About the Job

Air Force Aeronautical Engineers lead an engineering team to help create and deliver Australian Defence Force (ADF) capability by applying engineering principles to acquire, sustain, maintain, and manage technology. They work on state aircraft, infrastructure, weapons, ancillary technical equipment and related aviation ground combat support systems like RADAR, SONAR, IT and networks; and operate within a defined engineering management framework comprising relevant ADF regulations and procedural guidance.

As an Aerospace Engineer in the Air Force you would be able to be employed in roles where you are responsible for regulation, design, project management, logistics support and technical maintenance, to ensure technology is safely, efficiently and effectively employed to generate the required ADF capability. Additionally, as an Officer you are also responsible for the leadership, management, and welfare of technical and logistics personnel within the engineering environment.

You will be posted and rotated around new roles approximately every 3 years to gain the depth and breadth of experience required to develop you as a competent engineering leader with increasing levels of responsibility along the way.

There are three Aerospace Engineer specialisations that all have similar roles. These are:

  • Aeronautical (AERO) - responsible for aircraft structures, propulsion and associated mechanical systems and ground support equipment
  • Armament (ARMO) - responsible for weapons, weapons systems and associated test equipment and bomb disposal; and
  • Electronic/Electrical (ELECTR) - responsible for airborne power generation and distribution, electronic/electrical control systems, instrument and navigation systems, automatic test equipment, communications, and RADAR and SONAR equipment, heavy ground radar, ground telecommunication equipment and computer networks. ELECTR Officers can further specialise into aircraft related systems or Ground telecommunications related systems.
Roles of an Aerospace Engineering Officer

After you complete Initial Officer Training you will undertake a Professional Development and Training (PD&T) year during which time you will rotate around different roles on a base every few months and undergo your Initial Employment Training. After completing your PD&T year, your first or second posting will likely be Maintenance Engineering or Engineering Management.

The roles of Aerospace Engineers (AERO, ARMO and ELECTR) include:

  • Maintenance Engineering. Your initial employment in the Air Force would usually be as the officer in charge of a team of technical personnel and facilities associated with day to day maintenance and equipment overhaul at either a maintenance unit, or flying squadron. You will be one of up to half a dozen junior engineers under the guidance of the Senior Engineering Officer, responsible for contributing to the availability of airworthy aircraft or associated equipment by ensuring safe work practices and that other regulatory requirements are met. A flying squadron usually presents opportunities for travel and participation in operations and exercises in Australia and overseas.
  • Engineering Management. A posting to an Engineering Management role usually involves working in a Systems Program Office (SPO) within the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG). SPOs provide engineering and logistics support to wings, squadrons and units. During the service life of an aircraft or item of technical equipment, Air Force Aerospace Engineers may lead a team to: monitor failure; evaluate proposed modifications and repair schemes; supervise and evaluate equipment trials; manage repair contracts; liaise with regulatory authorities; prepare financial estimates; and provide technical and logistics solutions to operational availability issues. To assist in those tasks you will have access to external organisations where you will liaise closely with your civilian counterparts. An engineering management role presents a great opportunity to build systems knowledge and work towards gaining Chartered Professional Engineering status with Engineers Australia.
  • Project management. As you progress through your career you can be posted into project management roles. These are typically within the CASG and involve either the engineering and maintenance aspects of large acquisition projects (e.g. the purchase of new aircraft and associated weapon systems), or as the manager of a specific engineering or maintenance project (e.g. the F/A 18 Hornet Upgrade Project) within a SPO. Project management roles often present opportunities for travel and the development of your business acumen.
  • Design Engineering. The Air Force needs professional engineers to sign off on the integrity of a system or piece of equipment to ensure continued airworthiness and safety. You may be posted to a position within a SPO, a regulatory authority, or a niche role (e.g. aerial delivery, operational test and evaluation etc) where you will develop your engineering authority so that you can make technical decisions on engineering changes such as software upgrades, modifications to equipment, system safety, and the approval of structural repairs to name a few. Later in your career, design engineering roles give you the opportunity for overseas Masters Programs sponsored by the technical airworthiness regulatory authority.
  • Any officer roles (ANYO). Officers in the Air Force may also undertake a posting to an ANY role at some stage during their careers. Examples include instructor/training roles and staff officer roles. This helps to broaden the skill set of an Engineering Officer in preparation for more senior roles.

