How to become an Air Force Officer

Air Force Officer

Air Force officers command, train and motivate Air Force airmen and airwomen for peacetime and wartime tasks. Air Force officers work at the middle and executive management levels within the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), with officers specialising in various areas depending on their training and qualifications.

Personal requirements for an Air Force Officer

  • Meet aptitude, physical fitness and medical requirements
  • Willing to accept responsibility
  • Ability to lead and motivate others
  • Willing to serve anywhere in Australia or overseas
  • At least 17 years of age
  • Australian citizenship

Education & Training for an Air Force Officer

To become an Air Force officer you usually have to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with passes in English and three other broad subjects. To join the RAAF you will need to successfully complete a series of aptitude tests, medical assessments and selection interviews. If you are successful, there are four different education and training pathways for Air Force officers. You may apply to join the Air Force as a non-degree, direct-entry officer cadet; you may complete a degree through the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA); you may apply as a sponsored undergraduate; or you may apply after completing one of a selected range of specialist degrees. Entry to all officer cadet positions requires the completion of the 17-week Initial Officer Course at RAAF Base East Sale, Gippsland, Victoria. This is followed by specialist training with the RAAF.


Additional information

To enter ADFA, you must be at least 17 years of age and have satisfied entry requirements for a relevant degree at the University of New South Wales or equivalent.

Duties & Tasks of an Air Force Officer

An Air Force officer may specialise as:

  • Air Combat Officer (Mission Aircrew) - use radar systems to detect enemy targets and perform surveillance missions in areas of battle management, combat and maritime patrol.
  • Airfield Engineer - manage, assess, repair and maintain the operation of Air Force infrastructure and engineering services.
  • Dentist – assess, diagnose and treat dental conditions and maintain the oral health of Air Force personnel.
  • Doctor - provide healthcare to Air Force personnel in RAAF hospitals, at first aid posts or during emergency situations such as aeromedical evacuations.
  • Ground Defence Officer – defend Air Force airfields, assets and personnel from ground attack, command ground defence squadrons and conduct various types of defence training.
  • Air Traffic Controller (Mission Controller) - manage the safe movement of military and non-military aircraft in the domestic environment, assisting with flight coordination and aircraft control during combat.
  • Nurse – responsible for the medical needs of Air Force personnel and assist doctors with medical procedures in RAAF hospitals, remote locations or during aeromedical evacuations.
  • Pilot - fly combat and support aircraft on a variety of missions and roles, conduct flying lessons and carry out planning and administrative duties.

Tasks

  • Controlling the collection and interpretation of management information to monitor performance.
  • Establishing lines of control and delegating responsibilities to subordinate staff.
  • Preparing reports, authorising the release of information, and handling public relations activities.
  • Representing the organisation in dealings with other organisations and the public.
  • Controlling the use of, and accounting for, the assets and facilities of the organisation.
  • Establishing administrative and operational procedures by taking account of the organisation's operating environment.
  • Preparing budgets and other management plans.
  • Making policy decisions and accepting responsibility for operations, performance of staff, achievement of targets and adherence to budgets, standards and procedures.

Employment Opportunities for an Air Force Officer

Recruitment into the Australian Defence Force is conducted on an Australia-wide basis all year round.


Specializations

Air Force Officer

Air Force officers command, train and motivate Air Force airmen and airwomen for peacetime and wartime tasks. Air Force officers work at the middle and executive management levels within the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), with officers specialising in various areas depending on their training and qualifications.

  • Average age
    Average age
    39 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Moderate
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    15% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    50 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $2,834
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Very high skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    93% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    1,600 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 21.4%
    NSW: 29.3%
    NT: 3.9%
    QLD: 18.7%
    SA: 5.5%
    TAS: 1.2%
    VIC: 13.7%
    WA: 6.0%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 4.5%
    20-24: 12.6%
    25-34: 23.7%
    35-44: 21.2%
    45-54: 25.1%
    55-59: 9%
    60-64: 2.9%
    65 and Over: 0.9%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 17.5%
    Bachelor degree: 26.1%
    Certificate III/IV: 9.7%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 25.6%
    Year 10 and below: 1.7%
    Year 11: 1%
    Year 12: 18.5%
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