Many young minds have a dream of working with the US Air Force, and why not? After all, the US Air Force is said to be one of the most coveted jobs on the planet, and only the best of the best get an opportunity to work there. A job in the USAF comes along with many benefits, including the pay scale and the respect you get from fellow citizens. Today’s topic- Best Jobs in the US Air Force.
If you think that a job with the USAF is all about flying fighter jets and maintaining them, you might be wrong. There are many other jobs in the US Air Force that do not involve fighter jets and aircraft directly. There is a job for almost everyone in the USAF, depending on your skills and knowledge.
In this article, we will cover the best US Air Force jobs today, the qualifications required, and why you should opt for them. But before we get to that, let us have a look at what a job in the US Air Force feels like?
What is a US Air Force job like?
The United States Air Force is one of the most advanced workplaces on the entire planet. As a member of the USAF, you would always be working on the latest state-of-the-art technology. Every day would bring in a new challenge for you, and you will be required to find an optimal solution for each of them. You will be working with some of the best minds in the country, and the bonds you develop here will last your entire lifetime.
With that being said, there are more than 200 different job profiles within the US Air Force. Almost everyone who wishes to join the USAF must take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery(ASVAB) test. Your performance in this test is then used to determine your strengths and skills. The results of this test can then be used to apply for a job in the USAF.
The United States Air Force: Eligibility Criteria
The USAF is one of the most lucrative yet demanding jobs because of which everyone can not be a part of this coveted organization. If you want to apply for the USAF, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be older than 17 years and younger than 39 years when you are being admitted to the USAF.
- You must be a US citizen when enrolling yourself.
- You should be unmarried.
- You should not be pregnant.
- Your score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery(ASVAB) must be greater than 65 and have an above-average academic record.
- Your physical and mental health should be good.
These are some of the general criteria that must be met when applying for a career in the USAF. It is worth noting that each job has different standards, and you must be aware of them when you are applying for the same. For more details, you can visit the official Meet Requirements page of the USAF.
Best US Air Force Jobs
As we have already mentioned, there are over 200 job profiles within the US Air Force. Following are some of the jobs within the USAF that are immensely popular amongst the applicants:
The position of a Pilot is the most desirable position amongst Air Force aspirants, and they are highly regarded and respected by all. Pilots are not only considered the backbone of the Air Force but the entire military. They are the ones who are responsible for carrying out several important missions and engaging with the enemy.
Out of hundreds and thousands of applicants who apply for the role of a US Air Force Pilot every year, only a handful of them are selected. It is so because the USAF makes use of some of the most advanced machines on the planet. These Bravehearts are burdened with the responsibility of protecting the country during desperate times.
Handling these million-dollar machines is an extremely challenging task, and the job demands extraordinary skill, precision, and the ability to handle pressure. For these pilots, their mission is of paramount importance, but they also have to prove themselves as leaders and show several important character traits during their training.
Air Force Pilots should have a complete understanding of how their aircraft works. But they should also be capable of studying the weather and preparing the aircraft before takeoff.
The training duration of an aspiring Air Force Pilot is about nine and a half weeks, and the training takes place at Maxwell Air Force Base. The average salary of an Air Force Pilot is about $115,000 per year, and you are entitled to 30 paid leaves every year.
The role of a Physician in the United States Air Force is of paramount importance, especially during war times. Physicians play an important role in ensuring that other Air Force personnel are in great physical health because of which they can continue with their work efficiently.
An Air Force Physician is required to work in a highly tense and fast-paced environment, and they are expected to make quick decisions. The importance of a Physician in the Air Force becomes significant during missions or wars because they can treat the injured Airmen and soldiers on the spot. Although it might not be enough to heal their injuries completely, it might be enough to save their lives.
Medical professionals are responsible for diagnosing and treating patients, prescribing proper medications, and performing general counseling sessions if the need arises. Air Force patients receive intense training and education that enables them to serve US Air Force personnel all over the world. If you decide to pursue your career as a Physician in the US Air Force, you will not only be a medical doctor but you will also be treated as an Air Force Officer.
The United States Air Force got its dedicated medical service in 1949 when Major General Malcolm C. Grow convinced the US Army and President Harry Truman for the same. Currently, the US Air Force Medical Service comprises medical technicians and five distinct medical corps, namely:
- Dental Corps.
- Medical Corps.
- Medical Service Corps.
- Air Force Nurse Corps.
- Veterinary Corps.
- Public Affairs Officer
A Public Affairs Office is important for maintaining the reputation of the US Air Force. They act as a Formal mode of communication between the US Department of Defence and Media. They are responsible for all the documents and interviews that are revealed to the media and, ultimately, the common public.
