Indian Air Force Career – IAF

A career in Indian Air Force

Want to fly high your career growth opportunities? Nurture a Dream of flying like a bird? The career in Air Force will serve the purpose. A career in the Air Force is not only glorious, prestigious but also challenging to a great deal as serving defence forces symbolizes patriotism and unity in a diverse and composite culture of the country. A career in Indian Air Force(IAF) enables youngsters to explore the world of opportunities. The supreme command of the Armed Forces is vested in the President of India. The chief of Air Staff (COAS) is Air Chief Marshall. However, the Union Cabinet is entrusted with the onus of National Defence issues. The Ministry of Defence and the Air Force Headquarter play the most vital role in all operational and Administrative activities of Indian Air Force. As per the record of July 2017, 139576 Personnel are serving with Indian Air Force.

Type of Staff – IAF

One can serve the Indian Air Force in various branches, like General Duty, Flying Branch, Medical Branch, Education Branch, Engineering Branch, Administrative, and Logistics Branch through direct recruitment conducted by the prestigious Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) or the Recruitment Directorate or Service Selection Board (SSB) of Air Force. Generally, there are 6 types of personnel in Indian Air Force

  • Commissioned Officer – CO
  • Ground Duty Officer (Technical)
  • Ground Duty Officer (Non- Technical)
  • Non- Commissioned Officer – NCO
  • General Duty Staff and
  • Group – D Staffs

Headquarter and Commands

Headquarter: New Delhi
For smooth functioning of Operational and Administrative activities of the Air Force, it is divided into Five Operational commands and two Supporting Commands

Operational Commands – IAF

  • Eastern Air Command – Headquarter, Shillong, Meghalaya
  • Western Air Command – Headquarter, New Delhi
  • South-Western Air Command – Headquarter, Gandhinagar
  • Southern Air Command – Headquarter, Trivandrum
  • Central Air Command – Headquarter, Allahabad

Functional Commands

  • Training Command – Headquarter, Bangalore
  • Maintenance Command – Headquarter, Nagpur

Commissioned Ranks/ Promotional Hierarchy

  • 1. Air Chief Marshal (Chief of Army Staff)
  • 2. Air Marshal
  • 3. Air Vice Marshal
  • 4. Air Commodore
  • 5. Group Captain
  • 6. Wing Commander
  • 7. Squadron Leader
  • 8. Flight Lieutenant
  • 9. Flying Officer (You join here as a commissioned officer)

Perks, Pay and Allowance

Air Force Personnel are entitled to lucrative Pay and Allowances, and promotional avenues. As per the 7th Central Pay Commission, the COMMISSIONED Officers are entitled to an executive figure of pay and allowances, MSP (Military Services Pay), Ration and canteen facilities at concessional rates, group insurance, high altitude pay and so on. Moreover, at present the starting salary for Commissioned Officers viz. Flying Officer (for Air Force) is in the pay band of Rs.56,100 – 1,77,500+ MSP Rs.15500 p.m. (fixed) + D.A.+ T.A. + Flying Allowance and so on. That means the amount payable is more than Rs.80k a month plus many other benefits and concessions.

Air Force Training Institutes

  • 1. Air Force Flying College, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
  • 2. Air Force School, Tambaram
  • 3. Air Force Administrative College, Coimbatore
  • 4. School of Aviation Medicine, Bangalore
  • 5. Air Force Technical College, Jalahalli
  • 6. Air Force School, Jalahalli
  • 7. Jet Training Wing and Transport Training Wing, Hakimpet and Begumpet (Hyderabad)
  • 8. Indian Air Force Paratroopers’ Training School, Agra


The Union Public Service Commission conducts mainly the two National level Competitive Entrance Examinations to recruit officers in the Armed Forces including Indian Air Force.

1. National Defence Academy (NDA) Examination

National Defence Academy conducts nationwide Recruitment Examination for admission to and training at National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, Pune
Educational Criteria –
10+2 Passed in Science stream for Air Force and Navy (Any Stream for Army)
Syllabus –
Paper – I (Mathematics MCQ Type… 300 Marks), Paper – ll (English and General Knowledge MCQ Type… 200+ 400 Marks)
The month of Notification is January
Training –
The training programme of candidates selected for IAF are conducted by the NDA is a Three Years’ Graduation Course affiliated to Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. After successful completion of three years training at NDA, the Cadets are sent to IAF Academy, Hyderabad or any other Air Force Academy imparting specialized and classified pre-commissioning training the successful completion of which ensures commissioned rank in Indian Air Force.

2. Combined Defence Service Examination

For admission to and training at Indian Air Force Academy, Hyderabad UPSC conducts the national level Competitive Examination called CDS.
Educational Criteria –
Three Years Graduation in Science stream for Air Force and Navy (any Stream for Army) from a recognized University.

Syllabus –
English – 100 MCQ Type Questions= 100 marks
General Knowledge – 100 MCQ Type Questions= 100 marks
Elementary maths – 100 MCQ =100 marks
Total – 300 Marks.
Training –
Candidates selected for Air Force on the basis of the CDS Exam have to undergo 52 weeks training at IAF Academy, Hyderabad and then they are sent to specialized flying training establishments successful completion of which ensures them of Commissioned Rank in Air Force as FLYING OFFICER.


In case you hold NCC Senior Division ’C’ Certificate, Air Wing of the National Cadet Corps, you are eligible for applying to the Flying Branch directly. This is an exclusive entry scheme for men to the Flying Branch.You need to appear for SSB interview directly as there is no need to appear at the written exam.

Educational Criteria-A three years Graduate degree in any discipline with Math and Physics at 10+2 level with a minimum of overall 60% marks and pass marks in Math and Physics. Students of Final Year/ Semester are also eligible for applying for NCC Entry Scheme.


The engineering students of Final Year or Semester are eligible for University Entry Scheme for the technical branch. Only men can apply for this Scheme and the training is imparted at AFA, Hyderabad followed by training at Technical College in Bangalore.

The candidates must be undergoing a BE or B.TECH in any of the subjects notified and must be currently studying in pre-final Year of the degree course. However, on completion of the degree course, he should mandatorily obtain an aggregate of 60% marks.


AFCAT is the largest test conducted by the IAF for recruiting both men and women officers in all the three branches i.e. Flying, Technical and Ground Duty.The IAF conducts this exam twice a year and eligibility criteria differ from Posts to posts. IAF publishes detailed advertisement spelling out Education Qualifications and eligibility criteria for different posts.
Notification Date:- June and December (Approximately).


  • Handsome remuneration and perks
  • Prestige and respect
  • Career growth opportunities
  • Bright and secure future
  • Free Medical facilities not only for self but also for dependents
  • Group Insurance
  • Glamorous lifestyle
  • Pride of serving the Mother Nation and so on.
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