With the constant introduction of new aircraft (Joint Strike Fighter for example) and equipment to Air Force, life as an Aerospace Engineering Officer is constantly challenging and changing. The Air Force provides many internal courses as well as offering the chance of post-graduate training, workshops and seminars at external institutions to help you meet these new challenges throughout your career.


Key Information

Preparing for Your Recruitment Process

This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.

Salary & Allowances

In the Air Force you'll get paid a good salary from day one regardless of your age, experience or qualifications; and your pay increases as you progress through training.

In addition to your salary you'll receive a variety of allowances, extra pay for relevant qualifications – plus 16.4% superannuation, a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.


For more details download our Salary Scales.


Locations

You may be posted to any Air Force Base within Australia or possibly overseas, although overseas posting are limited.


Requirements

Age

Applicants must be a minimum of 17 years of age on day of entry.

Applicants will not normally be allowed to enter the ADF until they achieve a minimum of 17 years of age, however they may be able to initiate the application process from 16 years of age.

Maximum age on entry is 50 years of age.Maximum age guidelines are set to ensure Return of Service Obligations (ROSO) are met prior to the compulsory retirement age of 60.

Education & Experience

The requirements for acceptance into ADFA for an Aeronautical Engineer Officer career are completion of Year 12 with passes in English, Mathematics, a Physics based subject and one other board developed course (or state equivalent) subject.

ACT students must achieve a Tertiary Entrance Statement "scaled score" of 125 or above in the following eligible subjects:
  • English (T), English/Literature (T), ESL (T), ESL-English (T) or Literature (T). Accredited (A) English is acceptable for the ADF when there are 4 Tertiary (T) courses including at least 3 Tertiary Majors and 1 Tertiary Minor subject.
  • Mathematics Methods (T) is the minimum requirement. Specialist Mathematics (T) is highly desirable.
  • Physics (T), Engineering Studies (T) or Flight (T).
NSW students must achieve Band 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 in the following eligible subjects:
  • English Extension 2, English Extension 1, English Advanced or English Standard. Band 4, 5 or 6 must be achieved if English as a Second Language (ESL) or English as an Additional Language/Dialect (EAL/D) was studied.
  • Mathematics 2 Unit or Mathematics Advanced is the minimum requirement. Mathematics extension 1 and/or Mathematics Extension 2 are highly desirable.
  • Physics or Engineering Studies.
NT and SA students must achieve an A, B or C grade in the following eligible subjects:
  • Essential English (previously known as English Communication), English, English Literary Studies or English as an Additional Language. Alternatively, applicants may achieve the required grades at Year 11 English and a pass in a language rich subject at Year 12.
  • NT: Mathematical Methods, Mathematical Studies or Maths 1 is the minimum requirement. Specialist Mathematics or Maths 2 is highly desirable. SA: Mathematical Methods (Level 4) is the minimum requirement. Mathematics Specialised (Level 4) is highly desirable.
  • Physics.
QLD students must achieve an A, B or C grade in the following eligible subjects:
  • English Extension, English & Literature Extension, English, Literature, English, English for ESL or English as an Additional Language.
  • Mathematical Methods or Mathematics B is the minimum requirement. Specialist Mathematics or Mathematics C is highly desirable.
  • Physics or Engineering Technology.
  • TAS students must achieve a grade of Exceptional Achievement (EA), High Achievement (HA), Commendable Achievement (CA) or Satisfactory Achievement, (SA) in the following eligible subjects:
    • English (Level 3), English Literature (level 3), English Writing (level 3) or English as an Additional Language/Dialect (level 3).
    • Mathematical Methods (level 4). Mathematics Specialised (level 4) is highly desirable.
    • Physics (level 4).
    VIC students must achieve an A, B or C grade in the following eligible subjects:
    • English, English Literature, English as an Additional Language (EAL) (previously English as a Second Language (ESL)) or English Language.
    • Mathematics Methods is the minimum requirement. Specialist Mathematics is highly desirable.
    • Physics or Systems Engineering.
    WA students must achieve an A, B or C grade in the following eligible subjects:
    • English ATAR, Literature ATAR, English as an Additional Language/Dialect ATAR.
    • Mathematical Methods ATAR, Mathematics 3A/B or Applicable Maths are the minimum required. Mathematics Specialist ATAR, Mathematics 3C/D, Calculus are highly desirable.
    • Physics, Engineering Studies or Aviation.
    International Baccalaureate (IB) students must achieve a score of 3 or higher is a pass for ‘Higher Level’ (HL) subjects, or a score of 4 or above for ‘Standard Level’ (SL) subjects. Eligible subjects are:
    • English A variants (HL or SL) or Literature and Performance (SL). English B (SL or HL) is acceptable if an IB score of 5, 6 or 7 (out of 7) was achieved.
    • Mathematics (SL) is the minimum required. Mathematics (HL) and Further Mathematics (HL) are highly desirable.
    • Physics.
    The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.5 (with at least 6.0 achieved in each test area) on the 'Academic test' is equivalent to year 12 English.

