About the Job

In this exciting role you'll look after the safety of the crew and passengers on board specialised transport aircraft, while ensuring their in-flight comfort.

As a Cabin Crew member (Crew Attendant), you will combine customer service skills with resourcefulness, initiative and have a high level of responsibility.

Along with Australian Defence Force personnel, your passengers will include VIP's, such as Government ministers, Australian and foreign heads of state, Royalty and guests of the Australian Government; so exemplary standards of grooming and demeanour are mandatory, as is discretion.

Cabin Crew members are often required to work unusual hours, but you will find every experience highly rewarding, as you'll travel to a variety of international and Domestic destinations. Effects of time zone, temperature and environmental changes are similar to those of your civilian counterparts, though your working environment is likely to be far more interesting, varied and challenging.

In addition to ensuring the safety of passengers and crew in emergency situations, your duties will include:

  • Assisting passengers as they embark and disembark the aircraft
  • Calculating aircraft weight and managing distribution
  • Liaising with the aircraft Captain
  • Managing the cabin
  • Providing in-flight food and beverage service
  • Compiling documentation
  • Performing general administration and housekeeping duties
  • Ordering of food and stock for each flight
  • Liaising with Customs and Quarantine authorities

Everything you do must comply with Workplace Health and Safety legislation, in which you will be fully trained. You will need to be flexible and resourceful with a strong command of the English language and have the ability and attitude to work both independently and as part of a team.

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Key Information

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 base pay you'll receive a variety of allowances - which are detailed below - plus superannuation at a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.

For more details download our Salary Scales.

Read our Conditions of Service.

Salary Calculator


After initial Cabin Crew Training, you could be posted to:

  • 33 Squadron based at RAAF Base Amberley, QLD, working on the KC-30A MRTT. The primary roles of the KC-30A, MRTT (Multi-Role Tanker Transport), a modified Airbus A330 are air-to-air refuelling and passenger transportation
  • 34 Squadron based at Fairbairn, ACT. Working on board personnel aircraft transport such as the Boeing Business Jet 737 and the CL-604 Challenger entails solely VIP transportation. Ground positions are located at RAAF Base Richmond NSW, RAAF Base Amberley QLD and RAAF Base Townsville QLD

You may also be attached to other Air Force transport aircraft squadrons for special missions.



On the day you enter the Air Force you must be between 18 and 55 years old. Subject to the capacity of your local Recruiting Centre, you may be able to start the application process aged 17 years and six months.

Education & Experience

Education Experience

The requirements for acceptance into the Air Force for Cabin Crew training are:

  • Completion of Year 10 with passes in English and Mathematics

If you do not have the required passes you may be eligible to sit an Alternative Education Equivalency assessment.

Medical & Fitness

Medical Fitness Requirements

You'll have to be both mentally and physically fit to train as a Cabin Crew member. The physical demands of the job can be high at times, with manual handling of baggage and catering in unsupported and remote locations.

At various stages during the application process you'll be assessed through (1) completion of a questionnaire relating to your medical history, (2) a physical examination, and (3) a Pre-entry Fitness Assessment (PFA).


Cabin Crew members must be at least 152cm tall and cannot be more than 183cm tall, with a Body Mass Index of between 18.5 and 32.9


For this role you will be required to pass the Air Force swim test before completing Aircrew Survival Evade Resist Escape (SERE) Course. This test will be conducted in your first couple of weeks after recruit training. The Air Force swim test requires you to:

  • Swim 200 metres, split into 150 metres freestyle or breaststroke plus 50m on your back with or without the use of arms

  • Jump in and submerge to at least one metre, swim 15 metres underwater, then approach and right an overturned craft and climb into it

  • Swim 20 metres to a person, and using recognised lifesaving methods tow the patient 20 metres and safely remove them from the water

  • Retrieve a 5kg weight from a depth of at least two metres, and

  • Tread water for ten minutes.

Find out more about our medical and physical fitness standards here.

You can read about the medical examinations and screenings, what we're looking for and assessing, when in the application process it happens, and what you'll have to wear here: Medical Process for Entry into the ADF

Period of Service

Period of Service

When you embark on a career as a Cabin Crew member you'll be appointed for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of four 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 don't have an outstanding IMPS obligation and give a minimum of three months notice.

Additional Requirements

It is desirable that you must:

  • Hold at a minimum a provisional/probationary Australian C Class drivers licence with 12 months driving experience, and
  • be able to drive a motor vehicle with a manual transmission, and
  • be free of driving infringements and/or offences that may result in future cancellation of the licence or prevent the issue of an ADF Drivers Licence.


