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Career as Air Force Officer

Last Updated By Harleen Kaur on 21 Feb, 2023

How to Become a Air Force Officer

About Air Force Officer

Air Force Officer is completely responsible for planning, managing, and executing various defence, combat, and rescue missions as a member of the air force. The Indian Air Force is the fourth-largest and seventh-most powerful air force in the world. One of the main air forces in the nation, the Indian Air Force's main duty is to protect the nation from aerial aggression from outside sources. The primary components of the Air Force are fighter planes and aircraft because it is their duty to defend the skies. As a result, flying aircraft is a concern for all Air Force services, and the pilot is the primary air force officer.

In a nutshell, the Indian Air Force is one of the country's major air arms, and its primary mission is to protect the country from external air aggression. Fighter planes and aircraft are the most important components of the Air Force because their job is to defend the sky. As a result, the entire Airforce is concerned with aircraft flight, and the pilot is the primary air force officer.

It is a varied and exciting profession. In addition to flying, one must manage hundreds of personnel at base camp and develop high-level strategies and tactics. During disasters and emergencies, they go above and beyond by transporting food and essential supplies. If all of the above duties excite you, then a career as an Air Force Officer is the right choice for you.

Roles and Responsibilities of an Air Force Officer 

An Air Force Officer is responsible for the following roles and responsibilities:

  • It is their responsibility to protect the interests of the nation and Indian territory from all dangers
  • Their role is to defend Indian aerospace against external danger and foreign intrusion.
  • In times of war, they provide air support for operational missions
  • Their responsibility is to handle satellite imagery and gathering relevant data for aircraft navigation
  • In a disaster, civilians must be saved and evacuated by Air Force Officer
  • The primary role of an Air Force Officer is to act in unison and give the Indian Navy and armed forces your full active support
  • Get the planes to the right place by navigating them
  • Manage the aircraft's technical processes and management

Eligibility to become Air Force Officer

In India, there are four options for joining the Indian Air Force. Therefore, the eligibility requirements vary in every way.

Career Path:1

The first way is to join National Defence Academy, Pune which mainly trains cadets in three services. To get through NDA a competitive examination is held twice a year i.e. in February and September. Only unmarried male candidates till 19 years of age can apply for the same. They should be class 12th pass or equivalent examination with physics and math as mandatory subjects.

National Defence Academy, Pune, trains cadets for the 3 services. A competitive examination is held twice in a year, in February & September, for a 3-year training course commencing in January and July. Only unmarried male candidates aged between 16 1/2 and 191/2  years are eligible.XI with Physics & Maths.

Career Path: 2

Both male and female candidates can apply for the same between 20-24 years of age. They are required to pass NCC Air Wing Senior div C Certificate. Candidates must have a bachelor's degree in any field with a minimum of 60% marks from a recognised university.

Career Path:3

The Short Service Commission is for the candidates who wish to become technical officers in the Air Force. Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in any field and must have cleared the AFCAT examination. Both male and female candidates between 20-24 years of age can apply.


How to Become an Indian Air Force Officer?

Candidates can follow the steps mentioned below to become an Indian Air Force Officer: 

Step 1: Students can finish their 12th class with Math. They can take the NDA Exam after passing the 12th grade.

Step 2: Students can finish their 12th class with Math. Then finish their diploma and can proceed to pass the CDS Exam.

Step 3: Students can finish their 12th class with Math. Then finish their B Tech/BE degree. Following that they can take the Air Force Common Entrance Test (AFCAT).

Step 4: Students can finish their 12th class with Math and Physics. After that, they can pursue graduation in any discipline and proceed with NCC Special Scheme Entry with a Certificate.

Types of Job Roles Air Force Officer

The Indian Air Force offers various Air Force Officer job profiles to qualified candidates. They are divided into three major categories: flying branches, technical branches, and ground duty branches. The following are some of the most popular air force officer job profiles:

Pilots: They are primarily assigned flying duties in the Indian Air Force. Their responsibilities can range from flying fighter planes to providing supplies during natural disasters, among other things.