    All applicants must also obtain an entrance rank high enough to qualify for entry into the Bachelor degree in (Insert degree to match job role) Engineering program at ADFA.

    As well as applying to the Air Force for entry, applicants must also apply to the Universities Admissions Centre for entry to the University of New South Wales when applications for the target year opens. The UAC website is: www.uac.edu.au

    This entry mode attracts a debt greater than the maximum rate of HECS due to the higher costs associated with ADFA studies ($25,000 per annum). In general terms, this debt accrues (increases) whilst undertaking study, with the maximum debt reached on completion of study. Once the period of study has ended, the debt begins to acquit (reduce) for the remainder of your Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS). Once the IMPS period is complete, there is no remaining debt.

    Medical & Fitness

    To be enlisted or appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.

    You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness test before appointment.

    For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

    Period of Service

    When you embark on a career as an Aeronautical Engineer through ADFA you'll be appointed for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of nine years.

    IMPS commences on appointment as an Officer in the Air Force, however there is a grace period. This allows you to leave with no obligation if you change your mind and submit an application to resign at any time up to the end of either the first or second year of academic studies and is subject to approval.

    Subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to ADF needs and your suitability for further service. You may tender your resignation at any time provided you do not have an outstanding IMPS obligation and give a minimum of three months' notice.

    Additional Requirements

    Licence Requirements:

    At a minimum, candidates must hold a valid Australian State or Territory provisional/probationary C Class Drivers Licence upon graduation from ADFA. Although candidates may not need to have any form of driver’s licence upon entry they are expected to attain their licence, in their own time and expense, while at ADFA.

    Aptitude

    The Job Opportunities Assessment (JOA) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete a further evaluation at a later date.

    The JOA is used by Defence to establish suitability for ADF entry, and then identify jobs that best match your abilities.

    Further information about the JOA can be found in the Guide to the Job Opportunities Assessment for the ADF.

    To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in the Job Opportunities Assessment and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Job Opportunities Assessment Example Questions.

    Citizenship

    To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.

    If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary deferral of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.

    Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

    Security Requirements

    The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have a security clearance appropriate to their employment.

    A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and if required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.

    The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1 (NV1), and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years.

    This means applicants must provide credible referees (non-family members) who are able to provide information about the applicant covering an extended period of time. Required information for an NV1 includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    • Residence
    • Employment
    • Education
    • Financial information
    • Travel

    Some ADF jobs may require a higher level of security clearance such as Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2) or Positive Vetting (PV). Your individual circumstances will determine the number and complexity of the questions and the supporting documents required for these levels.

    Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.

    The security clearance is critical to an applicant's successful progression through the recruiting process. It is strongly recommended that all applicants action the Security Clearance Package (ePack) and provide the required documentation without delay to provide the best opportunity to commence training and be employed in their preferred employment category.

