Aviation technician Sergeant Kristy Holmes.
Aviation technician Sergeant Kristy Holmes.

Air force provides wide range of career highs

NOT everyone gets a chance to see an F/A-18F Super Hornet up close but for aviation technician Sergeant Kristy Holmes that's just part of her job.

After qualifying as an aircraft fitter and aircraft technician back in 2009, she worked first on the F111 and then on the Super Hornet. Kristy said knowing the potential of the multi-million dollar machines added to the attraction of her role.

"There's something about fast jets, I just love working on them knowing how fast they can go and how much power they can put out," she said.

Kristy said that while she has been lucky enough to be a part of several domestic and international exercises including Talisman Saber, Bersama Shield in Malaysia and Red Flag in Las Vegas, her career highlight was being responsible for introducing the Super Hornet in to No1 Squadron as part of the Super Hornet Transition team.

She said the challenges and excitement of her role were supported by the emphasis the air force puts on maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

"I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a job in the air force as I have been able to have a family as well as a rewarding career," Kristy said.

Today's air force is an exciting and rewarding place to work, embracing a culture of diversity and providing opportunities for servicemen and women to push their limits, both personally and professionally. And women are making their mark.

The air force offers benefits largely not seen in civilian careers - after completing your paid training, you'll earn a competitive salary package that includes free healthcare, subsidised accommodation and a generous super contribution.

As well as more than 60 diverse career opportunities, women have access to maternity leave, opportunities for personal development and career progression.

The air force prides itself on providing flexibility to working families, with a range of free services to help with the bigger life changes - like support when families move due to postings.

The air force is recruiting men and women for several exciting and challenging roles - for more information on a career in the Royal Australian Air Force visit defencejobs.gov.au/womenintheairforce or phone 13 19 01.

Options fly in aviation

AN AVIATION career doesn't necessarily mean becoming a pilot - there are plenty of opportunities within the sector that won't see you taking to the skies.  

Griffith University graduate Sarah Tittman is a perfect example of the options available within the industry.   Since graduating with a Masters of Aviation Management, Sarah has worked with Tourism Queensland to encourage international airlines to choose Queensland as a destination.  

"I grew up in Germany, and I was always interested in international travel, but I didn't really want to be a pilot," Sarah said.   "I'm more attracted to airline business, operations and management."   

She said given the expense associated with launching a new route, airlines undertook significant research before making a commitment.  

"As an aviation analyst my job is to work out if the route is viable," Sarah said.  

A component of Sarah's degree was an industry project for Brisbane Airport Corporation.   

"This really got my career started. I gained insights into the industry and was also referred to Tourism Queensland by my mentors at the airport," she said.  

"Several students in my course were pilots who wanted to gain management skills to work outside the cockpit, while staying in the industry."    

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