What Are the Main Requirements for Enlisting in the Air Force?

The basic requirements for enlisting in the Air Force include being between 17 and 39 years of age, being a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and having a high school diploma. Additionally, candidates must pass aptitude and entrance tests.

Candidates who do not have a high school diploma may enlist with a GED that has at least 15 college credits. People who fulfill the basic criteria must also pass the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery, which focuses on verbal reasoning, word knowledge, paragraph comprehension and arithmetic.

After passing the aptitude test, candidates undergo physical and mental screening. This screening assesses whether candidates can physically and mentally withstand the pressures of training in and working for the Air Force. The process also includes talking to a job counselor, who identifies whether engineering, electronics, mechanical or administrative roles are best for the candidate. After completing this process, candidates go through a Delayed Entry Program.

Once the DEP is complete, candidates may begin their basic training, which eventually leads to the technical aspects that help them train for their specific role. Roles within the Air Force include engineering, becoming an officer, or working in a specialist field, such as health care or law.