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Indian airforce career was the first thing that would have struck the minds of many students after hearing about the Pulwama Attack Revenge!! Yes, the Air Strike done by I.A.F (Indian Air Force) on Balakot on 26th February 2019.

I.A.F has done a great job by destroying Jaish-e-Mohammad seized area, the group which was responsible for the “Pulwama Attack”, in which 44 Indian Army Soldiers Had Martyred and not because they were fighting but the fact that Jaish-E-Mohammads’ Spineless & Cowardly Terrorist Had Assaulted the ongoing convoy of CRPF Personnel.

We as Indians never felt prouder when we heard of the revenge taken by the Indian Air Force.

And at that particular moment I am sure many young teens must have developed this feeling of choosing  Indian Air Force as their career & some might even have already decided I.A.F as their career but all are having queries about Indian Air force career guide that can help them chose the path.

Indian air force career by Campusvibes

So, to combat this situation, I have tried to answer these questions for you to the best of my capabilities & knowledge.

Indian air force: History Behind

Touch the Sky with Glory(नभःस्पृशंदीप्तम्)

Indian air force logo

  • The Indian Air Force (I.A.F) is the air arm of the Indian Armed forces. Its complement of Personnel and Aircraft Assets ranks 4th amongst The Top Air Forces in the world. 
  • Its Primary Objective is to secure The Indian Airspace and to conduct warfare whenever Armed conflicts or Battles Occur.
  • Officially established on October 8, 1932, as an Auxiliary Air Force of the British Empire which honored India’s Aviation service during The World War II with the prefix- “Royal”.
  • After India gained independence from the United Kingdom 1947, the name Royal Indian Air Force was kept and served in the name of Dominion of India. With the government’s transition to a Republic in 1950, the prefix Royal was removed after only three years.
  • Over the Last Few years, the I.A.F has grown from a Tactical force to one with transoceanic reach. Its strategic reach emerges from induction of Force Multipliers like Flight Refueling Aircraft (FRA), Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) and credible strategic lift capabilities.

Here’s a glimpse of the current fleet of aircraft possessed by Indian air force:

Now the important question that arises here is: 

The How behind becoming a Pilot in the Indian airforce or in short India Airforce Career?

The most important criteria for becoming a pilot on the Indian Air force is your Nationality. You should be Indian by Nationality.

Afterward, there are various exams by which you can become a pilot in the Indian Air Force which is described below:

Eligibility Criteria 
1. Group “X” Trades:
  •  Age: 17 to 21 years
  • You’ve to be senior secondary school certified (12th passed) with subjects mathematics & physics compulsory for selection. Having a minimum of 50% in board exams.


  • Should have done a 3 years diploma course from- mechanical / electrical / electronics / IT engineering stream from a government certified/recognized polytechnic institute with an aggregate of 50% marks with 50% marks in English in diploma course or in intermediate / matriculation, if English is not a subject in diploma course.

2. Group “Y” Med. Assistant:
  • Age: 17 to 21 years
  • Passed 10+2 /Intermediate / Equivalent Exam with Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and English with a minimum aggregate of 50% marks with 50% marks in English.

3. GROUP “X”: Education Instructor Trade:
  • Age: 20 to 25 years
  • B.A. with English as one of the subjects.


  • B. Sc with Physics/ Psychology/ Chemistry/ Mathematics/ IT / Computer Science/ Statistics as one of the subjects


  • BCA with a minimum of 50% marks.


  • B.Ed. degree with a minimum of 50% marks from a Government recognized institute.


  • Graduation and B.Ed. programs should be recognized by UGC/ NCTE/ Competent accreditation authority.

  • Age: 20 to 28 years
  • M.A. in English/Psychology


  • M.Sc. in Mathematics/ Physics/ Statistics/ Computer Science/ IT or MCA with 50% marks.


  • B.Ed. degree with a minimum of 50% marks from a government recognized institute.


  • Graduation, Post-Graduation and B.Ed. programs should be recognized by the U.G.C/ N.C.T.E/ Competent accreditation authority.
4. GROUP ‘Y’: Musician Trade
  • Age: 17 to 25 years
  • Passed Matriculation /10th class or equivalent with minimum pass marks from any Government Certified (recognized) School/Boards and should be proficient in playing at least one of the following musical instruments: Trumpet / Bass / Violin / Saxophone / Clarinet / Euphonium / Jazz-Drum / Piccolo / Bass Trombone / Key Board / Guitar / Sarod / Viola / Cello / Contra Bass (String Bass).

List of Tests to apply for an Indian air force Career

1. N.D.A (National Defence Academy):

To join the ‘Flying Branch’ of I.A.F, candidates should appear for the National Defense Academy (N.D.A) exam. An N.D.A examination is conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The candidates who qualify the examination will have to undergo a three years training at N.D.A followed by flying training at Air Force Training Establishments. After completion of the training, candidates will be commissioned as ‘Permanent Commission Officers’ or can be posted as Pilots at any I.A.F Station.

The exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Recruitment of candidates for Army, Navy and Air Force wings of the National Defence Academy (NDA), is done through the National Defence Academy Entrance Exam which is held twice a year, generally in the months of April and September.

You must have appeared and passed in physics and mathematics of +2 level; i.e. you must be of science stream after class 10. It is necessary to appear in NDA exam.

