Become an Air Force Recruiter: Education and Career Roadmap

Learn how to become an Air Force recruiter. Explore the enlistment requirements, training information, and experience that can help you qualify for a job in Air Force recruiting. View article »

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  • 0:03 Air Force Recruiters
  • 1:39 Step 1: Enlist
  • 2:54 Step 2: Training
  • 3:36 Step 3: Promotions
  • 4:05 Step 4: Eligibility Status
  • 5:01 Step 5: Recruiting School

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Video Transcript

Air Force Recruiters

An Air Force recruiter is a human resources development specialist within the military who has the task of recruiting qualified personnel at schools and in local communities. They do not have to be officers. Duties include meeting with potential recruits; making presentations for individuals, families and organizations; tailoring daily activities to the needs and availability of potential applicants; answering recruitment questions; and placing new recruits in suitable occupations within the Air Force. Working as a marketing representative for the military, a recruiter must explain a career in the Air Force to recruits in terms of training, pay, benefits, and daily life. Some recruiters may work long work hours.

Key career skills for members of the U.S. Air Force include physical stamina and fitness and the willingness to report for assignments on short notice. the mental stability to cope with stress is also important. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of January 2016, a senior airman with an E-4 pay grade with more than four years of experience earned $2,382.00 a month, whereas those with over six years of experience earned $2,483.40 a month. By comparison, a master sergeant with an E-7 pay grade and more than four years of experience earned $3,468.90 a month, while those with over six years of experience earned $3,678.00 a month.

Degree Level High school diploma or GED
Experience Rank of at least senior airman and no higher than master sergeant
Key Skills Physical stamina and fitness; be able and willing to report for assignments on short notice; mental stability to cope with stress
Salary (2016)* $2382.00 per month (base salary for senior airmen with 4-6 years experience)
$2,483.40 per month (base salary for senior airmen with over six years experience)
$3,468.90 per month (base salary for master sergeant with 4-6 years experience)
$3,678.00 per month (base salary for master sergeant with over 6 years experience)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Air Force Professional Development Center, Defense Finance and Accounting Service

Step 1: Enlist

In order to join the United States Air Force, aspiring airmen must meet certain age, citizenship, education, and physical requirements. Only citizens of the United States or legal and permanent residents can apply. Recruits with a high school diploma must be between 17 and 39 years old; recruits with a GED must be between 18 and 39 years old.

Before enlisting, candidates must take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), an exam that tests their knowledge of general science, math reading comprehension, and vocabulary. The ASVAB also includes questions about auto and shop topics, electronics, and mechanics. High school graduates or seniors must pass the ASVAB with an overall minimum score of 36. Aspiring recruits with a GED must pass with an overall minimum score of 65 and have 15 college credits. After passing the ASVAB, recruits must undergo physical and mental screening at a nearby Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). New recruits sign an enlistment contract. First-term enlistments typically range from four to six years.

Basic military training (BMT) lasts for eight and half weeks, including up to five days of in-processing. BMT is a physically and mentally challenging experience that is designed to help new recruits gain the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as an airman. After orientation, recruits learn how to drill, train and learn basic war skills, combat lifesaving, countering threats, and preparing for fighting.

Step 2: Training

After completing BMT, airmen go to an Air Force technical school where they train for their particular positions and earn college credit. Classes at Air Force technical schools are intensive, typically running for eight hours a day, five days a week.

Step 3: Promotions

A new recruit starts out as an airman basic (E-1) before being promoted from airman basic to airman (E-2). They must spend six months time-in-grade (TIG) and time-in-service (TIS). An airman must complete ten months TIG to be promoted to airman first class (E-3). A senior airman (E-4) must have 28 months TIG or alternatively, 20 months TIS and 36 months TIG.

Step 4: Eligibility Status

An aspiring Air Force recruiter must be at least a senior airman (SrA) but rank no higher than master sergeant (MSgt) and have no more than 17 years time-in-service (TIS). The applicant must also be qualified in his or her Air Force specialty code (AFSC), with performance reports of '4' or higher in the previous three reporting periods. Other qualifications include being physically fit, having a valid driver's license, and meeting a minimum dental standard. The Air Force also takes into consideration a potential recruiter's conduct, military bearing, performance, and physical appearance. The screening process for an Air Force recruiter also includes a credit check and review of medical records and unit commander's recommendation. Future recruiters also take the Emotional Quotient Inventory and participate in the Emotional Quotient Interview.

Step 5: Recruiting School

Air Force recruiters must complete the seven-week program at the Air Force's Recruiting School, located at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. After completing the course, new recruiters go back to their duty stations and prepare to start the 3-year recruiting tour of duty, which can be extended by 1-year increments.

Let's review. Members of the United States Air Force who have achieve the rank of senior airman and meet the requirements for the job may qualify for a position as an Air Force recruiter. As of 2016, senior airmen with an E-4 pay grade and more than four years of experience earned $2,382.00 a month.

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