About the Job

The upkeep of advanced weapons systems is vital to the operation of the Air Force. This makes the Aircraft Armament Technician role absolutely critical. It’s a team of unique, proud and dedicated people that are responsible for handling and maintaining some of the world’s most technologically advanced weapons and aircraft systems, working with explosives and operating aircraft targeting facilities.

What you’ll do

The Armament trade is responsible for handling and maintaining armament systems, ejection seat systems, air-launched munitions and associated equipment. Working with the world’s most advanced weaponised aircraft, including the F/A-18F Super Hornet, E/A-18 Growler, and F-35A Lightning II, you’ll maintain aircraft weapon systems which are a combination of electronic, electrical and mechanical components. You’ll also prepare and load various air-launched munitions.

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • Aircraft launch and recovery duties
  • Maintenance and testing of aircraft armament systems – from computers to weapon systems
  • Inspection, removal and installation of aircraft components
  • Working with explosives (Explosive Ordnance)
  • Fault diagnostics
  • Preparation and load/download of missiles, bombs and torpedoes to/from aircraft
  • Preparation and use of aircraft support equipment

As you progress, your future tasks could include:

Special Training - Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) functions:

  • Ammunition range clearances
  • Bulk Explosive Ordnance (EO) disposal tasks
  • Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEDD)
  • Demolition Operations

You may also be involved in instructional and management duties.

Training and Career progression

We’ll provide you with all of the training and knowledge you need to kickstart your career in this role during your Initial Employment Training (IET). You’ll receive a nationally recognised qualification and be paid to do it. Plus, there’s plenty of opportunity to develop in this specialised career.

With further training provided by the Air Force, you’ll have the opportunity to become a Demolition Operator where you safely dispose of unexploded or malfunctioned weapons/munitions and pyrotechnics. Demolition Operators can also take on more specialised training in Improvised Explosive Device Disposal and Explosive Ordnance Disposal.

Additional Information

This is no ordinary technician role. You’ll become an integral part of the Air Force, working with the world’s leading aircraft and state-of-the-art weapon systems as you help protect our country. That’s not something you’d find in everyday civilian life.

During your career you may also have opportunities to work on aircraft belonging to the Navy and Army.

The duties of Aircraft Armament Technicians are critical to the operational effectiveness of the Air Force, performing an important role in exercising skill, judgement and a high standard of workmanship to ensure continued integrity of armament systems and equipment.

If you’re good with your hands, enjoy mechanical/electrical hobbies, work well in a team and are naturally curious, you’ll go far in this highly rewarding and specialised career that’s integral to the Air Force. We’ll provide the training, you just need to bring your ambition.

In-service Information

In the Air Force this role is known as Aircraft Armament Technician (ARMTECH).


Key Information

Preparing for Your Recruitment Process

This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.

National Qualifications

The Royal Australian Air Force is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) under the National Vocational Education and Training Regulation 2011 (NVR). This allows the RAAF to issue national awards, which in principle have the same standing as those provided by Universities and other Institutes of TAFE.

Following completion of the Armament Technician course and attainment of the competency standards you may be issued with a Certificate IV in Aeroskills (Armament).

Salary & Allowances

In the Air Force you'll get paid a good salary from day one regardless of your age, experience or qualifications; and your pay increases as you progress through training.

In addition to your salary you'll receive a variety of allowances, extra pay for relevant qualifications – plus 16.4% superannuation, a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.


For more details download our Salary Scales.


Locations

Members may be posted to most Air Force bases and other Defence Establishments within Australia, as well as limited overseas opportunities.


Requirements

Age

"On the day you enter the Air Force you must be at least 17 years old and a maximum of 55 years old.

Applicants will not be allowed to enter the Air Force until they achieve a minimum of 17 years of age, however they may be able to initiate the application process from 16 years and six months of age.

Education & Experience

For unqualified entry it is essential that you have completed Year 10 with passes in English, Maths and Science (with a Physics component). These entry qualifications are required to facilitate understanding of the engineering principles encountered during training.

Note: Consumer Maths, General Maths, Mathematics (General Mathematics) and similarly 'modified' Maths subjects are not suitable for this job.

If you have commenced, or completed, a Cert IV in Aeroskills (Armament) please discuss this with DFR staff as you commence your application to ensure a review of your qualifications and skills by Air Force can be requested.

Medical & Fitness

To be enlisted or appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.

You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness assessment before appointment.

For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

Period of Service

You will be enlisted for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of four years. Subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service. You may request discharge at any time provided you do not have an outstanding IMPS obligation.

Your Careers Coach can advise on how IMPS will relate to your chosen occupation.

Additional Requirements

Candidates for entry as Armament Technician must be of good character with no criminal convictions. A number of lesser convictions or infringements may also render the candidate less competitive.

Entrants are to declare in writing any Weapons Protection Order (WPO) to which they are subject. Entry may be declined or deferred on the basis of this information. A failure by an entrant to declare the existence of a WPO may result in termination action being taken at a later date.