Here’s a sneak peek of life at NDA:


Apart from NDA, UPSC also conducts C.D.S.E exam for Men who aspire to become a Pilot or seek an Indian army career. After qualifying the C.D.S Exam, candidates are entitled to admission to Indian Military Academy/ Indian Naval Academy/ Air Force Academy (AFA). Same as NDA training, candidates here will have to undergo training in Air Force Academy. With the completion of training, candidates will be getting the Permanent Commission Officers’ or can be posted as Pilots at any I.A.F Station.

Key Highlights:

  • Notification for C.D.S.E is usually released in the months of October and June.

  • While the examinations are conducted in February and November respectively. Unmarried graduates are eligible to sit for the exam only.

  • For C.D.S.E; candidate must be graduate.

  • An engineer can also apply for the C.D.S Examination.

All that you need to know about CDSE:


Coming to N.C.C Special Entry that is for only for men, candidates having Air Wing Senior Division ‘C’ Certificate holder is eligible for National Cadet Corps (N.C.C) Special Entry. The joining will be done through the Directorate General National Cadet Corps or through your respective N.C.C Air Squadrons. This is the special entry case where the candidates will be given ‘Permanent Commission Officers’ post.

Key Highlights:

  • For N.C.C special entry, a candidate must be graduate..

All that you need to know about NCC:


Air Force Common Admission Test – A.F.C.A.T is open for both male and female candidates. This test is conducted by I.A.F for admission to Short Service Commission (SSC) for a term of 14 years. These candidates are hired on technical branches and Ground duty branches. This examination is conducted twice a year

Key Highlights:

  • This examination is held twice a year in the months of February and August

  • Applications to which are made available in December and June respectively

  • For AFCAT, a candidate must be graduate.

All that you need to know about AFCAT:

Salaries and Allowances: Indian Air Force

The salary of Flying Officer or Pilot in Indian Air Force is set as per the pay band.

  • The pay band common to all branches is PB 3- 15600-39100 i.e., Rs 15,600 per month.
  • The grade pay will be Rs 5400/ month
  • Military service pay will be Rs 6000/ month
  • Dearness allowance is Rs 21, 600/ month
  • Kit maintenance allowance is Rs 500/ month
  • Transport allowances is Rs 3200+ DA (major cities) / 1600 + DA (Other cities)
  • While the other allowances include Flying Allowance that is Rs11,250  per month to Flying Branch Officers. So, in total, a Flying Officer withdraws Rs 66,110/month approx.

Physical Fitness Level: Indian Air Force Career Aspirants

To join Indian Air force, candidates, irrespective of the entry mode and educational qualifications, must satisfy a basic set of Physical standards. The list is quite long. But the main things that are checked are-

1.Weight and Height ratio

Indian airforce Height and Weight for women
Indian airforce Height and Weight for Women (Source: SSB CRACK)
Indian air force height and weight standards for men
Indian Air Force Medical Height And Weight Standards for Men(Source: SSB crack)

In the above image, height depicts the lowest and highest height of the Indian air force applicant; what can be the lowest weight (in pounds); what can be the highest weight (in pounds) and what will be there target to maintain their weight (in pounds).

2.  Good Physical and Mental health

There should not be any disease related to joints or any mental disorder, nor the applicant has a low blood sugar level problem and can have the mental ability to analyze and take quick decisions.

3. Good Hearing Skills

4. Well-developed chests (expansion should be at least 5cm after full inspiration)

Conditions that pertain to Rejection: For Both Men and Women

Women Men          
  • Acute or chronic pelvic infection
  • Your chest should be properly developed, the minimum range after full inspiration should be 5 cm.
  • Severe menorrhagia (having heavy and prolonged bleeding)
  • There should be no bones and joints disease.
  •  Severe dysmenorrhea (having painful periods or menstrual cramps)
  • Any abnormality in urine examination can cause rejection.
  • Complete prolapse of the uterus
  • There should not be any hydrocele, varicocele or piles. You suffered in the past with it, it must be at least 6 months prior to the present examination with a guarantee of no recurrence.
  • Pregnancy/amenorrhea
  • The muscles of the abdomen should be properly developed without any enlargement of the liver or spleen.
  •  Any other gynecological conditions
  • There should be no sign of any heart or blood vessel disease, and your BP must be normal.
  • Your hearing tendency should be normal, free of any past or present scenario of disease related to ears, nose, and throat.
  • You should not have any past mental disorder histories.  

Indian Air Force career: RankWise Promotions

  1. Air Chief Marshal
  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


A five-star ceremonial rank Marshall of the Air Force exists and has been held previously by Arjun Singh.

Indian Air Force career: For women Aspirants

Women are selected in the same way men are selected, except for the gynecology exam, there is no difference. Also, women pilots are part of the many important projects and observation in India. In the surgical strike, September 2016, the main pilot was a woman, who rescued the para-commanders. Also, in Pulwama attack revenge, Women pilots were the part of the operating air strike. This is enough to prove that men and women are the same in all aspects of the country.

Check this video below to know more about Life in Indian Air force for women:

Indian air force career or career in any of the nation serving service is indeed a matter of respect. Army, Navy and Air force; these are the bodyguards of our country and will protect our country in each and every situation. Therefore a career in any of these fields, will not be regretted in any terms. Also, you will receive the blessings for serving your country- to sacrifice for your country.

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A strong karma believer. Never ever i kept any grudges for anyone and don't want to keep even in future. A natural writer and wants to improve my skills at every point of time.


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  1. It’s in reality a great and useful piece of information. I am happy that you just shared this useful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.



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