Airforce Officer

Job Description:

Air Force officers manage teams of airmen and airwomen. They also carry out flying duties or work in specialist ground support.

Job Category:
Aerospace & Defence

What you will do:

Your day-to-day duties will depend on your job. You could:

  • take part in flying sorties, reconnaissance, and search and rescue duties
  • provide target information as an aerospace flight operations officer
  • coordinate refuelling, digitally map terrain and plan missions
  • commission new aircraft
  • service fleets and manage aircraft and communications engineering teams
  • manage day-to-day services like catering, security or training for staff at base and in the field
  • manage specialist healthcare teams like dentistry or nursing


You’ll need:

  • to be over 17.5 years of age
  • have a good level of fitness
  • to pass a medical check
  • to pass enhanced background checks
  • to pass security checks
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • leadership skills to manage and motivate teams
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills for making quick decisions
  • persistence and determination
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • concentration skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

Becoming an officer in the air force typically requires a strong educational background, leadership qualities, and the ability to excel in a variety of subjects. While there are no specific subjects that are mandatory for this career, certain subjects can provide a solid foundation and make you a competitive candidate when applying to join the air force as an officer. Here are some subjects that can be beneficial:

  1. Mathematics: Mathematics skills are important for various aspects of air force roles, including technical, engineering, and aviation-related positions.
  2. Physics: Physics provides a fundamental understanding of the principles governing flight and aerodynamics, which can be valuable if you plan to pursue a career in aviation.
  3. English Language: Effective communication skills are essential for officers in the air force, as you’ll need to give clear instructions, write reports, and communicate with colleagues and superiors.
  4. Information Technology (IT): Proficiency in IT and digital skills can be valuable in today’s technology-driven air force, where many systems and communications are computer-based.
  5. Physical Education (PE): Physical fitness is a crucial aspect of air force training, so a good foundation in PE can be beneficial.
  6. Foreign Languages: While not a strict requirement, having proficiency in a foreign language can be an asset, especially if you’re interested in certain intelligence or international liaison roles.
  7. Leadership and Citizenship Education: Some schools offer courses or programs that focus on leadership development and citizenship education, which can help you develop important qualities for an officer role.

It’s important to note that becoming an officer in the air force typically involves further education and training beyond high school. The specific requirements and qualifications for air force officer training programs may vary by country, so it’s essential to research the specific entry requirements for the air force branch you are interested in.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • applying directly
  • volunteering

You can join the Air Force Reserve as a part-time officer. This will give you experience of what life is like in the air force, and you’ll learn new skills at the same time.

You’ll need to:

  • be between 18 and 54
  • commit to at least 27 days a year
  • attend a 2-week training camp each year

If you’re between 13 and 18 years old, you can join the Air Cadets.

You’ll visit Air Force bases and develop some of the skills you’ll need in the Air Force recruitment process.

Direct Application
You can apply directly for Air Force officer training.

If your application is accepted, you’ll be invited to talk to someone at your local armed forces careers office about what you want to do. You’ll also take an aptitude test.

Working Hours and Environment:

Weekly work hours are variable and could include evenings, weekends, or holidays.

You could work in a warzone or at a military base.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers and physically and emotionally demanding.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could move up the ranks, for example from pilot officer to flying officer, then flight lieutenant or higher.

You could go into a wide range of careers once you leave the Air Force. Your career choices will depend on your skills, training and qualifications you’ve developed during your service.