2 answers

How difficult is it to land a job as a pilot in the Air Force?

Updated Salem, Wisconsin

I am currently going through JROTC, and I am looking to go into the officer candidate program. I would like to get into the Air Force Academy, and I think that will better my chances. I have already started the long and grueling application progress, and have gotten into contact with my Admissions Liaison Officer. Do you have any suggestions on how I can better myself, my chances and get noticed by the Academy?
#mliltary #air-force #military-service #pilot #aviation

2 answers

Andrei’s Answer

Updated New York, New York

Hello Richard,

The Air Force Academy has an excellent website with a lot of useful information. You should check there first and see if you meet the criteria for selection. Apparently, you can't be too tall, too short, too fat or too skinny. You have to be in perfect health and your grades have to be very good. Your SAT scores are also a big deciding factor. It also helps if you have various volunteer and extracurricular activities. The congressional nomination is not as difficult as it sounds. Not trying to discourage you, but getting in the Academy is not that easy. If you have a chance to meet or speak to one of their recruiters, inquire about the Academy Prep School and any minority quotas, if applicable.

Most Air Force pilots are Academy graduates, but there is still a small percentage of pilots that come from ROTC programs. Remember that the Air Force is changing more and more towards space and pilot-less vehicles. Therefore, the competition for the few pilot slots available, is very steep.

Air Force flight school is also very strict, rumor has it that if you fail one test, you wash out. The wash out rate is high, and once you wash out, you have no job, so the Air Force will put you where ever they want you. I heard that the Air Force band leader is a flight school wash out.

I would highly recommend you follow your dream. With hard work and the right attitude you can achieve anything you put your mind to. I would also advise you to keep your options open and look at the other military branches as well.

I wish you the best of luck with your journey.



Andrei recommends the following next steps:

  • Contact the Air Force Academy and have them get you in touch with one of their recruiters.
  • Visit your Navy, Marines and Army recruiting offices and see what they have to offer.
  • Look into the Army Warrant Officer program.
  • Start taking flying lessons and get your private pilot license.

Zach’s Answer

Updated Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Hello Richard. It sounds like you are doing all the right things. To offer a different perspective, I became a USAF pilot through ROTC. I am currently a C-17 pilot and it is awesome! The Air Force is always looking for qualified pilot candidates, and while the requirements may be daunting, do not be discouraged. From my experience, you do not need to have a technical degree (I majored in business), and you do not have to go to the academy to become a pilot. Once you are in college, whether it is the Academy or ROTC, the #1 thing they look for on your pilot application is GPA. My advice is to prioritize academic performance and let your advisors know that you want to be a pilot...the rest will fall into place.