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RAF officer

Alternative titles for this job include

RAF officers work in a number of roles and are responsible for the welfare and discipline of personnel under their command.

Average salary (a year)

£31,000 Starter


£48,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

Variable variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become RAF officer

You can get into this job by applying directly.

Direct Application

You can apply directly for roles as an RAF officer.

You'll need a minimum of:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths, and a science for some roles
  • 2 A levels or equivalent qualifications

If your application is accepted, you'll be invited to talk to an adviser at your local armed forces careers office about what you want to do. You'll also take an aptitude test.

If you're successful, you'll be invited to attend the Officers and Aircrew Selection Centre at RAF College, Cranwell in Lincolnshire. You'll take part in a one-day selection process which includes tests for aptitude, initiative and fitness. You'll then have an interview and a medical examination.

RAF Reserve

You can join the RAF Reserve in some roles as a part-time officer. This will give you experience of what life is like in the Royal Air Force, and you'll learn new skills at the same time.

You'll need to:

  • be between 18 and 54
  • commit to at least 27 days a year
  • attend a 2-week residential training course each year, though this may not always be the case

Air Cadets

If you're between 13 and 17 years old, you can join the Air Cadets.

The skills you learn and experiences you gain will benefit you whatever career path you choose. Cadets have many opportunities, including UK and overseas camps, leadership courses and air experience flights.

More Information

Career tips

Most RAF officers join as direct entrants and receive specialist officer training rather than doing an apprenticeship.

Visit RAF Recruitment for information on the apprenticeships and training and development that the RAF does offer.

Further information

You'll find more details about how to become an officer through RAF Recruitment.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • leadership skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • persistence and determination
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • concentration skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As an RAF officer, your duties will depend on your job. 

You could:

  • fly fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters
  • manage services like catering or logistics
  • make sure aircraft are armed and ready to take off
  • monitor cyberspace for threats
  • make sure airfields are secure

Working environment

You could work at a military base or in a warzone.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers and physically and emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could move up the ranks from flying officer to air commodore or higher.

You could go into a wide range of careers once you leave the RAF. Your career choices will depend on the skills, training and qualifications you've gained during your service.

You can find details about support and career opportunities from:

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a RAF officer right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Uniformed Services Courses (STC)

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: South Shields

L3 Diploma Uniformed Services

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Fareham

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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Skills assessment

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