A Career In The Indian Air Force: How To Help Your Child Soar High

We all want our children to fly high. But, what if your child yearns to actually fly in the sky? On Indian Air Force Day, we tell you how your child can pursue a career in this field.

By Aarthi Arun

A Career In The Indian Air Force: How To Help Your Child Soar High

Does your child aspire to become a pilot and manoeuvre top-of-the-line aeroplanes, all the while sporting 'cool' aviator sunglasses? He can make his dreams come true by working towards a career in the Indian Air Force (IAF). The IAF is one of the most prestigious organisations in India, known for its cutting-edge technology, rigorous training, and of course, high remuneration and privileges. If your child is interested in having a career in the Indian Air Force and yearns to sport the uniform, there are many departments within the organisation he can choose from. Here is all he needs to know about having a career in the IAF.

Opportunities in the IAF

Within the Air Force, there are three departments your child can opt for:

  • Flying: This is the department which recruits pilots to operate advanced crafts like fighter planes and jets.
  • Technical: This department takes care of the technology that runs the IAF. Young engineers have the opportunity to learn about the mechanical and electrical side of the organisation and how it works.
  • Ground Control: From accounts to logistics to meteorology, your child can choose from various options within this department. She needs to have a graduate or a post-graduate degree to find jobs in the ground control department.

How to apply

Your child needs to be in the best of shape to qualify for the IAF as the physical and psychological standards required to work in this field are very high. The strict selection process ensures that only the crème de la crème are chosen to serve in the IAF. Therefore, it is very important that he learns to eat healthy and maintains a good lifestyle from an early age. A candidate with any disability, vision problems or medical conditions is automatically disqualified from applying to the IAF. 

Following are the different ways your child can apply for a post in the IAF:

After class 12

For Graduates

  • AFCAT (Air Force Common Admission Test): This test is conducted by the Indian Air Force in February and August. After clearing this test, your child will undergo rigorous training and get posted as an officer in one of the stations.

For Engineers

  • CDS (Combined Defence Services Exam): The UPSC conducts these examinations in February and November to recruit officers for the Air Force. Your child can get into the IAF while he is still in college through the University Entry Scheme. 
 NCC entry
  • Air Sqn NCC Senior division ‘C’ certificate holders can apply through DG NCC or respective NCC Air Squadron.

After passing one of these examinations, your child will receive a call letter to report to the Air Force Selection Boards located at Dehradun, Varanasi, Gandhinagar, Mysuru or Kanchrapara, West Bengal. She has to complete two rounds of Services Selection Board (SSB) tests to move to the Pilot Aptitude Battery Test (PABT). This test checks if she has the skills to become a pilot. 

The two stages of tests includes the following:

Stage 1 Testing

  • Officer Intelligence rating Test
  • Picture perception and Discussion Test

Stage 2 Testing

  • Psychological tests are written tests that are conducted by a psychologist.
  • Group tests are interactive indoor and outdoor activities which are a combination of mental and physical work.
  • Interview involves a personal conversation with an interviewing officer.

There will be tests to ascertain her psychomotor skills and whether she can interpret the dials on the aircraft panel. Based on her test results, if selected, she will be sent for medical examinations.

Perks of a career in the IAF

With a high pay structure and hefty allowances, a career in the IAF will set your child for financial success in his life. Following are some of the benefits:

  1. Remuneration: Air Force officers start earning over 50K per month during the training period. Flying officers earn more between 60 and 75K per month. Added to this, they are given separate allowances for HRA, travel, etc.
  2. Other benefits: The post-retirement benefits like pension, healthcare and insurance benefits are excellent.
  3. Personal development: After your child gets commissioned, you can see several changes in her personality. She will grow as an individual and be able to take more responsibilities and make difficult decisions. With her experience in the IAF, she can learn valuable interpersonal skills like teamwork, time management and problem-solving skills. She will be pushed to face new challenges and will have to be responsible, disciplined and self-aware at all times. Simply put, your child will not only be groomed to be an officer but also become a more refined person.

How to help your child soar high

As the saying goes, there is no gain without pain. Your child must be intrinsically motivated to undergo the stringent training standards. He needs to be courageous, disciplined, determined, resilient and have strong leadership and social skills, among other things, to complete his training.

A career in the IAF can be challenging, and it is not for everyone. If your child wants to spread his wings, it is important that you stand by him and motivate him. You can help him develop the necessary skills by involving him in simple activities at home. For instance, you can encourage him to do physical and mental exercises that can lead to quicker assimilation and reactions. 

Based on inputs from a senior official in the IAF. You can check the website for more details at www.indianairforce.nic.in

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