    For more detailed information on the security vetting process and specific clearance level requirements set by AGSVA, please refer to the AGSVA website.

    Support will be provided by DFR during the initial application process.

    Training

    Military Training

    Once you are settled in to the ADFA you will undertake four weeks of military Year One Familiarisation Training (YOFT), to prepare you for Service life. This is followed by the annual Chief of the Defence Force Parade, after which the academic year commences.

    In between your academic studies, six hours a week are allocated to military training; this consists of Joint Military Education and Training (JMET) for all three Services as well as Single Service Training (SST).

    SST blocks are held at the beginning and end of the year. Through this program cadets gain equivalent skills to those gained by non-ADFA applicants taking the Initial Officers Course.

    During JMET you will learn about and get involved with:

    • Defence strategies,

    • Psychology and leadership,

    • Drug and alcohol awareness,

    • Military law,

    • Physical and recreational training,

    • Military drill and ceremonial training,

    • Weapons training,

    • Field training,

    • Character development,

    • English and military communications and

    • Study skills.

    You will also have breaks in study to go on academic field trips, military tours, excursions and adventure training exercises (including five weeks at the Officers' Training School, East Sale, VIC in Year 2).

    Employment Training

     Initial Employment Training

    Once you have finished your Military Training and are posted, you'll complete a 3-week Aerospace Engineering Initial course at RAAF Base Wagga within 12 months of your first posting.

    Aerospace Engineer Initial

    The aim of the Aerospace Engineer Officer Initial Course is to graduate personnel with the underpinning knowledge, skills and attitudes required to fulfill an Aerospace Engineering Officer position within the Australian Defence Organisation engineering environment, including a high level overview of technical integrity regulatory system and process.

    Mainly lecture based, with a visit to the Defence Aviation Safety Authority (DASA) and practical exercise components. The course consists of theory and practical instruction in the management of technical personnel, ADF engineering and maintenance practice, the use of ADF technical publications and occupational safety. The course is normally completed within the first year of being commissioned as an Aerospace Engineering Officer.

    Aerospace Engineering Maintenance - 10 days - RAAF Wagga, NSW

    Learn about DASA 145 regulations certification, managing maintenance activities, aircraft emergency management, managing aircraft corrosion, allotment of aircraft, managing aircraft life support equipment, drafting technical reports, aircraft weight and balance, and maintenance publications.

    OR

    Aerospace Engineering Logistics - 10 days - RAAF Wagga, NSW

    Learn to work effectively in engineering support and project management roles, such as in Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) acquisition and sustainment programs, and DASA 21J regulations.

    Further Training

    Further specialist courses provide Engineers with specific knowledge on the functions of their specialisation and are normally completed within the first 12 months of service.

    Civilian Recognition
    ADF Senior Engineers will become Members of Engineers Australia, and depending on their qualifications and experience, they will be concurrently chartered in the Leadership and Management College of EA as a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEngA). They will also be offered an additional technical Area of Practice depending on their employment history, qualifications and training. Junior Engineers are able to self-fund their accreditation at a discounted application rate and a discounted annual membership rate.

    Key Information

    Preparing for Your Recruitment Process

    This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.

    Salary & Allowances

    In the Air Force you'll get paid a good salary from day one regardless of your age, experience or qualifications; and your pay increases as you progress through training.

    In addition to your salary you'll receive a variety of allowances, extra pay for relevant qualifications – plus 16.4% superannuation, a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.


    For more details download our Salary Scales.


    Locations

    You may be posted to any Air Force Base within Australia or possibly overseas, although overseas posting are limited.


    Requirements

    Age

    Applicants must be a minimum of 17 years of age on day of entry. Maximum age on entry is 57 years of age.

    Education & Experience

    The minimum requirement for entry as a Bachelor of Engineering degree (that is accredited at the level of Professional Engineer by Engineers Australia) in the following: 

    • Aerospace,
    • Aeronautical,
    • Mechanical, or
    • Mechatronics

    Engineering degrees other than those listed below will be considered on a case by case basis.

