Launch your IT career in the Air Force

A significant number of the Air Force’s more than 100 jobs focus on cyber or IT.

“We have a variety of cyberspecialties in the Air Force,” Leslie Brown, chief of public affairs for the Air Force Recruiting Service, said in an email to ZDNet. “Enlisted candidates will be able to choose from many careers such as knowledge operations, or careers that are primarily office jobs such as cyber programming, or a hybrid career between office and field work like client systems. or a career that is primarily outdoors like cable antenna systems. “

According to Brown, nine enlisted jobs related to cybercrime are available to people on their initial enlistment contract. Two officer careers focused on Cyber ​​Officer are available. Jobs in the Air Force – and all military jobs – come with unique benefits, challenges, and responsibilities.

Some of the benefits include hands-on vocational training and work experience, money available for higher education, free accommodation and meals on base, health care, and access to military exchange shops, who typically offer lower prices for everything from gasoline to groceries to household goods. The military also enjoy a high level of public trust and respect.

In return, the military forces you to stay in good physical shape, obey orders, and consistently perform at a high level – and may require you to relocate or work in hostile environments overseas on short notice. You can’t just quit if you’re frustrated with a task or a supervisor. And more importantly, you may be faced with dangerous and life threatening war or combat situations.

If you’re ok with these sacrifices, launching your Air Force IT career might be something to consider. Keep reading to learn more about some of the steps you will need to take.

How to join the air force?

The Air Force recruiting website has detailed information on the requirements to enlist or serve as an officer. Enlisting in the Air Force gives you the opportunity to work in an entry-level position. Enlisted roles are available for people with a high school diploma or GED. Officers have leadership roles, requiring a four-year degree.

Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know to enlist in an IT-related military career:


Entry requirements for enlisted candidates include the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test (ASVAB). This timed test measures your aptitude in four areas: verbal skills, math, science and technology, and spatial ability. If you are interested in IT, your ASVAB score and education will influence your career opportunities, including Air Force careers in cybersecurity and IT.

Basic training

After passing the ASVAB and meeting education, health and citizenship requirements, enlisted personnel must complete Basic Air Force military training. Basic Air Force training is conducted at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The Air Force also manages the basic training of people enlisting in the Space Force.

Technical school

After basic training, also known as boot camp, you start job-specific training. Air Force Technology School training is conducted at bases across the United States. The training time depends on your job and can range from six weeks to over a year.

Become an air force officer

There are several options available to you to become an Air Force officer. First, officer candidates must pass the Air Force Officer Qualification Test (AFOQT). If you have a bachelor’s degree or are on track to graduate within a year, you can apply to and complete an officer training school. The Air Force conducts an officer training school at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, Alabama.

Another option is to enroll in a college reserve officer training program (ROTC). When you get your bachelor’s degree, you receive an officer’s commission. You can also apply for and graduate from the Air Force Academy. However, admission to this elite institution is very competitive.

What Air Force IT jobs are in demand?

The Air Force offers bonuses to entice people into the military’s most in-demand IT jobs.

Bonuses of $ 12,000 to $ 20,000 are available for cybersecurity-related jobs, depending on certification level. If you want to serve but are looking for even more bonus money, you will have to look outside the cyber realm. For example, enlistment bonuses of $ 50,000 are available for explosive ordnance disposal and special warfare operators. Prospective applicants should note that bonus amounts change frequently based on Air Force personnel requirements.

While the military provides the excitement of doing top secret work that protects national security, Brown said the Air Force recognizes that many Airmen want to return to civilian life after working in the Air Force.

When these Airmen return to the civilian world, “we believe we are returning exceptional citizens who will improve our communities and may end up in jobs helping us protect our banks, our power grids and our economy as a whole,” said Brown. .

This article has been edited by Dr Michael J. Kirchner

white man with brown hair and beard, michael kirchner, smiles for camera

Dr. Michael J. Kirchner is Assistant Professor of Organizational Leadership at Purdue University in Fort Wayne, where he teaches courses in leadership and human resource development. Dr. Kirchner is also Director of the Campus Veterans Resource Center.

Previously, Kirchner oversaw the Military and Veterans Resource Center at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he guided programming for more than 1,500 military-affiliated students on campus. Under his leadership (2013-2016), the campus built a nationally recognized “military-college-career” framework focused on supporting veteran student transitions.

Kirchner obtained his doctorate. in Human Resource Development from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His research on career transitions and leadership development has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals including Human Resource Development Quarterly, Advances in Developing Human Resources, New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resource Development, and Industrial and Commercial Training. .

Kirchner is the Founder and President of Time for Development LLC, where he advises organizations on military programming, human resource development strategy, and training design. He served one year in Baghdad, Iraq, from 2004 to 2005, with the United States Army National Guard.

Kirchner is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education independent journal network.

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