How to become an Air Force Trades

Air Force technicians and tradespersons undertake a variety of technical and trades-related jobs in the Air Force, including assisting with the construction and maintenance of Air Force equipment and buildings.

Personal requirements for an Air Force Trades

  • At least 17 years of age
  • Able to pass applicable medical, physical fitness and aptitude tests
  • Willing to accept responsibility
  • Enjoy leading and motivating others
  • Willing to serve anywhere in Australia or overseas
  • Australian citizenship

Education & Training for an Air Force Trades

To work in a trade within the Air Force, you will need to complete Year 10 with passes in English, mathematics and science. Some specialisations require you to have an existing trade or technical qualification.To join the Air Force you will also need to successfully complete a series of aptitude tests, medical assessments and selection interviews. All new recruits are required to undertake basic Air Force training at RAAF Base Wagga, in Wagga Wagga, NSW, prior to commencing employment training in their chosen job role. Trade qualifications obtained in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) are nationally recognised.Becoming an aircraft life support fitter, aircraft structural technician or a ground support equipment technician involves additional Air Force training. The duration of this training varies for each specialisation and may require interstate travel.

Duties & Tasks of an Air Force Trades

Air Force technicians and tradespeople may specialise as:

  • Aircraft Safety Equipment Maintainer – manufacture, inspect, repair and test all aeronautical safety and life support equipment.
  • Aircraft Technician – inspect, install, repair and maintain structural components of all military aircraft and air frame systems.
  • Carpenter - design, construct, maintain and repair all non-aircraft buildings and equipment, from site planning and excavation to tiling and glazing.
  • Electrician - install, maintain and repair power and lighting systems for both industrial and domestic conditions, and manage the operation of electrical plant and equipment.
  • Fitter and Turner (Ground Mechanical Engineering Fitter) – maintain and repair machinery, equipment and systems through diagnosing faults and manufacturing or modifying tools and fixtures.
  • Motor Mechanic (Ground Support Equipment Technician) - maintain motor transport vehicles, ground support equipment, various aircraft systems, refuelling equipment and installations.
  • Plumber - install, maintain and repair Air Force water systems, including sanitary and sewerage systems, roofing, guttering, hot water systems and gas appliances.


  • Serving as an infantry soldier
  • Erecting bridges, building field defences, constructing temporary roads, clearing minefields, repairing airfields and demolishing targets using explosives
  • Guarding airfields and other defence force bases
  • Maintaining personal arms and ammunition
  • Operating artillery, ground and surface-based defence systems, shipboard weapons and other advanced specialist military weapons and equipment
  • Crewing armoured fighting vehicles
  • Conducting surveillance, reconnaissance and boarding operations
  • Providing firepower and ground-based air defence
  • Establishing and maintaining command, control and communications equipment and facilities

Employment Opportunities for an Air Force Trades

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


Air Force Trades

Air Force technicians and tradespersons undertake a variety of technical and trades-related jobs in the Air Force, including assisting with the construction and maintenance of Air Force equipment and buildings.

  • Average age
    Average age
    27 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    13% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    50 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Medium skill
  • Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    94% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    110 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 4.7%
    NSW: 27.7%
    NT: 8.6%
    QLD: 35.9%
    SA: 6.5%
    TAS: 0.3%
    VIC: 9.8%
    WA: 6.4%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 8.2%
    20-24: 28.5%
    25-34: 37.9%
    35-44: 14.6%
    45-54: 8.5%
    55-59: 1.7%
    60-64: 0.3%
    65 and Over: 0.2%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 10.8%
    Bachelor degree: 5.6%
    Certificate III/IV: 26.5%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 2.2%
    Year 10 and below: 7.8%
    Year 11: 6.5%
    Year 12: 40.6%
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