Air Force Intelligence Officers coordinate intelligence operations and are often compared to CIA agents or logistics officers. They often work with other government entities or branches of the military to perform collaborative efforts.
An intelligence officer’s job is to gather intelligence, synthesize and analyze it, then provide that information to commanders to protect their personnel.
On any given day, an Air Force Intelligence Officer might:
- Direct, manage, plan, and execute intelligence activities
- Collect, exploit, analyze, and produce intelligence information
- Detect information through signals, images, measurements, and other data
- Collect intelligence through technological, industrial, and geographical means
An intelligence officer job is considered one of the best positions in the Air Force, and can offer benefits such as:
- Travel opportunities
- Education and other financial benefits
- Control over your career path
- Opportunities for growth and learning
- Decent hours and weekends off
- Positive work environment
So, how do you become an Air Force Intelligence Officer? Here, we’re going over the requirements and qualifications, the training you’ll need, intelligence officer pay scales, and more.
Intelligence Officer: Air Force Requirements and Qualifications
As with most positions in the military, as you move up the rankings, some requirements and qualifications need to be met. To secure a job as an intelligence officer in the Air Force you’ll need to meet the following minimum requirements and qualifications.
Minimum Requirements to Become an Air Force Intelligence Officer:
- Must be a member of the U.S. Air Force
- Must be between the ages of 18 and 39 years old
- Must hold a bachelor’s degree in at least one of these fields: Social sciences, science, humanities, engineering, mathematics, or structured analysis
Minimum Qualifications to Become an Air Force Intelligence Officer:
- Completion of Air Force Intelligence Officer Training
- Completion of 12 months of commissioned services after finishing the initial training course
- Completion of a current Single Scope Background Investigation
- Completion of Officer Training School (OTS), the Air Force Academy, or Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps
Air Force Intelligence Officer Training
If you’re interested in becoming an Air Force Intelligence Officer, there’s a career path that you’ll likely want to follow. As you’ve seen, you must enter the position meeting certain requirements, the first of which is becoming an officer in the U.S. Air Force.
You can reach the position of officer in one of four ways:
- Attend OTS after earning an undergraduate or graduate degree
- Attend the U.S. Air Force Academy
- Join Air Force ROTC in college
- Enlist in the Air Force and work your way up toward becoming an officer
Each of these four paths has different timelines and it’s best to talk to your recruiter about the choice that would be best for you, your education history, and your circumstances.
Keep in mind, if you enter the Air Force as an officer, you will not be required to attend Air Force Basic Training. However, OTS lasts 9.5 weeks and serves as an unofficial “Officer Basic Training.”
To move onto becoming an intelligence officer, you’ll then need to complete the Air Force Intelligence Officer Initial Skills Course.
This course will take place at Goodfellow Air Force Base and lasts for 6.5 months. However, four months in, you’ll receive your assignment. Here, you’ll learn how to:
- Perform and lead intelligence activities
- Oversee the analysis and merging of intelligence activities
- Develop plans and policies for intelligence activities
- Develop and produce accurate intelligence analysis
- Integrate intelligence and combat operations
- Understand intelligence policies
U.S. Air Force Intelligence Officer Pay Scale
As with many other defense jobs and positions in the military, how much you’ll be paid as an Air Force Intelligence Officer depends on a few factors including rank and length of service.
To give you a decent idea of the pay scale of an intelligence officer, below are the average monthly pay rates of Air Force officer rankings with less than two years of service.
- O-1: $3,188.50
- O-2: $3,673.48
- O-3: $4,451.45
- O-4: $4,835.52
- O-5: $5,604.23
Overall, pursuing the position of an intelligence officer is a way to enjoy a challenging and rewarding career in the Air Force and beyond. Not only will you be working with allied forces to help secure the safety of both soldiers and civilians, but you’ll have opportunities outside the Air Force as well.
Many Air Force Intelligence Officers go on to work in police forces, in civilian jobs within the military, with private corporations doing intelligence work, at customs agencies, and in other intelligence-based industries.
Long story short, becoming an intelligence officer is an interesting and fulfilling career that’s worth looking into. Talk to your recruiter about the steps you can take to secure an intelligence career in the Air Force.