Government & Defence

Air Force Officer

Air Force officers are the leaders of the Air Force. They command, train and motivate Air Force personnel for both peace and wartime tasks.

  • Entry-level education

    Senior secondary school certificate or equivalent

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does an Air Force Officer do?

Air Force officers manage and lead non-commissioned officers and air force personnel in both peacetime and wartime.


Work activities

As an Air Force officer, you could:

  • lead a team of non-commissioned officers and airmen / airwomen
  • be responsible for your team in both wartime and peacetime operations
  • command a squadron or unit
  • specialise in combat-related areas such as air combat, intelligence or ground defence
  • specialise in non-combat duties such as legal, medical, finance or supply / logistics areas
  • communicate and cooperate closely with both military and civilian organisations.

Key skills and interests

To become an Air Force officer, you would need:

  • the ability to lead and motivate others
  • self-discipline and confidence
  • good teamwork skills
  • the ability to give and follow orders
  • IT skills
  • good physical and mental medical fitness
  • excellent communication skills
  • Australian citizenship.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

Air Force officers usually work a standard number of hours per week. On local or overseas deployment, hours will vary greatly.


Working conditions for Air Force officers vary greatly, from working in an office to spending extended time in the field. You must be prepared to move anywhere within Australia and overseas, and could be away from your family for long periods of time.


How to become an Air Force Officer?

Entry Level Education

To become an Air Force officer you usually have to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent with passes in English and three other tertiary entry units, preferably including mathematics and a science unit.

To join the RAAF you will need to successfully complete a series of aptitude tests, medical assessments and selection interviews. You need to be at least 17 years of age.

You can become an Air Force officer a number of ways. You may apply to join the Air Force as a direct-entry officer cadet (non-degree), you may complete a degree through the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), apply as a sponsored undergraduate through the Defence University Sponsorship, or apply after completing one of a selected range of specialist degrees.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

The total number of active-duty and reserve personnel serving in the Australian Armed Forces is currently expected to remain roughly the same.

The Australian Defence Force recruits throughout the year.


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