Your Aptitude

To check you have the natural aptitude to join the Air Force your verbal, writing, spatial, numerical and maths ability will be assessed. You can find out more about these assessments here.

To be a successful Cabin Crew member you will need the following attributes:

  • Good physical fitness
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • Sound communications skills
  • Good problem-solving and troubleshooting skills
  • The ability to work independently, as well as in a team environment

Your suitability

During the selection process you'll appear before an Interview Selection Board, consisting of a President, a Cabin Crew specialist member and a Psychologist. You'll be assessed on the following criteria that will determine your ability to perform prominent representational duties:

  • Appearance and bearing
  • Integrity and personal ethics
  • Intellectual and social drives
  • Leadership potential
  • Motivation
  • Communication skills
  • Vocational compatibility

The Board President will advise you if you have been successful on the day, however you will go in competition with other candidates, and will be advised soon after if you have been successful in gaining a position.


Only Australian citizens are permitted to serve in the ADF.

If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary waiver 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 entrants to attain a security clearance appropriate to their avenue of entry. Details on the security requirements for all Air Force jobs can be found here.


Military Training

Duration: 10.6 weeks

Location: RAAF Base Wagga (NSW)

You'll start your Air Force career at No 1 Recruit Training Unit (1RTU). In three intensive months you'll transition smoothly from civilian to Service life, acquiring the basic knowledge, skills and physical fitness required for your role; and learning to become an effective and productive member of the Air Force.

You can read about what to expect at the No.1 Recruit Training Unit on the 1RTU website.

Employment Training

Employment Training


Airman Aircrew Initial Course

Duration: 2 weeks

Location: 285SQN, RAAF Richmond, NSW

Introduces students to a variety of aviation principles including:

  • Air Traffic Control
  • Meteorology
  • Basic theory of flight
  • First aid
  • Crew Resource Management
  • Aviation Risk Management

Aviation Medicine

Duration: 1 week

Location: School of Aviation Medicine, RAAF Edinburgh, SA

  • Prepares aircrew for the physiological effects of flying
  • Teaches theory and practical exposure using a hypobaric chamber

Aircrew Survival Evade Resist Escape (SERE) Course

Duration: 13 days

Location: Combat Survival Training School, RAAF Townsville, QLD

  • Trains aircrew who may be forced down or separated from friendly forces in a combat environment
  • Teaches evasion, resistance to interrogation, indoctrination and exploitation, and escape
  • Involves practical exercises conducted in the sea and along the coast, and in arid and jungle environments
  • Includes a swimming component
  • Culminates in an evasion and capture scenario

Dangerous Goods Awareness Course

Location: Online course/self paced workbook

Provides aircrew with:

  • The ability to identify the classes of Dangerous Goods
  • A comprehensive awareness regarding Dangerous Goods and acceptance of non-dangerous
  • Knowledge to identify items and substances that are classified as dangerous goods
  • Knowledge of hidden dangerous goods when travelling by air and the actions to be taken should they find Dangerous Goods.

Crew Attendant Basic Course

Duration: 10 Days

Location: Mascot, NSW

Topics covered:

  • General service knowledge
  • Wine education
  • Responsible Service of Alcohol
  • Airfield ground safety
  • Cabin Crew duties responsibilities
  • Cabin crew emergency procedures
  • Aircraft safety equipment
  • In-flight drills and emergencies

Crew Attendant Aircraft Conversion Course

Duration: 2 Days

Location: Mascot, NSW

Topics covered:

  • Cabin crew emergency procedures
  • Aircraft safety equipment
  • In-flight drills and emergencies
  • Aircraft specifications
  • Pre, during and post-flight checks and procedures
  • In-flight service and flight documentation
  • Publication interpretation

After the ground phase is complete, students will consolidate their training by conducting a flying phase, which takes anywhere between four and sixteen weeks to complete.

Crew Attendants will also be required to complete a three day pistol qualification course.

Further Training

Further Training

The Air Force provides clear routes for career advancement and promotion, along with ongoing training. For instance, courses such as Dangerous Goods Packaging and Acceptance training, Airborne Instructional Technique and Work Place Assessor may be offered to Cabin Crew members who have attained the rank of senior Corporal or Sergeant.

On completion of an initial flying tour, you will be posted to a designated ground position for a minimum of three years to develop further skills and broaden your experience as a Senior Cabin Crew member. You will be posted into ground positions after each flying tour.