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+ Benefits
+ Benefits

*Until at least you have completed one year of service and successfully completed Professional Workplace Assessments on first posting.

As an RAF Firefighter you will provide 24/7 fire and crash rescue protection. You will be organised and trained to respond to any emergency with highly specialised equipment like powerful cutting tools.

Already applied? See what the next steps are >

What will you do?

RAF Firefighters provide a deployable Aerodrome & Rescue Firefighting capability to Defence in the UK and overseas. You could:


  • Play a role in Air Operations when deployed in the UK or Overseas
  • Work as part of a close-knit team, deployable on short-notice to any location world-wide
  • Resolve incidents involving aircraft, buildings, hazardous substances and incidents caused by hostile activities
Minimum Education Requirement
  • Have GCSEs at Grade C/4 or Scottish National 5 at Grade C in English Language and Mathematics.
  • Be aged 17 – 47 (Must attest before 48th birthday)
  • You must be a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen since birth (with ‘right to work’ immigration status)
  • Can apply with a provisional UK driving licence but must have a full, clean manual UK driving licence to start Phase One training. An automatic-only driving licence will not be accepted
  • Commit minimum 3 years post Phase Two Training
  • Meet the health and fitness criteria
  • Pass the Defence Aptitude Assessment
  • Pass a Fitness test - Details below
  • Attend a Specialist Interview at Moreton-in-Marsh


View all entry requirements >

Apprenticeships available
The RAF is one of the largest providers of diverse apprenticeships in the UK. We offer these apprenticeships for this role:
Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Operational Firefighter
This occupation is found in 45 Fire Services across England as well as other organisations who have their own fire services such as the RAF, Airports, Ministry of Defence and those dealing with explosives and chemicals. Therefore, although the role is predominantly found in the public sector, there is a need for operational firefighters in the private sector. The size of the employer will vary but will tend to be medium to large in size.
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Meet Brad
Hear about Firefighter and former apprentice, Brad’s time learning on the job and developing in his role.
At any level or position your personal success is vital to make us succeed too. We are dedicated to your future, as it is essential to ours. You will receive basic and specialist training in your field and we even provide the option to pay for your education. The experience you gain with the RAF will equip you to work at the top of your field, both in the UK and overseas.
Phase one training
Basic Recruit training
white stopwatch icon for duration 10 weeks
white map-pin icon for location RAF Halton
You’ll complete the Basic Recruit Training Course at the RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire.
Phase two training
Specialist training
white stopwatch icon for duration 14 weeks
white map-pin icon for location DFTU Moreton-in-Marsh
The 14 weeks specialist Firefighter training course takes place at the Defence Fire Training Unit Moreton-in-Marsh.
First tour
Specialist training
white stopwatch icon for duration 4 months
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
For your first tour you will be posted to one of eight UK RAF bases where you will work as part of a tight-knit team.
Additional qualifications
Ongoing development
white stopwatch icon for duration Ongoing
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
You'll have the opportunity to pursue other qualifications as part of your training and throughout your career.
Your career prospects
Ongoing development
white stopwatch icon for duration Ongoing
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
After a year, you will be eligible for promotion to Air Specialist (Class 1) if you pass a series of Trade Ability Tests.
Continued development
Ongoing training
white stopwatch icon for duration Ongoing
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
As your career progresses, we will continue to develop you in new skills.
Transferrable skills
Ongoing training
white stopwatch icon for duration Ongoing
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
Much of our in-house training is accredited and/or recognised by external awarding bodies.
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Thanks to subsidised food, travel, accommodation and free gym you get more money in your pocket.

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Benefits icon for Rent from £75p/m
Rent from £75p/m
Benefits icon for Free gym
Free gym
Benefits icon for Subsidised food
Subsidised food
Benefits icon for Health care
Health care
Benefits icon for World travel
World travel
Benefits icon for Training
Joining the RAF takes several steps. Below is an overview of the process. The purpose of this process is for us to gauge whether you’re the right person for the RAF and for you to show us all of your skills and experiences that have made you who you are.
Aptitude test
Selection Interviews
Health Assessment
Fitness Test
Specialist Interview
Aptitude test
Stage 1 of 7

The aptitude test has been designed to ensure you’re a good fit for the role you’re applying for. You’ll answer seven multiple choice sections which each focus on a different skill:

  • Verbal reasoning - use and interpretation of written information
  • Numerical reasoning - ability with basic fractions, decimals and formulae
  • Work rate - speed and accuracy of tasks
  • Spatial reasoning - how shapes and objects work
  • Electrical comprehension - working with electrical concepts
  • Mechanical comprehension - grasp of mechanical concepts
  • Memory - Ability to remember information accurately

Click here to try the online practice test.

