Air Force Requirements

Air Force Requirements

Have you thought about joining the Air Force, but you aren’t sure of the steps to become enlisted? Joining the Air Force comes with many different benefits and can help you mentally and physically.

It can also help connect to your community. Did you know that Air Force service members and volunteers come together to track Santa’s operations every year?

Before you can even think about joining, you must meet Air Force requirements and pass the ASVAB exam. So just what is this exam, why is it important, and how can you pass with flying colors?

Continue reading below. We will cover all you need to know regarding requirements for enlisting in the Air Force and who you can reach out to for ASVAB study materials.

What Is the United States Air Force?

The United States Air Force is one of the five branches of the Armed Forces. The Air Force defends the U.S. through the exploration and control of air and space.

Air Force Requirements

Before you can join the Air Force, there are aptitude tests and physical and mental screenings you must pass. For example, as part of the Air Force requirements, you must pass your Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery test, also known as the ASVAB.

This exam helps the military determine if you have the mental aptitude to withstand the demands of being in the Air Force. It also identifies what your strengths are to choose the best career for you.

Age Requirements

To enlist for the Air Force, you cannot be younger than 17 or older than 39 years old. If you have a GED, you have to wait until you’re 18 to enlist.

If you wish to join as an Officer, you must be 18 years or older but no older than 39. Those who want to participate as a ministry or healthcare professional must be at least 18 but no older than 48 years of age.

Height and Weight

The Air Force requires you to meet a certain height and weight to ensure that you can safely complete your operational duties. For aircrew and pilot positions, the height requirements vary by aircraft, but most applicants have the opportunity to pursue a career in aviation.

Air Force Height (inches) and Max Weight (lbs.) requirements can be found in the table below:


If you are significantly shorter or taller than the averages listed, you may need to undergo special screenings. There is no current weight reduction program. Regardless of your height or current weight, you should still apply to the Air Force if you are interested.

Criminal Records

Certain law violations could have a significant impact on your eligibility. Even if you have an excessive number of traffic-related violations within a one-year period, this could impact your application. If you have any concerns about your record, you will need to speak with your recruiter to discuss your options and your situation.

Drug Use

A career in the military and drug use don’t mix. If you plan to become an airman or airwoman, you must limit legal drug and alcohol use and avoid abusing certain drug substances.

In general, drug abuse will disqualify you, but pre-service marijuana use without a conviction is not disqualifying. If you have any questions about your drug use, make sure you reach out to your recruiter.

Test Scores

As mentioned earlier, when you apply to join as an enlisted airman or airwoman, you will take the ASVAB entrance exam. To join the Air Force, high school seniors or graduates must have an overall score of 31 AFQT as the minimum. If you hold a GED, you must achieve a 50 AFQT score.

Taking the Air Force ASVAB

As you now know, the ASVAB measures your weaknesses, strengths, and potential for future success. The Air Force judges their new recruits in four main areas: administrative, electronics, general, and mechanical.

Once your recruiter deems you ready to take your exam, you will need to complete your exam at a Military Entrance Processing Station, also known as a MEPS. MEPS is a Department of Defense joint-service organization where there are civilian and military professionals. There are currently 65 MEPS across the United States.

There Aren’t Any MEPs Near Me

If there aren’t any MEPS near you, you can take the exam at a Military Entrance Test site. These test sites are often in National Guard armories, government buildings, or Reserve centers. Regardless of where you test, make sure that you bring your ID, or you will not gain access to the testing room.

Computer Administration of the ASVAB

There are two ways you can take the ASVAB. Some sites have paper and pencil exams, whereas others have computer administered exams.

The computer version of this exam is called the CAT-ASVAB, and it is an adaptive test. This means that the exam will adapt to each test taker’s ability.

You have the opportunity to take the exam at your own pace, meaning that you can move on to the next part of the exam without waiting for others. You have two hours to complete the exam, and you will receive your score immediately after you finish. If you need to go back to change an answer, you won’t be able to.

Paper and Pencil Administration

With paper and pencil administrations, you will need to follow the instructor’s instructions in the room. Once you complete a set of questions in the exam, you can review your answers and make changes if needed, but once you move on from that section, you can’t go back.

You also cannot move on to the next section unless the instructor advises you to do so. The exam takes between 3 to 4 hours, and each subtest contains a set number of questions and a time limit.