    You may commence the selection process if you are in the final year of your degree and can present your completed third year academic transcript. Your appointment will be subject to successful completion of the final semester.

    Degree qualified officers normally start their careers at one rank higher that non-graduate officers.

    Medical & Fitness

    To be enlisted or appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.

    You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness test before appointment.

    For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

    Period of Service

    You will be appointed for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of two years. Subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service. You may tender your resignation at any time provided you do not have an outstanding IMPS obligation and provide a minimum of three months notice.

    Additional Requirements

    Licence Requirements:

    At a minimum, candidates must hold a valid Australian State or Territory provisional/probationary C Class Drivers Licence upon enlistment/appointment. Candidates with suspended or cancelled licences will not be eligible to join until the suspension or cancellation has been lifted or has expired.

    Aptitude

    The Job Opportunities Assessment (JOA) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete a further evaluation at a later date.

    The JOA is used by Defence to establish suitability for ADF entry, and then identify jobs that best match your abilities.

    Further information about the JOA can be found in the Guide to the Job Opportunities Assessment for the ADF.

    To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in the Job Opportunities Assessment and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Job Opportunities Assessment Example Questions.

    Citizenship

    To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.

    If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary deferral of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.

    Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

    Security Requirements

    The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have a security clearance appropriate to their employment.

    A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and if required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.

    The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1 (NV1), and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years.

    This means applicants must provide credible referees (non-family members) who are able to provide information about the applicant covering an extended period of time. Required information for an NV1 includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    • Residence
    • Employment
    • Education
    • Financial information
    • Travel

    Some ADF jobs may require a higher level of security clearance such as Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2) or Positive Vetting (PV). Your individual circumstances will determine the number and complexity of the questions and the supporting documents required for these levels.

    Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.

    The security clearance is critical to an applicant's successful progression through the recruiting process. It is strongly recommended that all applicants action the Security Clearance Package (ePack) and provide the required documentation without delay to provide the best opportunity to commence training and be employed in their preferred employment category.

    For more detailed information on the security vetting process and specific clearance level requirements set by AGSVA, please refer to the AGSVA website.

    Support will be provided by DFR during the initial application process.

    Training

    Military Training

    Initial Military Training
    Initial Officer Training: 17 Weeks

    Immediately upon joining the Air Force, direct entry officers will normally undertake the Initial Officer Course of 17 weeks duration. This is a live-in course completed at RAAF Base East Sale, located 220 kilometres east of Melbourne (VIC).

    The major elements of the course involve introduction to military life, Air Force values and attitudes, ground defence and weapons training, leadership and personal development, communication skills and Air Force operations studies.

    Further details on officer training are available on the Officers Training School website.

    During Initial Military Training and (Initial) Employment Training, members may be required to pay a contribution towards meals, accommodation and utilities.

    Employment Training

    Once you have finished your Initial Military Training and are posted, you'll complete a 3-week Aerospace Engineering Initial course at RAAF Base Wagga within 12 months of your first posting.

    Aerospace Engineer Initial

    The aim of the Aerospace Engineer Officer Initial Course is to graduate personnel with the underpinning knowledge, skills and attitudes required to fulfill an Aerospace Engineering Officer position within the Australian Defence Organisation engineering environment, including a high level overview of technical integrity regulatory system and process.

    Mainly lecture based, with a visit to the Defence Aviation Safety Authority (DASA) and practical exercise components. The course consists of theory and practical instruction in the management of technical personnel, ADF engineering and maintenance practice, the use of ADF technical publications and occupational safety. The course is normally completed within the first year of being commissioned as an Aerospace Engineering Officer.

    Aerospace Engineering Maintenance - 10 days - RAAF Wagga, NSW

    Learn about DASA 145 regulations,certification, managing maintenance activities, aircraft emergency management, managing aircraft corrosion, allotment of aircraft, managing aircraft life support equipment, drafting technical reports, aircraft weight and balance, and maintenance publications.

