Who are in the Air Force and what do they do?
Like Army and Navy, Air Force is an important wing of the Defense Forces. Air Force further has different operational areas and offers a variety of jobs such as:
- Pilots: There are different categories of pilots. Pilots who fly transport planes which carry equipment & supplies for various units, fighter-pilots who fly fighter planes and actually take part in combat operations against the enemy; pilots to fly helicopters which are used to transport personnel as well as equipment.
- Engineers & Technicians: A large chunk of personnel in Air Force comprise of maintenance engineers and technicians who are required to undertake repairs and regular servicing of all kinds of planes and other defense equipment used by Air Force.
- General Duty Staff: In addition to the pilots and Technical staff as above, there are a large number of other jobs which fall in the category of General Duty Staff. They consist of Air-field Management staff, medical services, secretarial staff and a variety of other support services including civilian workforce. These are all part of the air force job description.
Credentials and Abilities required
What are the essential requirements for the Air Force?
Qualifications – There are totally different sets of educational/professional qualifications required for different categories of staff in the Air Force.
Pilots: They generally are required to possess basic Degree in Science with Math as a subject. They are inducted by the Air Force through an elaborate examination system including aptitude and physical tests and then given the necessary flying and combat training before they are commissioned as full-fledged pilots.
Engineers: Those wishing to join Air Force as ground or flight engineers are required to have Engineering Degrees in various lines of engineering e.g. Telecommunications, Electrical, and Mechanical etc. After induction through an elaborate selection process, they are also given specialized training at their own training establishments before granting regular commission and rank.
General Duty Staff: For jobs under the General Duty category, there are no rigid educational qualification requirements other than a high school diploma. You have to pass a general qualifying test which tests the candidates’ aptitude, verbal & arithmetic reasoning abilities and physical fitness.
Skills required for Air Force jobs:
Those wishing to enter the Air Force for a career must be:
- physically and mentally strong
- willing to lead a disciplined life
- willing to face physical hardships
- risk-taking mentality as some roles like fighter pilots are full of high-risks
- willing to face frequent dislocations
- ready for living away from civilian life for long durations
- willing staying away from family for long periods
- innovative and skilled at improvisation
- a survival professional to face combat duties
What are the job prospects for the Air Force careers?
The jobs in the US Air Force are well paid. The Forces take good care of their personnel and their families during service and through post-retirement pension/superannuation benefits and free medical care etc. There are also adequate prospects for growth depending upon individual initiative and performance in their given roles.
In career up-gradation of skills & qualifications is encouraged and necessary for accelerated promotions.