Skip to content
Job Role
Naval Airman Aircraft Handler
Job Role

Naval Airman Aircraft Handler

Work with some of the most cutting-edge aircraft in existence as part of the team that keeps them flight ready.

  • £18,500 - £58,000
  • No qualifications
  • Fleet Air Arm
  • Aviation
  • Rating level

At a glance

Your job is to make sure that our world-class jets and helicopters are in the right place at the right time. That means playing a key role in providing our airborne capability from our state-of-the-art warships or even a Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier.
I get to work with some of the most cutting-edge aircraft in existence, and without me they can’t fly. It’s a lot of responsibility, but it’s so satisfying too.


Naval Airman Aircraft Handler, Aviation branch

Role details

What you’ll do

As a Naval Airman (Aircraft Handler), you’re responsible for safety whenever there’s aircraft on the deck or the ground. That means working with flight crews at Royal Naval Air Stations (RNAS), on our state-of-the-art warships, or even the new Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier. It’s a physical job where you’ll work outside in all conditions, but by making sure that our jets and helicopters are in the right place at the right time, you’ll be playing a key role in providing Royal Navy’s airborne capability.

Your role

  • Your job is to ensure aircraft are in the right place at right time, so they are ready and prepared for all flying operations.
  • Onboard Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers, you’ll be an integral part of a dynamic Flight Deck team. Working with all military aircraft capable of operating from the sea, these include the Lightning II F-35B 5th generation fighter jet.
  • During training you will become a competent firefighter, with all the necessary skills to fight fuel, hangar and aircraft fires, both ashore and afloat. Putting you in positions where your actions can save lives.
  • Whatever the weather, you will need to be at the top of your game to ensure the safety of the crew and your teammates around you.

Pay & benefits

  • A salary that rises to at least £23,496 as soon as you finish training
  • Earn over £58,000 as you progress through your career
  • 6 weeks paid holiday every year
  • Free medical and dental care 
  • Subsidised travel and accommodation
  • Excellent pension scheme

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • On completion of professional training you will start and complete an apprenticeship in Aviation Ground Operative Level 2
  • Study for Functional Skills in Maths, English and ICT
  • Gain GCSEs, A-Levels, NVQs or a degree
  • Gain specialist vocational qualifications as your career progresses including an apprenticeship 12 months after completion of training

Skills you'll develop

  • You will learn how to combat fuel, hangar and aircraft fires
  • You will develop your confidence and communication skills, using these to keep others safe
  • Handle 5th Generation Aircraft onboard the QE class Carriers
  • Direct multiple aircraft for launch and recovery
  • Become an essential part of a cohesive team


  • You need to be aged between 16 - 39
  • No qualifications are required for this role
  • You must be a United Kingdom national, or Commonwealth citizen, or Dual National. Dual Nationality restrictions do apply
  • A minimum height of 151.5cm
  • A Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18 and 28 (between 17 and 27 if under 18)
  • Pass the Naval Swimming Test

Skills & Interests

  • A passion for working with state-of-the-art aircraft
  • Coordination and organisation
  • A high level of spatial awareness
  • Keen attention to detail
  • Willingness to learn new skills

Joining Process

From picking your role to starting on your first day, these are the steps you'll take to join as a rating.

Career Progression

From responsibilities to pay, find out where this role can take you.

Got a question?

Our virtual recruiter is available to answer your questions 24 hours a day

More roles like this