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A Job in IAF (Indian Air Force) Is Really

Prestigious but Won’t Last Long – R. S.

Tevatiya, Retired NCO in Indian Air
JUNE 25, 2018

1. As an Airman under the Technical Trades, the work involves the

maintenance and testing of aircraft and other equipment.
2. The Indian Air Force provides tremendous opportunities for growth by
providing free educational qualifications and training.
3. The salary packages and the facilities provided in the job are
4. The service lasts for only 15–20 years. Thus it is not a permanent job
but Indian Air Force helps you to get another job as you retire.
5. Unlike civil government services and private sector, Airmen of IAF are
exposed to different kinds of skills and jobs. They are therefore very
versatile, competent and capable.
6. The most pressurizing aspect is being placed under Officers who may
command you to do things in undo-able circumstances at times.
7. The word ‘Airman’ specifically denotes the personnel whose rank is
below a commissioned officer’s rank.
8. One should have the ability to put up with real adverse situations as part
of the job.

Personal Details

Name – Rajendra Singh Tevatiya

Profession – Ex-NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) in Indian Air Force (IAF)

Age – 70
Gender – Male

Industry – Army & Defence

City – Dadri

Where have you been born and raised?

I was born in Khandera, near Dadri. I completed my education in Dadri. My

family practiced farming. We were 7 siblings. We lived in a joint family and
were part of rural India.

Who had the most influence on you and how?

My mother was really close to me. I loved her more than anyone else in the
family. Naturally, she had an influence on me. However, belonging to a rural
area we got no motivation and guidance as children regarding career
opportunities and what we should do in life.

Please give a summary of your career.

I served in the army only for 15 years. I was at the post of Airman for 5 years
and a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) for 10 years.

After that, I came in banking profession and finally retired.

Which institutes are best for the training/education of this

The ​RIMC (Rashtriya Indian Military College)​ was founded with the object of
providing training to Indians wishing to become officers in Indian Armed
Forces. ​Chail Military School​ of Shimla, ​Ajmer Military School​, ​Bangalore
Military School​ are also renowned.

The Sainik Schools are a system of schools in India established to prepare

students for entry into the ​National Defence Academy (NDA)​.

What are the costs associated with the training/education of

this profession?

There is no cost you’ve to pay for the training. It’s borne entirely by the

What are the typical entry-level jobs in Indian Air Force?

In my times, we’d to apply in the recruiting office located at Racecourse, New

Delhi. Based on vacancies, you may be called for an entrance exam,
interview, and medical exam.

After that, you’ll get one year of training which would finally place you in the
job of Airman.

Till date, the system hasn’t changed vastly. The Airman cadre provides
opportunities for men with matriculate or below, 10+2 /Intermediate,
graduates, Diploma holders and postgraduates in either of the three
combatant groups i.e. ‘X’, ‘Y’ or ‘Z’ of the Technical and the Non-technical

Candidates shortlisted after the initial selection procedure, are allotted a

suitable trade. They go through a rigorous training regimen at one of the
training institutes. Thereafter, they are inducted and posted as Airmen at any
of the Air Force Stations.

What is the range of remuneration one can expect in your line

of career & industry?

It mainly depends on the promotions you get which directly depend on your
eligibility. Promotion of Leading Aircraftsmen to the rank of Corporal and
Sergeant is based on passing the promotion examinations and completion of
a minimum length of service. Policy for further promotions to the rank of Junior
Warrant Officer, Warrant Officer, and Master Warrant Officer is on

An airman starts with an average pay of 40–50k INR per month while an NCO
enjoys monthly pay of 60k INR at least.

Starting out — 5 lacs per annum

5 years’ experience — 8 lacs per annum

10 years’ experience — 10 lacs per annum

15 years’ experience — 12 lacs per annum

20+ years’ experience — 15 lacs per annum

Please describe your work.

As an airman under the Technical Trades, the work involves the maintenance
and testing of aircraft and flying related equipment. One will also be directly or
indirectly involved in the maintenance and overhaul of ground equipment and

As an airman in the Non-Technical trades, the work involves assistance and

support to the various functions from weather forecasting to the maintenance
of records and files of the Indian Air Force and all its branches.

