Summary of occupation
Air force general entrants occupy a number of specialist service roles in the operation and support of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). General entrants into the RAAF are able to specialise in one of a number of roles in areas such as aviation, engineering, health-care and science, communications and IT, education, logistics, hospitality, business and administration, and combat and security. They undertake duties in their specific area of expertise in both peacetime and combat situations, and may travel across the country and internationally in support of RAAF military or general operations
Air force general entrants occupy a number of specialist service roles in the operation and support of the Royal Australian Air Force.
A general entrant into the air force needs:
- Australian citizenship
- over the age of 17
- a passion for protecting and defending Australia and its allies
- a strong sense of discipline
- good health and fitness
- to enjoy the lifestyle associated with the armed forces
- the ability to follow orders
- a willingness to live and work anywhere in Australia and overseas.
Air force general entrants encounter a range of working conditions that depend on the type of role they specialise in. Whilst some general entrants such as those involved in administration and public affairs may work in a traditional office environment, others, such as those working in communications may work with highly-technical equipment in a range of settings. Others such as airfield defence guards may be involved in combat situations. Work hours will depend on the type of work undertaken.
Trainee airmen and airwomen recruits undergoing basic training can expect to earn at least $676 per week ($35 151 per year), while recruits undertaking employment training can expect to earn between $773 and $869 per week ($40 173 and $45 194 per year). Once their training period ends, an airman or airwoman can expect to earn at least $966 per week ($50 216 per year) depending on their duties, rank, role and level of experience.
As an airman or airwoman gains experience and progresses through the ranks their pay rate increases. Salary may also vary based on your deployment location and conditions.
The tools and technologies used by air force general entrants vary greatly depending on their specialist role. Whilst many are involved with communications systems such as radar, radio and satellite systems, and computer-aided surveillance or information systems, others may work with computers in word processing or data management roles. Some general entrants utilise weaponry in combat situations. All air force personnel are required to wear uniforms.
To become an air force general entrant within the Australian Defence Force (ADF) you must pass the recruitment process and complete Basic Training at the Recruit Training Unit.
You will undergo a series of written, physical, psychological and medical checks and interviews. You will also need to provide a National Police History Check.
Successful applicants are required to complete just over 10 weeks of Basic Training at the No 1 Recruit Training Unit (1RTU) at the RAAF Base in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.
Once you have completed Basic Training you undertake Initial Employment Training where you'll learn about your specific role. The length, location and related qualifications of this training depend on the role you will be moving into.
You can join the Air Force through the ADF Gap Year program. You must be between 17 and 24 years old, and have completed year 12 (or equivalent).
You can also join the Australian Defence Force on a part time basis within the Air Force Reserves.
Visit the Defence Force Recruiting Centre website for more information.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.