Once you finish the exam, you will pass your answer sheet to the instructor, and they will review your answers. You should hear about your results within a few days.

How to Prepare for the ASVAB

The ASVAB exam is one of the most significant exams you will take when enlisting into the Air Force. If you genuinely want to pursue a career in the Air Force, you will need to be well prepared for this exam.

ASVAB Subtests

The subtests on the ASVAB are designed to measure your aptitude in math, verbal, spatial, science, and technical domains. You will be tested on your knowledge of biological and physical sciences, your ability to solve arithmetic word problems, and your ability to obtain information from a written passage. You will also be expected to select the correct meaning of a word in its context and apply knowledge of electronics and electricity and high school math.

The subtests of the ASVAB include:

While doing well on every section is important, the four most critical subjects are Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, and Word Knowledge, as they make up what is called your AFQT score. Your AFQT score determines which military jobs might be a good fit for you. If your AFQT score is too low, it might prevent you from joining the military at all. To ensure that you get the score you need on the ASVAB, make sure you study for it in advance. Taking ASVAB practice tests, reading study guides, and quizzing yourself using flashcards can go a long way to increase your knowledge base and test-taking confidence.

What Should I Bring?

Regardless of whether you are taking the paper and pencil or computer-administered exam, you should bring a valid ID. In addition to bringing your state-issued ID, you should also bring your birth certificate and Social Security card. If your recruiter advised you to bring any other documents, make sure to have those on hand when you show up as well. You are not allowed to bring your own pencils, scratch paper, or calculators.

Additional Considerations Before ASVAB

Before the day of your exam, make sure that you get enough rest. The higher your score is on your ASVAB, the better chance you will have in getting the Air Force job you want.

Dress Code

When at MEPS, make sure that you dress accordingly. Because you are entering into a government agency, you want to ensure that you wear appropriate clothes. This means no offensive words or pictures on your clothes. Hats and earrings are also prohibited at MEP facilities.

What Happens After You Pass?

Typically, after you pass your ASVAB, you will have to undergo a physical exam. When processing you through the Military Entrance Processing Station, your jobs counselor will take a look at the jobs you qualified for and which of them you are willing to train for.

Depending on the needs of the Air Force, you may enter one of the jobs that you have an interest in, or the Air Force will put you into one that better fits your strengths.

When you receive your enlistment agreement, read it over before you agree or sign anything. Once you sign that document, it is nearly impossible to have it changed.

Prepare for BMT

Once you’ve passed all the requirements needed to make it into the Air Force and signed your enlistment agreement, you will go into a DEP. A DEP is a Delayed Entry Program which means you’re waiting for your departure date for BMT (Basic Military Training). While you wait for your departure date, you should work on physically conditioning your body.

Benefits of Joining the Air Force

Joining the Air Force comes with many different benefits, including a base salary and affordable health insurance for you and your family. The salary in the Air Force dramatically varies depending on your rank and your years of service. Although everyone has a base pay rate, those who work in more in-demand jobs or hazardous jobs usually receive bonus payments in addition to their base salary.

Health and Life Insurance

The Air Force provides airmen and their families with high-quality insurance plans. These plans come with exceptional rates and low costs.

They include comprehensive dental and medical care at both civilian and military facilities. Airmen and airwomen also receive full pay and 30 vacation days.

Food and Housing

The Air Force will take care of your basic needs, including maintenance, utilities, and living expenses if you live on-base. If you choose to live off-base, you will receive a monthly tax-free housing allowance based on your rank, geographic location, and family status.


After being in the service for at least 20 years, you can start to receive retirement benefits when you retire. The retirement plan through the Air Force does not have any payroll deductions.

If you wish to save a little more each month, you can participate in the Air Force’s Thrift Savings Plan. This plan allows you to place an additional portion of your monthly pay into an account that mimics a 401(k).

Pass Your Exams With Flying Colors

As long as you meet Air Force requirements and study hard for your ASVAB exam, you won’t have any issues enlisting into the Air Force. Becoming an airwoman or airman will help you grow mentally and physically as you continue through your program. You also receive a slew of benefits that will sustain you and your family if needed.

If you are ready to enlist in the Air Force but need help with studying for the ASVAB we’re here to help! If you have any questions or concerns about the test material, you can reach out to our team.

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