career progression

Apprentice Conal Sheeran — Air Corps Technical Training School

Why did you choose a career in the Defence Forces?

I have had a huge interest in military life from a very young age. I also found aviation very interesting. Practical subjects were always my favourite in school and the opportunity to get a hands-on, practical job seemed perfect for me.

Describe a typical day for you?

A typical day starts at breakfast at 07.30 before a day of classes in all aspects of aircraft theory and maintenance in the Technical Training School until 16.30. During the summer months there is “on the job” work experience in the various aircraft hangars, allowing us to get a taste for life in the different areas of aircraft maintenance.

How did you prepare for the application process?

The first stage was fitness testing, I was playing Gaelic football for my club at the time so I was well prepared for the basic fitness test. Then I went onto the internet and downloaded some mechanical and technical based psychometric tests and practiced for that stage of the process. Finally I familiarised myself with the various roles of the Air Corps, the different aircraft that are operated here, and researched some basic aircraft theory, such as the theory of flight and basic aerodynamics.

What do you see yourself doing after you finish training to be a technician?

After I qualify I plan on gaining as much experience from each of the difference operations wings as I can. At the end of my 9 year contract I would hope to stay on as a technician and progress as an inspector.

What is the most enjoyable part of your job?

Working hands on with aircraft and getting some real practical experience.

What is the least enjoyable part of your job?

Living in the camp for the initial 2 years can become increasingly frustrating, but it becomes easier as we progress and are given some more freedom.

What type of physical training does an apprentice do?

There are set periods for physical training in our weekly timetable. Swimming, weights, circuits and football are the most common, but there is never any shortage of ideas for physical training in the military! We also have access to training equipment in our own time during the evenings.


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