About the Job

Are you a recent Year 12 graduate (or about to be) who wants to develop your skills before pursuing study, or take the time to think about your career direction? Or have you been thinking about a job in the Air Force but aren't sure it's right for you? Maybe you just want a break from your current job to travel and challenge yourself?

The Air Force Gap Year program provides young Australians who meet general entry requirements an opportunity to broaden their life experience with only a year commitment. The program offers a 'try before you buy' experience of Air Force training and lifestyle for young men and women, without any obligation to serve beyond the program period.

As an Air Force Aviation Support Technician, you will contribute to the Permanent Air Force aircraft related technical trades. You will have an opportunity to experience one of the following technical roles:

  • Aircraft Fabricator
  • Aircraft Armament Technician
  • Aircraft Technician
  • Avionics Technician
  • Survival Equipment Technician (Aircraft Safety Equipment Maintainer)

You will undertake a range of tasks, including but not limited to, aircraft ground handling, operating ground support equipment, replenishments, towing, marshalling, washing, launching aircraft and fly away kit maintenance.

You will be supported throughout your training by professional and enthusiastic Air Force personnel who will provide the guidance necessary for you to achieve your goals. This will begin at the No.1 Recruit Training Unit at RAAF Base Wagga, where you'll be enlisted in the Aviation Support Technician mustering as a trainee. Upon successful completion of recruit training, you will be regraded to Aircraftman/Aircraftwoman and will undertake aircraft type specific training at the RAAF School of Technical Training, also at RAAF Base Wagga. This will then be followed by aircraft maintenance duties for approximately seven months at one of the major air bases.

Consider these exciting roles

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.

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.


You may be posted to any Air Force Defence Establishment. This includes the major Air Force operational air bases including RAAF Base Amberley in QLD, RAAF Base Darwin or Tindal in NT, RAAF Base Williamtown or Richmond in NSW, and RAAF Base Edinburgh in SA.



You can start your application at sixteen years. However, you must be seventeen years on the day you join. It is also preferred that you are due to turn eighteen by the time you complete Initial Military Training. Preference for Gap Year opportunities will be given to candidates under 25 years of age.

Education & Experience

You must have completed Year 12 level of secondary education. Additionally, you must have Year 10 passes in Maths, English and Science

Current or former serving military personnel (ADF or foreign service) are not eligible for Gap Year.

Medical & Fitness

To be enlisted, 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 pass a physical fitness test before enlistment. 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

Your Gap Year experience will commence on enlistment at the start of the year and will conclude 12 months later. Subsequent periods of service in the Regular or Reserve Force may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service. You may request discharge at any time by providing 21 days’ notice.

Additional Requirements

Special Requirements
Licence Requirements:

At a minimum, candidates must hold a valid Australian State or Territory provisional/probationary C Class Drivers Licence upon enlistment/appointment. Candidates with suspended or cancelled licences will not be eligible to join until the suspension or cancellation has been lifted or has expired.

Entry Requirements

Current or former serving military personnel (ADF or foreign service) are not eligible for Gap Year.


The Job Opportunities Assessment (JOA) 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.

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

Further information about the JOA can be found in the Guide to Job Opportunities Assessment for the ADF.

To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in the JOA and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Job Opportunities Assessment Example Questions.


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 ADF Careers 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 your ADF Careers Centre during the initial application process.


Military Training

Location: RAAF Base Wagga, NSW
Duration: 9 weeks

During this training you will transition from civilian to Service life, acquiring the basic knowledge, skills and physical fitness required for your role; and learning to become an effective and productive member of the Air Force.

Follow the link to learn more about what to expect at the No.1 Recruit Training Unit (1RTU).

Employment Training

Upon successful completion of recruit training, you will commence Initial Employment Training (IET) at the RAAF School of Technical Training, RAAF Base Wagga. You will undertake the Aerospace Technical Trades Core Skills course which is approximately a 10 week course.

Further Training

Upon successful completion of IET you will undertake aircraft maintenance duties in the Aviation Support Technician mustering for approximately seven months at any of the major operational air bases to consolidate your training.