Air Force Careers

The South African Air Force (SA Air Force) offers a wide variety of careers, of which only a few are discussed here in some detail. 

Permanent Force Term Service System For Volunteers

According to the term ‘service system for volunteers’, the minimum period of service is 24 months, up to a maximum of six years. This is a golden opportunity for those people, who wish to gain some military experience in the SA Air Force, while rendering a valuable service in defending the country.

Requirements for Enlistment

A person can be considered if he is at least 17 years old, a South African citizen, not bound to a specific area, medically fit and recommended by a SA Air Force selection board.

Basic Regimental Training

The duration for the basic regimental training is 12 weeks and it takes place at the Air Force Gymnasium in Pretoria. Training commences in January, April and July each year. During this period members receive training in the art of shooting, drilling, physical education and various other military subjects.

Specialist Training

Members who have successfully completed their basic regimental training, receive specialist training in one of the following fields: airspace control operators, food handlers, administrative, technical and supply material support clerks, firemen, load masters (ground), load masters (air), intelligence, protection services, SA Air Force Police, technical assistants (flight line), telecommunication operators, bowser-drivers and construction machine operators.

Service Benefits

Members receive various service benefits such as mess facilities and medical services.

SA Air Force Band

The SA Air Force Band gives performances at various events, such as music concerts, military parades, dances and tours. Candidates should have a minimum of a Grade 10 Certificate, but a National Senior Certificate is preferred. Candidates should also have a minimum standard of a Grade VI (UNISA) or equivalent qualification, and pass a musical audition. Members receive theoretical and practical music training at the Gymnasium.



Engineering candidates must:

  • be a South African citizen
  • be between the ages of 16 and 23 years
  • be single
  • meet the entrance requirements for a BSc degree
  • attain the minimum prescribed technical aptitude during the selection process
  • be selected by the SA Air Force Officer’s selection board


Selected members are appointed during January of each year. They receive basic regimental training and have to complete an officer’s orientation course, a technical induction course and a university preparation course. The successful completion of these courses is a prerequisite for commencement of university training. Members are enrolled at the Universities of Tshwane and Stellenbosch. Engineers are trained in the following fields: electronic, electrical, mechanical, industrial, aeronautical, civil and metallurgical engineering. Members have contractual obligations towards the SA Air Force.

Airport Manager see separate career



Those wanting to be selected as pilots, must be:

  • South African citizens
  • between the ages of 17 and 25
  • National Senior Certificate graduates, with Mathematics
  • willing to undergo a selection test

The duration of the training is 18 months and consists of three phases, namely regimental training (eight weeks), officers’ orientation (eight weeks) and flight training. The flight training takes place at the flying school at Langebaanweg. It includes theoretical training in subjects such as Aerodynamics and Navigation, as well as practical flight training. After successful completion of this training, persons receive their wings, after which they are assigned to a squadron for further training.

University training

After obtaining their wings, candidates may apply for further studies at the Military academy, or a BSc degree at an approved university.

10-year service period

Candidates must sign a contract of a minimum of 10 years service with the SA Air Force.

The SA Air Force offers many more career opportunities in fields such as catering, airspace control, personnel and finance, which cannot all be discussed here.

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

National Senior Certificate (matric), or equivalent 
Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: None

Further Information

SA Air Force
Private Bag X199
Pretoria, 0001 
Tel: (012) 312-2911

Programmes by Study Institutions

A PACE Career Centre Product. © All rights reserved | Developed by Netgen (Pty) Ltd. Disclaimer: Please see disclaimer