How to Join Indian Air Force as an Officer

Join IAF

Every kid has once dreamt of becoming a Pilot. And if you are reading this, we are damn sure that you still have that Dream. Indian Air Force is the 4th Largest Air Force in The World. From helping in natural Disaster to taking care of External Aggression, Indian Air Force has Done it All.

You would be surprised to know that Indian Air Force has never failed in any operation it has participated in.

Working in the Indian Air Force makes you strong enough and teaches you not to substitute words for actions, not to seek the path of comfort, but to face the stress and spur of difficulty and challenge, to learn to stand up in the storm. It gives you a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigour of the emotions, a predominance of courage and an appetite for adventure over the love of ease.

Being such an Amazing Force, There are a lot of Air Force Aspirants in India and their numbers are growing Fast. Talking in Numbers, 1 lakh to 2.5 lakh Candidates appear for AFCAT Biannually.Out of those, only 10,000 or so are called in for SSB.

Now after this long intro, let’s give you what you are looking for.

Here are Ways to Join IAF as an Officer:

1. After 10+2 (12th)

The valiant boys could be part of the Indian Air Force family by applying for NDA( National Defence Academy) after completing class 12th.

Candidates, short-listed for Indian Air Force after the initial selection procedure, go through a rigorous three-year training regimen at the National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla, followed by specialised training at one of the training establishment. Thereafter, they are Commissioned as Permanent Commission Officers and posted as pilots at any of the Air Force Stations.

To be in the National Defence Academy.

You can join NDA by taking the exam conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). This exam is conducted twice a year in all major cities throughout India.

Only those cadets who are fit for Flying are selected at NDA.One Cannot Join NDA if they are not fit for Flying.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Age – 16 ½ to 19 1/2  years(at the time of commencement of course)
  • Nationality – Indian
  • Gender  – Men only
  • Educational Qualifications – 10+2 with Physics and Mathematics. Appearing final year students can also eligible to apply.
  • Advertisement Schedule –  June and December. (Advertisement is released by UPSC. Visit www.upsc.gov.in)

 2. Engineers (B.tech)

As an Engineer, you can soar into a rewarding and challenging career in the Indian Air Force. You have the option to apply for all branches of the IAF.

Flying Branch

You surely fly high by joining the Flying branch of the IAF. You are trained as a Fighter pilot or a Helicopter pilot or a Transport pilot and are part of various peace and wartime missions.

As a Graduate/ Engineer, you enter the Flying branch through the Air Force Academy.

The following are the three modes of entry for Graduates/ Engineers to join the Flying branch:

CDSE (COMBINED DEFENCE SERVICES EXAMINATION) (FOR MEN ONLY)

  1. Men can enter through this mode of entry and will get a Permanent Commission.
  2. Eligibility criteria:
  • Age – 20 to 24 years (at the time of commencement of course)
  • Nationality – Indian
  • Marital Status – Single
  • Gender – Men only.
  • Educational Qualifications
  • Graduate (Three Year Course) in any discipline from a recognised University (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) / BE / B Tech (Four Year Course).
  • Final Year/semester students are also eligible to apply, provided they produce Degree certificate issued by the University as per the date stipulated in the advertisement.
  • No Percentage Bar for CDSE entry.
  • Advertisement Schedule: Advertisements are released by UPSC in the months of June and November

NCC SPECIAL ENTRY (FOR MEN ONLY)

(Through NCC Air Squadrons / DG NCC)

  • As an Air Wing Senior Division ’C’ Certificate holder of the National Cadet Corps, you can apply to the Flying Branch of the Indian Air Force. Men can join the Air Force through this mode of entry and will be given a Permanent Commission.
  • Eligibility criteria:
  • Age –20 to 24 years (at the time of commencement of course)
  • Nationality – Indian
  • Marital Status – Single
  • Gender – Men only.
  • Educational Qualifications
  • Graduate (Three Year Course) in any discipline from a recognised University with minimum 60% marks or equivalent and have passed Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 levelOR
  • BE / B Tech (Four Year Course) from a recognised University with minimum 60% marks or equivalent
  • Final Year/semester students are also eligible to apply, provided they do not have any present backlogs at the time of SSB Testing and produce Degree certificate issued by the University as per the date stipulated in the advertisement.
  • NCC Air Wing Senior Division ’C’ certificate.
  • Advertisement Schedule: NCC Cadets are to apply through respective NCC Air Squadrons/DG NCC.

