About the Job
An Aircraft Technician (known in the Navy as Aviation Technician Aircraft) is responsible for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft systems and components, such as:
- Helicopter transmissions and power train
- Fluid power systems
- Condition monitoring systems
- Engine systems and controls
- Auxiliary systems
- Flight control systems
- Environmental systems
- Aircraft structures and aircraft finishes
- Ground support equipment
- Landing gear and
- Aviation safety equipment
The Royal Australian Navy operates some of the most sophisticated helicopters produced for military purposes. The safe and efficient operation of these aircraft requires the skills of Aircraft technicians in the application of the most up-to-date technology.
You may at times during your career, also work on aircraft belonging to the Army and Air Force.
Other Ranks - Technical
Join the ADF and receive full trade training
This entry method is currently not recruiting
On completion of the associated Competency Log (completed at the Nowra squadrons) all eligible personnel will receive a 'Certificate IV in Aeroskills (Mechanical)' which is a nationally recognised qualification.
Personnel are required to have completed four years from commencement of Employment training to be eligible.
Salary & Allowances
Salary while undertaking Military (Recruit) Training: $1,434 per fortnight ($37,302 per year).*
Salary while undertaking Employment Training commences at $1,639 per fortnight ($42,631 per year) and increases to $1,844 per fortnight ($47,960 per year) after 12 months of training.*
While under training, you will also receive $403 per fortnight ($10,493 per year pro rata) Trainee Allowance.
To assist you in maintaining your uniforms in good order and condition, you will receive a Uniform Allowance of $16 per fortnight ($419 per year).
Salary (excluding allowances) on completion of Initial Employment Training: $2,187 per fortnight ($56,877 per year).*
In addition to your salary, you will receive Service Allowance of $538 per fortnight ($13,991 per year) except while undertaking Military (Initial) or Employment training. This allowance helps compensate you for the unique requirements service life may impose on you and your family.
Each General Entry job in the Australian Defence Force is classified into a pay grade. This particular job is classified as a Pay Grade 4 occupation.
Salary will continue to increase based on rank and the number of years of service completed in that rank. Pay Grade may also increase following the acquisition of additional skills and completion of advanced courses.
Refer to the Salary Scales for further details.
* Please note that these figures do not include compulsory deductions for taxation; meals, accommodation and utilities (as applicable); and superannuation.
Primarily posted to HMAS Albatross in Nowra, New South Wales. All sailors will serve in fleet units and shore establishments around Australia based on Service need. Individual preferences for posting location will be taken into account where possible.
Recognition of Prior Learning
The Recognition of Prior Learning/Recognition of Current Competencies process will be completed prior to a Letter of Offer (LOO) being sent. The LOO will detail any competency gap training required to be a qualified Aircraft Technician. This gap training will be undertaken as part of your initial trade training.
On the day you enter the Navy you must be at least 17 years old. Subject to the capacity of your local recruiting centre, you may be able to start the application process aged 16.5 years.
Education & Experience
For the General Entry Aircraft Technician Sailor Category, the minimum educational standard to be eligible to apply for entry is the completion of study at Year 10 level, with passes in English, Mathematics and Science.
Note: Consumer Maths, Maths in Society and similarly 'modified' maths are not suitable for this job.
For Qualified Entrants
Entry to this trade is also open to qualified or partially qualified applicants.
Suitable trade qualifications include:
Certificate IV in Aeroskills (Mechanical) or similar
You should present your trade paperwork at the recruiting interview to ensure the Recognition of Prior Learning/Recognition of Current Competencies process can commence prior to entry. Due to the unique nature of naval aviation maintenance in the maritime environment most qualified applicants will require additional training to gain specific Units Of Competency (UOC) required for this trade. Applicants should also be prepared to provide any trade journal work history to provide evidence of industry experience.
Also refer to Recognition of Prior Learning for further details.
Medical & Fitness
To be appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry into the ADF. 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 test before appointment.
For more details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF, Medical Process for Entry into the ADF and Physical Employment Standards once you're in the ADF.
You must also pass the swim test and physical fitness test to graduate from your Navy Training and to proceed to the Safety of Life at Sea Training that is a requirement for Recruit School and Officer training.
Royal Australian Navy Swim Test (RANST)
The RANST is conducted to ensure the Navy's duty of care to all serving personnel, with respect to rudimentary swimming skills. The purpose of the RANST is to ensure fundamental water survival skills as a prerequisite to training such as survival at sea training.
Individual components of the RANST are fundamentally related to the survival at sea scenario. Competency in the RANST is achieved through successful completion of each component comprising:
- A safety jump off a 3m tower in overalls
- A 10m underwater swim in overalls
- A 50m swim using three safety strokes
- The ability to tread water or float for 15 mins (removal of overalls optional)
Note: You will find it much easier to pass the swimming test if you undertake swimming training before you join.
All personnel will undertake the RANST upon entry and competency is to be achieved within 15 weeks from commencement of initial training. Failure of any one component will constitute failure of the entire RANST and no waivers will be granted.
Period of Service
You will be enlisted for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of six years. On enlistment if you elect to serve an open ended enlistment, you will be able to serve until retirement age, subject to your continued suitability for service. If you elect to serve for a fixed period of service, subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service.
