Good with your hands and like the idea of thinking through and fixing a problem? This could be just the career for you. As an Aeronautical Composites Technician, you’ll be responsible for the manufacture and repair of all kinds of aircraft and support equipment.
As an Aeronautical Composites Technician, you’ll be a member of the ground crew responsible for all aspects of maintenance required to support RNZAF aircraft operations. You’ll be specifically responsible for the manufacture and repair of aircraft and aircraft support equipment, and composite and metal-bonded components. When you reach technician level, you’ll be responsible for the programming and operation of computer controlled heat process ovens and portable hot bonding controllers.
As your career progresses, you’ll be given greater responsibilities encompassing the management of aircraft support equipment. As an Aeronautical Composites Technician you’ll be required to perform military command and leadership duties as a team leader and may also be appointed as an instructor.
Expect opportunities to broaden your range of skills as your career develops. You will have the opportunity to travel and be able to experience first class training in this developing trade. These could include taking on more challenging roles in management or training positions.
Careers in the Air Force are well-rewarded, as well as being diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, you will see your salary rise accordingly.
While undertaking initial Recruit Course you will be paid as a Recruit (see attached pay table). On completion of your Recruit Course you will be paid as an Aircraftsman and your pay will continue to increase as your career progresses.
A minimum of 12 NCEA Level 1 credits in English, Maths and a Science or Design Technology subject.
Upon successful enlistment into the Air Force you will be posted to RNZAF Base Woodbourne (near Blenheim) for your Recruit Course. Here you will do 12 weeks of basic military training to find out if you’ve got what it takes to be in the Air Force, and learn various subjects including:
After your Recruit Course you will complete a full-time 17 week Aeronautical Engineering Fundamentals Course. This course covers:
This course is a requirement for all technical trades within the RNZAF and sets you up well for your career as an aviation technician.
On completion of the Aeronautical Engineering Course you’ll complete two primary trade training modules. The first is a five-and-a-half week module on aircraft structure repair designed to give you theoretical and practical training in the repair of metallic aircraft structures. The second module provides nine weeks of theoretical and practical training in entry-level composites, including component design, manufacture and repair.
After graduating from the RNZAF Composite Mechanic Course, you will be employed for approximately 18 months on an RNZAF base, carrying out duties and gaining experience. This training is designed to consolidate and extend your trade training.
Advanced trade training consists of two modules and a subsequent period of workplace experience to consolidate the formal training. After graduating as an Aeronautical Composites Technician, you may be selected to undertake specialist postgraduate training in the use of heat-curing equipment and associated processes.