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.
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 (ADF) you must pass the recruitment process and complete recruit training at the Recruit Training Unit.
You must be an Australian citizen (although permanent residents may be considered under certain circumstances), have passed Year 10 English and Mathematics, and be at least 16 years and six months old to apply. You will undergo a series of written, aptitude, physical, psychological and medical checks and interviews. You will also need to undergo a National Police Check.
Successful applicants are required to complete 11 weeks of recruit training at the No 1 Recruit Training Unit (1RTU) at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base in Wagga, New South Wales.
Once you have completed recruit 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 you 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 also join the ADF on a part time basis within the Air Force Reserves.