I was in the meteorological department of this non-technical trade where our

work was forecasting and reporting weather conditions.

I’d fixed working hours from 7 AM to 5 PM for 6 days a week.

Sundays were off, except in most urgent requirements.

In our holidays we used to go back to our families. These lasted for not more
than 2–3 weeks.

What are some of the positives which would encourage

someone to consider a career in Indian Air Force?
One gets a really good salary and all the perks associated with a government
job such as subsidized grocery, governmental residence, job security, medical
insurance, Ex-Serviceman Health Scheme benefits in ECHS empanelled
hospitals and subsidized schooling for children.

One gets an adventurous lifestyle full of action and the opportunities to fly by
the latest and fastest aircraft.

Indian Air Force has facilities like mess, canteen, gas agency, service
institute, parks, gardens, shopping complex, auditorium etc. for the benefit of
all personnel. Airmen pooled from all trades manage and run these facilities.

Most bases have facilities for indoor and our outdoor sports activities and
people with special talents are recognized and encouraged to participate in
various national & international activities.

Apart from providing promotional opportunities to deserving airmen, Indian Air

Force also permits airmen to undertake higher education and appear for
competitive exams as part of career enhancement opportunities. So, airmen
have opportunities to become officers in IAF or get appointed to higher
positions in central and state government services including IAS.

Unlike civilian government employees, many service people in armed forces

retire after 15 to 20 years of service due to health, stagnation and other

So, Indian Air Force has a separate directorate dealing with helping such
airmen to find alternative jobs out in the government and public sector. Thus,
this was due to the help of IAF only that I got the job in the bank.
Unlike civil government services and private sector, airmen of Indian Air Force
are exposed to different kinds of skills and jobs. They are therefore very
competent and capable. That is why airmen having required skills who retire
early, the most are sought after in private sectors.

What are some of the challenges that you would want someone
to be aware of when considering this career/job?

Coming to the actual question itself, you need to understand it is a service in a

military force. It comes with its own restrictions which are unique to military
service viz. unnatural working hours, physical hardships, posting to isolated
and hard locations and may be martyrdom in the line of duty.

The most pressurizing aspect is being placed under Officers who may
command you to do things in undoable circumstances at times.

Being a wing of Military, it demands a high degree of professionalism and

discipline at all time. All personnel will have to undergo medical test every
year and will be categorized based on fitness. If a person’s medical fitness is
below a particular category, further promotions are not possible.

Now coming to the personal life, it is good if you get time to spare after your
work. Pay and allowances are at par with their civil counterparts except for
some hardship allowances which comprise 5–20% respective of the place you
are posted.

There is a leave of 60 days per annum, but you cannot claim it as your right
as it is a privilege as per the rules.
The life is busy as a bee and sometimes so busy that there is no time to pee.
At last, there are liquor and grocery items at discounted rates but you have to
squeeze out free time from your busy schedule as you can’t go to job drunk.

What are the relevant skills/technologies/trends that are

commanding a premium in your job profile?

Sportsmanship is required. Discipline is a must. One must have the ability to

deal with the equipment used in the army like flying aircraft, using weapons
and walky-talkies which are all taught in the training.

What kind of a person would be happy in your career?

A courageous and adventurous who wants to give service to the nation would
be really happy in the Indian Air Force.

Given another choice, what would you do differently as far as

your professional selections are concerned?

This is not a permanent job. You’d surely have to do another job as you retire
within 15 to 20 years. So every Indian Air Force person gets another job in the
private and government sector according to his/her choice and eligibility. I got
the job of a bank manager which was my last one. Now I’m a retired geriatric.
What would be your advice to students or professionals who
are just starting their journey on a path like yours?

Be sincere and ready to work round the clock in adverse conditions. Don’t go
for it, if you are not ready to put up in the adverse conditions. Follow the
commands. Be happy at what you do. Always take care of your personal
health during service so that your progress never gets hindered.

You may also like to check out ​our conversation with Lakhshman Mahto
((Ex-Air Force), Senior Manager at SBI).

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