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Indian Air Force

What is the Indian Air Force?

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is the air arm of the Indian Armed Forces which ranks fourth among the air forces of the world in terms of personnel and aircraft assets. The IAF has three main branches such as Flying Branch, Technical, and Ground Duty Branch with several sub-streams. It is the most challenging yet attractive force that not only symbolizes courage, valour, and love for the motherland but also promises fantastic career opportunities for eligible candidates.

What does an Indian Air Force Officer do?

Although the responsibilities differ for different positions, the primary mission of Indian Air Force Officers is to keep the air boundaries of India safe and secure from armed conflict with enemy nations.

What are the skills required?

The role of an Indian Air Force Officer requires you to have various personality traits such as courage, integrity, and physical robustness. Additionally, you should have the following skills –

  • Desire to serve the country

  • Excellent communication skills

  • Ability to control situations during the crisis

  • Commitment towards protecting the nation against all odds

  • Disciplined outlook

  • Ability to stay alert under all circumstances

  • Ability to stay motivated and dedicated

How to join the Indian Air Force?

Besides your educational qualifications, you will have to pass certain exams to be eligible for the various positions offered by the IAF as below -

Indian Air Force Jobs After 10th: Candidates who have passed 10th can apply for the various civilian posts offered by the IAF such as Stenographer, Multi Tasking Staff (MTS), Lower Division Clerk (LDC), Content or Material Assistant, Cook, Carpenter, Watchman, Gardener, Vendor, Mechanic, Painter, Tailor, Messenger, Tin and Copper Smith, Fitter, Barber, etc. To be eligible you should have -

  • ITI or Industrial Training Institute qualification is required for some technical posts.

  • A diploma in the concerned field or post of application is preferred besides matriculation.

Indian Air Force Jobs After 12th (10+2): Candidates can join the Indian Air Force in both flying and ground duty branches after they have passed the 12th standard. To be eligible -

  • Qualify the NDA exam which is conducted by the UPSC twice a year as well as the SSB interview to join the National Defence Academy (NDA). Once the 3-year training is completed at the NDA, you will be commissioned for various posts in the IAF as officers.

Indian Air Force Jobs After Graduation: Candidates who are graduates can apply for jobs in any branch of the Indian Air Force after passing one of the following exams –

  • The Combined Defence Services (CDS) exam. This exam is conducted by the UPSC twice a year.

  • The Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT) which is conducted by the IAF twice a year for both men and women. Men are eligible for both Short Service Commission (SSC) in Flying Branch, Technical and Ground Duty branches and for Permanent Commission (PC) in all the three branches. Women are eligible for only the Short Service Commission in all the three branches.

Once selected, the candidates will go through rigorous training at one of the training institutes of the Indian Air Force and then commissioned and posted as IAF Officers.

Indian Air Force Jobs After Post Graduation: Candidates can apply for various jobs in the ground duty branches after completing their post-graduation and qualifying in any of the following –

  • The AFCAT exam.

  • A degree in Electronics or Aeronautical Engineering.

  • For posts in the Meteorological Branch, a post-graduation degree with minimum 50% marks in total in any Science stream, Mathematics, Geography, Computer Applications, Statistics, Applied Physics, Meteorology, Agricultural Meteorology, Environmental Science, Geo-physics, Oceanography, Ecology and Environment or Environmental Biology is required. For such candidates, Mathematics and Physics must be the subjects at Graduation level with a minimum of 55% marks in both.

  • University Entry Scheme (UES): The aspirants can also apply for jobs in the IAF through this special entry scheme. It is only for candidates who are currently pursuing the pre-final year of their B.Tech or BE degree. To be eligible you should have -

  • No backlog in any paper in the previous semesters at the time of SSB interview.

  • Minimum 60% marks in total on the completion of the B.Tech or BE degree.

  • NCC Entry: Also known as the Fourth Line of Defence, the NCC or National Cadet Corps also provides an opportunity to get recruited by the IAF. The candidates are eligible to apply for the IAF jobs once they have completed the NCC training and have obtained a ‘C’ Certificate from the Air Wing NCC.

