Career as Indian Airforce Officer | Options and Opportunities

Career as Indian Airforce Officer | Options and Opportunities

Many youngsters in the country dreams to fly high. Whenever they see a flight, a republic day parade, at least once, they wish to join in armed forces. Out three services of army, Indian Airforce has its own fancy. Here is a list of various options available in Indian Airforce to choose as a career option. 10+2 to graduates and engineers, there are several avenues to face the challenge.

“Watch your speed… follow the glide slope… wings level…. reduce power… overshoot… hold your altitude.” This is the kind of verbal shorthand you are likely to hear on an Indian Airforce plane.

If you think living and earning on earth is for lesser mortals consider a job in the sky.

Career Overview
The Indian Air force is the fourth largest air force in the world. Now that India is one of the Nuclear Weapon States, your thumb might just be on that nuclear trigger, you never know.

The airforce can be divided into:

* Flying Branch
* Technical Branch
* Ground duty branch

Now let’s see what’s in store for you in each of these branches:

Flying Branch – You’ll be flying fighter/bomber aircraft designed to destroy the enemy in the air and on the ground. As a transport pilot you will be ferrying troops and equipments under enemy fire often making rough landings at makeshift runways. You could even be assigned to V.I.P. transport.

As a chopper pilot you will closely co-ordinate with the army in its operations. You could spy on enemy positions or drop commandos with pinpoint accuracy or ambush enemy tanks with guns and rockets.

Technical Branch – For those of you with a technical bent of mind, the Indian Air Force offers an opportunity for hands-on experience on sophisticated aircraft and weapon systems. You will ensure the war preparedness of the fleet and the airworthiness of the aircraft.

Ground duty – You will look after administration, logistics, accounts, education and meteorology. You could also be the eyes in the sky as the air traffic controller and fighter combat controller.

Requirements

Flying Branch
Before being inducted as a trainee pilot at the Air Force Academy you have to finish a three-year course from National Defence Academy.
Age Limit: 16 ½-19 years

Educational Qualifications: Minimum 10 + 2 with Physics and Mathematics.
Entrance: Written examination conducted by UPSC followed by a Services Selection Board interview for those who pass the written examination.

Advertisement: In the month of April/ November by UPSC. The format of application will be available in the Employment News.

Air Force Academy (CDSE)
Age Limit: 19 to 23 years

Educational Qualifications: B.Sc. (Physics and/ or Mathematics) or B.E.

Entrance: Written examination conducted by UPSC followed by a Services Selection Board interview for those who pass the written examination.

Advertisement: In the month of April/ November by UPSC. Successful candidates join the Air Force Academy directly for Pilot Training.

National Cadet Corps
Age Limit: 19 to 23 years

Educational Qualifications: B.Sc. Physics and/or Mathematics or B.E.

Entrance: Direct Services Selection Board interview.

Eligibility criteria for Women
Status: Unmarried or widows of service personnel killed on duty but without any child.

Age Limit: 19-23 years, relaxable up to 25 years for those holding Commercial Pilot License.

Educational Qualification: B.Sc. Physics and/or Mathematics or B.E.

Advertisement: Published in the month of January and July each year in the Employment News and leading Newspapers.

Entrance: Directly qualify for interview by Service Selection Board.
Successful candidates join the Air Force Academy directly for Pilot Training.

Engineering
Entry into the engineering branch can be achieved through the University Entry Scheme. Here, you are selected to join the Aeronautical Engineering Branches for Permanent or Short Service Commission while in the Pre-Final/ Final Year of your study in the Engineering Colleges.

Alternatively, you can opt for the Direct Entry Scheme after graduation.
Age Limit: 18 to 28 years

Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics)
(Permanent Commission or Short Service Commission)

  • Engineering Degree in Electronics/Telecommunications/ Electrical
  • Communication/Electronics and Communication/Computer Science & Engineering or a combination of these subjects OR
  • B.Tech. in Radio Physics and Electronics of Calcutta University OR
  • B.Sc. Physics with Electronics of Bombay University OR
  • M.Sc. Electronics of Delhi, Bangalore, Madras, Gujarat, Lucknow or Calcutta University OR
  • B.Sc. with Physics, Maths and Chemistry.

Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical)
(Permanent Commission or Short Service Commission)

  • Engineering Degree in Aeronautical/ Mechanical/Production/ Industrial
    Production OR
  • B.Sc. with Physics, Maths and Chemistry

Advertisement: Applications are called for twice a year in the month of January and July through advertisement published in the leading newspapers/Employment News.
Entrance: Written examination conducted by UPSC followed by a Services Selection Board interview for those who pass the written examination.

Ground Duties
You would be inducted in one of these departments – Administrative, Logistics or Air Traffic Controller/Fight Controller (Short Service Commission) branches.