The job of a Public Affairs Office is quite delicate because they have to explain the workings of the USAF to the common public. Additionally, they have to ensure that they do not reveal any classified information that might pose a threat to the country’s security.
The Public Affairs Officers also play an important role during operations and deployed missions. They are entitled to the responsibility of drafting the information that would be of help to the Air Force when participating in overseas military operations. In case something goes wrong, the Public Affairs Officers are given the responsibility of taking on the media and ensuring that the reputation of the Air Force remains intact.
Public Affairs Officers are also given the burden of planning, executing, and budgeting public affairs programs. Once the program is over, they are also required to determine the effectiveness of the program. Although Public Affairs Officers are not directly involved in the front-line activities of the US Air Force, their role cannot be neglected.
- Intelligence Analyst
Almost everyone believes that when facing an enemy, our biggest strength is the weapons that we possess. However, the biggest weapon of any military organization during a battle is the information they have on their enemy. Intelligence Officers and Analysts are given the responsibility of collecting intel on the enemy and relaying it to the USAF command center.
The data collected and processed by Intelligence Officers have the potential of changing the results of the battle. They need to be able to adapt to the pressure because of the responsibilities of protecting our troops on the battleline rest on their shoulders.
For example, if the US Air Force is going to conduct air raids on the enemy and the Intelligence Officer gets the information that the enemy has installed Anti-Aircraft on their territory. They can then alert their superiors, and a new plan would be devised to proceed with the operation. This will not only save the lives of our brave hearts, but it would also save millions of dollars.
An Intelligence Officer needs to be exceptional at analyzing data and observe any red flags that might lead to a potential security threat. They should also have exceptional communication abilities so that they can coordinate with other branches of the military.
If you wish to apply for the role of an Intelligence Officer in the United States Air Force, you must have a Bachelor’s degree in social sciences, humanities, science, mathematics, engineering, or structured analysis. Although it is not mandatory, it increases your chances of selection if you are well-versed in a foreign language.
- Flight Engineer
It’s the role of a Pilot to fly the aircraft but it is the role of a Flight Engineer to inspect and maintain the aircraft. A Flight Engineer is also referred to as an Air Engineer and he is a member of the aircraft’s crew that consists of himself and the pilot. Although most aircraft do not have the space to accommodate a Flight Engineer, they played a significant role in the 20th century because that role is now fulfilled by complex computers and AI systems.
Even today, Flight Engineers are found to be a part of several helicopters and fixed-wing airplanes. Flight Engineers are expected to inspect the aircraft and ensure that the mechanical systems are working fine. Flight Engineers cannot afford to make mistakes because even a single error can result in the loss of life of an Air Force Pilot.
In the early 20th century, when aircraft technology was still evolving, these Flight Engineers accompanied the Pilots on their missions. They were usually seated behind the pilot and they monitored various systems and controls of the aircraft. However, these duties are now managed by advanced onboard computer systems that monitor the systems of the aircraft continuously and immediately notifies the pilot if something goes wrong.
If you want to apply for the role of a Flight Engineer in the USAF, you must have a High School Diploma. Although it is not mandatory, a course in physics, mathematics, typing, computer principles, English, and mechanics would increase your chances of being selected.
- Security Forces
The USAF Security Forces are given the responsibility to protect those who are risking their lives to protect the country. The members of the USAF Security Force’s main responsibility is to engage in ground combat and ensure the protection of workers and equipment at the Air Force Base.
According to the United States Air Force, the Security Forces are given the burden of protecting missiles, ensuring law enforcement on the Air Force Base, and defending these bases from potential threats. Members of the USAF Security Force are required to have exceptional mental and physical strength because it is what is required to protect fellow Air Force co-workers.
The USAF Security Forces have a long and decorated history because of which they are often known as the “Integral Infantry”. Their job profile can be considered akin to the “Marine Corps” as they provide security to the Air Force as a Marine ensures the safety of the US Navy.
The foundations of the Security Forces were laid in 1942 and they were known as “Military Police” during that period. From 1948, they came to be known as “Air Police”. In the year 1966, the term “Air Police” was replaced by “Security Police” and it was in the year 1997 when we got the term “Security Forces”.
- Air Traffic Control
The Air Traffic Control is one of the busiest job profiles in the US Air Force because they need to manage the takeoff and landing of aircrafts 24 hours a day. It is safe to say that the lives of those conquering the skies are in the hands of those who remain on the ground and provide instructions to the aircraft.