Top institutes offering training for Indian Air Force

If you aspire to become an Indian Air Force Officer, here are some of the prestigious institutes that prepare students for IAF once you clear the exams and interview –

  • Indian Military Academy, Dehradun

  • Officers Training Institute, Chennai

  • National Defence Academy, Pune

Career scope for Airforce officers in India

Here is a rough rank structure as follows –

  • Junior Level IAF Officers

    • Flying Officer: After successful completion of the training, this is the first rank that is given to an officer who is posted as a Security Officer, Welfare Officer, Adjutant or as a Squadron Pilot in one of the small Air Force stations.

    • Flight Lieutenant: Once you serve as a flying officer, you will be promoted as a Flight Lieutenant who is posted as a Pilot, a Security Officer or an Adjutant in one of the medium level Air Force stations. A Flight Lieutenant is equivalent to a Lieutenant in Navy and a Captain in Army and takes on the supervisory responsibilities on the junior level.

  • Executive Level IAF Officers

    • Squadron Leader: Upon promotion, you can become posted as the operational in-charge or a senior level supervisor in any medium level Air Force station. The positions offered are Flight Commander, Senior Administrative Officer, Commanding Officer of Airmen Selection Centres, or Asst. Provost Marshal.

    • Wing Commander: You can be posted as a Chief Administrative Officer of medium level or large Air Force stations, a Commanding Officer of Flying Squadrons, Liaison Units, or Staff Appointment at Command headquarters or Air headquarters.

    • Group Captain: Next you can be promoted as the head of any medium or large Air Force station. You can also be posted as a Chief Engineering Officer or Chief Operations Officer or Staff Appointments.

  • Directorial Level Officers

    • Air Commodore: When you are one of the best of the flying branch, you can get promoted to this position and posted at large Air Force stations as Air Officer or senior level Staff Appointments.

    • Air Vice-Marshal: Next, you stand a chance to get promotes to this high position that is responsible for taking strategic decisions and is posted as Asst. Chief of Air Staff or the Principal Staff Officer (PSO).

    • Air Marshal: Equivalent to Lieutenant General in Army or Vice Admiral in Navy, the Air Marshal is posted as the PSO at Command or Air headquarters or the Commander-in-Chief at Command headquarters.

    • Air Chief Marshal: This is the top rank of the flying branch that heads the Air Force and is responsible for taking all decisions during times of operations and war.

How much do IAF Officers make?

The salary and benefits associated with the IAF jobs are rewarding. Though the pay scale for each post is different, the estimated average monthly pay packages Flying Officers for all three branches are

  • Flying Branch: Rs 80,250/mth

  • Technical Branch: Rs 71,550/mth

  • Ground Duty Branch: Rs 68,550/mth

What are the Books and Study materials available?

  • Let's Crack SSB Interview

  • General Science & Technology For Civil Services Pt & Mains, State Psc, Cds, Nda, Ssc, & Other Upsc Exams 2nd Edition

  • NDA Study Material Notes 2020-Buy Online Full Syllabus Text Book

  • NDA Correspondence Kit/NDA by MKC Publication

  • Study Material For Nda Entrance Examination With Previous Year Solved Paper, Past Year Solution And Suggestion Paper

  • GENERAL STUDIES PRACTICE BOOK/NDA by MKC Publication Study Package Mathematics NDA & NA (National Defence Academy & Naval Academy) Entrance Exam 2019

  • CDS (OTA): Combined Defence Services Entrance Examination

  • Pathfinder Cds Combined Defence Services Professional And Scholarlyination

  • Mathematics For C.D.S.Entrance Exam.

  • NCERT History Books Set of Class - 6 TO 12 (ENGLISH MEDIUM) for UPSC Prelims / Main / IAS / Civil Services / IFS / IES / ISS / CISF / CDS / SCRA 

Interesting facts

Fighter Pilot Karamveer Vashishth, Air Marshall M. L. Sethi, Air Chief Marshal Arjan Singh, and Air Commodore Mohit Nayyar are inspirations for the later generations of the personnel of the IAF.