Irish Defence Forces Trainee Technician Scheme 

Pursuing a career with the Irish Defence Forces gives you the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship under our Trainee Technician Scheme (TTS). This scheme is only available to personnel currently serving within the Irish Defence Forces who have successfully passed General Service Enlistment training. 

The Defence Forces TTS provides personnel with the ability to expand on their opportunities to serve at home and overseas, and gives a qualification and a skill-set to take with them upon retirement from the Defence Forces.  

TTS training is conducted over a period of 4 years, which comprises of both practical and theory lessons. During this period, personnel will be in receipt of full wages. All associated expenses are covered by the Irish Defence Forces including Third Level College fees. 

Upon successful completion of their respective TTS, personnel will qualify for a Technical Allowance within their chosen trade. Applicants for the Transport, Ordnance, Engineering, and CIS TTS must have completed their Junior Certificate. Applicants for the Printing Press TTS must hold a Leaving Certificate. 

Apprenticeships are available to personnel serving in the Defence Forces with the following corps: 

Transport Corps 

Our Transport Corps Trainee Technician Scheme is run in conjunction with the SOLAS Apprenticeship Scheme. 

Student mechanics will learn about servicing engines, fuel systems, transmissions, suspensions, bodywork electrics and wheels on both our Armoured and Soft Skin Vehicle Fleet. 

Training is conducted between the Defence Forces Training Centre (Curragh Camp) and in selected SOLAS Educational training Board facilities and Institutes of Technology. 

Ordnance Corps 

The Ordnance Corps is a Combat Service Support Corps whose skills, knowledge, and expertise are essential for the effective and efficient operational function of the Defence Forces at home and abroad. 

Students can complete their studies in the area of weapon system mechanics or weapon system electronics. Successful students on our Ordnance TTS are eligible to apply for further courses within the Ordnance Corps such as Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and Chemical Biological Radioactive Neurological EOD

Corps of Engineers 

Personnel who wish to undertake an apprenticeship within the Defence Forces Corps of Engineers will first undergo a military course to qualify as a Combat Engineer prior to beginning the apprenticeship in their chosen trade. 

Personnel undertaking an apprenticeship with the Corps of Engineers will receive a trade qualification accredited by SOLAS. Participants in this TTS are encouraged to undertake City and Guilds Examinations appropriate to their trade. 

Apprenticeships are available within the Corps of Engineers for trades such as electricians, carpenters, plumbers. 

Communications and Information Systems Corps (CIS Technician)

The Defence Forces CIS TTS will qualify personnel in the area of electronics, telecommunications, radio theory, computer networks, computer technology and other military technical related subjects. Personnel undertaking an apprenticeship with our CIS Corps will also receive a HETAC Level 7 BEng (Ord) Degree Electronic Engineering; military Communication Systems with SETU Carlow. Newly qualified technicians will become an integral part of the CIS Corps IT Network support, tactical communications and general maintenance structure.

Defence Forces Printing Press (Printing Press Technician) 

The DFPP ‘in-house’ printing facility provides a wide variety of material for the Defence Forces at home and Overseas. Defence Forces Printing Press Technicians are highly skilled across multiple areas such as graphic illustration, image manipulation, lithographic/ flexographic/ gravure principles, digital printing and collation methods. 

Technician training is conducted by Belfast Metropolitan College and the DFPP on a modular basis over a three-year period. Students who successfully complete the course will be awarded a GQA Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Pre-Press/Printing/Print Finishing. 

Air Corps Trainee Aircraft Technician 

The Irish Defence Forces offer an apprentice entry route to those wishing to join the Irish Defence Forces with the Irish Air Corps through our Trainee Aircraft Technician competition. Aircraft Technicians provide the maintenance and servicing of Air Corps aircraft, their airframes, engines, systems and equipment.  

On successful completion of a seven-month military training course, trainee technicians will commence their academic studies, which is a full time programme of four and a half years, within the Air Corps Technical Training School located in Casement Aerodrome. 

The Air Corps Technical Training School is European Aviation Safety Agency approved, and accredited by the Technological University Dublin to deliver a BA of Engineering Technology Degree in Military Aviation Technology to successful candidates on the Air Corps Trainee Aircraft Technician programme. 

Trainee Technicians will receive instruction in all disciplines of air-craft maintenance on avionics or fixed/rotary wing aircraft, and power plant. On completion of training, technicians are awarded a Level 7 B.A. of Engineering in Aviation Technologies from TU Dublin. 

Candidates must be 18 years of age and less than 23 years of age on the closing date for receipt of applications.

General Service Enlistment 

The Recruit training syllabus is designed to produce physically fit, disciplined, and motivated Two Star Privates with basic military skills. 

Recruit training is the foundation of all military training. It is approximately 12 weeks in duration. 

On successful completion of Recruit Training, the recruit will take on a further 12 weeks of training to become a Three Star Private soldier. Army and Air Corps applicants must be at least 18 years of age and under 25 years of age on the closing date for applications. Naval Service applicants must be at least 18 years of age and under 27 years of age on the closing date for applications. Serving members must serve for a minimum period of 2 years before being eligible to apply for a TTS. 

For more information on eligibility criteria, Direct Entry opportunities, and current competitions, please visit our careers page on

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