Leaving the Military

There are many Forces and ex-Forces personnel who are looking to move into commercial Aviation, but few are aware of the process and rules to do so. We have successfully trained many students from the Forces. Below is an outline of useful information for you to know when considering a move.

Licenced and Unlicenced Engineers

Commercial Aviation is moving more and more towards the use of Licenced Engineers, however Unlicenced Engineers still remain in the workplace.

A general reflection of this is in the higher pay rates obtained by Licensed Engineers.

Licence Types

If choosing to qualify as a Licensed Engineer, the type rating you would like to aim for will need to be determined. This can be dependent on trades carried out within the Forces.

There are four main types of licence which are outlined below:

*CAT A Licence:
Permits the holder to issue Certificates of Release to Service following minor scheduled line maintenance and defect rectification within the limits of tasks specifically endorsed on the authorisation. The certification privileges are restricted to work the holder has personally performed in a Part-145 Organisation.


*CAT B1 Licence:
Permits the holder to issue Certificates of Release to Service following maintenance, including aircraft structure, power plants and mechanical and electrical systems. Authorisation to replace avionic LRUs requiring simple tests to prove their serviceability is also permitted.


*CAT B2 Licence:
Permits the holder to issue Certificates of Release to Service following maintenance on avionic and electrical systems. CAT B2 staff can qualify for any A sub-category as can any avionic mechanic, subject to compliance with the appropriate A sub-category requirements.


*CAT C Licence:
A Category C Certifying Staff Authorisation permits the holder to issue Certificates of Release to Service following base maintenance. The authorisation is valid for the aircraft, in its entirety including all systems.

(* as detailed in the CAA ELGD).


Exams / Certificates

In order to obtain the licences above, certificates need to be supplied to the CAA confirming relevant EASA Part-66 Modules have been passed. For instance, to obtain a CAT A licence you must pass 12 module exams and all 12 certificates need to be received by the CAA.


Work Experience

In addition to the certificates, the CAA must be provided with proof of work experience gained within an Approved EASA Part-145 Maintenance Organisation.

The amount of work experience required for each licence will depend on the type of licence and the amount of experience gained prior to starting the course.

Please note that exams have a 10 year shelf-life. Also within this time work experience is required to be completed. Further details of required work experience is available on the CAA website.

Military Experience

Military aviation experience is not automatically recognised by Licensing Authorities as the Armed Forces are not EASA Part-145 approved. However, keeping a detailed record of all hands-on experience is important as this may reduce the duration of work experience required. This is at the discretion of the CAA.

ELCAS Funding

Please see our Sources of Funding web page for more details by clicking here. 

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