Fleet Air Arm

SpeedBall

Midshipman
Hi guys,

I'm currently working for an airline in customer services but looking for a more exciting career.
Always wanted to join the forces and did try to join the RAF in Flight Ops last year but wasn't selected for one of the limited places. And the Army Air Corps but wasn't accepted because of the medical requirements.

I'm now looking at the Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm.
Any advice on careers there would be good. I'm quite limited to the jobs I can do (no qualifications, long story, but I didn't fail them and do have the aptitude.)

Basically, I have been considering:
- Air Engineering Technician
- Naval Airman Aircraft Handler

Any info on the jobs would be great.
 

SpeedBall

Midshipman
Oh also, I have psoriasis/excema, very very mild. I spoke to the recruitment girl about it and she wasn't to sure (told her I wasnt accepted into the army air corps because of it) but she thought it was different in the navy...
 

off_les_aura

War Hero
You were looking for a more exciting career so you went to the RAF?!!

I'm not sure on how joining up as an AET works these days. The Aircraft Engineering Technician has replaced the old "two-stream" system of AEM (M for Mechanic - semi skilled basically with no technical qualifications) and AEA (A for Artificer, trained at apprenticeship level to HND).

In the old days (last year!) you joined as an AEM. If you were clever you could be "field selected" for training to AEA and promotion became more rapid. To be fair though, in practice AEA's and AEM's basically did the same job.

However you couldn't join directly as an AEA. You joined as an Artificer Apprentice, and dependant on manpower requirements you were then selected, after initial training (and after it was too late to complain!), as either an AEA, MEA or WEA. MEA's were basically engineers on ships, looking after the engines, propulsion, plumbing, fuel tanks etc. Horrible, dirty smelly work where you spend your life on a ship and rarely see the light of day. WEA's basically looked after the ships weapon systems. Not so smelly and horrible but still a life on the ocean waves. But hey, horses for courses thats what I say.

If you have to join as a ET, then get selected after training to AET, ET(ME) or ET(WE), there is a chance that you may not get your preferred job and could spend the rest of your career in the engine room of a ship thinking "where did it all go wrong?". The careers office will lie to you, so make sure you find out. Trust me, I joined as an apprentice 17 years ago and was told I could be an AEA no problem. Guess what, I ended up as an MEA. I had to request to change to AEM then spent 9 years trying to get "field selected" which finally happened for me. I wasted many years, so BE AWARE of what they offer you!!!

If you can join directly as an AET then my advice is GO FOR IT. As far as my experience can tell it is the best job in the Navy.

Aircraft Handlers seem to be happy with their lot and there are some real characters out there. You get to pull aircraft around with a tractor and be a fire-man. Chicks seem to dig that. There is a big AH Association and they seem to be one big happy family (haha!) and all know each other so you get that nice warm fuzzy feeling.

I hope this is of some help, and I hope I haven't offended any fish-heads reading this. Like we always say, you make your choice in the careers office - MAKE SURE YOU CHOOSE WISELY!
 

copenhagencup

Lantern Swinger
psoriasis/excema does not go well with POL (petrols oil and lubricants), I have known a few suffer with these conditions, they tended to get office jobs as AE`s, however if you are joining with them it could be a problem, be honest at the AFCO, they may speak to a doc and give you an early answer. Air traffic is another option, Survival equipment some use of glues ace if your good at sewing. Handlers fight fires, drive lots of different vehicles, and marshall aircraft later in their careers.
All jobs exciting probably not. But mates for life.
 

SpeedBall

Midshipman
Thanks for that, some good info.

As for the direct entry on the engineer job, theres a few different jobs around the RN website split into their own sections so it looks like you can join direct to what you'd prefer to do...
 

slim

War Hero
SpeedBall said:
great, a helpful reply, thats what I like to see :roll:

First rule of the Fleet Air Arm, expect to get the piss taken out of you, do not have a sense of humour failure. :lol:
 

copenhagencup

Lantern Swinger
Speed ball I joined a different Navy more than 20 years ago, I am off soon because the Navy is crap, however the Fleet Air Arm still endeavours to rise above its fishead cousins.
 

off_les_aura

War Hero
Thats great Speedball but remember the website is just an extension of the Careers Office and they will lie like a Pussers' Menu to get you in. Make sure before you sign on the line...
 

Handler

War Hero
If you need any dits from what and how the AH branch worked--let me know I'm sure I can bore you with all sorts of tales of yore----and if I can't then there a few others who can !
 
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