Career in Indian Air Force

Gauri Chhabra
To be in Air Force is about the thrill of seeing formations airborne, bonhomie with fellow colleagues and a deep sense of fulfilment at the end of the day. Working in the Air Force is about being in the middle of supersonic jets, state-of-the-art technology and best of the people. You are where the action is. Air Force provides you with the most modern facilities gives you an unparalleled way of life and creates an environment, where the best in you comes out.
Whether you are a graduate or you have finished your schooling or you have passed your class tenth, Air Force has an exciting career opportunity for you.
As an officer in the Indian Air Force you strategize, lead and manage. Trained in diversified fields and environments you are ready for all the challenges that the fast paced life in the Air Force has in store for you. Be it flying the most advanced combat aircraft or providing technical support, your mission is to always give your best.
Join as an Officer
Career after Intermediate
You can join the Air Force in the flying, technical or the ground branches. You can literally touch the sky by joining the Air Force, not to mention that you’ll be inside a supersonic jet, going at an incredible speed while doing that. Apart from the thrill and adventure, Air Force offers a fulfilling career for life to you.
Selection Process
Candidates, short-listed for Air Force after the initial selection procedure, go through a rigorous three-year training regimen at the National Defence Academy, followed by specialised training at the Air Force Academy. Thereafter, they are commissioned as officers and posted as pilots at any of the Air Force Stations.
To be in the National Defence Academy
You can join NDA by taking the exam conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). This exam is conducted twice a year in all major cities throughout India.
Eligibility Criteria
To join the NDA you need to fulfil the following requirements:
Age:16 ½ to 19 years
Educational Qualifications: 10+2 with Physics and Mathematics
Advertisement Schedule: March and October every year.
Join as an Airman
The recruitment of Personnel Below Officer Rank (PBOR) as an Airman in the IAF is conducted through All India Selection Tests and Recruitment Rallies. All India Selection Tests are conducted at the Airmen Selection Centres (ASCs) located all over India as per schedule whereas the Recruitment Rallies are conducted from time to time in selected areas/regions of particular States/Union Territories of the country.
Written Test is conducted for test in English, Physics & Mathematics for Group ‘X’ (Technical) trades and in English & Reasoning and General Awareness (RGA) for all Group ‘Y’ trades.
Written Test is objective type and question paper is bilingual (English & Hindi), except English paper. Written test is based on CBSE syllabus of AISSCE. Candidates for Group ‘Z’ (Musician) trade are tested in English dictation and proficiency to play the musical instrument applied for. You will have to qualify in each paper/test separately.
Physical Fitness Test (PFT): Candidates passing the written tests are to undergo Physical Fitness Test(PFT). The PFT for all trades excluding Indian Air Force (Police) & Indian Air Force (Security) trades consists of a 1.6 Km run to be completed within specified time. The PFT for Indian Air Force (Police) & Indian Air Force (Security) trades includes a 5 Km run & 2.4 Km run to be completed in 30 minutes & 15 minutes respectively. Candidates completing PFT earlier will be awarded additional marks on a sliding scale.
Interview: Candidates passsing PFT will be interviewed by a team of Officers & Warrant ranks. Interview is normally conducted in English. Working knowledge of English is thus essential.
Trade Allocation Test (TAT) : Candidates of Group ‘X’ (Technical) trades who qualify in interview are to undergo Trade Allocation Test for bifurcation into Mechanical and Electronics stream. Specific trade allotment within these streams will be carried out at Basic Training Institute (BTI), Air Force (Belgaum).
Medical Examination: Candidates who are recommended in the interview will be medically examined by the Recruitment Medical Team as per Indian Air Force medical standards. Medical certificates/certificates of fitness from other doctors will not be admissible except for dioptres power as stated in Medical Standards given in detail on this site.
Enrolment is for an initial period of 20 years and extendable up to the age of 57 years. The candidates on enrolment are routed to Basic Training Institute (BTI), Belgaum and Karnataka to undergo Joint Basic Phase Training (JBPT) for a period of 12 weeks. On successful completion of JBPT, candidates will be allocated trades and sent for trade training of specified duration. After successful completion of training, the airmen will be deployed on ground based jobs as per their allotted trades.
The ranks of airmen in the IAF is
Aircraftsman – AC
Leading Aircraftsman – LAC
Corporal – CPL
Sergeant – SGT
Junior Warrant Officer – JWO
Warrant Officer – WO
Master Warrant Officer – MWO
One can join rank and file of Indian Air Force as an airman in the category of Personnel Below Officer Rank(PBOR) if he possess following eligibility criteria:-
There are three groups wherein an airman is recruited into namely GP X and Y where age limit is 17-22 yrs except 3 three years more is relaxed in case of GP Y fro musical trade. The education qualification for GP X is 10+2 with Maths and physics with min 50%. For technical trades in this Gp requires 3yrs diploma in engineering (Mechanical/Electrical/Electronics/auto/computer science/IT. For Gp Y eligibility is 10+2 any stream including equivalent vocational courses with 50% marks. For Musician trade min qualification is 10th Pass.
To get selected as an Airman, the candidate must be physically and mentally FIT to perform duties in any part of the world, climate and terrain. Medical Standards to become an Airman are as follows:-
Minimum height required is 152.5 cm for GP X & Y. However for Auto Technician it is 165cm. For other police and security it is 175/172 cm. The common minimum visual standards acceptable 6/36 for each eye. Indian Air Force (Police) & Indian Air Force (Security) trades require 6/6 vision for each eye unaided and CP-II i.e. no use of spectacles permissible for these trades.
PAY & ALLOWANCES. During training a stipend of Rs. 5,700/-pm will be paid. On completion of training, one is placed in the emoluments as under. Promotion to next Pay Band is as per the policy in vogue. The pay scale of Airman is pay band of Rs 5200-20200 with Grade Pay of Rs 2000-2800. Also an allowance of Rs2000 pm as MSP is paid. Various other allowances like Dearness Allowance (calculated on Pay Band + Grade Pay + MSP), Transport Allowance, Composite Personal Maintenance Allowance, High Altitude Allowance; Field Area/Modified Field Area Allowance etc are also admissible as applicable. Perks such as Ration, Clothing, Medical facilities, Accommodation, Educational concession to children, recreational facilities, free transport for school going children and Leave Travel Concession are also provided as per the existing rules. Post retirement benefits include pension, gratuity and leave encashment. Notwithstanding the above, Group Insurance Cover of Rs. 15,00,000/- at nominal premium of Rs. 960/- pm, is covered for all airmen and facility of Group Housing Scheme is also extended. Other facilities by Air Force Wives Welfare Association are also extended for family of airmen.
The initial period of engagement in the IAF is 20 years, which can be extended up to the age of 57 years. Promotion up to the rank of Master Warrant Officer exists to the deserving airmen. Provision for grant of Honorary Commission to the deserving Warrant Officers and Master Warrant Officer. Opportunities to become a Commissioned Officer also exist for the deserving personnel.