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PAY &
BENEFITS
RAF Aviator after exiting aircraft on recreational free-fall parachute jump
You’ll be entitled to a highly competitive benefits package which includes everything from bonuses to a gym membership to discounts and offers from national retailers on things like holidays, cars, days out, fashion and gifts.
FINANCES

Enlisted Aviator

Entry rate of pay from day one is £18,687. Once you have completed both basic training and a minimum of six months service, this rises to an annual rate of over £25,200. Further pay rises are dependent on promotion and time served.

 

Discounts

All members of the RAF and their partners are entitled to a range of discounts through the Defence Discount Service. You will also be able to buy a Forces Railcard to get up to a third off standard rail fares across the country.

Officer

Entry rate of pay from day one is £31,305. On promotion to the rank of Flight Lieutenant pay increases to £47,000+. Further pay rises are dependent on promotion and time served.

 

Pension

All personnel serving in the RAF accrue benefits in the Armed Forces Pension Scheme, which is one of the most generous schemes available in the UK, for which they make no personal contribution. The size of your pension will depend on your length of service and your career progression.

The average UK worker has approximately £150 of spare income compared to £180 for RAF employees.
BENEFITS

Accommodation

Rent for those living in single barrack accommodation, also known as a Mess, includes all utility bills. A furnished two-bedroom property for an officer is between £114 and £453 per month, and between £75 and £242 per month for other ranks. Alternative accommodation on and off base is also available at lower rental costs than the UK average.

 

Sports

As a member of the RAF you’ll have the opportunity to take part in adventurous training to develop vital military skills. We sponsor talented personnel to compete at the highest level, provide time off for training and subsidise travel, entry fees and equipment costs. We do the same for personnel who are competing or representing the RAF in authorised sporting events.

Food

We offer subsidised on-base catering for all RAF personnel (around £38 per week for three good quality meals a day), that caters for all dietary requirements and is fresh, tasty and nutritious. Having subsidised food and accommodation helps to increase your disposable income and leaving you with more money in your pocket at the end of each month.

 

Health

As RAF personnel you will have excellent healthcare and dental care. Not only is this a free service, but it’s also readily available at a moment’s notice. Specialists are always around to provide the care and treatment you need. Whether you’re feeling unwell, have a toothache, or get injured playing sports, our high standard care ensures you get well quickly.

A typical UK gym membership is £400 per year - in the RAF you get full access for free.
WHY JOIN
THE RAF?

Thanks to the benefits we provide, such as subsidised food, travel, accommodation and free gym, you get more money in your pocket.

bar chart depicting difference in benefits value and salary vs civilian recruiter
Benefits icon for Rent from £75p/m
Rent from £75p/m
Benefits icon for Health care
Health care
Benefits icon for Paid pension
Paid pension
Benefits icon for Paid holiday
Paid holiday
Benefits icon for Subsidised food
Subsidised food
Benefits icon for Free gym
Free gym
You are entitled to six weeks holiday each year, plus public holidays.
FLEXIBLE
WORKING
Everyone in the RAF can ask for flexible working hours, although your line manager will have to consider how much flexibility can be accommodated. Flexible working is for everyone. There are a number of reasons people have a flexible working arrangement. They include avoiding congestion, personal development, caring responsibilities for a relative or child related.
 
You do not have to give a reason to request flexible working, although it would be useful in helping your chain of command to support you in other ways.
Compressed hours

Compressed hours means working full time hours in a shorter time frame, by working longer hours over less days. This can be particularly helpful when a long weekend commute is necessary.

The flexible duties trial

This is an ongoing two year project being conducted in the Armed Forces to allow Regular Service Personnel to reduce their commitment or work less than full time for a defined period.

Annual leave

Service personnel are entitled to 38 days leave per year. Plus we give additional leave for relocating if it’s a service move.

Call forward of leave

This enables service personnel to call forward up to 10 days leave of their Annual Leave Allowance from the upcoming leave year.

Working from home

Working from home allows you to carry out your work at home, or another location. This can help to give you flexibility to combine work and personal commitments.

 

Working from home can either be done on an ad hoc or regular basis. As with all longer term flexible working requests, an agreement is required which must be formalised in writing.

 

Working from home doesn’t have to be done from your home, you could work from an appropriate location.

Transfer of leave between serving spouses or civil partners

Transfer of leave allows Service personnel to apply to transfer up to 10 days leave (15 for those assigned to and Operational Tour of six months or longer), from their Annual Leave Allowance to their serving spouse or civil partner.

 

The donor must still be able to take a minimum of 28 days leave in Public Holidays, in their current leave year.

Time abroad

As the RAF we maintain an active overseas presence, with bases in Cyprus, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar and Ascension Island. If you’re posted abroad, we will cover your relocation costs. On operation, we’ll also cover your accommodation costs, food costs and you may also qualify for additional allowance.

Variable start and finish times

Variable start and finish times allow you to start and finish your working day at different times from those considered the ‘norm’ within your unit, whilst keeping the same number of hours considered to be normal for your role.

Flexible Service

Flexible Service will allow Serving Personnel to request temporary periods of part time working and/or limits to separated service for a defined period. This will allow eligible Service Personnel to request temporary periods of Flexible Service which may include part time working, restricted separation or a combination of both.

 

The maximum consecutive period of Flexible service is 3 years with a cumulative maximum of 4 years Flexible Service in a 12 year period.

Maternity & paternity leave

Subject to meeting eligibility criteria, a wide range of parenting-focused leave policies are available. For those on maternity/adoption, personnel are entitled to take up to 52 weeks of leave (26 weeks full pay and 26 weeks of additional Maternity Leave).

 

The RAF Paternity Leave scheme allows partners two weeks on paid leave. We also offer various other policies such as Shared Parental Leave and Pay, of which there is no requirement to take but it does offer the mother the chance to share up to 50 weeks of her maternity leave with their partner and Parental Leave which allows 18 weeks’ leave for each parent of each child/adopted child, up to the child’s 18th birthday.

Part of the family

All RAF personnel, single, married or in a partnership, and all their families, are able to call upon the RAF Families Federation for advice and support, wherever they are in the world.

 

Independent from the RAF, free to use, and entirely anonymous, the Families Federation works to improve quality of life for the RAF family around the world – at work or at home.

RAF Families Federation rep with two RAF Police at RAF Halton families play area
FIND YOUR
ROLE
Whether you want to fly a fast jet, gather intelligence or cater for our personnel, we have the role for you.
RAF Engineering Officer (Aero Systems) briefing RAF Aircraft Technician (Mechanical), stood by red Hawk jet in Red Arrows hangar
CAREER
PROGRESSION
There are plenty of opportunities for development throughout your career in the RAF.
TRAINING &
DEVELOPMENT
We train everyone to the highest standards in order to gain invaluable skills and qualifications.