Survival Equipment Technician (SET)

Fast track role A high priority role with an accelerated joining process.
Service:Fleet Air Arm

The role at a glance

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.

If you have questions, talk to us

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

What you’ll get

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 

What you'll need


  • 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 and 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
Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, the joining process is as follows:

  • Submit an application

    Once you’ve registered your interest, we’ll be in touch to discuss your options

  • Defence Aptitude Assessment (DAA)

    You’ll be tested on: Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Reasoning, Work Rate, Spatial Reasoning, Electrical Comprehension and Mechanical Comprehension.
    To prepare, you can practise the DAA

  • Interview

    A formal interview to talk through your suitability for the role. This is normally conducted using your own device over the Shine video platform 

  • Candidate Preparation Course (CPC)

    This is a four-day induction to life in the Royal Navy, which is a pass or fail course. This will include:  

    -Pre-Joining fitness test  
    -Swimming test  
    -Medical test  

  • Start training

    Once you’ve passed a Security Check, you’ll be offered a place at HMS Raleigh

Initial training

Your Royal Navy career begins with 10 weeks’ basic training at HMS Raleigh, a shore base in Torpoint, Cornwall. The discipline, teamwork, organisational, firefighting and weapon handling skills you learn here will stay with you right through your career.

Aim to get yourself as fit as possible before you arrive. You’ll be doing a lot of physical exercise, and you’ll find it much easier if you’re already in shape.

There's also a swimming test, so if you can't swim, make sure you learn by the time you join us.

Professional training

You’ll spend seven months at the Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering in Gosport. There you’ll learn survival drills and how to maintain, repair and pack parachutes, life rafts and survival packs, with regular tests to check your progress. You will also carry out a basic survival course and learn how to help with survival training, so you will need a good level of fitness and be a competent swimmer. You’ll then spend time at a Royal Naval Air Station, working closely with experienced aircrew to develop real-world knowledge and skills, before you qualify to sign off servicing work as complete.