Taking care of the team
We look after our people. You’ll soon find that, as well as job satisfaction, support and excellent training, there are a host of other benefits that come with the job.
If you’ve got the potential to make a real contribution to the RAF, the support could start before you join up! We offer sixth form and university sponsorship to candidates who commit to joining the RAF as officers after completing their studies.
As well as financial support, sponsorship can provide a great opportunity to get first-hand experience of the challenges you’ll face working with our people, technology and aircraft – we’ll even give you free flying experience.
Once you’ve joined there are even more opportunities open to you.
Work all over the world
Here’s some good news for your passport. As a force that operates worldwide, the RAF needs to maintain an active overseas presence. As well as deployment destinations such as Afghanistan, there are RAF bases in places like Cyprus, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar and Ascension Island. What’s more, if you’re posted abroad, your relocation costs will be covered.
Earn while you learn
Some RAF careers offer apprenticeships and many others enable you to gain recognised qualifications for free. All officers graduate from the RAF College Cranwell with a Level 5 Diploma from the Institute of Leadership and Management and many airmen/airwomen can earn NVQs from simply completing their professional training.
Save a stack of cash
The RAF pays for your pension, your doctor, your dentist, your duty travel and even your driving licence (if your role requires you to drive military vehicles). While on operations, you won’t pay anything for your accommodation or food – and you could even receive an extra allowance for living overseas. We’ll expect a lot from you on operations, but in return we’ll give you six weeks’ paid holiday a year, plus public holidays.
Experience training courses with a difference
Adventurous training develops vital military skills such as leadership, risk assessment, team spirit and working under pressure. So while your civvie mates are saving for two weeks on the Costa del Sol, you could be mountain climbing in France or swimming with sharks in South Africa… and be getting paid while you’re doing it!
Get ahead in your career, every year
Join the RAF and you’ll be paid from the day you start your basic training. After just one year’s service, airman/airwomen will earn at least £17,140 per year. For officers and non-commissioned aircrew entering productive service, salaries are at least £29,000 a year. And because the RAF follows a structured pay scale set by the MOD, you’re usually guaranteed a pay rise every year.
Get fit and stay fit, for free
Physical training is a massive part of RAF life, not to mention a great way to meet new people. Every base has free sports facilities, normally including a gym and regular fitness classes, and the RAF’s physical training instructors are always on hand to offer training advice and tips.
Get involved in sports
Join one of the RAF’s many sports clubs and you could represent your base against other stations or play for the RAF against other Armed Forces. You could even take part in the Olympics! The RAF sponsors its most talented personnel to compete at the highest level, not only by giving them time off to train, but also by subsidising their travel, entry fee and equipment costs.
Get great discounts
There are loads of companies out there who want show their appreciation for the Armed Forces. Once you’ve joined, you can register at forcesdiscounts-mod.co.uk for hundreds of exclusive discounts. You’ll also be eligible for an HM Forces Railcard. The card costs just £15 a year and can get you up to a third off standard rail fares across the country.
Get really clever
Everyone in the RAF is entitled to an annual allowance to help them gain new qualifications. The Standard Learning Credit (SLC) Scheme enables eligible candidates to claim up to 80% of their course fees back. A huge range of courses is available, from vocational through to a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree.
Live a lot, pay a little
There’s no need to worry about looking for a house or flat near your base, the RAF has accommodation you can pay for straight from your salary. For those living in single barrack accommodation or a Mess, rent includes all utility bills. There’s also on-base catering, so you don’t even have to worry about the washing up!
Work with cool equipment
While your civvie mates are figuring out how to use the latest MP3 player, you could be learning to throw a grenade, fire the SA80 assault rifle or fly a Typhoon fast jet! The RAF uses some of the most advanced technology in the world, from high-capability jets and heavy-duty helicopters to the latest radar and satellite systems. To succeed in our missions takes more than planes and pilots – there’s a team of highly skilled people behind every aircraft that takes to the skies, and that’s where you come in.
Make friends for life
Once you’ve spent a couple of nights in the field with your unit, you’ll start to understand the close bond that troops develop. Forces’ camaraderie is second to none – you’ll live, work, learn and socialise with your mates. You’ll learn to trust them with your life and you’ll know that they trust you with theirs.