Careers in the Air National Guard: Job Options and Requirements

Oct 04, 2019

You have a time and duty commitment when you sign up for the Air National Guard that can include one or more active-duty deployments, in addition to one weekend each month and two weeks each year. In addition to a high school diploma or GED, you'll also be required to receive basic training and a varied amount of career training, depending on your job. Employment opportunities vary but appear very favorable for translators and interpreters.

Essential Information

Members of the Air National Guard can choose from more than 200 careers, including a broadcast journalist, aircraft loadmaster and cryptologic language analyst.

Required Education High school diploma or GED
Other Requirements Basic training and career training
Projected Job Growth 19% from 2018-2028 for interpreters and translators*
Median Salary (May 2018) $49,930 annually for interpreters and translators*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Air National Guard members drill with units in their home states for a minimum of one weekend a month and two weeks each year and are deployed as needed. After completing 8.5 weeks of basic training in Texas, they advance to career training lasting from a few weeks to several months. With this career training, they can move on to a variety of different job options.

Broadcast Journalist

Broadcast journalists create radio and video broadcasts for instructional use by the Air National Guard and viewing by the public. They handle every facet of production, from writing the script to operating a camera. Job duties can include researching topics, determining equipment requirements and arranging broadcasts from a studio or other location. Other duties include audio and video editing, program evaluation and monitoring of audience response.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts are likely to see a 10% decline in job opportunities from 2018-2028. Broadcast news analysts specifically earned a median salary of $66,880 in May 2018, while reporters and correspondents earned $41,260.

Job Requirements

The broadcast journalist must be able to operate video and recording equipment and understand the principles behind lighting and shot composition. Good writing and research skills are vital in this job. High school coursework in mass media and photography may also be helpful.

Aircraft Loadmaster

Aircraft loadmasters supervise the placement and handling of cargo and the boarding and seating of personnel on Air National Guard planes. They inspect the aircraft before takeoff and check the weight of the passengers and cargo. The aircraft loadmaster oversees the provision of in-flight meals and other items passengers may need and briefs them on emergency safety procedures and emergency equipment.

The BLS reported that aircraft cargo handling supervisors made a median salary of $48,610 as of May 2018. Those working for state government earned more at $72,670.

Job Requirements

The aircraft loadmaster must have a thorough knowledge of the types and capabilities of transport planes. Basic mathematic skills are essential. Training for the position covers cargo restraint techniques and food storage principles on an airplane. The aircraft loadmaster must also have an understanding of emergency procedures and know-how to interpret cargo loading diagrams and understand technical manuals and publications. A high school diploma with coursework in English, math, computers, speech, and typing is desirable.

Cryptologic Language Analyst

A cryptologic language analyst uses knowledge of a foreign language to monitor the content of radio broadcasts. The analyst may transcribe, translate, analyze and summarize broadcast content, noting important items and keeping records and logbooks of activities. The position also involves performing maintenance on equipment and updating handbooks and other references used in the job.

The BLS showed that interpreters and translators could expect a significant increase of 19% in job opportunities between 2018 and 2028. The median annual salary for these professionals was $49,930 as of May 2018.

Job Requirements

Knowledge of a foreign language, both written and verbal, is essential. The cryptologic language analyst must understand the organization of enemy forces and be familiar with procedures for protecting sensitive military information. Candidates must also be skilled in the operation of communications and recording equipment.

Options for a career in the Air National Guard are very wide ranging. With a high school diploma or GED, completion of basic training and specialized career training, which can last up to several months, you may qualify for one of over 200 positions, including broadcast journalist, aircraft loadmaster or cryptologic language analyst. While job opportunities for reporters and broadcast journalists are expected to decline by 10% through 2028, opportunities for translators and interpreters are projected to increase at a much faster rate than the national average for all occupations.

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