Royal Air Force Airman or Airwoman

Royal Air Force Airman or Airwoman Image

Royal Air Force airmen or airwomen work in a wide variety of support roles, mostly in ground support. A smaller number of airmen or airwomen are aircrew and have flight duties. All RAF airmen or airwomen must be ready to go to war. They may provide support on the ground or fly aircraft.

The Work

In ground support you could be:

In aircrew you could be:

In both areas you could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:

New recruits start at £16,844 a year whilst in professional training. Initial pay after training is usually £21,425 a year, but in some specialist roles it is more. You get extra allowances in some jobs and for being overseas. 

The following rank scales are a general guide: 

The RAF provides subsidised food and accommodation as well as uniforms and protective clothing, free healthcare and a pension.


You should be aware that in the RAF, you may at times be operating in difficult and dangerous conditions and there may be the risk of injury or death.

Workforce Employment Status

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Useful Subjects

Getting In

Specific entry and eligibility requirements vary depending on the role you choose, but in general are as follows.

The conditions on leaving and how much notice is required varies depending on which branch or specialism you are in. The RAF or Armed Forces recruitment offices would advise on this.

There is a National 4 Skills for Work course in Uniformed and Emergency Services, which introduces school pupils to careers in the armed forces, emergency services and Merchant Navy. Contact the Scottish Qualifications Authority for details. Some colleges also run Entry to the Uniformed Services courses.

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

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What Does it Take?

You should be:


Getting On

More Information

For detailed information about the Royal Air Force, phone 0345 605 5555 or visit the Royal Air Force website to find your nearest recruitment centre. 


Courtesy of Royal Air Force


The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Royal Air Force Careers
Tel: 0345 605 5555
Twitter: @RAF_Recruitment

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