The Officer Path
Turn your college degree into an officer careerBecoming an officer
Find your officer path
There are four ways to join the Air Force as an officer. While each way differs slightly, they all ultimately allow you to begin your career as a leader.
Attend Officer Training School after earning college or postgraduate degree.
Upon earning a college or postgraduate degree, you can take the steps to enter the Air Force as an officer.
See Steps below for more information.
Attend the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Intensive and competitive, the prestigious United States Air Force Academy offers a world-class education with fully paid tuition, cost-free room and board, cost-free medical care and a monthly cash stipend in exchange for your commitment to serve.Find out more
Join AFROTC in college.
Available at colleges and universities all over the country, Air Force ROTC offers tuition assistance while you earn your degree and experience college life.Find out more
Enlist and work toward becoming an officer.
The Air Force has unprecedented growth opportunities, and any enlisted Airman can take the steps necessary to work toward officer status.Find out more
Pay & Benefits
We take care of the needs of every AirmanSee pay & benefits
When you join the Air Force with a college degree, you can enter as an officer and a leader. We’ll provide you with training to develop the skills and character you need to become a world-class officer prepared to lead your fellow Airmen.Officer
To begin your career as an officer, you’ll either need to be a graduate of the Air Force Academy or AFROTC or go through additional training. Before you apply, take the time to make sure you meet all of the basic qualifications for the path that’s right for you.
For those joining with a college degree or enlisted Airmen who have worked toward becoming an officer, you must:
- Be between 18 and 39 years of age.
- Be a U.S. citizen.
- Have at least a bachelor’s degree.
For healthcare, legal and ministry professionals only, you must:
- Be between 18 and 48 years of age.*
- Be a U.S. citizen.
- Have a career-relevant degree or postgraduate degree.*
- Be licensed and eligible to practice in your field.
*varies among fieldsProcess
Meet our standards
Air Force Officers are evaluated on their leadership potential, moral standards and academic strengths. Each candidate must go through a selective process to ensure they meet our requirements and have what it takes to become an officer.
Anyone striving to be an Air Force Officer must pass the Air Force Qualifying Test—a multiple choice test with topics ranging from verbal and math skills to questions covering specific fields of interest. This test can only be taken twice, so it’s essential to study and prepare wisely.
*Does not apply to healthcare, legal and ministry professionals
Physical and Mental Screening
Your recruiter will make an appointment for you at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) to have your physical and moral standards assessed to ensure they are in line with the specifications set by the Air Force, Department of Defense and federal law.
Passing the Selection Board
Every officer application is reviewed by either the Officer Training School Selection Board or Air Force Recruiting Services, depending on your path and profession. Each committee evaluates on both objective and subjective factors to determine if a candidate is a proper fit. No one factor can cause selection or rejection.
Preparing for Officer Training
Once you’ve passed all the necessary requirements and are accepted into the Air Force, you’ll enter the Delayed Entry Program while you wait for your departure date to either Officer Training School or—for medical, legal and ministry professionals—Commissioned Officer Training.
Get the answers you need
Joining the Air Force is an important, life-changing decision, and you’ll likely have questions along the way. Connect with us for the information you need to make the choice that’s right for you.Chat live