The Air Traffic Controllers have to manage the flow of the aircraft to prevent any accident and loss of life. The Air Traffic Controllers should be able to handle enormous amounts of pressure as there can be times when aircraft are taking off and landing at the same time. Air Traffic Controllers should also be able to process the information quickly and accurately to ensure the flow of aircraft at the base remains smooth and safe.
People who are applying for this job profile should also possess great communication skills because you need to communicate with your fellow controllers as well as aircraft pilots. The location of the aircraft is visible to the controllers on the radar using which they have to make decisions regarding the landing and take-off of the aircraft.
If you want to become an Air Traffic Controller, you must have a high school diploma or GED with 15 college credits. You must be a fluent speaker and know the principles used by the Air Traffic Controllers.
- Security Engineers
The roles of Security Engineers and Security Forces are quite similar and different at the same time. Just like the Security Forces protect the lives of those present on the airbase, the Security Engineers protect the confidential data stored on the computers of the airbase.
The importance of Security Engineers is growing with every passing day because technology is evolving continuously. Hackers have access to new methods and technologies allowing them to hack in places that are considered to be extremely safe. If someone manages to hack into the computers of the US Air Force, they will be able to steal confidential information that might pose a threat to the security of the nation.
These Security Engineers are given the responsibility of ensuring that no one can breach the systems of the Air Force. They conduct regular checks and monitor the systems continuously to ensure that there is no suspicious activity. To work with the United States Air Force as a Security Engineer, you must have a High School Diploma or GED with over 15 college credits.
- Financial Management Analyst
The annual budget of the United States Air Force is about 160 billion US dollars and it is essential to organize the finances of the organization. Financial Management Analysts are given the responsibility of managing the finances of the US Air Force and Air Bases. They are also required to make careful investment decisions that would deliver great returns in the future.
It is the duty of a Financial Management Officer to ensure that sufficient funds are available when the Air Force needs supplies, equipment, or services. They are also required to keep a track of the finances and ensure that they have to keep a record of every penny spent.
The role of a Financial Analyst can be taken only by those who have a Bachelor’s degree in any of the following: business management, business administration, industrial management, operations research, management sciences, engineering, finance, computer science, law, economics, accounting, and marketing. Additionally, you must have at least 24 semester hours in accounting, finance, economics, statistics, and management. Out of those 24 hours, six of them must be in accounting.
- Combat Control
The USAF Combat Control Team or CCT is a Special Forces Team who are known for their ability to carry out the most difficult of missions. The members of the Combat Control Team specialize in the air to ground communication and providing fire support when required. The Combat Control Team often operates in hostile and remote environments.
The members of the Combat Control Team specialize in different skills that are of extreme importance during high-difficulty missions including parachuting, scuba diving, and snowmobiling. Thanks to these skills, the Combat Control Team is usually asked to carry out airstrikes, airfield seizures, and more.
The Combat Control Team is one of the most decorated units of the US Air Force. Ever since the Global War on attack started in 2001, there have been seven Air Force Crosses that are awarded out of which, five have been awarded to the Combat Control Team for their extraordinary valor.
The training of the Combat Control Team is regarded as one of the toughest training in the US Air Force. If you are planning to apply for the Combat Control Team, there are certain physical health criteria that you should be aware of. You must be able to swim 25 meters underwater, swim 500 meters(Freestyle, Sidestroke, and Breaststroke), run 1.5 miles, and perform a given number of Push-Ups and Pull-Ups in a minute.
How to apply?
If you have decided to pursue a career with the US Air Force and want to apply for the same, follow these simple steps:
- Head on to the official website of the US Air Force.
- Click on the Apply button and fill-up the form.
- Follow the instructions as mentioned on the website.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Are there job opportunities for my spouse on base?
The US Air Force understands the importance of working families to the community. Yes, there are job opportunities for your spouse on the base and in fact, Air Force Spouses get first preference when it comes to on-base employment.
- How can I locate someone in the US Air Force?
If you want to get in touch with someone in the US Air Force, it is recommended that you contact the Air Force World Wide Locator on 210-565-2660. You can call on this number from Monday to Friday between 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM.
- What about daycare and schooling for children?
There are several on-base child development centers and after-school care programs to support the families of the US Air Force members.
- Do I have to cut my hair during basic training?
During the basic training phase, male Airmen are required to shave their heads completely. The female Airmen don’t need to cut their hair but they are required to wear their hair in a single ponytail or two braids.
The US Air Force is one of the most coveted organizations in the world. Although there are a lot of perks associated with the job, there are a lot of responsibilities involved as well. There are over 200 job profiles within the USAF and in this article, we have discussed the best jobs within the Air Force.