Fighter Pilots: Fighter Pilots are highly trained and equipped to shoot down enemy aircraft and attack ground targets in enemy territory. Their primary duty is to protect and defend one's own territory from the enemy. They have electronic devices, radars, and cameras for pinpoint bombing and target acquisition. It is recognised as one of the prestigious jobs in the Air Force as they are entrusted with such major responsibilities.

Navigators: Navigators are Air Force personnel who direct Pilots to the bombing site using navigational equipment, radars, and other optical devices. Their primary responsibility is to assist and direct the Pilots during navigation.

Transport Pilots: They are in charge of transporting people, materials, and explosives such as bombs and weapons to their destinations. Aside from that, they transport defence personnel, vehicles, and ammunition from one battlefield to another.

Air Traffic Control Officer: Their job is to provide control and advisory services to pilots in order to ensure their safety and protect them from bad weather.

Logistic Officer: In the Air Force, the logistics officer is in charge of providing logistics support such as aircraft spares, mechanical transport, fuel, and so on.

Education Branch Officer: In the Air Force, the education branch officer designs training programmes that incorporate the most recent technological developments. They also create training programmes for officers.

Metrology Branch Officers: They perform scientific work such as weather forecasting using cutting-edge technology and tools, as well as related research.

Employment Opportunities for Air Force Officers

There are numerous job opportunities available to candidates who have completed their professional training in the Air Force. The Air Force provides excellent career opportunities in its various branches, and most Air Force Officers have excellent chances of advancement. 

Here is the list of following Employment Opportunities for Air Force Officers listed below:

  • Air Commodore
  • Air Marshal
  • Air Vice Marshal
  • Flight Lieutenant
  • Flying Officer
  • Group Captain
  • Squadron Leader
  • Wing Commander
  • Air Chief Marshal
  • Air Force Officer in Various branches of the Air Force

Top Recruiting Companies for Air Force Officers

The following are some of the companies that hire Air Force Officers:

  • Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd. 
  • Civil Aviation Ministry


Skills Required by an Air Force Officers 

Here is a list of the skills that an Air Force Officer must have in order to be the best:

  • Required abilities
  • Officer-like qualities
  • Physical toughness
  • Willingness to serve the country 
  • Disciplined outlook
  • Capability to accept and carry out orders
  • Availability to move quickly
  • Both physical and mental fitness
  • Security for risk management
  • Powerful analytics abilities
  • Security policies and procedures 

Planning to choose Air Force Officer as your career?

Pay Scale/Salary of Air Force Officer

Officers in the Air Force begin earning money before they are commissioned. Air Force Officers are paid INR 21,000 per month during their final year of professional training. Aside from their basic pay, an Air Force Officer receives numerous allowances, including flying allowance, technical allowance, military service pay, and others. Air Force Officers in the flying/technical branch and ground duty branch earn the following:

Air Force Branch

Salary in INR (per annum)

Flying Branch

INR 9,00,000

Technical Branch

INR 8,00,000

Ground Branch 

INR 7,56,000


Books & Study Material to Become Air Force Officer

Check out the list of best books and study material which help you crack the NDA/ Short Service Commission examination to become an Air Force Officer.

  • Class 11th & 12 NCERT Books
  • NDA Practice Papers
  • Let’s Crack AFCAT
  • New AFCAT Guide with 10 Past Papers by Disha Experts

Apart from these books, one can refer to general knowledge books and study material that will enhance one’s reasoning and aptitude.


Pros of becoming a Air Force Officer

  • Air Force officers usually join at a very young age and from the initial years they are taught the importance of discipline and good life.
  • It is not like a regular 9 to 6 desk job which becomes monotonous after a period of time.
  • Your cubicle is located at a  minimum of 30,000 feet above the ground which is not enjoyed by many.

Cons of becoming a Air Force Officer

  • The nature of the job is such that you get relocated a lot which leads to an extremely disturbed life as your personal life is adversely affected.
  • It is a job that involves a lot of risk and threat to life as you are entrusted with guarding the nation.
  • The life of an Air Force Officer is very hard as they have to follow strict schedules.

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