This career is ideal if you like getting your hands dirty as well as using your head to solve technical problems. As a vital part of our ground crew, you’ll be trained to manufacture and repair a variety of equipment, using various metals and alloys.
- ServiceAir Force
- SpecialisationEngineering and Technical Trades
- Starting Salary$47,224
About the role
As an Aeronautical Metal Worker you’ll be a member of the ground crew, jointly responsible for all aspects of maintenance required to support Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft operations, both in New Zealand and overseas. The aeronautical metal worker trade covers two separate specialisations: aeronautical metal work and general engineering.
Job on base
Aeronautical Metal Work
This includes the manufacture, modification and repair of aeronautical components such as aircraft structure, armament and mechanical components. You will conduct your tasks using a wide range of specialist metalworking and welding applications. You can expect to be working with various materials including aluminium,stainless steel, cast-alloys, chrome-molly steels and titanium.
The RNZAF uses a broad range of non-aeronautical tools and equipment to facilitate its day-to-day activities. Aeronautical Metal Workers play a crucial role in the manufacture and repair of this equipment. In general this role involves the fabrication of light-to medium engineering tasks in steel, stainless steel and aluminium.
Job on deployment
RNZAF units often live and operate from a field or camp environment when deployed on missions or exercises within New Zealand or overseas; these units need to be largely self-sufficient.
Aeronautical Metal Workers primarily deploy providing the specialist skills associated with the manufacture and repair of aeronautical components. These vital skills are also put to use in the role of camp maintainer. In the camp maintainer role RNZAF Metal Workers are also responsible for the general maintenance of a tented camp and thus play a pivotal role in ensuring camps are self-sufficient and functioning correctly. Duties may range from simply changing a tap washer to the highly skilled and important role of water filtration, storage and disposal.
This is a crucial, hands-on role that provides great experiences at home and abroad.
To be a Metal Worker it will be good to be able to think outside the square, enjoy working with your hands and getting the job done. We tend to be a jack of all trades where we do all aspects of engineering.
Career progression and training
After gaining considerable experience, you’ll be given greater responsibilities encompassing management of metal-working tasks and associated equipment. Metal Workers who have completed all their trade training are known as Master Aeronautical Metal Workers.
In addition to using their trade skills Master Aeronautical Metal Workers are eligible to perform military command and leadership duties as a team leader and may be required to manage section budgets.
Team leaders are responsible for the personnel under their command, including the conduct of personnel performance appraisals, mentoring, personnel development planning, and the maintenance of discipline. Master Aeronautical Metal Workers with substantial trade knowledge and experience may also be appointed as instructors where they will train and assess trainee Aeronautical Metal Workers.
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:
- Organisation and Administration
- RNZAF Customs and Protocol
- Drill and Parades
- Military Field Skills and Weapon Training
- First Aid, and Search and Rescue Techniques
- Physical Fitness
- Teamwork and Self Discipline
AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING FUNDAMENTALS COURSE
After your Recruit Course you will complete a full-time 17 week Aeronautical Engineering Fundamentals Course. This course covers:
- Personal Qualities and Attitudinal Expectations in the Aviation Workplace,
- Aviation Workplace Safety,
- Aeronautical Engineering Trade Science and Administration,
- Aeronautical Engineering Tooling and Processes,
- Aeronautical Components/Systems, and
- Maintenance Practices.
This course is a requirement for all technical trades within the RNZAF and sets you up well for your career as an aviation technician.
PRIMARY TRADE TRAINING
On completion of the Aeronautical Engineering Course you'll undertake a 30-week full-time Aeronautical Metal Worker Course to gain the basic skills to become an Air Force Metal Worker.
After graduating from your primary trade 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, providing access to the aircraft types and the equipment on which you will be employed. The On-the-Job training (OJT) completes your primary trade training.
The Master Aeronautical Metal Worker Course is a full-time 22-week residential course at Woodbourne. Once you graduate, you will be posted to an engineering workshop at either RNZAF Base Auckland or RNZAF Base Ohakea.
Salary and benefits
Careers in the Air Force are well-rewarded, diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, your salary will rise accordingly.
Benefits and allowances
There are many additional benefits to being in the Defence Force, that will make your money go further.
For example, on top of your basic salary you can expect ‘Military Factor’. This provides you with significant extra financial rewards because of the commitment you’ve made to serve your country.
Free medical and dental
Access to subsidised equipment on base
Subsidised food on base
Competitive superannuation, up to 4% with KiwiSaver
Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels
Fitness and medical
Period of Service
- You must be at least 17 years of age.
- Meet the citizenship & security requirements to gain CV security clearance for this trade.
You must have achieved NCEA level 1 with a minimum of 12 credits in level 1 Science.
- You must be medically fit for service.
- Colour perception restrictions may apply.
There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the required CV security clearance for this trade.
Find out if you’re eligible here.
Your training is some of the most thorough and advanced in the world. On graduation as a Master Aeronautical Metal Worker, you’ll be contractually obliged to spend another 24 months in the Air Force.
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