Selection Interviews
Stage 2 of 7

Here’s where we get to know you a little better. You’ll get to showcase your skills and experience, and we’ll answer any questions you have about joining us. Your interview will take place at a local AFCO and cover the following topics:


  • Family life
  • Education
  • Work experience
  • Special interests and hobbies
  • Interest in the RAF
  • Training
  • The role you’ve applied for
  • The RAF

You’ll be asked a series of standard questions, and you’ll be able to ask your own questions during the debrief afterwards. Some roles require a second interview and/ or test to determine your suitability. These are normally conducted over a 1-3 day period at an RAF base where you’ll be able to see, and experience, the kind of environment you’ll be working in. Details about which interviews are relevant for you will be provided during the application process.

Health Assessment
Stage 3 of 7

You’re legally required to meet certain medical standards, and must pass an occupational health assessment to show you’re fit for military duty. As part of this assessment we will check your overall health, focusing on areas like hearing, eyesight and body mass index.


We’ll also investigate any past illnesses and screen for health issues that may prevent you from carrying out your role. Please refer to entry requirements below for more information about the health standards you’ll need to meet.

Fitness Test
Stage 4 of 7

A good level of fitness is critical to joining the RAF, it’s also something that must be maintained throughout your career. You’ll need to complete a Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFC). This will take place at a local gym, and includes a 2.4km run, push up test and a sit-up test


The performance level you’ll need to meet differs by age and gender. Please refer to the entry requirements below for more information about the health standards you’ll need to meet. You can also find help, and a training plan, to assist you in your preparation here.

Specialist Interview
Stage 5 of 7

If you are successful with all previous requirements, you will then be sent on a 2-day Specialist Interview at the Defence Fire Training Unit in Gloucestershire.


During your visit you will be put through a series of mandatory assessments, some must be passed prior to progressing with the course.


The assessments include working from height, confined spaces, equipment carry, and elements designed to test your teamwork, dexterity and communication.


Some of the tests will be carried whilst wearing and using standard fire service equipment and can be physically demanding.

See here for more information about the Specialist Interview at Moreton-in-Marsh

Stage 6 of 7

Once you’ve successfully completed each phase of the application process you’ll be invited to a provisional offer of service interview at your nearest AFCO. This is to ensure that you understand the terms and conditions of service in the RAF, are fully committed to joining, and prepared to commence training.

Stage 7 of 7

Basic Recruit Training

This takes place over 10 weeks at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. It will make you fitter and more confident. It will challenge you mentally and physically, and it will prepare you for your career with us. There are 6 phases:

  • Arrival - You’ll be sworn into the RAF and be given a service number
  • General Service training - You’ll learn about marching, drills, core values and our code of conduct
  • Initial Force Protection training - Fighting and survival in a military environment
  • Exercise Blue Warrior - 4 days in the field with real battle conditions
  • Force development training - Apply your skills in new environments with adventurous training activities
  • Graduation - Learn about what’s required in your first post and display your new skills.

What next?
Now you’re a fully-fledged member of the RAF you can receive role specific training.


You must be aged between 17 and 47 years old (Must attest before 48th birthday).

Applicants must also read all of the sections below and make sure they meet all entry requirements before submitting an application. 



Have these minimum grades:

  GCSE pre-2017 GCSE 2017 and after Scottish National 5
Mathematics C Grade 4 C
English Language C Grade 4 C

find a list of the approved subjects here

Can apply with a provisional UK driving licence but must have a full, clean manual UK driving licence to start Phase One training. An automatic-only driving licence will not be accepted.

For candidates with a full UK driving licence under the age of 20 years and 6 months at time of applying, the licence must be free from record of conviction or penalty points, including any driving ban (even if it has expired) as these preclude the holding of a LGV category licence. Candidates over this age with unexpired penalty points may be considered for service in the trade of Firefighter.

