joining the air force

Joining the Air Force: All Requirements You Need to Know

Requirements for joining the Air Force are some pretty strict guidelines. Let's see what you have to meet to be an Air Force man!

January 1, 2022

The Air Force is a military organization that was established in 1907. It is the newest of the four branches of the United States Armed Forces, as well as one of the smallest, with a little over 300,000 active-duty soldiers in 2015. The Air Force has some strict guidelines for people who choose to serve in this branch of the military, but they aren’t quite as difficult as you would imagine!

There are specified qualifications for joining the Air Force. There are many factors that joining the Air Force Enrollment Requirements, including Air Force age eligibility, Air Force education requirements, Air Force enlistment options, and Air force medical qualifications. You will need to be a United States citizen or national for at least 3 years before you can apply with the Airforce. If you have any physical disabilities or medical conditions which may affect your ability to complete an initial active duty service obligation of 10 years, please contact the recruiting office prior to applying for enlistment.

What Is the US Air Force?

One of the five branches of the Armed Forces, the Air Force defends the United States through control and exploitation of air and space.

Air Force Requirements

If you are in high school, your first concern should be education. Stay in school and graduate. Say no to drugs, keep yourself physically fit and stay out of trouble. Remember, take the hard classes (i.e., upper-level math, English and science, etc.) and you’ll have more opportunities later on.


  • Be between 17 and 39 years of age.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal, permanent resident
  • Have a high school diploma, GED with at least 15 college credits, or GED
    Before enlisting, you must take the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test, which covers four areas critical to the Air Force mission: arithmetic reasoning, word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, and mathematics knowledge. So what is a good ASVAB score? Air Force recruits are required at least an AFQT score of 36, while it is 65 if the applicant has a high school equivalency degree (GED, TASC, HiSET). This test helps determine whether you have the mental aptitude to withstand the demands of the Air Force and identifies your strengths to determine the careers best suited for your future success. To help test-takers get ready for the exam, we offer our free ASVAB practice test website that contains thousands of ASVAB practice questions for all ASVAB sections. Let us help you prepare for your future!
    Once you have taken the ASVAB, your recruiter will make an appointment for you at a nearby Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) to assess your physical and moral standards as set by the Air Force, the Department of Defense, and federal law. When processing through MEPS, you’ll provide your jobs counselor with a list of every job and aptitude area you are qualified for and willing to train for as your Air Force career. Depending on our current needs, you will either receive one of the jobs you expressed interest in or one that best serves your strengths and our mission.
    Once you’ve passed all the necessary requirements and tests and have been officially accepted into the Air Force, you’ll go into the Delayed Entry Program (DEP), which means you’re waiting for your departure date for Basic Military Training (BMT). During this time, it’s a good idea to work on your physical conditioning to prepare for the challenges of BMT.

Duration: 8.5 weeks

Location: Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio

Read more >> U.S Air Force Ranks In Orders & Insignia

Benefits of the Air Force

Once joining the Air Force, every Airman is paid equally based on their rank and years of service. But your base salary is only part of the overall package you receive. The moment you put on this uniform you’re also eligible to receive additional compensation based on your job and where you are stationed as well as low-cost insurance, food, and housing allowances, 30 days vacation with pay yearly, tuition assistance, and a generous retirement package.

    The Air Force provides our Airmen and their families with world-class insurance plans. They receive excellent rates, low cost, comprehensive medical and dental care at military or civilian facilities, full pay, and allowances for sick days, and low-cost life insurance.
    The Air Force takes care of the basic needs of every Airman. Living expenses, including utilities and maintenance, are covered for those who choose to live in on-base housing. A monthly tax-free housing allowance based on rank, family status, and geographic location is provided for off-base residents to help pay for living expenses.
    The Air Force provides a generous retirement plan. Airmen are eligible to retire after 20 years of service and begin receiving benefits the day they retire. The Air Force retirement plan requires no payroll deductions. Those who’d like to save a little extra each month can take part in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)*, which allows participants to place a portion of their monthly pay into an account similar to a 401(k) investment plan.
    Most Air Force bases have golf courses, arts and crafts facilities, bowling alleys, tennis courts, swimming pools, and even equipment rentals, which can be either used for free or at better rates than similar facilities or options off base.
    After joining the Air Force, all Airmen receive 30 days of vacation with pay, during which they are free to travel and take time to explore local and foreign destinations. Airmen can take advantage of available space on Air Force aircraft to travel to many international destinations as well as almost any state in the U.S. For destinations near another military facility, they can enjoy hotel-quality lodging on base for a reduced cost.
    The Air Force offers an array of educational opportunities so you can achieve your true potential. On day one you’ll be enrolled in Community College of the Air Force earning college credit starting with Basic Military Training. The Air Force also offers scholarships to outstanding Airmen who wish to attend or complete their college education. Or you can receive up to 100% tuition assistance through the Air Force Tuition Assistance program, the Post-9/11 GI Bill, or the Montgomery GI Bill.

Let’s see the top 10 Best Air Force Jobs You Can Have to easily make the right decision before entering the Air Force!

Joining the Air Force – FAQs

What can disqualify you from joining the air force?

There are age, citizenship, physical, education, height/weight, criminal record, medical, and drug history standards that can exclude you from joining the military.

Read more >> Joining the Military: What an Enlisted Member needs to know?

What is the Air Force mission?

The mission of the United States Air Force is to defend the United States of America and its global interests—to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace. We train for almost every imaginable contingency from terror attacks to global war to catastrophe relief. 

Where can I take the ASVAB?

There are many high schools all over the U.S. that offer the paper version of the ASVAB. In case your school does not offer the test, military recruiters can also help you find a location to take the ASVAB. The ASVAB test may be either at the local Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) with the computer-version or at a satellite test site, which is known as a MET site with the paper-based version.

Please note that in the computer-based version, you’re not allowed to skip any questions and then return later to finish them.

To get ready for your coming exam, let’s take our free Air Force ASVAB Practice Test on this website. Thousands of free ASVAB practice questions will help you get 100% ready for your ASVAB test. Otherwise, you can practice offline with our applications that are available for both IOS and Android devices here:

Do men and women have to do the same fitness tests?

The apparent answer is Yes. In order to be eligible for enrollment, both men and women must pass the basic fitness test. Additionally, they must pass the same annual fitness test. The needed criteria, however, may differ based on age and gender.

Read more >> Joining the National Guard: Requirements and Benefits