Air force technician/tradesperson


Also known as:

  • Air force - general entrant
  • Army soldier - technician
  • Navy sailor
  • Navy technician
  • Soldier

What they do

Air force technicians/tradespeople undertake a range of technical and trade roles in the operation and support of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). They undertake a specific group of duties that depend on and relate to their role, and may include the maintenance and repair of air force technology, or the construction and maintenance of support structures and military infrastructure. They support the strategic operations and organisational structures of the air force during both peacetime and combat activities, and may travel across the country and internationally in support of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) military and general operations.

Specialisations include: Acoustic warfare analyst (navy), Air dispatcher (army), Air surveillance operator (air force), Aircraft life support fitter (air force), Aircraft life support fitter (army), Aircrewman (navy), Airfield defence guard (air force), Boatswains mate (navy), Combat engineer (army), Combat systems operator (navy), Combat systems operator mine warfare (navy), Commando (army), Crewman armoured personnel carrier M113 (army), Crewman Australian light armoured vehicle (ASLAV) (army), Crewman main battle tank (army), Electronic warfare - linguist (navy), Electronic warfare - technical (navy), Geospatial imagery intelligence analyst (air force), Ground crewman mission support (army), Gun number (army), Marine specialist (army), Naval police coxswain (navy), Operator artillery meteorology and surveyor (army), Operator electronic warfare (army), Operator ground based air defence (army), Operator weapon locating radar (army), Rifleman (army), Security police (air force), Signal operator linguist (air force), Signal operator technical (air force)

Working conditions

Air force technicians/tradespeople encounter a range of working conditions that depend on the type of role they specialise in. For example, whilst aircraft spray painters work in workshops and aircraft hangers, avionics technicians work on board air force transport aircraft, and fitters and turners may work in a range of locations, depending on the type of work they are carrying out. Their hours also depend on the type of work they undertake.

Tools and technologies

The tools and technologies used by air force technicians/tradespeople vary greatly depending on their specialised role. Whilst motor mechanics or fitters and turners are involved in the maintenance of mechanical systems, where they use a range of mechanical maintenance tools and testing systems, carpenters on the other hand use hand and power tools. All air force personnel are required to wear uniforms.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become an air force technician within the Australian Defence Force you must pass the recruitment process and complete Basic Training at the Recruit Training Unit.
You will undergo a series of written, physical, psychological and medical checks and interviews. You will also need to provide a National Police History Check.

Successful applicants are required to complete just over 10 weeks of Basic Training at the No 1 Recruit Training Unit (1RTU) at the RAAF Base in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.

Once you have completed Basic Training you will undertake Initial Employment Training where you will receive your technical training. You may also have the opportunity to undertake additional specialist training.

The technical training varies and will prepare for your specific role within the Air Force, in areas such as aviation, electronics and telecommunications, or traditional trades. The length, location and related qualifications of this training depend on the role you will be moving into.

If you already hold an existing trade qualification, related to the trade you wish to work in, you may become an air force technician through the Qualified Entry pathway. However, specialised training may still be required.

You can join the Air Force through the ADF Gap Year program. You must be between 17 and 24 years old, and have completed year 12 (or equivalent).

You can also join the Australian Defence Force on a part time basis within the Air Force Reserves.

Visit the Defence Force Recruiting Centre website for more information.