Officers lead a team of airmen and airwomen, in a wide range of specialist air and ground roles.

What does a RAF officer do?

Officers are the RAF’s equivalent of a management role.

As an RAF officer you could choose to work in one of 20 specialist areas, each with different responsibilities. Examples of the roles you might be involved in are:

  • aircrew – you could be flying one of the RAF's aircraft around the world
  • air operations – as an air operations control officer, you will be managing the airspace around stations, assisting aircraft with take-off and landing, or advising pilots where enemy aircraft are
  • logistics – you could be facilitating the delivery of vital parts and equipment to one of the RAF's stations on the other side of the world, or overseeing a mess and making sure personnel are fed
  • engineering – you could be leading a team of aircraft technicians on repair and maintenance, or overseeing a group of cyberspace communications specialists
  • personnel support – managing RAF personnel, making sure they’re taken care of, and in the right place at the right time
  • medical – as one of the RAF's doctors, nurses, or dentists, you will be responsible for keeping RAF personnel fit and healthy

What do I need to do to become a RAF officer?

Entry requirements depend on the role. Most RAF Officer roles require five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, and 2 A levels at grade C or above. Some specialist roles require a specific degree or professional qualification.

Selection tests

Before you can join the RAF, you’ll need to pass a series of tests. Tests take place at the Officers and Aircrew Selection Centre at RAF College, Cranwell, in Lincolnshire. This is a three-day process, and includes tests for aptitude, initiative, medical, and fitness. You’ll then have an interview and a medical examination.

Scholarships and sponsorship

If you’re still at school or preparing to go to university, you may be able to get sponsorship for the degree or course you wish to do. Many RAF Officer roles have this opportunity.

Related skills

  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • People management
  • Physical fitness
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork

Academic route

  • At least five GCSEs (A-C), including English language, and for some roles a grade B in maths, plus two A levels or equivalent.
  • For some jobs, you’ll need a degree or professional qualification.

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

Once you have completed your training, you could be posted anywhere the RAF has a station – across the UK or around the world.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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