Plant Operator Mechanic

Royal Engineers

At a glance

  • Soldier
  • engineering

Whatever we’re building, you’ll do the groundwork in a bulldozer or digger. You’ll make all kinds of projects possible and gain skills for life.

  • £18,687The minimum amount you’ll earn during training
  • £23,496Your pay after completing basic trade training
  • AgeFrom 16 years & 6 months to 35 years & 6 months
  • QualificationsGCSEs or equivalent
Plant operator mechanic

We each had our own machine for every phase of the course, and plenty of practice time and good instruction.

You work as part of a project team at Army sites all over the world. You’re trained to use all kinds of plant machinery, such as diggers and bulldozers for earth-moving, excavation and other tasks. Airports, bases, harbours – you never know what you'll be working on next  – and you'll be trained to work on civilian sites too. Along with trade skills, you'll get driving licences for a range of vehicles. It's the start of an exciting career that comes with sports, activities and the unbeatable feeling of being part of close-knit team.
Plant Operator Mechanic is a Trade role in the Royal Engineers. All the Royal Engineer soldier job roles are divided into 5 groups. When you apply to the Engineers, you will apply to the trade group rather than the specific trade. 

The Corps of Royal Engineers allows the Army to work all over the world, whether it's involved in active combat or disaster relief. The Corps are ‘first in’, setting up bases ready for the rest of the Army to arrive and ‘last out’, closing down patrol bases and military camps. The Corps is at the forefront in disaster-relief operations, effecting rapid repairs to damaged infrastructure in stricken areas.

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Key Responsibilities

  • Get trained as a mechanic for servicing and fault finding

  • Learn to operate different pieces of plant equipment

  • Be trained on all civilian construction uses of plant

  • Become fully trained on the use of plant within the military role

Have any questions? Talk with us

plant operator mechanic

Regular (full time)

Entry requirements

  • Age:

    From 16 years & 6 months to 35 years & 6 months

  • Qualifications:

    GCSE Grade A–D/9-3, or Scottish National 4, in Maths, English Language and one other subject.

  • Basic physical fitness assessment:

    • Mid Thigh Pull 50kg

    • Medicine Ball Throw 3m

    • MSFT (beep test) level 7.5

    Army Reserve standards

    • Mid Thigh Pull: 50kg

    • Medicine Ball Throw: 2m 70cm

    • MSFT (beep test): Level 5 shuttle 8

    More information about the fitness test

Training for the role

Step 1
Your initial military training teaches you how to be a soldier, covering everything from fieldcraft to how to handle a rifle.

  • If you join as a Junior Soldier (under 17 years and 6 months), you’ll do a basic military training course at Harrogate.

  • If you join as a Regular Soldier (over 17 years and 6 months), you’ll do the regular adult basic training.

Step 2
Then it’s off to the Royal School of Military Engineering Regiment near Camberley for 12 weeks. Here, you learn military engineering skills such as knots and lashings, demolition, mine warfare and bridge building. You will then move on to complete your Plant Operator Mechanic specific training at Chatham in Kent.

Qualifications you could get after training

  • Driving Licences - B, C, C+E, H and G

  • Level 2 Apprenticeship (NVQ Technical Certificate and Functional Skills) in Plant Operations (EdExcel)

Pay & benefits

Earn £18,687 a year during training. When you have completed 26 weeks' service or finished basic trade training – whichever comes first – your pay will rise to £23,496.

How to Apply

Once your online application has been approved, you'll meet with a local recruiter. This is your chance to tell us about the role that you're interested in. When you go to the Assessment Centre, you'll take tests - the results will show whether you'd be suitable for this role, or should consider a different role.

More about the joining process

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