When do I know what job I will be doing for the Air Force and what factors determine my job selection?
You will know
your specific Air Force job category
approximately six months before you're commissioned. Typically you find out fall semester of your senior year. However, for rated categories such as pilot you find out spring semester of your junior year. The way your job is determined is much like the selection process you compete in for an enrollment allocation as an officer candidate. The factors to be used will include your Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT) scores, your Field Training performance rating, your Grade Point Average (GPA), your
academic major, your Physical Fitness Test (PFT) score, and the Detachment
Commander's rating. Additionally, for rated positions your Pilot Candidate Selection Model (RCSM) score will be factored into your rating.
have to become a pilot or navigator?
No. The vast majority of Air
Force jobs do not involve flying at
all. In the civilian world there are
thousands of jobs and careers -
doctors, lawyers, law enforcement,
engineers, financial careers,
food-service management - the list
is endless. For almost every
civilian out in the work force,
there is an Air Force officer
counterpart performing a similar
job. For more information about the
many careers available, check out
our Careers section.
Can I fly?
Possibly - you must qualify
by passing a physical exam, passing
a Physical Fitness Test and
earning certain scores on the Air
Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT).
When do I actually
receive my commission as an Air
Cadets normally get
commissioned in a special ceremony
the next day after they graduate. You can
typically expect to enter active duty anywhere from a few days to a couple of months after graduation.
Must a student go on
active duty in the Air Force
immediately following graduation and
Not necessarily. You may
request an educational delay if you
desire to attend graduate school at
your own expense before going on
active duty. If approved, the Air
Force will postpone your active-duty
tour. Delays are routinely provided
if you select to attend dental or
medical school. Scholarships also
exist for students accepted to
Can I continue my
education beyond the baccalaureate
Yes. The Air Force offers
several opportunities to do so. In
many cases you can request an
educational delay. This delay
between the time of commissioning
and reporting for active duty will
be of sufficient length to allow you
to fulfill the requirements for a
professional or master's degree. You
will assume all financial
obligations. There are also Air
Force Institute of Technology
programs where the Air Force pays
for your graduate school education.
These programs are explained in
detail in Air Force ROTC.
I don't have 20/20
vision. Can I still fly?
It depends. Check out the Flying Requirements for more
Do I have to major in
Aeronautical Science to become a
pilot or navigator?
No. You can major in any degree program and compete to receive a pilot or navigator slot in Air Force ROTC.
What are the age limits
for a cadet to compete for a pilot
or navigator position?
To compete for the pilot or
navigator categories, you must be
able to complete your bachelor's
degree and be commissioned through
Air Force ROTC before you are 29
How much do I get paid?
Upon commissioning, you will earn approximately $40,000 per year. This figure includes your base pay as a new second lieutenant (military pay grade of O-1) as well as several other non-taxable allowances including more than $200 per month for food/subsistence and a generous housing allowance that adjusts to your duty location and even increases when you get married or start caring for dependents! For more information about housing rates and allowances across the US for officers with and without dependents, check out the Department of Defense’s Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) Calculator.
You may also earn an even higher annual salary if you live and work in select overseas locations or geographic areas throughout the US that qualify for additional Cost of Living Allowances, or if you qualify for any special pay or career incentives such as flight pay or foreign language proficiency pay. And by the time you finish a typical 4-year active duty commitment, you will be earning more than $60,000 per year.
Will I be behind my fellow
nonmilitary graduates after I
complete my service obligation and
decide to get out?
No. In fact, many companies prefer
to hire former officers over new
college graduates (even those with
master's degrees). Your Air Force
experience, the management skills
you've gained on active duty and
your active-duty educational
benefits can give you the
competitive edge you need.
And starting in 2012, we have partnered with the Kelley School of Business
to provide graduating AFROTC cadets a chance to secure delayed entry into a
Kelley MBA program with a class slot reserved for up to 5 (and in some cases
even 6) years after graduation! This exciting new program allows cadets to
complete their undergraduate studies, earn their commission, and serve out
their first active duty service commitment as any other newly minted Air Force
officer. During that time, you'll gain operational, management, and leadership
experience in our nation's Air Force, but then have the option to return to a
guaranteed slot in one of Kelley's world renowned MBA programs to begin a new
advanced academic degree program and open up a whole new world of professional
possibilities that build upon the experience gained during your time in the