    OR

    Aerospace Engineering Logistics - 10 days - RAAF Wagga, NSW

    Learn to work effectively in engineering support and project management roles, such as in Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) acquisition and sustainment programs, and DASA 21J regulations.

    Further Training

    Further specialist courses provide Engineers with specific knowledge on the functions of their specialisation and the tasks for which they are responsible. This training will be provided as required.

    Civilian Recognition
    ADF Senior Engineers will become Members of Engineers Australia, and depending on their qualifications and experience, they will be concurrently chartered in the Leadership and Management College of EA as a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEngA). They will also be offered an additional technical Area of Practice depending on their employment history, qualifications and training. Junior Engineers are able to self-fund their accreditation at a discounted application rate and a discounted annual membership rate.

    This entry method is currently not recruiting

    Key Information

    Preparing for Your Recruitment Process

    This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.

    Salary Information

    In the Air Force you'll get paid a good salary from day one regardless of your age, experience or qualifications; and your salary increases as you progress through training.

    In addition to your salary you could receive a variety of allowances specific to your service - plus superannuation at a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.

    Your starting salary

    When you first join the Air Force and while studying for your degree at the university of your choice, you will be paid:

    4 years to graduation                     $34,633
    3 years to graduation                     $40,790
    2 years to graduation                     $46,947
    In final year                                      $53,104

    Please note these figures do not include compulsory deductions for tax, meals, accommodation and utilities (as applicable).

    Salaries continue to increase based on your rank and years of service.

    In addition to this package you will receive free medical and dental care, substantial housing and accommodation subsidies.

    For more details download our Salary Scales.

    Locations

    You may be posted to any Air Force Base within Australia or possibly overseas, although overseas posting are limited.


    Requirements

    Age

    Applicants must be a minimum of 17 years of age on day of entry. The maximum age for entry is such that an applicant must be able to complete their degree, any periods of postgraduate experience, or professional development placements and their IMPS obligation incurred under the scheme prior to compulsory retirement age (normally 60 years of age).

    Education & Experience

    You may commence the selection process if you have completed at least 6 months of a four year Bachelor of Engineering Degree and can present your first semester academic transcript. Your appointment will be subject to successful completion of:

    • Completion of at least one full year of study,
    • Having no more than three years of study outstanding to complete all the requirements for the award of your degree,
    • Year 12 completion (NSW Higher School Certificate or equivalent) with passes in English, Mathematics, Physics and one other board developed course (or state equivalent ) subject.

    Degrees that may be sponsored for this role are Bachelor of Engineering in:

    • Aerospace,
    • Aeronautical,
    • Mechanical, or
    • Mechatronics.

    Engineering degrees other than those listed will be considered on a case by case basis. Applicants attempting Double Degrees will only receive funding allocation for one degree.

    This entry mode attracts a debt roughly similar to the maximum rate of HECS costs ($10,000 per annum). In general terms, this debt accrues (increases) whilst you are undertaking study, with the maximum debt reached on completion of study. Once the period of study has ended, the debt begins to acquit (reduce) for the remainder of your IMPS. Once the IMPS period is complete, there is no remaining debt.

    Applicants who are currently in Year 12, or due to finish Year 12 and are able to provide confirmation of acceptance/enrolment into a relevant degree pathway will be considered on a case by case basis to commence an application. Applicants will then be able to progress to Officer Selection Board prior to gaining first semester university results. All applicants must be able to confirm successful university results before appointment.

    Medical & Fitness

    To be enlisted or appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.

    You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness test before appointment.

    For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

    Period of Service

    You will be appointed for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) dependant on your length of sponsorship. Any requirement for post-graduation experience articles will be incorporated in your IMPS. 

    Subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service. You may tender your resignation at any time provided you do not have an outstanding IMPS obligation and provide a minimum of three months notice.

    Your Careers Coach can advise on how IMPS will relate to your chosen occupation.

    Additional Requirements

    Licence Requirements:

    At a minimum, candidates must hold a valid Australian State or Territory provisional/probationary C Class Drivers Licence upon enlistment/appointment. Candidates with suspended or cancelled licences will not be eligible to join until the suspension or cancellation has been lifted or has expired.