Licence Requirements:

At a minimum, candidates must hold a valid Australian State or Territory provisional/probationary C Class Drivers Licence upon enlistment/appointment. Candidates with suspended or cancelled licences will not be eligible to join until the suspension or cancellation has been lifted or has expired.
Further Requirements:
  • Well-developed hand-skills and hand-eye coordination;
  • Advanced analytical and problem-solving skills required to troubleshoot aircraft;
  • Appreciation of safety requirements;
  • Good attention to detail;
  • Ability to work under pressure;
  • Able to sustain long periods of precision lifting;
  • Comfortable working in confined spaces; and
  • Resourcefulness and common sense.

Aptitude

The Job Opportunities Assessment (JOA) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete a further evaluation at a later date.

The JOA is used by Defence to establish suitability for ADF entry, and then identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information about the JOA can be found in the Guide to the Job Opportunities Assessment for the ADF.

To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in the Job Opportunities Assessment and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Job Opportunities Assessment Example Questions.

Citizenship

To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.

If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary deferral of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.

Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

Security Requirements

The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have a security clearance appropriate to their employment.

A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and if required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.

The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1 (NV1), and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years.

This means applicants must provide credible referees (non-family members) who are able to provide information about the applicant covering an extended period of time. Required information for an NV1 includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Financial information
  • Travel

Some ADF jobs may require a higher level of security clearance such as Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2) or Positive Vetting (PV). Your individual circumstances will determine the number and complexity of the questions and the supporting documents required for these levels.

Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.

The security clearance is critical to an applicant's successful progression through the recruiting process. It is strongly recommended that all applicants action the Security Clearance Package (ePack) and provide the required documentation without delay to provide the best opportunity to commence training and be employed in their preferred employment category.

For more detailed information on the security vetting process and specific clearance level requirements set by AGSVA, please refer to the AGSVA website.

Support will be provided by DFR during the initial application process.

Training

Military Training

Duration: 10.6 weeks

Location: RAAF Base Wagga (NSW)

You'll start your Air Force career at No 1 Recruit Training Unit (1RTU). In three intensive months you'll transition smoothly from civilian to Service life, acquiring the basic knowledge, skills and physical fitness required for your role; and learning to become an effective and productive member of the Air Force.

You can read about what to expect at the No.1 Recruit Training Unit on the 1RTU website.

Employment Training

Armament Technician Course
Duration: 31.4 weeks (this is an approximate duration and may be subject to change).
Location: RAAF School of Technical Training (RAAFSTT) at RAAF Base Wagga (NSW) and the Defence Explosive Ordnance Training School (DEOTS) at Defence Establishment Orchard Hills (NSW).
Training Philosophy

The training philosophy adopted by the RAAF for Armament Technical Training is based on the Integrated Job Performance Training System in which students are first given broad hand skills, then trained in the operation and maintenance of complete systems before ultimately being trained in the detailed operation and diagnostic maintenance of complete system components. Training is based on the requirements of the MEA11 Aeroskills Training Package and is aligned to the Competency Standards required for a Certificate IV in Aeroskills (Armament). Following completion of an Armament Technician course and attainment of the competency standards you may be issued with an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level IV certificate.

Armament Technician Course

The Technician course is conducted at RAAFSTT, RAAF Base Wagga, NSW, and comprises the initial generic trade training for Armament Technician recruits who are employed at the Fitter (Grade 1) skill level upon graduation. The course provides instruction in generic trade hand skills, component removal and installation and detailed systems theory of operation and diagnostics. Training is also provided in aircraft handling and servicing tasks. As part of the Technician Course training in explosive ordnance handling and management is delivered at Defence Explosive Ordnance Training School, Defence Establishment Orchard Hills, NSW.

Fitter progression

Having graduated as an Aircraftman/Aircraftwoman (AC/ACW) Armament Fitter Grade 1, members are required to consolidate their training through work experience. The minimum requirement for progression to Armament Technician is the completion of 24 months employment as a Fitter (comprising a minimum of 12 months as an AC/ACW Fitter grade 1 and 12 months as a LAC/LACW Fitter grade 2) plus the completion of the Competency Journal or Skills Log ARMFITT2 Milestone to attain a Certificate IV in Aeroskills (Armament). This results in the member being promoted to LAC Armament Technician. Following a further 24 months experience as an LAC/LACW Armament Technician, and the successful completion of pre-requisite training and satisfactory performance, the member will be eligible for consideration for promotion to CPL. Advancement through the ranks to Warrant Officer is in competition with other Armament Technicians.

Further Training

Technician Progression Options

There are a number of career options that provide for employment beyond Armament Technician, however, in every instance, advancement is competitive and strictly according to Service requirements, regardless of which career path is chosen. The following options are available:

Progression through Promotion.

Armament Technicians (ARMTECHs) may choose to remain at the Technician skill level and seek advancement through the ranks to Warrant Officer. This career option provides a wide variety of employment including Operational Maintenance (OM) on aircraft and Deeper Maintenance (DM) in workshop environments. There are also career opportunities available in aviation support staff positions such as: Logistics management, Project Offices, training establishments, headquarter units, Combat Support units, and Force Element Groups.

Alternate career pathway to Non-Destructive Inspection Technician (NDITECH)

Armament Technicians are also provided with an opportunity to undergo competitive selection and training leading to remuster to NDITECH. Once NDI training is complete, members will progress from NDITECH Grade 1 to Grade 2, then progress through the ranks to Warrant Officer in competition with other NDITECH members.