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Survival Equipment Technician (SET)
Job Role

Survival Equipment Technician (SET)

Lives will depend on the equipment you’re working with just as much as they’ll depend on your skills and attention to detail.

Fast trackAircraftAviationTacticalApprenticeshipsEngineering
  • £18,687 - £58,000
  • No qualifications
  • Fleet Air Arm
  • Engineering
  • Rating level

At a glance

As a Survival Equipment Technician (SET), lives will depend on the equipment you’re working with just as much as they’ll depend on your skills and attention to detail. Commitment, enthusiasm and focus are essential for a job of this importance.
Survival Equipment Technician training his colleague
Survival skills are vital in the Royal Navy for personnel and civilians alike, so being able to share and train others gives me a huge sense of pride.


Survival Equipment Technician, Engineering branch

Role details

What you’ll do

As a Survival Equipment Technician (SET), you will maintain vital lifesaving equipment to enable aircrew to operate safely.  This equipment will help them to survive on Land, Sea or in the Air in peacetime or on military operations.  You will also learn how to assist in the training of aircrew on land and sea in survival techniques.

Commitment, enthusiasm and focus are essential for a job of this importance. However, with it comes with the satisfaction of knowing you’re a crucial part of any mission, whether in peacetime or combat.

Your role

  • As a Survival Equipment Technician, you’ll make sure your crewmates and passengers are fully equipped and know what to do in an emergency on board a Royal Navy aircraft.
  • You’ll look after the crew’s protective gear, such as immersion suits, flying helmets, oxygen masks, parachutes and emergency breathing equipment.
  • You will maintain the aircraft’s survival packs, radio beacons, distress flares, life jackets and life rafts. And most importantly, you’ll train people to use them in an emergency.
  • You’ll also instruct on how to escape underwater from a ditched helicopter and other conduct survival drills.
  • You will have the opportunity to serve on the world's most advanced aircraft carriers and with new and exciting aircraft Forces, including the F35B Lightning Stealth fighter at RAF Marham, the Merlin Mk2 Submarine Hunter at RNAS Culdrose, the Merlin Mk4 Helicopter and the Wildcat Maritime Attack Helicopter at RNAS Yeoviliton

Pay & benefits

  • A starting salary of at least £18,687
  • Earn up to £23,496 after Initial Training
  • Earn up to £58,000 as your career progresses
  • Six weeks of paid holiday every year
  • Free medical and dental care 
  • Subsidised travel and accommodation
  • Excellent pension scheme
  • Earn additional Service Engineer Technical Pay as you progress to Leading Hand with increased pay levels on further promotion

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • Study for GCSEs, A-Levels, NVQs or even a degree
  • Gain specialist vocational qualifications as your career progresses
  • Attain a City and Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering Survival Equipment Maintenance
  • Streamlined route to registration as EngTech with a professional body

Skills you'll develop

  • Complete a basic survival course and learn how to teach survival skills to your crewmates
  • Learn how to maintain, repair and pack parachutes, life rafts and survival packs
  • Enthusiasm for maintaining and repairing the most up to date Survival Technical Equipment 


  • You need to be aged between 16 to 39
  • No qualifications are required for this role
  • You must be a United Kingdom citizen or British Dual National. Dual Nationality restrictions do apply
  • You must have lived in the UK for 5 years continuously prior to application
  • Minimum height of 145cm
  • 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
  • A keen attention to detail
  • Good physical and mental stamina
  • A willingness to learn new skills
  • An adventurous spirit

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.

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