    Aptitude

    The Job Opportunities Assessment (JOA) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete a further evaluation at a later date.

    The JOA is used by Defence to establish suitability for ADF entry, and then identify jobs that best match your abilities.

    Further information about the JOA can be found in the Guide to the Job Opportunities Assessment for the ADF.

    To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in the Job Opportunities Assessment and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Job Opportunities Assessment Example Questions.

    Citizenship

    To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.

    If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary deferral of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.

    Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

    Security Requirements

    The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have a security clearance appropriate to their employment.

    A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and if required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.

    The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1 (NV1), and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years.

    This means applicants must provide credible referees (non-family members) who are able to provide information about the applicant covering an extended period of time. Required information for an NV1 includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    • Residence
    • Employment
    • Education
    • Financial information
    • Travel

    Some ADF jobs may require a higher level of security clearance such as Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2) or Positive Vetting (PV). Your individual circumstances will determine the number and complexity of the questions and the supporting documents required for these levels.

    Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.

    The security clearance is critical to an applicant's successful progression through the recruiting process. It is strongly recommended that all applicants action the Security Clearance Package (ePack) and provide the required documentation without delay to provide the best opportunity to commence training and be employed in their preferred employment category.

    For more detailed information on the security vetting process and specific clearance level requirements set by AGSVA, please refer to the AGSVA website.

    Support will be provided by DFR during the initial application process.

    Training

    Military Training

    Initial Military Training
    Initial Officer Training: 1 week + 17 Weeks

    During your first year of sponsorship you'll attend a one-week Familiarisation Course at RAAF Base East Sale, VIC. This will introduce you to basic military protocols and procedures.

    Following graduation you'll undertake a 17-week Initial Officer Course. This is a live-in course completed at RAAF Base East Sale.

    The major elements of the course involves: introduction to military life, Air Force values and attitudes, ground defence and weapons training, leadership and personal development, communication skills and Air Force operations studies.

    During Initial Military Training and any subsequent Initial Employment Training, members may be required to pay a contribution towards meals, accommodation and utilities.

    Employment Training

    Initial Employment Training  

    Once you have finished your Military Training and are posted, you'll complete a 3-week Aerospace Engineering Initial course at RAAF Base Wagga within 12 months of your first posting.

    Aerospace Engineer Initial

    The aim of the Aerospace Engineer Officer Initial Course is to graduate personnel with the underpinning knowledge, skills and attitudes required to fulfill an Aerospace Engineering Officer position within the Australian Defence Organisation engineering environment, including a high level overview of technical integrity regulatory system and process.

    Mainly lecture based, with a visit to the Defence Aviation Safety Authority (DASA) and practical exercise components. The course consists of theory and practical instruction in the management of technical personnel, ADF engineering and maintenance practice, the use of ADF technical publications and occupational safety. The course is normally completed within the first year of being commissioned as an Aerospace Engineering Officer.

    Aerospace Engineering Maintenance - 10 days - RAAF Wagga, NSW

    Learn about DASA 145 regulations, certification, managing maintenance activities, aircraft emergency management, managing aircraft corrosion, allotment of aircraft, managing aircraft life support equipment, drafting technical reports, aircraft weight and balance, and maintenance publications.

    OR

    Aerospace Engineering Logistics - 10 days - RAAF Wagga, NSW

    Learn to work effectively in engineering support and project management roles, such as in Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) acquisition and sustainment programs, and DASA 21J regulations.

    Further Training

    Further specialist courses provide Engineers with specific knowledge on the functions of their specialisation and are normally completed within the first 12 months of service.

    Civilian Recognition
    ADF Senior Engineers will become Members of Engineers Australia, and depending on their qualifications and experience, they will be concurrently chartered in the Leadership and Management College of EA as a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEngA). They will also be offered an additional technical Area of Practice depending on their employment history, qualifications and training. Junior Engineers are able to self-fund their accreditation at a discounted application rate and a discounted annual membership rate.