronics but what other type of electronics other than sensors, and do they really tend to need contractors to help out on a regular basis? What would be their civilian equivalent I guess would be the best way to put it? I'm still really torn between the two.
  11. I'm in phase 2 myself mate. Fabrication isn't really a predominant factor with our course. Like I said we done two weeks of filing and sawing. You go on to do mechanical theory exams and electrical etc etc... Obviously the job is transferable because the impression that is given off here is that everyone jacks up and goes to rigs or some other engineering trade after a few years. I can't really speak much for the WE's especially as it's done at Collingwood. But if it's any consolation my mate has just transferred from Phase 2 WESM to Phase 2 MESM.
  12. I get you. So you enjoying the training so far? I can't imagine it being standard but it's good to know there is the possibility of transferring while in training. I reckon I'll probably have to see if I can get more insight in person. Iv always wanted a trade but so far Iv travelled and done typical backpacker jobs - customer service shit. See this will be a big departure from what I'm used to which I urgently need. I don't even know which trade I'd prefer or be more suited to though. Iv just been drawn to the navy since I left school.
  13. If you want a guaranteed trade after and excellent transferable skills, join as a ME if you want that and money join as a MESM (What I've done). I was the exact same as you, hell my posts are still on here from before I even joined the mob when I was asking Ninja stupid questions. Don't think it's easy though mate, I do enjoy it but it's not easy and you have to put effort into revising while dealing with the day-to-day military bearings of being a phase 2 ET2.

    Weapons Engineering is transferrable as I believe you still work off the same mechanical and electrical modules we do however with ME you seem to go more in depth with that knowledge and then eventually do the "Maintenance" side of engineering which makes you the technician (which is saught after in the civvie world)
  14. I'm sure it is dude. Taking it dead seriously. It's gonna be a shock to the system even if I'm expecting it to be but it needs to be done I think. Just worrying about which trade but I think you've swayed me somewhat. Still trying to find a day to day list of what both trades do but it's just full of people slagging the other off, which does makes me chuckle but doesn't really help.

    Are the NVQ's and BTEC's both branches get the same by the way? Or is It mechanical and electronic engineering?
  15. NVQ Lvl 2 Engineering Maintenance.
  16. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator


    There is the opportunity later in your career, subject to attaining the rate of Petty Officer and completing the appropriate qualifying course, to earn a foundation degree within the service & also to "top-up", if so inclined/motivated, to BSc.
  17. Thanks Ninja. So after training, the first qualification you get is the NVQ2 for both trades, then work your way up to NVQ3 I guess and a Diploma, eventually getting the degree if you're so inclined?

    With the MEs it's easy to tell what you could go for regarding civvie jobs but I'm not sure about for WE. I'm sure you could get into all sorts in the electrical world but from your experience, what sort of civvie job would the WEs do after service? I'm curious as to what types of roles you'd be qualified for.
    And is there any way I could go out to a base as a day trip and have a look at both roles up close? Still torn haha. Oh and how long is the waiting time for each at the moment could you tell me?
  18. Good luck Sneaky - with all of us who have left the UK for the RNZN they could probably do with some flow in the opposite direction! Don't forget to take a coat.
  19. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    The drop in oil price is doing us a small favour, quite a few people suddenly realising the grass isn't greener.

    Met with an NZ SO1 this week who knew you (Mike, Reserve MTO), hope all is well in Kiwi land.
  20. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    Getting back on track I think as the Navy embraces Information Warfare we will see the WE branch split into dedicated streams for sensors, CIS etc.

    I also think we will start to do more innovative maintenance for both ME and WE, 3D additive printing for example to manufacture parts. We're trialling that now, so it won't be too far before we implement it

    All depends on your particular interest I guess, both have merit but my view would be that WE opens wider possibilities afterwards.

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