You can see what the RAF accepts in lieu of GCSEs & A Levels here.



You must be a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen since birth (with ‘right to work’ immigration status).


Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have resided there for the 5 years immediately preceding your application, but candidates with a minimum of 3 years may be considered. 

If you have resided abroad for a period due to work or study, you may still be eligible on a case by case basis. 


You must be physically fit to complete both initial and specialist training, and to do your role effectively.

As part of the application process you will need to do the Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT), which takes place at a fitness centre local to you. This consists of the following:

  • 2.4km (1.5m) run on a treadmill (set to zero incline)
  • Achieve the required number of press-ups - within 60 seconds
  • Achieve the required number of sit-ups - within 60 seconds

How fit you need to be to pass this test can vary depending on role, age and gender. The requirements are listed on the charts below (Male and Female).

AGE 2.4 Km Run Press-ups Sit-ups
  (Mins) (No.) (No.)
15-16 12.39 20 35
17-29 12.11 20 35
30-34 12.36 19 32
35-39 13.02 18 29
40-44 13.30 17 26
45-49 14.00 16 23
50-54 14.34 15 20


AGE 2.4 Km Run Press-ups Sit-ups
  (Mins) (No.) (No.)
15-16 14.59 10 32
17-29 14.30 10 32
30-34 14.55 9 29
35-39 15.21 8 26
40-44 15.58 7 23
45-49 16.32 6 20
50-54 17.06 5 17

See here for more information about the test and a training plan

Please note that for the role of Firefighter, a fitness test will also take place as part of your Specialist Interview at RAF Moreton-in-Marsh.

Attend a Specialist Interview at Moreton-in-Marsh – Firefighter Specialist Interview Preparation


Candidates joining the RAF must be medically fully fit, both physically and psychologically, to meet the challenges of military service, during which they will be expected to deploy, potentially at short notice, to locations world-wide that are remote from established medical care. 


Certain medical conditions could preclude entry to the RAF. Further details can be found in this document. 

Before your application, please note that Body Mass Index Requirements are as follows: 

Age Male and female minimum Male and female maximum Male maximum with additional assessment Female maximum with additional assessment
18 + 18 30 32 32
16 to < 18 17 27 27 27

Calculate your BMI here 


Eyesight requirements vary for different roles. A requirement to wear glasses or contact lenses may be allowed for aircrew. 
If you are unsure about any health criteria, please continue your application and your eligibility will be assessed at the medical examination stage.  


During your application, the Medical Risk Assessment that all candidates undergo is there to make sure that you are healthy enough for the intense training required by the RAF. Your application will be rejected if you fail to meet the minimum acceptable medical standard for entry. Your medical history is confidential and is not disclosed to those not authorised to hold this information. 



  • Declare any previous spent and unspent convictions
  • Check if you qualify under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 through this summary
  • Have a basic background check to get Security Check level clearance


  • Have been or are a member of a group that stirs up racial hatred and violence
  • Are waiting to appear in court, or have unspent convictions. You may also have to declare spent convictions for certain roles
  • Misuse drugs, solvents and anabolic steroids. But each case is considered upon its own merits
  • Have tattoos, brands or bead implants that are obscene or offensive. 
    Any permanent or temporary tattoos, whether ordinarily visible or not, must not be obscene or offensive (eg, racist, anti-religion or belief, crude, overtly sexist, homophobic, drug related or of an extreme political nature). Tattoos may be worn on the side and back of the neck but tattoos on the back of the neck must not extend above the natural hairline (scalp tattoos are not permitted). 
  • Have body piercing which causes holes that do not close up
  • Declare yourself to be an 'undischarged' bankrupt

Beard Policy: A revised facial hair policy has been agreed by the Air Force Board which will allow serving personnel to wear a smart, neatly-trimmed, full-set beard whilst maintaining high standards of appearance. The length of acceptable beards is between Grade 1 (2.5mm) and Grade 8 (25.5mm). The wearing of beards during Phase 1 and Phase 2 training is currently under consideration and details will be advised when available

If you don’t have any of the above, you might still be able to apply. For more information please contact us.

Got what it takes? Start your application here.
RAF Firefighter extinguishing practice fire with foam