Age Limit: 20-23 years for graduates and 20-25 years for post graduates

Educational Qualifications: Graduates with 60 per cent and above marks and post graduates with 50 per cent and above.

Candidates with an MBA or post graduate diploma in Business Administration (Two years full time or three years part time course from institutes recognised by All Indian Council for Technical Education (AICTE) with 50 per cent and above marks and between the age group of

20-25 years can also apply.

For Law graduates (three-year course) with 50 per cent and above marks the age is relaxable to 26 years. LLB (five-year course) with 50 per cent marks and above can also apply provided they are in the age group of 20-25 years.

Advertisement: It is released in leading newspapers or Employment News in January and July for the administrative branch.

In January for Logistics Branch and in March for the Air Traffic Controller and Fighter Controller Branches.

Accounts Branch
Age Limit: 20 to 23 years for Graduates and 20 to 25 years for post graduates.

Educational Qualifications: B.Com/B.Com. (Hons) with 60 per cent and above marks and M.Com. with 50 per cent and above marks.

For candidates with AICWA/Chartered/Registered/Incorporated Accountant together with B.Com or M.Com degree the age is relaxable upto 27 years.

Advertisement: Released in leading newspapers/Employment News in the month of July each year.
Entrance: Through SSB interview

Education Branch
Age Limit: 21 to 25 years.

Educational Qualifications: M.A/M.Sc. with 50 per cent and above marks in English/Psychology/Defence Studies/Mathematics/Physics/Statistics/Computer Science or an MBA with 50 per cent and above marks with a combination of minimum two subjects out of Physics, Maths, Statistics, English, Psychology or Defence Studies at B A/ B.Sc. level.

Candidate with Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (Two year full time or three years part time course) from Institutes recognised by All Indian Council for Technical Education (AICTE) with 50 per cent and above marks can also apply. For those who have done their M.Ed/ PhD, the age limit is relaxable up to 27 years.

Advertisement: Advertisement is released in leading newspapers/ Employment News in the month of July each year.

Entrance: Written examination conducted b y UPSC followed by a Services Selection Board interview for those who pass the written examination.

Meteorological Branch
Age Limit: 20 to 25 years.

Educational Qualifications: MSc in Physics/ Applied Physics/ Meteorology/
Geophysics with Meteorology and Oceanography/ Oceanography with specialisation in Meteorology/

M.A/M.Sc. in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics/M.tech in Atmospheric Science from IIT Delhi with 50 per cent and above marks.

Advertisement: Advertisement is released in the leading Newspapers/ Employment News in the month of July each year.

Entrance: Written examination conducted by UPSC followed by a Services Selection Board interview for those who pass the written examination.

Candidates must be in accordance with the prescribed physical standards i.e. they should be physically fit and free from any disease or disability and excess fat. The minimum acceptable height for the Air Force is 162 cm.

(For Gurkhas and residents of north-eastern India, Garhwal and Kumaon, the minimum acceptable height is 5 cm lower than the standard and from candidates from Lakshadweep, the minimum height is lowered by 2 cm.)Candidates must have perfect eyesight (known as 6/6 vision).

Besides these general conditions, each training institute and examination have their own standards and requirements.

Job Opportunities
Flying branch officers have to opt for a permanent commission of 20 years. Short Service commission of seven years is offered for all other branches.

Your career growth usually takes this route:

  • Commissioning rank- Flying Officer
  • 5 years-Flight Lieutenant
  • 11 years -Squadron Leader
  • 16-21 years – Wing Commander
  • 22 years – Group Captain
  • 24 year – Air Commodore
  • 26 years – Air Vice Marshal
  • 28 years – Air Chief Marshal

Money & Other Benefits
Flying Officer Rs 8,500 – 10,050

Flight Lt. Rs 9,600 – 11,400

Sq. Leader Rs 11,600 – 14,850

Wing Commander Rs 13,500 – 17,100

Group Captain Rs 15,100 – 17,350

Air Commander Rs 16,700 – 18,050

Air Vice Marshal Rs 18,400 – 22,400

Air marshal Rs 22,400 – 24,500

Air Chief Marshal Rs 30,000

In addition to the above fighter pilots get flying pay of Rs 9,000 per month. For helicopter and transport pilots, it is Rs 7,000.

Other facilities include leave benefits, travel concessions, dearness allowance, furnished accommodations, soft loans, group insurance scheme and free ration and medical treatment.

Career Prospects


Airforce pilots after retirement can move on to commercial airlines. This is true for all other branches as the civilian airline industry mirrors the defence one. With flying clubs and adventure sports gaining popularity there is a need for qualified personnel in these areas too.

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