How to Join Indian Air Force – Career Scope in IAF

How to Join Indian Air Force after 12th or Graduation: Career Scope as an Indian Air Force Pilot or IAF Officer

Hello friends, welcome to the Vacancy Exam. In this article, we will provide you complete guidance and the best ways to Join Indian Air Force and its career opportunities.

Millions of students dream to Join Indian Air Force and get their wings to live a life filled with glory and pride. There are numerous ways in which you can turn this dream into reality and Join IAF as an officer.

The minimum qualification required to build a career in IAF is the only 12th  if you want to join IAF as Airmen. For officers, the first option for joining IAF after class 12 is through NDA. But this is restricted to men only.

The next option which comes is through CDSE. The minimum qualification needed is graduation with 60% marks aggregate and 50% marks in English in class 12th.

How to Join Indian Air Force: Qualification, Age Limit, Steps and Tests

Now a lot of students studying in 12th or who had completed graduation and confused on how to get into the Indian Air Force, what is the qualification and minimum age limit, list of tests associated with IAF.

In this article, we are going to clear every doubt of students by explaining how you can join IAF: Qualification Wise, Post Wise, and also Test Wise.

The IAF conducts recruitment in many disciplines like Flying Branch, Ground Duty (Technical and Non-Technical Branch), etc. The various career opportunities available with the Indian Air Force include both technical and non-technical branches.

Different Branches of Indian Air Force

Flying Branch: This branch of IAF consists of the Pilots. Both men and women can opt for this branch. The selected persons in this branch actually fly the planes during operations and battles. There are 3 kinds of pilots: Fighter Pilot, Helicopter Pilot, and Transport Pilot.

Ground Duty Branch: This branch operates with the control tower and meteorological functions. The IAF Officers of this branch are expected to co-ordinate with the pilots and keep them informed about the weather conditions.

This Branch is further split into 2 different branches:

  • Ground Duty (Technical Branch): Technical Branch is concerned with the aircraft and other air force equipment. As an officer in the Technical Branch, you propel and manage your team to ensure that the Indian Air Force remains airworthy.
  • Ground Duty (Non-Technical Branch): Non-Technical Branch includes Logistics, Accounts, Education, Administration and Medical & Dental Branch. 

On the basis of your educational qualifications, here are the career opportunities available for you to join the Indian Air Force:

Qualification Wise Different Ways To Join IAF As An Officer

#1 NDA Entry

NDA stands for National Defence Academy. This is the first excellent opportunity that boys get after class 12th to join IAF.  Candidates get a 3-year training at NDA and are then shifted to AFA for basic Flying Training, then they are allocated their aircraft type and given further training at the designated flying training school. 

The advertisement for NDA Exam is released twice a year in the months of May and December and for CDSE in the months of June and October by UPSC. 

Exam type: Written exam followed by SSB for qualified candidates.

Gender: Men

Pattern: 2 papers consisting of General Awareness, Mathematics and English

Educational Qualification: 12th pass (with physics and mathematics)

Age Limit: 16 ½ to 19 years(at the time of commencement of course)

Commission: Permanent

#2 CDSE Entry

CDSE stands for Combined Defence Services Examination. This entry is exclusively for men after graduation valid for flying branch only.

This exam is also conducted by UPSC, twice every year. The training is conducted in AFA, and then the candidate is shifted to the specialized flying training establishment.

Exam type: Written exam followed by SSB for qualified candidates.

Gender: Men

Pattern: 3 papers consisting of General Awareness, Mathematics and English

Educational Qualification: Graduate (Three Year Course) in any discipline (with Physics and Mathematics at 12th level) / BE / B Tech (Four Year Course). Final Year Students are eligible.

Age Limit: 20 to 24 years(at the time of commencement of course)

Commission: Permanent

#3 NCC Special Entry

NCC stands for National Cadet Corps. Once again an exclusive entry for men aiming for the flying branch. The training procedure is almost the same as the CDSE. 

Exam type: Direct SSB call for Air Wing Senior Division ’C’ Certificate holder of the National Cadet Corps.

Gender: Men

Pattern: SSB

Educational Qualification: Graduate (Three Year Course) in any discipline with minimum 60% marks in aggregate in all papers put together with Physics and Mathematics at 12th level OR BE / B Tech (Four Year Course) with minimum 60% marks in aggregate in all papers put together.

Age Limit: 20 to 24 years(at the time of commencement of course)

Commission: Permanent

#4 UES Entry

University Entry Scheme is meant for engineering students of the pre-final year, for the technical branch of IAF.

This is an entry for men and the training is provided in AFA. The advertisement for the UES Entry Exam is released along with AFCAT.

Exam type: Written Exam and SSB

Gender: Men

Educational Qualification: Pre-final year student of BE / BTech degree course with a choice of subject as mentioned in the official notification.

There should be No backlog/arrears of papers of previous semesters at the time of SSB Testing. On the successful completion of the degree, a minimum of 60% of marks in aggregate in all papers put together are mandatory.

Age Limit: 20 to 26 years(at the time of commencement of course)

Commission: Permanent

#5 AFCAT Entry

This is one of the biggest and the most popular tests conducted for recruiting officers in the Indian Air Force.

This test provides entry for both men and women as officers in all the three branches of IAF, i.e. Flying, Technical and Ground Duty. This test is conducted twice in a year.

Exam type: Written Exam and SSB

Gender: Men and Women

Pattern: One paper consisting of General awareness, English and Mathematics. EKT for Technical branch

Educational Qualification: Graduation

Branches: Flying, Technical and Ground Duty.

Commission: Permanent commission for men and Short Service Commission for men and women.

Summing Up

As an Engineer, you are eligible for all the three branches of India Air Force. Based on the vacancies available in various branches / sub-branches, you can apply offline or online for the Indian Air Force Entrance Tests.

First of all, decide what you really want to be & your passion. On the basis of your interests and passion, you can apply for any one of the following tests mentioned above. Good Luck.

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Updated: February 17, 2020 — 9:56 PM

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