 

SSC (SHORT SERVICE COMMISSION ) ENTRY( FOR MEN AND WOMEN)

  • You can apply through AFCAT for Short Service Commission (SSC) in the Flying Branch.
  • Short Service Commission in Flying branch is for 14 years with no further extension.
  • Eligibility criteria:
  • Age – 20 to 24 years (at the time of commencement of course).Upper age limit for Candidates holding valid and current Commercial Pilot Licence issued by DGCA (India) is relaxed up to 26 years(at the time of commencement of course).
  • Nationality – Indian
  • Marital Status – Single
  • Gender – Men and Women.
  • Educational Qualifications
  • Graduates (Three Year Course) in any discipline from a recognised University who have attained minimum 60% marks or equivalent and have Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level OR BE / B Tech (Four Year Course) from a recognised university with minimum 60% marks or equivalent.
  • Final Year students are also eligible to apply, provided they do not have any backlog at the time of SSB Testing and produce Degree certificate issued by the University as per the date stipulated in the advertisement.
  • Advertisement Schedule: Advertisements for AFCAT are released by the IAF in the months of June and December.

Technical branch

As an officer in the Technical Branch, you propel and manage your team to ensure that the Indian Air Force remains airworthy. You would be in charge of some of the most sophisticated equipment in the world by joining one of the sub-branches based on your qualification.

General Eligibility for Aeronautical Engineering Branch are (applicable for men and women):

  • Age – 20 to 26 years (at the time of commencement of course)
  • Nationality – Indian
  • Marital Status – Candidates below the age of 25 years should be unmarried

Entry into the Technical Branch is through two schemes, both via AFCAT

  1. UNIVERSITY ENTRY SCHEME(UES) (Presently no requirement exists)
  • For candidates studying in Pre-Final year of B-tech/BE degree course
  • For men only. Grant of Permanent Commission.
  • Educational Qualifications: The candidate must be currently studying in Pre-final year of BE / BTech degree course with a choice of subject as mentioned above. There must be No backlog/arrears of papers of previous semesters at the time of SSB Testing. On completion of the degree, minimum 60% of marks in aggregate in all papers put together are mandatory.

 

Advertisement Schedule: December every year (through AFCAT)

 

  1. AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING COURSE
  • After completion of Engineering degree or while in your final year/semester of Engineering
  • For both Men and Women. Permanent Commission (for men) / Short Service Commission (For men and women)
  • Marks – Must have scored a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent in any one of the listed disciplines.
  • Final year students are eligible to apply provided they do not have any present backlog at the time of SSB testing and they produce provisional/ original degree issued by the University as per the date stipulated in the advertisement.

 

Advertisement Schedule – Advertisements for AFCAT are released by the IAF in the months of June and December.

 

Educational Qualification for Aeronautical Engineering Branch – Depending upon your stream of Engineering, you could join one of the sub-branches of the Technical branch. Check the educational qualification required for the sub-branches.

Ground Duty Branch

(For Graduates/ Post Graduates)

Managing human and material resources, the Ground Duty Branch is the mechanism that steers the Indian Air Force. 

 

General Eligibility Criteria for Ground Duty Branches

  • Age – 20 to 26 Years for Graduates and Post Graduates (at the time of commencement of course). 
  • Marital Status – Candidates below the age of 25 years must be Unmarried.
  • Nationality – Indian
  • Gender – Both men and women.  

As a Graduate/ Post Graduate, you can join as an officer in any of the following Ground Duty Branches

ADMINISTRATION BRANCH

  • Permanent Commission (for Men) / Short Service Commission (for Men & Women)
  • Responsible for the efficient management of both human and material resources. Some of the officers of the Administration Branch are selected and trained to carry out the following duties also:
  • Air Traffic Controller  – Involves maintaining an orderly flow of traffic and airspace management.
  • Fighter Controller  – Involves close contact and supervision between the air and radar for effective airspace management.

Educational Qualifications

  • Graduation degree (minimum three-year degree course) in any discipline from a recognised university with a minimum 60% marks or equivalent.

 

ACCOUNTS BRANCH

  • Permanent Commission (for Men) / Short Service Commission (for Men & Women)
  • Responsible for efficient financial management of funds.You will also act as internal auditor to ensure a zero-defect audit from outside agencies.
  • Educational Qualifications
  • B. Com. degree (minimum three-year degree course) from a recognised university with a minimum 60% marks or equivalent.

