Career Opportunities in Defence (Air Force)



There is not even an iota of doubt that Air force is amongst a dream career for all the patriots out there. Flying through clouds and safeguarding our motherland brings fascinating and challenging thoughts to one’s mind. With thousands of applications each year for a few hundred seats, air force has and will continue to fascinate all patriots. The opportunity to work for our motherland and exciting career prospects makes this career field extremely alluring for the young generation.

With technological progress, increasing threats to global peace and advancement in the field of arms and ammunitions, there is a further need of trained and capable airmen in the Indian Air Force. In spite of such a huge requirement, Indian Air force is extremely particular and choosy while inducting forces to be trained. The Indian Air force is always on a look out for tough and extremely capable airmen. Apart from an extremely rewarding career, the social status, pride and prestige an Indian Air force personnel gets is beyond words.

Personality Traits

The quintessential personality traits that are required in Indian Air Force soldiers are:

  • Extremely good planning and organizing skills
  • Effective intelligence to solve practical problems
  • Efficient and quick social adaptability
  • Sense of responsibility
  • Self confidence
  • Ability to take speedy and effective decisions
  • Leadership skills
  • Physical and mental toughness
  • Courage

Course / Training

There are basically two entry routes for getting into the Indian Air Force. The first is at the under graduation level wherein students between 161/2 years to 19 years are eligible to apply. The entrance procedure is extremely stringent and is divided into three stages. In the stage I candidates have to first appear for a written entrance exam that is conducted twice a year in the months of April and September by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Candidates applying for air force have to compulsorily study Mathematics and Physics in class XII. The written test is basically an objective type test that comprises two sections. The first section carries questions on mathematical ability where as the second section is further divided into two sub parts namely English and General Ability.

On clearing the written exam, successful candidates are then called for the stage II i.e. the interview stage. Aspirants have to then go through various sessions of interviews, intelligence & personality tests and group discussions conducted by Staff Selection Board. Candidates are also made to appear for various psychometric and psychological tests to test their aptitude and mental toughness.

The stage III consists of an equally strict medical and fitness test conducted by Staff Medical Board. Only upon clearing these three stages, a few deserving candidates are selected for getting admitted into NDA.

The second entry route consists of getting through Indian Air Force is by way of the Combined Defence Services Exam (CDSE) that is basically a graduate level examination conducted by UPSC. Applicants interested in Indian Air Force must have necessarily completed a graduation with physics and mathematics or a Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Technology. The stage I of CDSE is a written exam that is basically an objective type test with questions on English, General Knowledge and elementary Mathematics. On clearing the written exam, successful candidates are then called for interview, physical and psychological tests to assess whether they are officer material or not. After clearing this stage, they are then required to appear and clear a thorough medical test.

List of Institutes for undergrad and post-grad courses in Indian Air Force

Institute Website
National Defence Academy, Pune
Air Force Academy, Hyderabad

Career opportunities

Officers in Indian Air Force can join either one of the branches mentioned below:

  • Flying Branch – They are the ones who perform the duties of flying fighter planes, flying helicopters, work as para dropping men, navigators, transport pilots who fly planes with men and materials etc.
  • Technical Branch – They include all those personnels who work in the engineering sections for maintenance of aircrafts and are also responsible for the weapon systems in the aircraft.
  • Ground Duties Branch – Officers deployed in this branch work so as to regularly provid logistical, meteorological, educational and administrative support to the other two branches.


Right from the time of their training, Air Force officers start earning Rs 21,000 at the Air Force Training Institutions as a stipend during their one year training period. On joining Indian Air Force, the initial monthly salary of officers range between Rs 60,000 to Rs 65,000.

Career Opportunities in Defence (Air Force)
Career Opportunities in Defence (Air Force) - By : | Date Published : 05-05-2016 | Category : Career Options |
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