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MUSICIAN
Currently recruiting
Being creative Travelling the world Helping people
PAY DURING INITIAL TRAINING
£18,600+
+ Benefits
INITIAL PAY AFTER TRAINING
£31,000+
+ Benefits

As a RAF Musician you will enjoy performing at the UK’s top venues and major State Ceremonial occasions as well as having many opportunities for international travel.

What will you do?

You are joining an organisation with musicians that have a worldwide reputation as being second to none. You could be called upon to perform for royalty and politicians at State occasions while also providing music support for the RAF, Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In your role you will:

 

  • Perform at top and most prestigious concert venues, national events and royal engagements
  • Play a varied repertoire from symphonic wind band, to big band, to small ensemble and chamber music
  • Provide music support for the RAF - state ceremonial, international defence engagement and major concert tours of the UK
Currently recruiting
Being creative Travelling the world Helping people
DAY RATE STARTS AT:
£46.91
Depends on role, rank and experience

As a RAF Musician you will enjoy performing at the UK’s top venues and major State Ceremonial occasions as well as having many opportunities for international travel.

What will you do?

You are joining an organisation with musicians that have a worldwide reputation as being second to none. You could be called upon to perform for royalty and politicians at State occasions while also providing music support for the RAF, Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In your role you will:

 

  • Perform at top and most prestigious concert venues, national events and royal engagements
  • Play a varied repertoire from symphonic wind band, to big band, to small ensemble and chamber music
  • Provide music support for the RAF - state ceremonial, international defence engagement and major concert tours of the UK
Minimum education requirements
  • Perform to a minimum Grade 8 standard as defined by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music or equivalent.

  • Current vacancies are cello, piano, flute, violin, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, french horn, cornet, tenor trombone, euphonium, tuba, double bass, bass guitar and percussion.
RAF Ceremonial band parading and playing at Buckingham palace
Requirements
  • Be aged 17.5 – 47 years old (Must attest before 48th birthday) 
  • Be a citizen of the UK, Republic of Ireland or a Commonwealth citizen (with ‘right to work’ immigration status) since birth
  • Commit to a minimum 3 years after specialist training
  • Pass a fitness test 

 

View all entry requirements >

Minimum education requirements
  • Perform to a minimum Grade 8 standard as defined by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music or equivalent
  • Current vacancies are: cello, piano, flute, violin, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, french horn, cornet, tenor trombone, euphonium, tuba, double bass, bass guitar and percussion. Other instruments may be considered on a case by case basis.
RAF Ceremonial band parading and playing at Buckingham palace
Requirements
  • Be aged 18-54 Applicants must apply no later than age 54 and 9 months in order to attest before 55th birthday Ex-Regulars and specialist entrants may be considered on a case by case basis
  • 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 (with indefinite leave to remain immigration status) since birth
  • Commit 27 days per year for 12 years minimum
  • Meet the health and fitness criteria 
  • Pass a General Fitness Test

 

View all entry requirements >

Reserve role locations
Reserve roles exist in specific reserve squadrons, which in turn are located at specific RAF bases. As you will not be resident at those bases (except on multi-day operations or exercises), geographic proximity to where you live is important. These are the bases where this role is active:
Band of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire
Band of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, RAF Northolt, Middlesex
CAREER, TRAINING
& EDUCATION
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.
01
Phase one training
Basic Recruit Training
white stopwatch icon for duration 10 weeks
white map-pin icon for location RAF Halton
Your career will start with Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire.
02
Phase two training
Specialist training
white stopwatch icon for duration 18 Months
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
Following Basic Recruit Training, you will be posted to one of the Regular Bands.
03
Additional qualifications
Ongoing training
white stopwatch icon for duration Ongoing
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
RAF musicians are often highly skilled in a variety of musical areas and promotion training courses recognise existing qualifications with targeted training to suit each individual.
04
Ongoing training
Ongoing development
white stopwatch icon for duration Ongoing
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
As well as the chances to develop your musical skills, there are countless opportunities to develop other skills through the Training and Development Section at your RAF unit.
05
Career progression
Ongoing development
white stopwatch icon for duration Ongoing
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
You will begin your career in a Regular Band as an Air Specialist (Class 1).
06
Transferable skills
Ongoing development
white stopwatch icon for duration Ongoing
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
As a musician in the RAF you will have many personal development opportunities and the chance to gain unique experiences whilst working around the world.
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CAREER, TRAINING
& EDUCATION
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.
01
Phase one training
Basic Recruit Training
white stopwatch icon for duration 23 days (split)
white map-pin icon for location RAF Halton
Your first steps with us will be your Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC).
02
Phase two training
Specialist training
white stopwatch icon for duration Ongoing
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
After successfully completing initial training, you will be trained for your specific role in the RAF either at your squadron or another RAF station in the UK.
03
Commitment
Your commitment to us
white stopwatch icon for duration 27 days
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
We ask that you commit to a minimum of 27 days each year with us.
04
Ongoing development
Ongoing training
white stopwatch icon for duration Ongoing
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
You will have valuable personal development opportunities together with the chance to work around the world, gaining unique experiences in the process.
05
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 or recognised by external awarding bodies.
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WHY JOIN
THE RAF ?

