How to join the Air Force

There are several ways to start your career in the Air Force, and each job has different entry options and requirements. Whether you’re considering a General Entry role or Officer Entry role, this page and your Defence Force Recruiter will help you decide what's right for you.

General Entry

An exciting career awaits

You'll find many excellent career options in the Air Force that don’t require experience or qualifications. For these positions, you’ll receive all the training you need, be paid while you train and you could earn industry-recognised qualifications. While you are not required to have completed Year 12 to join, it's best to check each job page for specific entry and education requirements.

General non-technical positions
For more general roles and career opportunities in the Air Force
  • Completion of Year 10 education (or equivalent) required with passes in English and Maths.
  • Some roles in this category require a pass in Year 10 Maths and Science or passes in Year 11 (or equivalent) and above.

Join when it suits you
For those seeking nationally recognised trade training to undertake hands-on tasks
  • Completion of Year 10 (or equivalent) required with passes in English, Maths, Science and one other subject.
  • Some trade roles also require Science with a Physics component.
  • Be paid while you learn.

Qualified positions
For those who are already qualified
  • Pursue your profession in fields such as trades, healthcare, business admin and more.
  • Apply your skills to exciting new challenges in the Air Force.
  • Appropriate qualification requirements specific to each role.

Officer Entry

Build on your ambition and become a leader in your field

Aspire to lead teams as an Air Force Officer. Officer roles are available for school leavers (completed Year 12), undergraduates, graduates and qualified professionals. If this interests you, see the education requirements specific to each role on the relevant job page.

Air Force Officer training
Initial and leadership training as an Air Force Officer
  • Undergo training at the Officers' Training School (OTS), RAAF Base East Sale, VIC.
  • Reservists complete a similar course with reduced amount of residential training balanced with remote study.

Get paid to study and train

If you are interested or enrolled in studying at an Australian university, we have a number of entry methods for you to join as an Officer and have your tuition and training paid for. Holding a relevant degree will allow you to join the Air Force as an Officer in a more technical or specialist role.

Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA)
For those wishing to undertake a degree
  • Start a career as an Air Force Officer via the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA).
  • Be paid to study a recognised degree from the University of New South Wales.
  • Graduate HELP-debt-free.

Undergraduate entry
If you are currently studying for a degree
  • A Defence University Sponsorship (DUS) is available if you are currently studying, or have been accepted to study, a relevant degree at an Australian university.
  • You will need to have successfully completed a minimum of 12 months of your degree.
  • Earn a salary while you study and have the remainder of your university fees paid in return for a commitment to an Officer role in the ADF.

Graduate medical program
For those with a degree who wish to move into medicine
  • Successful applicants must have a relevant undergraduate degree and have passed the Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admission Test (GAMSAT).
  • You will need to have been accepted into an Australian university.
  • You’ll be sponsored as a medical practitioner, then serve as a Medical Officer.

Graduate entry
For those with an appropriate degree
  • Requires recognised degree in Medicine, Law, Dentistry, Nursing, Engineering, Business and IT (among others).
  • Pursue your profession as an Officer and add an exciting new dimension to your work.
  • Receive further training and post-graduate study opportunities.

Tertiary Aviation Reimbursement Scheme (TARS)
Join the Air Force with a relevant degree
  • For women and Indigenous Australians studying Aviation.
  • You may be eligible to have your academic costs reimbursed.
  • You’ll need to be studying for or have completed a Bachelor degree in Aviation.

Flexible Commitment

There are many options in the Air Force that have flexible commitment options. For these positions, you can serve on a part-time or flexible basis, or for a shorter amount of time. These entry methods can be for General and Officer Entry positions, so it’s best to check each job description.

For those wishing to serve part-time
  • Help the community and give something back to our country.
  • Flexible part-time role – do something really different on the occasional weekend or days off work.
  • Gain extra training and experience in your profession.

Gap Year
Get a taste of life in the Australian Defence Force
  • Completion of Year 12 required.
  • Only commit to 12 months.
  • Receive a salary and valuable training to help get you where you want to go.
  • Make unforgettable friendships .