Junior Engineer Officer

"This is probably one of the most rewarding careers you could have as an engineer - there's just so much variety."

Kate is a Flight Lieutenant, working as a Junior Engineer Officer on a Typhoon squadron at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire. She is from New Zealand, where she served in the Air Force before joining the RAF.

“My typical day shifts start at 7.30am with a meeting to discuss the state of the Typhoons on the squadron. Then I have to tell the pilots what aircraft they can fly, what aircraft my team is working on and when they’ll be ready. After that, I spend the day organising the engineering, attending debriefs with pilots on any issues with the aircraft, and supervising my team. “The Typhoon is a complicated aircraft and the pilots put them through their paces, so there’s always maintenance work to be done – from changing an engine to reloading software.

“I manage a shift of about 80 technicians. They’re all experts in their field but it’s my job to have an overview of every system. I might not get my hands dirty fixing things, but I have to rely on my engineering knowledge to understand how it all works.

“Coningsby is a busy station with lots of people, so there’s always someone who’s keen to do something when the day’s work is  done, whether it’s to go for a game of squash, a curry or to the bar in the Officers’ Mess.

“The RAF isn’t for everyone, but if you want an exciting job with fantastic job satisfaction, if you like working with great people and if you want to make fantastic friendships, the RAF is a great career.”