Thanks to 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 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
Training
WHY JOIN
THE RESERVES

The skills you acquire as a Reserve won’t just prepare you for the RAF, they will enhance your work and civilian life.

You might be called up to assist with our operations worldwide for up to six months, during which you may be able to claim a pay award to cover your and your employer’s costs.

Benefits icon for Training
Training
Benefits icon for Free gym
Free gym
Benefits icon for Subsidised food
Subsidised food
Benefits icon for Paid pension
Paid pension
Benefits icon for Paid holiday
Paid holiday
WHAT HAPPENS
AFTER APPLYING
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.
1
Aptitude test
2
Selection Interviews
3
Health Assessment
4
Fitness Test
5
Acceptance
6
Training
1
Aptitude test
Stage 1 of 6

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.

 

2
Selection Interviews
Stage 2 of 6

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.

3
Health Assessment
Stage 3 of 6

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.

4
Fitness Test
Stage 4 of 6

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.

5
Acceptance
Stage 5 of 6

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.

6
Training
Stage 6 of 6

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.

WHAT HAPPENS
AFTER APPLYING
Joining the RAF as a Reserve 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.
1
Squadron information day
2
Selection interview
3
Health assessment
4
Fitness test
5
Acceptance
6
Training
1
Squadron information day
Stage 1 of 6

The first step in the application process requires you to attend a squadron information day. This is a chance for you to visit the squadron of your choice and ask questions. You’ll get to see what life is like in the RAF Reserves and learn about the trade you’re interested in.

2
Selection interview
Stage 2 of 6

Selection interviews help us get to know you a little better. You’ll get to show your skills and experience, and we’ll answer any questions you have about joining the RAF.

Your interview will cover the following topics:

  • Education 
  • Employment 
  • Interest and motivation for joining the RAF Reserves 
  • Military awareness and Service Knowledge 

You will be asked a series of standard questions during the interview, and be able to ask your own questions during the debrief that takes place afterwards.

Some roles also require a second interview and/or test to determine your suitability. These are normally conducted over a one to three day period at an RAF base where you can 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.

 

3
Health assessment
Stage 3 of 6

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.

4
Fitness test
Stage 4 of 6

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 (PJFT). This will take place at 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.

5
Acceptance
Stage 5 of 6

If you’ve successfully completed each phase of the application process, you will be invited to attest into the RAF Reserves at your chosen Squadron. 

6
Training
Stage 6 of 6

Basic Recruit Training

Basic recruit training takes place at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire over a 15-day period. This residential course includes an introduction to life in the RAF Reserves, military skills training, drills, field training, and team-building exercises.

What’s next?

After basic recruit training, you will go on to receive role specific training in your spare time.

COMMITMENT AND LOCATION

You will have to commit to 27 days per year.

Each year includes a 15-day block for general RAF training, and 12 separate days for extra training or exercises.

Should a PTVR Musician be mobilised within the UK they may be employed to deliver the full spectrum of functions as performed by RAF Regular Bands.

ENTRY
REQUIREMENTS

Must be aged 17.5–47 (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.

EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

Perform to a minimum Grade 8 standard as defined by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music or equivalent.

NATIONALITY & RESIDENCY

Be a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen (with 'indefinite leave to remain' immigration status) since birth.