If you are female and keen to join the Navy as an Aircraft Technician, you have the option of applying for a two-year role.
Your Careers Coach can advise on how IMPS will relate to your chosen occupation.
The application process to join the Australian Defence Force requires you to complete a series of aptitude tests which may include verbal, spatial and numerical ability and a general maths test. Some jobs may also require you to complete additional testing at a later date.
Psychology support staff will explain what is involved with each test.
The aptitude tests provide information about your suitability for the Defence Force and for particular jobs. Defence Force Recruiting can then help you identify jobs that best match your abilities.
Further information on the aptitude testing requirements can be found here.
Only Australian Citizens are permitted to serve in the ADF.
If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary waiver 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.
The security clearance is critical to an applicant’s successful progression through to Navy employment and training. It is strongly recommended that all applicants provide the required documents as early as possible in the recruiting process to avoid any delays in their training and employment.
Details regarding the security requirements for all Navy jobs can be found here.
Duration: 11 weeks
Location: Crib Point, Victoria
The Recruit School at HMAS Cerberus is situated on Western Port Bay, Victoria about 70 kilometres south east of Melbourne. The school has its own administration building, accommodation blocks and classrooms and operates as an independent unit within the greater training environment of Cerberus.
The eleven week recruit course is designed to give you sufficient knowledge and skills on which to base your navy career. The course includes both classroom and practical activities. Most subjects are individually tested. Examinations are set to ensure recruits are sufficiently prepared to undertake further specialist training at category schools. Private study areas are available in the school and a Duty Instructor is available for assistance during non-instructional hours.
When you are offered a General Entry job in the Navy, you will receive Joining Instructions for the Recruit Training Course. These instructions will provide you with a good indication of the daily routine while at the recruit school and what will be expected of you during your training. This information is also available by accessing the Navy recruit school web site.
Recruits, who successfully complete the course including the Navy Swimming Test , participate in a Graduation Parade, which is normally held on the Friday of the last week of training. Recruits will have the opportunity to invite family and friends to view the parade.
After graduation, personnel will be posted to category schools at Cerberus or at other training establishments throughout Australia.
During Military (Initial Recruit) Training and Initial Employment Training (IET), members may be required to pay a contribution towards meals, accommodation and utilities, depending on a number of factors.
Duration: 64 Weeks
Following completion of Military (Recruit) Training and a Sea Survival and Ship Safety Course of one week you will complete Aircraft Technician training.
The Aircraft Technician training component of the apprenticeship is conducted at the Royal Australian Air Force's Technical Training Facility (RAAF Base Wagga Wagga , NSW) and consists of theory and practical instruction in workshops and laboratories.
The course content has been designed to meet the Naval requirements for an Aircraft Technician sailor, equivalent to a civilian Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Mechanical), who is capable of commencing aircraft equipment application courses for employment in an operational squadron at the Naval Air Station at HMAS Albatross (Nowra, NSW).
Naval training fully embraces the National Aerospace curriculum and some Navy specific modules where appropriate. Graduating students will have received academic training encompassing:
- The full range of competencies to obtain a Certificate IV in Aeroskills (Mechanical)
- A number of competencies (not the full range) from the Aircraft Mechanic (AM) 'workshop' stream
- A number of competencies (not the full range) from the Aircraft 'Structures' stream and
- A number of competencies (not the full range) from the Avionics stream as cross training
Sub Specialist Option
Application to transfer to submarines is open to all Sailors and some Officers, male and female. Volunteers may apply for Acoustic Warfare Analyst (AWA SM) whilst in recruit school and to other Submariner categories as early in their careers as during initial Sailor trade and officer primary qualification training.
Although not all Sailor categories are employed in submarines, Acoustic Warfare Analysts (AWA) and Electronic Warfare Systems Submariners (EWSM) are drawn from any category. Transfer into one of these may be necessary for some personnel to serve in submarines. (See the individual category sections to find out if the trade of your choice has a submarine component. If not, you may volunteer to transfer to AWA or EWSM).
If Submarine Service interests YOU let the Interviewing Officer know at your Recruiting Centre.
Service in submarines is extremely demanding, both emotionally and physically.
Submariners work and live in very close proximity to each other and personal privacy is extremely limited, except when ashore. Submarine personnel work long hours and are constantly subjected to emotional and physical pressures not found in surface ships.
Many a new recruit to the Submarine Arm of the Royal Australian Navy believes that he/she has what it takes to become a good Submariner. However, until you have been tested and have experienced the arduous conditions and life inside a submarine, you won't fully appreciate the difficulties.
Today's Submariner is a unique breed of Sailor/Officer. They have met the challenges, been tested to the limits of their endurance and abilities and found to have what it takes to be members of a very demanding arm of the Royal Australian Navy.
If you think you have what it takes, then you must be prepared for some very demanding personal challenges throughout your training and employment. If you come through these you will be willingly accepted into the Submarine Arm of the Royal Australian Navy and welcome to wear 'The Dolphins' (the submariner's badge of distinction).
Note: Submarine Service is not a sub-specialisation of this category. Transfer of category is necessary to become a submariner.
Further information is available on the Submariner pages.