As technology becomes more and more advanced, we’re reaping the benefits of these new tools. But, with new technological opportunities comes a greater security risk, especially when it comes to sensitive military information.
Air Force Cyber Security is responsible for detecting, deflecting, and preventing cyber security threats. To ensure the safety of computer networks and online connections, cyber surety specialists (as they’re called) in the Air Force work to keep information safe wherever technology is involved.
Here, we’re going into more detail about what’s required to work in the Air Force Cyber Security department, how much you could get paid, what training is necessary, and more.
Cyber Security Air Force
Working in the cyber security department of the Air Force is one of the most sought after and rewarding jobs you can have in the military. You might be thinking that it requires a ton of specialized skills — yes, you will need certain aptitudes, but the qualifications are easier to attain than you might think.
The qualifications to work in cyber security for the Air Force include:
- A minimum education of a high school diploma, a GED with 15 college credits, or a GED
- Passing the general ASVAB with a composite score of at least 64
- Knowledge of information systems
- Completion of a current Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI)
- Completion of eight and a half weeks of Basic Training
- Being between the ages of 17 and 39 years old
- Being a U.S. citizen
Still, it should be noted that even though these requirements don’t seem super rigorous, the Air Force is one of the toughest branches of the military to join. Plus, even though it’s not required to have advanced math and computer science qualifications, it’s definitely an advantage if you do.
Be sure to talk with your recruiter about your skills, education level, and special interests that might help with your journey to becoming a Cyber Surety Specialist in the Air Force.
Air Force Cyber Security Officer
You don’t necessarily need to be at the officer level to work in Air Force Cyber Security. However, officers get paid significantly more than enlisted Airmen.
There are a few ways to become an officer in the Air Force. You can be commissioned after earning at least your Bachelor’s degree, you can attend Officer Candidate School (OSC) to work your way up, or you can go to the Air Force Academy to earn your degree and enter as an officer.
Air Force Cyber Security Salary
The median salary of someone who works in cyber security for the Air Force is $67,000 annually and as you move up the ranks, you’ll have opportunities to earn more and more.
Plus, as previously mentioned, officers will make significantly more money than their enlisted counterparts, so if you’re in it for the money, it’s prudent to work on becoming an officer.
But pay is not only about rank. It’s also about how long you’ve been serving in the Air Force. All of these factors compound to determine how much you’ll be paid. It’s also common to receive bonuses and you’ll be offered 30 days of vacation time per year.
Overall, the Cyber Surety department of the Air Force offers some of the highest paying positions available with a solid focus on work/life balance.
Air Force Cyber Security Jobs
Especially if you have an interest in intelligence, computers, and computer science, a job as an Air Force Cyber Security Airman will suit you perfectly. Your title will be an Air Force Cyber Security Specialist and you’ll handle highly technical job duties such as:
- Conducting IA risk and vulnerability assessments
- Ensuring enterprise IA policies fully support legal and regulatory requirements
- Ensuring IA policies are applied in new and existing IT throughout the Air Force
- Auditing and enforcing compliance initiatives
- Looking into security incidents
- Conducting IT forensic investigations
- Keeping up to date with the latest cybersecurity best practices
Air Force Cyber Security Training
To become an Airman in the Cyber Security field (AFSC 3D0X3), there are a few steps involved in the training process.
First, you’ll attend Basic Training for eight and a half weeks. Here, you’ll learn to be a soldier with physical examinations and mental stamina training. Everyone in the military does it and it’s simply part of earning your wings.
From there, you’ll attend technical school for 50 days in Mississippi at Keesler Air Force Base. Then, you’ll be given your permanent assignment where you enter a 5-level upgrade training.
Once you reach the rank of staff sergeant you’ll enter another upgrade training but this time with seven levels where you’ll learn craftsman skills including supervisory duties. You’ll have the opportunity to promote to senior master sergeant which converts to Cyber Operations Superintendent.
On average, the time it takes to promote through the ranks are as follows:
- Airman (E-2): 6 months
- Airman First Class (E-3) 16 months
- Senior Airman (E-4): 3 years
- Staff Sergeant (E-5): 5 years
- Technical Sergeant (E-6): 10.8 years
- Master Sergeant (E-7): 16.1 years
- Senior Master Sergeant (E-8): 19.7 years
- Chief Master Sergeant (E-9): 22.3 years
Keep in mind, these are promotions based on enlisting in the Air Force versus being commissioned as an officer. Officers enter the military at an E-4 so the three years it usually takes to promote to that level are seen as completed during college.
Air Force Reserve Cyber Security
So, how does all this sound to you?
If you’re interested in computers, technology, security, analysis, and IT, working as a Cyber Surety Specialist in the Air Force could be the perfect job for you. From its competitive salary to the rewarding day-to-day responsibilities, not to mention the growing technology sector worldwide, Cyber Security personnel are in demand.
Talk to an Air Force recruiter today about taking the right steps toward working in cyber security and enjoy a challenging, yet rewarding career in the military.