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

FITNESS REQUIREMENTS

You must be physically fit to complete both initial and specialist training, and to do your role effectively. To check your fitness levels, we put every candidate through at least two separate fitness tests as part of the application process.

The first of these is 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

The second fitness test will take place at RAF Halton as part of your three-day Pre-Recruit Familiarization Visit (PRFV). This consists of the following:

  • Achieving the required score on the Multi-Stage Fitness Test (MSFT or Bleep test)
  • 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 these tests can vary depending on role, age and gender. The requirements are listed on the charts below (Male and Female).

MALES - 100% pass rates:
AGE 2.4 Km Run Multi-Stage Fitness Test Press-ups Sit-ups
  (Mins) (Score) (No.) (No.)
15-16 11.39 9.03 20 35
17-29 11.11 9.10 20 35
30-34 11.36 9.04 19 32
35-39 12 8.09 18 29
40-44 12.26 8.03 17 26
45-47 12.54 7.07 16 23

 

FEMALES - 100% pass rates:
AGE 2.4 Km Run Multi-Stage Fitness Test Press-ups Sit-ups
  (Mins) (Score) (No.) (No.)
15-16 13.54 6.07 10 32
17-29 13.23 7.02 10 32
30-34 13.47 6.08 9 29
35-39 14.13 6.04 8 26
40-44 14.48 5.08 7 23
45-47 15.19 5.04 6 20

You can see the protocols for Press Ups & Sit Ups here:

PJFT/PRFV Protocols

You can download an MP3 file of the Multi-Stage Fitness Test below, listen to the introduction file first:

RAF MSFT: Intro

RAF MSFT: Bleep Test

You can see a video demonstration of the PRTC Fitness Test here:

RAF PRFV Fitness Test

A 12-week fitness plan with detailed information to help you get ready for all of the fitness tests can be downloaded here.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

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. 

BACKGROUND CHECKS

YOU MUST:

  • 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
DISQUALIFYING FACTORS

YOU CAN'T APPLY FOR THE RAF IF YOU:

  • 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.

Must be aged 18-54. Applicants must apply no later than age 54 and 9 months in order to attest before 55th birthday. Ex-Regulars and specialist entrants may be considered on a case by case basis.

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

EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

Perform to a minimum Grade 8 standard as defined by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music or equivalent.

NATIONALITY & RESIDENCY

Be a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen (with indefinite leave to remain immigration status) since birth.

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

Commonwealth citizens require a minimum of 5 years residency in the UK prior to application.  

FITNESS REQUIREMENTS

You must be physically fit to complete both initial and specialist training, and to do your role effectively. To check your fitness levels, we put every candidate through at least two separate fitness tests as part of the application process.

The first of these is 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 the test can vary depending on role, age and gender. The requirements are listed on the charts below (Male and Female).

MALES
Age Limits 2.4 Km Run (Minutes) Multi-Stage Fitness Test (Level) Press-ups (Number) Sit-ups (Number)
15-16 11.39 9.03 20 35
17-29 11.11 9.10 20 35
30-34 11.36 9.04 19 32
35-39 12.00 8.09 18 29
40-44 12.26 8.03 17 26
45-49 12.54 7.07 16 23
50-54 13.27 7.01 15 20
FEMALES
Age Limits 2.4 Km Run(Minutes) Multi-Stage Fitness Test (Level) Press-ups (Number) Sit-ups (Number)
15-16 13.54 6.07 10 32
17-29 13.23 7.02 10 32
30-34 13.47 6.08 9 29
35-39 14.13 6.04 8 26
40-44 14.48 5.08 7 23
45-49 15.19 5.04 6 20
50-54 15.53 4.09 5 17

You can see the protocols for Press Ups & Sit Ups here:

PJFT/PRTC Protocols

A 12-week fitness plan with detailed information to help you get ready for all of the fitness tests can be downloaded here.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

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. 

BACKGROUND CHECKS

YOU MUST:

  • 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
DISQUALIFYING FACTORS

YOU CAN'T APPLY FOR THE RAF IF YOU:

  • 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.

APPLY
NOW
Got what it takes? Start your application here.
RAF Musician in dress uniform playing clarinet at concert
APPLY
NOW
Got what it takes? Start your application here.
RAF Musician in dress uniform playing clarinet at concert