Catering in the RAF - good choice?

Joined Apr 26, 2018
Hi! I'm considering joining the RAF to do catering - however I'm not sure on the pay yet. After training it would be around £18,000 a year which gives me £15,000 after tax. This seems really low to me - can someone advise? I understand there are opportunities for promotion which will bring payrises but I'm not sure this will be entirely liveable, as it's not much over £1000 a month.

Hope to hear from someone soon :)
Joined Aug 23, 2008
"Catering" in the UK equals "food service" in the US. UK institutions (military, hospitals, etc.) have a catering department where we have a food service department.

If the RAF is anything like US Air Force, dining facilities are contracted out. The role of cooks has been expanded to include kitchens, dining rooms, barracks, bar, etc. US AF cooks also run recreation facilities and the morgue (in wartime).

I don't know what it takes to live in the UK, but I would think you don't need much as a single person (assuming you're single). Room and board are provided. With deployments and training exercises, you're going to be kept busy.

The website I saw ( said you have the opportunity to go into the reserves after your active service. As a retired US Navy Senior Chief, I found the reserves the best of both worlds. You maintain a civilian career while pursuing a military career.
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