LOGISTICS BRANCH

  • Permanent Commission (for Men) / Short Service Commission (for Men & Women)
  • Responsible for materials management of all Air Force resources. You would ensure efficient supervision of inventories and involve in procurement processes of various ranges of equipment.
  • Educational Qualifications
  • Graduate degree (minimum three-year degree course) from a recognised university in any discipline with a minimum 60% marks or equivalent.

EDUCATION BRANCH

  • Permanent Commission (for Men) / Short Service Commission (for Men & Women)
  • Educational Qualifications
  • MA/M Sc degree in English / Physics / Mathematics / Chemistry / Statistics / International Relations / International Studies / Defence Studies / Psychology / Computer Science / IT / Management / MBA / MCA / Mass Communication / Journalism / Public Relations with minimum 50 % marks in aggregate in all papers put together in Post-Graduation (minimum two years programme) and 60% marks in Graduation  (both recognised by UGC / Competent Accreditation Authority).

METEOROLOGY BRANCH

  • Permanent Commission (for Men) / Short Service Commission (for Men & Women)
  • As a Meteorology Branch Officer, you would be involved handling the latest satellite imagery and state-of-the-art monitoring equipment, you would render specific advice to the operators on all aspects of weather.
  • Educational Qualifications
  • Post Graduation Degree in any science stream / Mathematics / Statistics / Geography / Computer Applications / Environmental Science / Applied Physics / Oceanography / Agricultural Meteorology / Ecology & Environment / Geo-physics / Environmental Biology. All candidates should have scored a minimum 50% marks in aggregate in all papers of Post Graduation put together and should have studied Maths & Physics in Graduation with minimum of 55% marks in both subjects.

3. Graduate (B.Sc/B.com/B.A/BBA/B.ED)

As a graduate, you can fly into a challenging and rewarding career in the Air Force by applying for the suitable branch. Depending upon your educational qualification, you could apply for different branches.

Flying Branch

The following are the three modes of entry for Graduates/ Engineers to join the Flying branch:

CDSE (COMBINED DEFENCE SERVICES EXAMINATION) (FOR MEN ONLY)

  1. Men can enter through this mode of entry and will get a Permanent Commission.
  2. Eligibility criteria:
  • Age – 20 to 24 years (at the time of commencement of course)
  • Nationality – Indian
  • Marital Status – Single
  • Gender – Men only.
  • Educational Qualifications
  • Graduate (Three Year Course) in any discipline from a recognised University (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) / BE / B Tech (Four Year Course).
  • Final Year/semester students are also eligible to apply, provided they produce Degree certificate issued by the University as per the date stipulated in the advertisement.
  • No Percentage Bar for CDSE entry.
  • Advertisement Schedule: Advertisements are released by UPSC in the months of June and November

NCC SPECIAL ENTRY (FOR MEN ONLY)

(Through NCC Air Squadrons / DG NCC)

  • As an Air Wing Senior Division ’C’ Certificate holder of the National Cadet Corps, you can apply to the Flying Branch of the Indian Air Force. Men can join the Air Force through this mode of entry and will be given a Permanent Commission.
  • Eligibility criteria:
  • Age –20 to 24 years (at the time of commencement of course)
  • Nationality – Indian
  • Marital Status – Single
  • Gender – Men only.
  • Educational Qualifications
  • Graduate (Three Year Course) in any discipline from a recognised University with minimum 60% marks or equivalent and have passed Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 levelOR
  • BE / B Tech (Four Year Course) from a recognised University with minimum 60% marks or equivalent
  • Final Year/semester students are also eligible to apply, provided they do not have any present backlogs at the time of SSB Testing and produce Degree certificate issued by the University as per the date stipulated in the advertisement.
  • NCC Air Wing Senior Division ’C’ certificate.
  • Advertisement Schedule: NCC Cadets are to apply through respective NCC Air Squadrons/DG NCC.

 

SSC (SHORT SERVICE COMMISSION ) ENTRY( FOR MEN AND WOMEN)

  • You can apply through AFCAT for Short Service Commission (SSC) in the Flying Branch.
  • Short Service Commission in Flying branch is for 14 years with no further extension.
  • Eligibility criteria:
  • Age – 20 to 24 years (at the time of commencement of course).Upper age limit for Candidates holding valid and current Commercial Pilot Licence issued by DGCA (India) is relaxed up to 26 years(at the time of commencement of course).
  • Nationality – Indian
  • Marital Status – Single
  • Gender – Men and Women.
  • Educational Qualifications
  • Graduates (Three Year Course) in any discipline from a recognised University who have attained minimum 60% marks or equivalent and have Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level OR BE / B Tech (Four Year Course) from a recognised university with minimum 60% marks or equivalent.
  • Final Year students are also eligible to apply, provided they do not have any backlog at the time of SSB Testing and produce Degree certificate issued by the University as per the date stipulated in the advertisement.
  • Advertisement Schedule: Advertisements for AFCAT are released by the IAF in the months of June and December.

