Age & Gender


You can join the Air Force at 17, but start your application earlier if you wish. There are no gender restrictions in the Air Force.

Age range for recruitment

To apply for a job in the Air Force you must be at least 16 years and 6 months old, though you can start thinking about a career in the ADF much earlier (see below).

The maximum age for recruitment varies greatly by role, and you'll find details in each job description on this website. As a general rule you can join the Air Force if you are between three and six years away from the Compulsory Retiring Age for a specific role.


17-year olds in the Air Force

At this age you are a 'minor' so special conditions apply. Your application must be voluntary, approved in writing by both your parents or your legal guardian(s), and accompanied by an original or certified copy of your full birth certificate.

The Air Force abides by the spirit and intent of the Optional Protocol on the Rights of the Child on Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict. That means we will take all feasible measures to ensure that minors do not participate in hostilities, however there will be times when they may have to.


Info for those under 17

  • You are at least 10 years of age:

To receive information about the careers available in the Air Force, please register your details with Defence Jobs.

  • You are over 12 years and 6 months of age:

You can experience what it's like in the Air Force by joining the Cadets. You'll develop leadership, team-building and survival skills while having great fun.