Indian Air Force Ranks, Career, Salary & Recruitment Process

India has one of the strongest Air Force in the world. The Indian Air Force has taken up several operations to help the citizen and to protect the integrity of the country. As you know, the Air Force has played a role in several wars and war link situation where the Air Force defended the Indian Territory. In addition to this support during the wartime, Indian Air Force has carried out several rescue operations across the country as well as across the globe. There are many records held by Indian Air Force in this term.

Talking from a different perspective, the Indian Air Force had always been a very lucrative career option. It is not just a well-paying job but it is also a very prestigious job. The uniform commands respect and that is true for all wings of Indian Defence Forces. There are lakhs of youth in India who wish to join Indian Air Force but sadly, not everyone is aware of the information which helps them in joining Air Force.

To help the prospected candidates, we have listed the ranks, salary and recruitment process for you here in this article. Apart from this, we have also listed the career path that you might follow if you are able to make it to the air force. You can go through this information and it can prove to be really valuable even if you are pursuing post-graduation. If you know someone who wishes to join Indian Air Force, then you can also share the article with them to help them out in understanding various options available. So, let us start with the ranks and then we will discuss the career path, recruitment process and the salary details for Indian Air Force.

1. Ranks in Indian Air Force

There are various ranks in Air Force and these ranks differ from Indian Army and Indian Navy. Indian Air Force protects us from every incoming danger and in such a case, we certainly should devote a couple of minutes to learn about the different ranks they have. Here are all the ranks that are applicable in Indian Air Force and these ranks are divided into three different categories. You can find the details below.

Commissioned Officer Ranks

  • Marshal of the Air Force
  • Air Chief Marshal
  • Air Marshal
  • Air Vice Marshal
  • Air Commodore
  • Group Captain
  • Wing Commander
  • Squadron Leader
  • Flight Lieutenant
  • Flying Officer

Junior Commissioned Officer Ranks

  • Master Warrant Officer
  • Warrant Officer
  • Junior Warrant Officer

Non-Commissioned Officer Ranks

  • Sergeant
  • Corporal
  • Leading Aircraftman
  • Aircraftman

Career in Indian Air Force

There are three different branches in Indian Air Force and you must know about these branches before you plan to join Indian Air Force. The information about these three branches are listed below and in addition to this, we have also listed a short description of these branches.

  • Flying Branch – This particular branch has a lot of flying involved in this. The branch consists of both men and women. In addition to this, the branch basically involves flying aircraft or helicopter during missions and daily operations. This particular branch has 3 additional categories which are self-explanatory
    • Helicopter Pilot
    • Transport Pilot
    • Fighter Pilot
  • Technical Branch –This is the second branch in the Indian Air Force. This branch is mostly about the technical stuff related to aircraft and other equipment. There are many sub-branches in this category and one can specialize in Accounts, Education, Logistics, Administration, Medical Services and many others.
  • Ground Duty –This is the last type of branch in Indian Air Force and in this branch, the personnel deal with the basic functions which keeps the air force function. The two main type of operations involved in this branch is the operations of the control tower and other meteorological functions are the second type of operations involved here.

You can choose the branch as per your interest and eligibility. Once you have made up your mind, you can start working towards your goal. You would need to work really hard because the path to success is not easy. In addition to this, you can progress in any field that you choose.

2. Recruitment Process for Entering Indian Air Force

Recruitment Process for Indian Air Force is conducted at various level and the completion at each level is high. You can join Indian Air Force after completing 10+2 or you can also join Indian Air Force after your graduation or post-graduation. This totally depends on your personal choice and the career path you wish to choose. You must keep a check on the employment newspaper for the posting regarding the Air Force. In addition to this, you can also refer to the career section on Indian Air Force website. The section has all the information about the notifications.

Below is the information about the recruitment process for joining Indian Air Force and the information states the various levels at which you can join the air force.

  • For 10+2–This is one of the most preferred modes of entry. The option is available for the male candidates who have opted for Science with Maths in their 10 +2. The interested candidates can appear for the NDA Exam. This exam for National Defence Academy is conducted by UPSC twice in a year. If the candidate gets shortlisted in the exam, then the candidate gets the golden opportunity to join National Defence Academy where he has to complete the training in three years.
  • For Graduates– It is also possible for the graduates to join Air Force. For this, the candidate needs to appear for AFCAT Exam or CDS Exam. If the candidate clears the exam then he will have to go through other recruitment process. Once all that is done, the candidate would then have to undergo training at one of the institutes. Once the training is complete, the candidate becomes a part of the Air

A lot of candidates prefer to appear in the exam after completing their engineering and this helps them in getting into the Technical branch. The candidates can appear for the exam in the final year.

  • For Post Graduates– Do not be disheartened if you are not able to clear the entrance test for Air Force after graduation as you can also appear for the exam after your post-graduation. The candidate can appear in AFCAT after the post-graduation and he can join air force if the candidate clears the entrance test along with other selection process.
  • For NCC Candidates– You must know that it is also possible for NCC Candidates to join Air Force after completing NCC training. They can also appear for the exam and there is a special provision for the NCC Candidates to join Indian Air Force.
  • For UES Candidates– This point has already been covered above and under this scheme, the students in the pre-final or final of engineering can appear in the SSB Test. In addition to this, the candidate can join Air Force if they are able to get through all the process.

3. Salary for Indian Air Force

The salary in Indian Air Force varies as per the rank of the candidate. To begin with, let us first talk about the airmen.

4. Salary and Benefits for Airmen

For the Airmen, initially, they are offered a stipend of Rs 14,600 during the education and training. Once the training is complete. The Group X Technical Trade Airmen receives Rs 33,100 and DA. For Group Y Non-Technical Trades, the salary is Rs 26,900 + DA. Lastly, the salary of Education Instructor trade is Rs 40,600 plus the DA. In addition to this, the salary raise is given as per the progress in career. Apart from the basic salary, the Airmen also receives many perks. This includes transport allowance, leave ration allowance, Composite personal maintenance allowance, HRA, Child Education Allowance, Ration, Clothing, Accommodation, Canteen Facilities, Medical Facilities, Insurance Cover and many other facilities.

5. Salary and Benefits for Officer

For the officer level, the stipend starts at Rs 56,100 during the training. This is applicable for 1 year of service. After that, the salary of the officer varies with the position. The minimum salary starts at Rs 56,100 and it can go upto Rs 1, 10,700. In addition to this salary, the officers also receive military service pay of Rs 15,500 per month.

This was about the salary of Officer. The officers are also eligible to receive various types of allowance and facilities from the Indian Government. In general, the officers would also receive Flying Allowance or Technical Allowance and this is basically dependent on the branch where the officer is placed.


This was all about Indian Air Force. If you wish to have a career other than the usual one then you must opt for making a career with Indian Air Force. You will not only get a successful career but you will be a part of the legacy. After all, the Indian Air Force is all about Mission, Excellence and Integrity.

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