Technical Branch

As an officer in the Technical Branch, you propel and manage your team to ensure that the Indian Air Force remains airworthy. You would be in charge of some of the most sophisticated equipment in the world by joining one of the sub-branches based on your qualification.

 

General Eligibility for Aeronautical Engineering Branch are (applicable for men and women):

  • Age – 20 to 26 years (at the time of commencement of course)
  • Nationality – Indian
  • Marital Status – Candidates below the age of 25 years should be unmarried

 

Entry into the Technical Branch is through two schemes, both via AFCAT

  1. UNIVERSITY ENTRY SCHEME(UES) (Presently no requirement exists)
  • For candidates studying in Pre-Final year of B-tech/BE degree course
  • For men only. Grant of Permanent Commission.
  • Educational Qualifications: The candidate must be currently studying in Pre-final year of BE / BTech degree course with a choice of subject as mentioned above. There must be No backlog/arrears of papers of previous semesters at the time of SSB Testing. On completion of the degree, minimum 60% of marks in aggregate in all papers put together are mandatory.

 

Advertisement Schedule: December every year (through AFCAT)

 

  1. AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING COURSE
  • After completion of Engineering degree or while in your final year/semester of Engineering
  • For both Men and Women. Permanent Commission (for men) / Short Service Commission (For men and women)
  • Marks – Must have scored a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent in any one of the listed disciplines.
  • Final year students are eligible to apply provided they do not have any present backlog at the time of SSB testing and they produce provisional/ original degree issued by the University as per the date stipulated in the advertisement.

 

Advertisement Schedule – Advertisements for AFCAT are released by the IAF in the months of June and December.

 

Educational Qualification for Aeronautical Engineering Branch – Depending upon your stream of Engineering, you could join one of the sub-branches of the Technical branch. Check the educational qualification required for the sub-branches.

Ground Duty Branch

(For Graduates/ Post Graduates)

Managing human and material resources, the Ground Duty Branch is the mechanism that steers the Indian Air Force. 

 

General Eligibility Criteria for Ground Duty Branches

  • Age – 20 to 26 Years for Graduates and Post Graduates (at the time of commencement of course). 
  • Marital Status – Candidates below the age of 25 years must be Unmarried.
  • Nationality – Indian
  • Gender – Both men and women.  

As a Graduate/ Post Graduate, you can join as an officer in any of the following Ground Duty Branches

ADMINISTRATION BRANCH

  • Permanent Commission (for Men) / Short Service Commission (for Men & Women)
  • Responsible for the efficient management of both human and material resources. Some of the officers of the Administration Branch are selected and trained to carry out the following duties also:
  • Air Traffic Controller  – Involves maintaining an orderly flow of traffic and airspace management.
  • Fighter Controller  – Involves close contact and supervision between the air and radar for effective airspace management.

Educational Qualifications

  • Graduation degree (minimum three-year degree course) in any discipline from a recognised university with a minimum 60% marks or equivalent.

 

ACCOUNTS BRANCH

  • Permanent Commission (for Men) / Short Service Commission (for Men & Women)
  • Responsible for efficient financial management of funds.You will also act as internal auditor to ensure a zero-defect audit from outside agencies.
  • Educational Qualifications
  • B. Com. degree (minimum three-year degree course) from a recognised university with a minimum 60% marks or equivalent.

LOGISTICS BRANCH

  • Permanent Commission (for Men) / Short Service Commission (for Men & Women)
  • Responsible for materials management of all Air Force resources. You would ensure efficient supervision of inventories and involve in procurement processes of various ranges of equipment.
  • Educational Qualifications
  • Graduate degree (minimum three-year degree course) from a recognised university in any discipline with a minimum 60% marks or equivalent.

