Bring Out Your Best
Whether you enter as enlisted or an officer, we’re here to help you figure out the best options to launch your career and become the Airman you aim to be.
Explore Air Force Active Duty careers
Learn what to expect
To join the Air Force as an enlisted Airman, you must be between the ages of 17 and 42, a current U.S. citizen and have obtained either a high school diploma or GED. Applicants can’t have any serious law violations or drug use or serious health problems.
Additionally, you must pass the Armed Services Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and a physical. The ASVAB covers four critical areas: arithmetic reasoning, mathematics, word knowledge and paragraph comprehension. This is used to determine whether you’re a good fit for the Air Force and the best career field to place you in.
To join as an officer, you must attend Officer Training School (OTS), Air Force ROTC or the Air Force Academy after completing college or a postgraduate degree and the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT).
Yes, after enlisting, you can work toward becoming an Air Force officer later in your career. If that’s your goal, we suggest you examine the officer path to decide whether you meet the initial requirements to join. If you’re currently in college or aspire to attend, the Air Force also offers available educational support to individuals who qualify. If you enlist, the Air Force offers many opportunities to grow in your career. There are five specialized programs built to help you become an officer:
1. Airman Scholarship and Commissioning Program (ASCP): Enlisted Airmen receive a $15,000 scholarship to attend college.
2. Scholarships for Outstanding Airman to ROTC (SOAR): Commanders offer selected enlisted Airmen (based on outstanding performance) to receive a $15,000 college scholarship.
3. One-year Professional Officer Course-Early Release Program (1-Year POC-ERP): Active duty Airmen who can complete bachelor’s degree requirements within one year receive an opportunity to become a full time student to complete that degree.
4. Officer Training School (OTS): Enlisted Airmen can also apply to attend OTS. To be eligible, Airmen must have a bachelor’s degree or be a senior at a college or university that is accredited by one of the six regional accreditation commissions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants who have graduated from a non-accredited college or university in the United States or from another country may apply, however they must present evidence from an accredited institution that their credits are acceptable for graduate work.
Air Force salaries are based on rank and years of service and include a generous package of benefits. Additionally, our careers offer regular opportunities for advancement.
Generally, you’ll be paid bi-monthly on the 1st and 15th of every month. If you claim no dependents, you’ll receive your base pay every paycheck. If you do claim dependants, you’ll receive your base pay plus housing allowance.
If you’re too young to enlist in the Air Force, it’s never too early to prepare. What you learn in school—especially science, math and English—will help you prepare for the Armed Service Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) exam, which all Airmen are required to complete before applying. Additionally, there are many high schools that offer Junior Air Force ROTC programs for those aspiring to be Airmen and/or attend the Air Force Academy.
If you’re enlisted, where you’re stationed is based on the needs of your mission. To be assigned a base, there must be a need for your field there. If you’ve previously served, you’ll have the opportunity to list five bases where you’d like to be stationed. Once you qualify and there’s an opening, you’ll be offered an assignment.