About the Job

Aboriginal and Torres-Strait Islander persons are encouraged to apply.

An Air Force Dentist (Dental Officer) is responsible for providing dental services to maintain the oral health of Australian Defence personnel so that they are able to effectively perform their duties without dental conditions causing them distress or reducing their combat effectiveness.

Dentists are responsible for clinical assessment and treatment of personnel and provision of advice in respect of oral health requirements in relation to fitness for duty to Commanders. These duties extend to the provision of services to deploy, operate and maintain portable dental treatment facilities within Australia and overseas upon a wide range of patient age and health status. Dentists are classified as a non-combatant and will be a protected person under international law when performing these duties on operations.

In the normal setting, Air Force dental surgeries are equipped to a high standard. Dental assistants will give you the necessary support to provide the highest level of oral healthcare for your patients. Specialist referral is available when necessary.

When deployed, Dentists are responsible for the oral healthcare of deployed personnel, management and maintenance of the field dental unit. Responsibilities may extend to executive health officer roles, applying first aid or advanced life support and assisting with patient triage. In certain circumstances, specially trained Dentists may be required to provide advanced airway and pain management.

Senior Dentists may also be responsible for managing dental facilities or health units, assuring the safety and quality of healthcare provided, mentoring and training of junior Dentists and for local supervision of Defence contracts.


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.

Download

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.

Read our Conditions of Service.


Locations

Though you may be posted to any Air Force Base within Australia, your first posting will be to a large dental facility at RAAF Amberley, RAAF Williamtown or RAAF Richmond. This provides you with the opportunity to develop your clinical and military skills under the supervision and mentorship of a more experienced Dentist. Dentists classified as Competency Level 2 may be posted to any location based on service requirements and could work as a solo military dentist in a remote location.

During your Air Force Career, further postings and promotions are based on reporting history and a requirement to fill specific vacancies.


Requirements

Age

Applicants must be a minimum of 17 years of age on day of entry. Maximum age on entry is 56 years of age.

Education & Experience

You must have completed a university degree in dentistry and be eligible for registration as a dentist in a State or Territory of Australia.

Fully qualified Dentist direct entrant applicants who have more than two years clinical experience as a Dentist in Australia or certain other countries which have current mutual recognition provisions for registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Authority, will have an individual assessment of their competency level for placement within the Dentist Specialist Officer Career Structure.

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 Initial Minimum Period of Service obligation and provide a minimum of three months notice.

Additional Requirements

Experience in general practice or specialist dentistry would be anadvantage. Membership of study groups or regular attendance atseminars, conferences or post-graduate courses, would be anadvantage.

Aptitude

Online Aptitude Testing (OAT) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete additional testing at a later date.

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

Further information about OAT can be found in the Guide to Online Aptitude Testing for the ADF.

To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in an Online Aptitude Test and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Online Aptitude Testing 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 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 Military (Initial Officer) Training and (Initial) Employment Training (if applicable), members may be required to pay a contribution towards meals, accommodation and utilities.

Employment Training

Dental Officer Initial Course - 14 days

This initial course is conducted during your first year of employment as a Dentist and is held at the ADF Dental School, HMAS Cerberus (near Hastings, Victoria). The course includes training in Administrative and Clinical rules relating to the provision of Dental Services in the Australian Defence Force and particular clinical skills.

Further Training

Your training and work within the Air Force will provide you with distinct skills rarely matched in private or government practice.

During the early years of your Air Force career, you will undertake training in Aviation Medicine and Physiology, Operational Health Support, Operating a portable dental treatment unit, Forensic Odontology and Advanced Life Support.

As part of your ongoing professional development, the Dentist Specialist Officer Career Structure defines much of the sponsored training you will have access to in your career. As already explained, newly graduated Dentists will initially be classified as Competency Level 1, and following a structured and deliberate program of training and mentorship by a senior dentist, will be reclassified to Competency Level 2 usually around the end of their second year of practice. Further development to Competency Level 3 will either be in the form of Fellowship in general stream of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons or in a clinical Graduate Diploma in selected fields based on Air Force needs. Attainment of Competency Level 3 is usually achieved after the fourth or fifth year of clinical practice.

Additional courses beyond this point will skill you further as an Officer and as a manager of people and finance. This training may include sponsored further tertiary study leading to formal qualifications in Management or Population Health.

Together, these skills will make you an extremely well skilled and versatile Dentist, with a variety of work and life experiences which make you the envy of your civilian colleagues.


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.

Download

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

Though you may be posted to any Air Force Base within Australia, your first posting will be to a large dental facility at RAAF Amberley, RAAF Williamtown or RAAF Richmond. This provides you with the opportunity to develop your clinical and military skills under the supervision and mentorship of a more experienced Dentist. Dentists classified as Competency Level 2 may be posted to any location based on service requirements and could work as a solo military dentist in a remote location.

During your Air Force Career, further postings and promotions are based on reporting history and a requirement to fill specific vacancies.


Requirements

Age

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 Initial Minimum Period of Service obligation incurred under the scheme prior to compulsory retirement age (normally 60 years of age).

Education & Experience

To be eligible for an Air Force Undergraduate sponsorship, applicants must have completed:

  • Year 12 with passes in English and three other Board of Secondary School Studies registered subjects and
  • The first year of study (preferably with Semester 1 and 2 results) of a dental degree which enables registration as a general Dentist with the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Authority

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 Initial Minimum Period of Service (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. 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 Initial Minimum Period of Service obligation and provide a minimum of three months notice.

The length of IMPS in total will depend on the duration of sponsorship. Any requirement for post-graduation experience, eg: medical residency, legal articles will be incorporated in your IMPS.

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

Aptitude

Online Aptitude Testing (OAT) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete additional testing at a later date.

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

Further information about OAT can be found in the Guide to Online Aptitude Testing for the ADF.

To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in an Online Aptitude Test and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Online Aptitude Testing 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 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.

Then following graduation you'll undertake a 17-week Initial Officer Course to learn about Air Force values and attitudes, and engage in:

  • Ground defence and weapons training
  • Leadership and personal development
  • Communication skills and
  • An introduction to Air Force operations

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

Employment Training

Dental Officer Initial Course - 14 days

This initial course is conducted during your first year of employment as a Dentist and is held at the ADF Dental School, HMAS Cerberus (near Hastings, Victoria). The course includes training in Administrative and Clinical rules relating to the provision of Dental Services in the Australian Defence Force and particular clinical skills.

Further Training

Your training and work within the Air Force will provide you with distinct skills rarely matched in private or government practice.

During the early years of your Air Force career, you will undertake training in Aviation Medicine and Physiology, Operational Health Support, Operating a portable dental treatment unit, Forensic Odontology and Advanced Life Support.

As part of your ongoing professional development, the Dentist Specialist Officer Career Structure defines much of the sponsored training you will have access to in your career. As already explained, newly graduated Dentists will initially be classified as Competency Level 1, and following a structured and deliberate program of training and mentorship by a senior dentist, will be reclassified to Competency Level 2 usually around the end of their second year of practice. Further development to Competency Level 3 will either be in the form of Fellowship in general stream of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons or in a clinical Graduate Diploma in selected fields based on Air Force needs. Attainment of Competency Level 3 is usually achieved after the fourth or fifth year of clinical practice.

Additional courses beyond this point will skill you further as an Officer and as a manager of people and finance. This training may include sponsored further tertiary study leading to formal qualifications in Management or Population Health.

Together, these skills will make you an extremely well skilled and versatile Dentist, with a variety of work and life experiences which make you the envy of your civilian colleagues.