EDUCATION BRANCH

  • Permanent Commission (for Men) / Short Service Commission (for Men & Women)
  • Educational Qualifications
  • MA/M Sc degree in English / Physics / Mathematics / Chemistry / Statistics / International Relations / International Studies / Defence Studies / Psychology / Computer Science / IT / Management / MBA / MCA / Mass Communication / Journalism / Public Relations with minimum 50 % marks in aggregate in all papers put together in Post-Graduation (minimum two years programme) and 60% marks in Graduation  (both recognised by UGC / Competent Accreditation Authority).

METEOROLOGY BRANCH

  • Permanent Commission (for Men) / Short Service Commission (for Men & Women)
  • As a Meteorology Branch Officer, you would be involved handling the latest satellite imagery and state-of-the-art monitoring equipment, you would render specific advice to the operators on all aspects of weather.
  • Educational Qualifications
  • Post Graduation Degree in any science stream / Mathematics / Statistics / Geography / Computer Applications / Environmental Science / Applied Physics / Oceanography / Agricultural Meteorology / Ecology & Environment / Geo-physics / Environmental Biology. All candidates should have scored a minimum 50% marks in aggregate in all papers of Post Graduation put together and should have studied Maths & Physics in Graduation with minimum of 55% marks in both subjects.

Post-Graduate

As a Post- Graduate, you could join any of the Ground Duty Branches of the IAF

 

(For Graduates/ Post Graduates)

Managing human and material resources, the Ground Duty Branch is the mechanism that steers the Indian Air Force. 

 

General Eligibility Criteria for Ground Duty Branches

  • Age – 20 to 26 Years for Graduates and Post Graduates (at the time of commencement of course). 
  • Marital Status – Candidates below the age of 25 years must be Unmarried.
  • Nationality – Indian
  • Gender – Both men and women.  

As a Graduate/ Post Graduate, you can join as an officer in any of the following Ground Duty Branches

ADMINISTRATION BRANCH

  • Permanent Commission (for Men) / Short Service Commission (for Men & Women)
  • Responsible for the efficient management of both human and material resources. Some of the officers of the Administration Branch are selected and trained to carry out the following duties also:
  • Air Traffic Controller  – Involves maintaining an orderly flow of traffic and airspace management.
  • Fighter Controller  – Involves close contact and supervision between the air and radar for effective airspace management.

Educational Qualifications

  • Graduation degree (minimum three-year degree course) in any discipline from a recognised university with a minimum 60% marks or equivalent.

 

ACCOUNTS BRANCH

  • Permanent Commission (for Men) / Short Service Commission (for Men & Women)
  • Responsible for efficient financial management of funds.You will also act as internal auditor to ensure a zero-defect audit from outside agencies.
  • Educational Qualifications
  • B. Com. degree (minimum three-year degree course) from a recognised university with a minimum 60% marks or equivalent.

LOGISTICS BRANCH

  • Permanent Commission (for Men) / Short Service Commission (for Men & Women)
  • Responsible for materials management of all Air Force resources. You would ensure efficient supervision of inventories and involve in procurement processes of various ranges of equipment.
  • Educational Qualifications
  • Graduate degree (minimum three-year degree course) from a recognised university in any discipline with a minimum 60% marks or equivalent.

EDUCATION BRANCH

  • Permanent Commission (for Men) / Short Service Commission (for Men & Women)
  • Educational Qualifications
  • MA/M Sc degree in English / Physics / Mathematics / Chemistry / Statistics / International Relations / International Studies / Defence Studies / Psychology / Computer Science / IT / Management / MBA / MCA / Mass Communication / Journalism / Public Relations with minimum 50 % marks in aggregate in all papers put together in Post-Graduation (minimum two years programme) and 60% marks in Graduation  (both recognised by UGC / Competent Accreditation Authority).

METEOROLOGY BRANCH

  • Permanent Commission (for Men) / Short Service Commission (for Men & Women)
  • As a Meteorology Branch Officer, you would be involved handling the latest satellite imagery and state-of-the-art monitoring equipment, you would render specific advice to the operators on all aspects of weather.
  • Educational Qualifications
  • Post Graduation Degree in any science stream / Mathematics / Statistics / Geography / Computer Applications / Environmental Science / Applied Physics / Oceanography / Agricultural Meteorology / Ecology & Environment / Geo-physics / Environmental Biology. All candidates should have scored a minimum 50% marks in aggregate in all papers of Post Graduation put together and should have studied Maths & Physics in Graduation with minimum of 55% marks in both subjects.

Don’t forget to check out these 7 Misconceptions Regarding The Indian Air Force

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