If you wish to pursue a career in mechanics today you are not limited to just working in a garage. Both the Army and Territorial Army employ people to work as mechanics performing a multitude of tasks. Other jobs such as plant operator mechanic, equipment mechanic and recovery mechanic are also available which focus more on installations such as setting up camps and recovering vehicles using cranes and other heavy equipment. Below we have outlined a career as a vehicle mechanic in the army.Entry level
Candidates require GCSEs at Grade D or above in maths science and English. Alternatively BTEC or National Diploma Awards in engineering and electrical engineering can gain entry. Candidates may be open to invitation if they posses qualifications of a similar standard at the interviewers discretion. This role is available to candidates aged 17-29 years of either gender providing you have no more than three points on your driving license.Roles and Responsibilities
Candidates should be prepared for a challenging working environment where they will need to take control of situations and have the stability to operate under pressure. Candidates will also need to posses good manual dexterity and be good at working with their hands.
Vehicle mechanics work with a variety of vehicles and equipment including cars, armoured vehicles, motorbikes and generators. Following initial soldier training you will move onto the Army Training Regiment for 3 months to receive basic military training where you will develop skills in map reading, first aid, weapon handling and maintaining physical fitness.
Following this phase of training you will progress to the school of electrical and mechanical engineering. As training progresses candidates will be assessed as to what kind of work is best suited. After completing initial modules of the course you may be invited for further study under one of two grades of vehicle mechanic known as VMA and VMB. The two grades will both learn similar core elements and will specialise in a particular area. VMA specialise in working with tanks and other heavy vehicles while VMB will specialise in bridge building and transporter vehicles. Minimum service for this role is 3 years.Career Development
Successful candidates will initially study a City and Guilds syllabus in Motor Vehicle Craft Studies. Candidates may be eligible to study to gain Class 2 status after at least 6 months of working with a unit. Class two training is in several parts with unit placement in between to build on skills. Class 2 will cover further studying of the city and guilds Motor Vehicle Craft Studies syllabus as well as NVQ Level 3 training in related subjects.
Progression is determined by applying to a promotions board and reviewing the skills you have attained so far. Further prospects include Artificer training where you can study towards attaining a BTEC Higher national diploma in engineering. On completion of this further training candidates will be promoted to staff sergeant and more opportunities for development can be pursued.
Training to become a mechanic in the army may require a lot of hard work and may require you to be positioned in hostile grounds. However the offer of numerous avenues of personal development and the opportunity to travel seem to be a worth while incentive for many.More information