Non-Commissioned Controller. FULL TRAINING PROVIDED. £36,000+ when qualified

Royal Air Force Air Operations

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Why Control one aircraft when you can control them all!

The Non-Commissioned Controller (NCC) trade is a diverse, exciting and complex employment area which directs and supports operations both in the UK and around the world. The three key employment areas are Terminal Air Traffic Control (providing an ATC service at an airfield), Area Control (working alongside civilian air traffic controllers at the Air Traffic Control Centre at Swanwick) and finally as a Weapons Controller (directing fast jet aircraft to intercept potentially hostile aircraft that threaten the integrity of UK airspace and overseas battlespace). 


Using state of the art radar and communications technology you will be trained to:


  • Safely integrate military and civilian aircraft departing from and arriving at military airfields.
  • Become part of the team that order Typhoon fast-jets to scramble and intercept suspect aircraft.
  • Control fighter, bomber, surveillance, refuelling and even unmanned aircraft as they support a number of different training and operational tasks. 
  • Work alongside civilian controllers as an Area Radar controller ensuring military aircraft operate safely amongst civilian airliners in the UK’s congested airspace.
  • Provide specialist battlespace management support to both UK and multi-national exercises and operations around the world.
  • Deploy on military operations as part of the Tactical Air Traffic Control team that establishes temporary runways in austere locations in support of a number of agencies including UK Special Forces.


As a Non-Commissioned Controller you could be working from a field, a bunker, a building, a tent, an E-3D aircraft or even an aircraft carrier. Regardless, you will be part of a varied and stimulating organisation which offers an excellent career and worldwide employment opportunities that is at the heart of the RAF’s flying outputs. 



As a direct entrant joining the Royal Air Force at the rank of Sergeant (rank attained upon completion of Non Commissioned Controller training), your career will start with a 10-week Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire.  The course is designed to help you adjust to a military environment.  As well as fitness and military training, you will also learn about service life.  Following BRTC, you will complete the Non-Commissioned Aircrew and Controller Initial Training Course (NCACITC) at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire.  This 11-week course is designed to develop your leadership and management skills and includes fitness development, military training and academic study as well as practical outdoor leadership challenges.


Specialist Training;

Specialist training is delivered at the Defence College of Airspace Control which is split between RAF Shawbury in Shropshire and RAF Boulmer in Northumberland.  This training starts with a Foundation Module and is completed alongside the Air Operations Branch (Systems) and (Control) students.  Following successful completion you will be assigned to a specialist module in one of the core specialisations: Terminal (Airfield) ATC or Weapons Control. You will be able to return at a later date to complete a short conversion course to allow you to undertake roles in any of the other core areas including Area Radar control.

Foundation Tour;

Following successful completion of your specialist training, your first tour will last approximately 24-36 months and will be at one of the RAF’s airfields around the UK or in Cyprus, at one of our two Control and Reporting Centres (CRCs) or at the Air Traffic Control Centre. You will then consolidate your specialist training and develop post-graduate skills allowing you to achieve ‘Combat Ready’ status and become available to deploy on military operations anywhere in the world.

Ongoing Development;

Subsequent tours of duty may see you being employed in a wide variety of areas, including:

  • One of the other areas of the Non-Commissioned Controller specialisation.
  •  As ‘Mission Crew’ on the E-3D Sentry Airborne Early Warning aircraft based at RAF Waddington.
  • Part of the UK’s deployable, ground based, command and control unit ‘Number 1 Air Control Centre’ located at RAF Scampton.
  • Tactical ATC – high readiness small teams who deploy ahead of the main force to set up landing zones and airfields worldwide.
  • Instructing ab-initio and postgraduate students.

You may also be selected for advancement to intermediate management roles, responsible for supervising teams of specialists.  Throughout your career, you should expect operational deployments (generally of up to but not limited to 6 months duration) to a range of locations worldwide, together with ad-hoc shorter detachments to such locations as Cyprus, Lithuania, Japan, Gibraltar, Canada, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and the US. 


Pay During Basic Training

£14,931 + Benefits

Pay after NCAITC

£29,600 + Benefits

Pay after Specialist Training

£36,000 + Benefits




You need
GCSE at Grade C/4-5 in English Language
GCSE at Grade C/4-5 in Maths
GCSEs at Grade C/4-5 in 3 other subjects
SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National 5 in English
SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National 5 in Maths
SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National 5 in 3 other subjects


  • 17.5-40 (Must enter phase one training by 41st birthday)

RAF Requirements

To join the RAF you will also need to meet fitness, health, nationality, residency which will be discussed at your local Armed Forces Careers Office after applying. 

For more information about the role and details of our application process, visit the RAF Recruitment website. To be directed straight to our site Click 'Apply Now'.


Job will be available to apply for after 1300L 3rd April 2018.

Application closed

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