Indian Air force ranks and selection criteria

Are you passionate, dedicated and adventurous person then no other profession than Air Force will satisfy your thirst. It is one of the premier government job category, which offers greatly disciplined life and give an opportunity to serve the nation. Indian Air Force is one of the country’s oldest defense organization, which offers youth to join Indian Air Force in various categories. Broadly, I have listed down the Indian air force ranks and selection criteria for aspiring youth to opt for the career in Indian Air Force.

Air force ranks
(Image courtesy of Tim Beach /

OR or Non-commissioned

To join Indian army as a non commissioned category; a person should have passed 10+2 with main in physics and mathematics. Indian Air force conducts the written and physical examination from time to time. One can join IAF and promotion can take him up to the sergeant level in non-commissioned category and afterwards Master warrant officer in junior commissioned category. 

Following are the Indian Air Force ranks for the Non-commissioned category.

  • Air Man
  • Leading Air Man
  • Corporal
  • Sergeant
Age and Education:

16-20 - Years for 10+2 pass
16-22 - Years for Diploma
20-25 - years for Graduates
20- 28 - Year for Post Graduates

JCO or junior commissioned officer

JCO or Junior commissioned officer rank is the middle category of the Indian Air Force hierarchy. Whereas, Non-commissioned people will report to JCO, further Junior commissioned officers reports to commissioned officers.

There are three major Indian Air force ranks provided to Junior commisioned officer.

  • Junior Warrant Officer
  • Warrant Officer
  • Master Warrant Officer 

Commissioned officer

Joining as commissioned officer in India Air Force offers you great chance to go up to the apex rank of the Air force body. Indian Air force select the best and quality candidates for the commissioned officer and person has to undergo tough training after successful selection in the force.

In India there are 5 types of selection procedures for Commissioned Officer.

NDA Scheme (Men Only)

Age: 16.5 to 19 Years
Qualification:  10+2 with physics and mathematics

CDSE Scheme

Age: 19 to 23 years -flying branch (Men Only)
Education: 3 Year Graduation in any stream / BE or B Tech

AFCAT Scheme

Flying Branch

Age: 19 to 23 years
Education: 3 Years Graduate / BE or B Tech with minimum 60%

Technical Branch

Age: 18 to 28 years
Education: BE or B Tech / Technical Graduate

Grounds Duty Branch

Age: 20 to 23 years & up to 27 years for Post Graduate
Education: Graduate and Post Graduate Degree

NCC Selection scheme

Age: 19 to 23 years -flying branch (Men Only)
Education and Other Criteria: NCC Air Wing ‘C’ certification and 3 Year Graduation in any stream / BE or B Tech with minimum of 60%

SSC (Short Service Commission) Scheme

Age: 19 to 23 years -flying branch (Men and Women)
Education: 3 Year Graduation in any stream / BE or B Tech

Following are the Indian Air force ranks for commissioned officer;

  • Flying officer
  • Flight Lieutenant
  • Squadron Leader
  • Wing commander
  • Group captain
  • Air commodore
  • Air vice marshal
  • Air marshal
  • Air chief marshal
Indian Air Force invites application for the mentioned schemes time to time throughout the year. Person who is willing to join the Indian Air force needs to be physically fit as per the Air  Force standards and must pass the medical examination followed by the written test.

You can also read about Indian Army ranks

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