If you’re interested in joining the Air Force, you’re probably looking into which jobs are the best jobs available. But one person’s idea of the best job might be different from another’s.
Is it more important for you to enjoy what you do even if it means taking a pay cut? Are you looking for a high-paying job to support your growing family? Are you hoping to gain skills that you can easily use in your civilian life after your time in the Air Force?
These are all important questions to ask yourself.
Here, we’ll be going over the best jobs in the Air Force overall, the best Air Force jobs in terms of transferable skills going into civilian life, the best paying Air Force jobs, and the best Air Force jobs for officers.
Best Jobs in the Air Force
First, we’ll talk about the best overall jobs in the Air Force. These jobs are those that are enjoyable, highly compensated, and have a direct civilian equivalent.
So, if you’re interested in an all-around career in the Air Force, here are some great options along with their average annual salary:
- Cyber Systems Operator: $50,810
- Air Traffic Control: $52,386
- Operations Intelligence: $45,775
- Biomedical Equipment: $56,056
- Public Affairs Officer: $87,331
- Security Forces: $40,00
- Tactical Aircraft Maintenance: $48,811
- Flight Engineer: $64,739
- Airborne Mission Systems: $40,000
- Pilot: $102,674
Each of these above jobs will likely be just as rewarding within the Air Force as it could be outside of the military. So, whether you plan to become a career military service member or you’d eventually like to work as a civilian, you’ll do well with any of these jobs.
Best Air Force Jobs for Civilian Life
If you already know that you’re planning to join the Air Force, meet the requirements, retire, and re-join the civilian world as soon as possible, then you’ll likely be interested in an Air Force job that will offer a smooth transition into a civilian job.
These are some of the best Air Force jobs for civilian life:
- Legal Operations
- Command Post/Control Center
- Logistics Planners
- Law Enforcement
- Air Traffic Control/Airfield Operations
- Cyber Warfare
- Military Intelligence
- Air Force Pilot
For the most part, if you serve in the Air Force doing one of these jobs, you’re all but guaranteed to find work in a civilian position doing the same job as a veteran.
Another perk is that civilian jobs are often paid higher than their military counterparts, so once you have an “in” from the military, these are all fantastic jobs in the civilian world.
Best Paying Air Force Jobs
Your pay grade in the Air Force depends on your ranking and your length of service. If you’re interested in a high-paying job in the Air Force, you’ll most likely be looking at making a career in the military since it can take decades to reach the most lucrative levels in terms of salary.
For an enlisted Air Force service member, the highest-paying ranks and their median monthly salaries include:
- E-9 Chief Master Sergeant: $5,173.80
- E-8 Senior Master Sergeant: $4,235.40
- E-7 Master Sergeant: $2,944.20
- E-6 Technical Sergeant: $2,546.40
- E-5 Staff Sergeant: $2,332.80
As you can probably tell, these salaries aren’t the most impressive, especially if it takes many years to reach these levels. In the military, the best way to make money (if that’s your goal) is to become an officer.
Best Air Force Officer Jobs
There are a few ways to become an officer in the Air Force. You can enlist in the Air Force and work your way up to an officer position. Or you can be commissioned into the Air Force as an officer after already earning at least a Bachelor’s degree.
Some of the best Air Force officer jobs include:
- Navigator Field
- Space, Missile, and Command and Control
- Air Force Intelligence Officers
- Logistics Officers
- Arts and Humanities Officers
- Health and Medicine Officers
These are notable officer jobs because of the specialized skills they require. In many cases, you might also need an even higher degree than just a Bachelor’s degree. For example, someone working in health and medicine for the Air Force will require a medical degree.
Best Jobs in Air Force
Now, let’s put it all together. By combining the above information, we can deduce that the best jobs in the Air Force based on all of these factors are:
- Air Force Pilot
- Air Traffic Control
- Intelligence Officer
If you qualify for any of these positions, you’ll enjoy a challenging and rewarding career, a high-paying salary, and transferable skills if you decide to leave the Air Force and pursue a career as a civilian.
The Air Force has a plethora of amazing career options and the best job for you could be within it. Think about what gives you purpose and choose a career based on those values, not what someone else sees as the best job out there. The Air Force can be a great place to start.