Career in Indian Air Force (IAF)

IAF careers

Joining the Indian Air Force and serving the nation is still a dream for many Indians and why it shouldn’t be, IAF is our pride whose only mission is to keep our airspace safe and secure. Established on 8th October 1932, the IAF has become an indispensable part of the country’s defense services.

Key highlights of the blog are:-

•           Indian Air Force : What It Is?

•           Career Opportunities Available In The Indian Air Force

•           How To Join IAF?

•           Salary And Allowances

•           How To Get Started?

•           The Bottom Line

Indian Air Force : What It Is?

  • Indian Air Force (IAF) is the air arm of the Indian Armed Forces. It was established under the British Empire and served as an auxiliary air force for them. However, due to the majestic strength and service that it offered during the World War II, it was honored by adding the prefix ‘ Royal’ and was considered as “Royal Air Force.”
  • However after attaining Independence and switching to a republic in 1950, the prefix was removed. Today, India has a credible air power which is considered to be the seventh most powerful air force in the world. Served by 1.8 lakh personnel, 500+ transport aircrafts and helicopters, and 600+ combat aircrafts, the IAF has done its best to protect the country against its enemies.
  • It has also served the nation in times of need i.e. during disasters.
  • Counted as fourth largest Air Force in the world, the IAF has shown tremendous progress and advancement over the years to maintain its efficacy.

Career Opportunities Available In The Indian Air Force

Working in the Indian Air Force (IAF) is all about being in the middle of supersonic jets and doing your bit (be it flying the aircraft, looking after the systems and making necessary improvements to improve its performance or looking after the human and financial resources) to ensure that the operations go on smoothly. As an officer in the Indian Air Force you are with the best of people who collectively lead, strategize and manage the operations.

The various opportunities available with Indian Air Force ( IAF ) include both technical branch and non-technical jobs.

Technical Branch

The technical branch of the Indian Air Force (IAF) handles the technical and mechanical requirements of the Air Force. It includes activities such as maintaining the assets of the nation, replacing the faulty parts, giving valuable suggestions and designing efficient machine systems to boost it’s power.

Non-Technical Branch

The non-technical branch is further divided into two:-

• Flying Branch

• Ground Duty Branch

Flying Branch

The flying branch deals with all types of pilots ranging from fighter pilots to transport pilots. They are the one who are involved with raiding enemy bunkers, troops, air force stations, artillery sites, do surveillance and provide support to the infantry. They work not only during wartime but also help in disaster relief programs.

Ground Duty Branch

The ground duty branch looks into the logistics, administration, accounting, education and metrology departments of the Indian Air Force ( IAF) and is responsible for managing the human and the financial resources which are allotted to IAF. Under this branch, one can work as an internal auditor, air traffic controller, supervisor of inventories etc.

How To Join IAF?

Whether you are pursuing your graduation or have just completed your schooling or have just passed the Class 10th Board Exams, you have ample opportunities to join the Indian Air Force (IAF) and kick start a safe and secure career not only for you, but also for your family.

On the basis of your educational qualification, here is how you can join the Indian Air Force and can serve the nation.

After 10+2

For all the boys who have just completed their class 10th exams and are looking forward to join IAF have a golden opportunity to join as an officer just by clearing the National Defence Academy (NDA) and Naval Academy (NA) exams. These exams are conducted by UPSC in all the major cities of India twice a year and can be undertaken by all the boys who have cleared their Class 10th exams and had physics and mathematics during their course of study.

If the appearing student clears the NDA and NA exams, he will be called for an interview round. In case, the student gets through the interview and gets shortlisted for the Indian Air Force, he will have to go on a rigorous training period of 3 years at NDA, Khadakwasla after which he will be posted as a pilot at one of the Air Force Stations.

After Graduation

Boys and girls who are interested to pursue their career in Air Force can join it after completing their graduation. Basically, this process is dived into enthusiastic engineers and non-engineers.


The IAF gives an opportunity to all the committed and enthusiastic engineers who are willing to join the air force to serve the nation. They have to appear for the Air Force Common Admission Test ( AFCAT) and Combined Defence Service ( CDS )exam, on clearing which they go through rigorous training regimen at one of the Air Force Training establishments and then are commissioned as officers.

Non- Engineers

Similar to engineering aspirants, the IAF also offers opportunities to the non-engineers who are want to join the Indian Air Force and serve the nation. The interested candidates have to appear and clear the Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT), after which they go through a rigorous training period at one of the Air Force Training establishments and then are commissioned as officers and are posted at one of the Air Force Stations.

After Post-Graduation

Both men and women who are interested to join the IAF can do so even after completing their post-graduation. These students are generally selected for Ground Duty and they can get through by clearing the Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT).

Salary And Allowances

  • The striking point which causes inclination of students towards this field is that they earn salary not only after completing their training and being commissioned but also during the last year of their training.
  • The candidates soon to become IAF officers earn a stipend of approximately 21,000 in the last year of their training.
  • The salary of Indian Air Force officers vary from one branch to the other.
  • The officers from the Flying Branch receive roughly around Rs 74,000 per month, while the officers from the Technical and Ground Duty Branch receive a monthly salary of around Rs 65,000 and Rs 63,000 respectively. Not only this, they also receive a number of allowances such as travelling allowances, kit maintenance allowances, dearness allowances, flying allowances and technical allowances which vary as per their branch.

How To Get Started?

  1. Unlike any other career option, a career in Air Force is full of risks, challenges and yet adventures. Before beginning with the preparations for any of the exams such as NDA, NA, AFCAT, UES etc.
  2. One should be clear in their head about the journey and the job role that they are going to have for the rest of his life.
  3. They have to convince themselves first about the dedication it is going to demand and the challenges that they are going to endure during the journey.
  4. They must develop the following qualities before starting of with the journey:-
  • Ability to work effectively and that too under constant strain and pressure.
  • Willing to stay away from family for long.
  • Build a calm temperament and strong nerves.
  • Enthusiastic and adventurous enough to work in rough terrains.
  • Willing to sacrifice their life for the nation.

These are the basic qualities that each student should work on before preparing for the exams. Also, while preparing for the exams candidates should keep an eye on the nofication released by the Ministry of Defence and can apply in the due course of time.

The Bottom Line

Wrapping it up, all I would say is “the journey is easier said than done.” While the Indian Air Force is still a dream for many and is looked as one of the most prestigious career options, it has it’s own challenges. Staying far away from family, the IAF makes you strong, bold and courageous to withstand the storm. “Face the challenge and be a true warrior.”

Do you dream of working with IAF?

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