Discover your path in an ADF GAP year

Spend an exciting 12 months in the Navy, Army or Air Force, where you'll get paid for meaningful work while travelling around Australia, gaining skills for life, and making lifelong friends.

Enjoy all this and more

On an ADF Gap Year you’ll grow and develop in a dynamic, supportive and people-focused environment.

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Learn more

Gain valuable skills and work experience

Earn more

Enjoy a good salary package

Experience more

Live a varied, active and healthy life

Make more mates

Make friends with like-minded people

Travel more

Get the opportunity to see more of Australia

Benefit more

Get free medical and dental

Helpful information

Complete an online enquiry form, visit a Recruiting Centre, attend an event, or simply call us, and we'll be more than happy to help.


Eligibility and joining (11 items)

Can I apply if I am not an Australian citizen?

To be eligible for an ADF Gap Year role, you must be an Australian citizen.

What’s the age cut off for Gap Year?

You must be aged between 18 and 24 at the point of completing initial training. See individual job pages for more details.

Will my ATAR affect my application?

To be eligible for an ADF Gap Year job you must have completed Year 12 with the passes required of the role you are applying for. If you have studied science, technology, engineering or maths subjects, and/or have a high ATAR, you may have a competitive advantage when applying for a Navy Gap Year officer role.

I have a medical condition, can I still join?

Every situation is different. Call 13 19 01 to discuss yours. For further information check out our Fitness & Health FAQs.

How fit do I have to be to join the ADF?

Fitness requirements vary by Service. Before you join the ADF, you will undergo a Pre-Entry Fitness Assessment (PFA). Check out the PFA requirements and training tips to help you meet them on our health and fitness page.

Can I have tattoos and/or body piercings?

The ADF has a strict policy on tattoos and body piercing. Tattoos and/or brands are prohibited on the faces, as may be visible in a passport photo, including the eyes and front of neck, of candidates wishing to enter the Navy, Army or Air Force.

Female candidates are permitted to have tattooed eyebrow forms (excluding eyeliner) providing they follow the natural arch line of eyebrows and are of a natural colour that matches the colour of the hair. Females may also have lip tattooing to enhance the outline of the lips providing it does not look unnatural.

Apart from what can be seen in a passport photo, tattoos and/or brands are permitted on other parts of the body, unless the tattoo or brand is considered offensive and undermines the dignity and authority of the Australian Defence Force.

If you have tattoos for cultural or religious reasons that are in the areas prohibited above, please be aware that ADF Careers is required to seek approval from the appropriate Service authority prior to your appointment or enlistment.

Further guidance on this policy can be received by contacting ADF Careers on 13 19 01.

What does the full recruitment process involve?

A typical application process includes two separate visits to a ADF Careers Centre.

At the first session, you will discuss the roles available, take some basic aptitude tests, and chat about your medical history. On the second visit, you will be required to have more comprehensive interviews with a doctor, psychologist and a senior member of the ADF.

Additionally, if you are applying for an ADF Gap Year Officer role you’ll also be asked to attend an Officer Selection Board, which is similar to a formal job interview.

You’ll find more information plus interview tips here: ADF recruitment process

I’ve applied online, what happens next?

First, we’ll reply with an email acknowledging receipt of your application. Then, due to the popularity of the ADF Gap Year program and the number of applications it attracts, it could take up to four weeks for you to be contacted for an informal chat.

If your application has been successful you’ll be given the choice of attending an Information Session or a YOU (Your Opportunities Unlimited) Session, both of which will be held at your local ADF Careers Centre.

Information Sessions give you the opportunity to learn about ADF Gap Year jobs, talk to serving personnel, and ask any questions you have. Your YOU Session is where we carry out basic aptitude tests and review your medical history, and chat further about the jobs available to you.

I haven’t heard anything for a while. What should I do?

Contact your case manager on 13 19 02 to check on the progress of your application.

When can I expect to start work?

Intakes generally take place during the first quarter of the year following the year you applied in. However, if you have applied for a Navy or Army Gap Year role, you’ll find that intakes are staggered throughout the year. Refer to individual job pages for more information.

Can I get a school visit?

Serving members will be happy to visit your school to give a presentation to students about the career opportunities offered by the ADF. To organise a visit, please contact your local Career Promotion Team:

Australian Capital Territory:

New South Wales:

Queensland (north):

Queensland (south):

Northern Territory:

South Australia:



Western Australia:

Lifestyle, pay and leave (8 items)

How much will I be paid in the ADF?

Pay rates vary depending on the job you take. For details on the current salary and allowances paid to ADF Gap Year personnel, please see individual job pages or refer to the ADF Pay Rates on the Documents & Brochures page.

Is it hard being away from friends and family?

It can be challenging, however, the ADF encourages you to keep in contact with your friends and family during your Navy, Army or Air Force Gap Year.

Are Gap Year members treated the same as everyone else?

Yes, you’ll be treated the same as regular members of the ADF. However, you’ll have the flexibility to elect to voluntarily leave the program at any stage if things aren’t working out, as long as you provide 21 days’ notice.

What will I do during my Gap Year?

After completing initial military training and training in your specific job, you'll be immersed in the Navy, Army or Air Force lifestyle while continuing to learn on the job. You'll acquire valuable skills, make new friends, and may even receive nationally-recognised qualifications that benefit your future career.

What does a general day in Gap Year look like?

Every job is different, but you'll get a feel for Gap Year life by watching the videos on this page and on the individual job pages.

Will I take part in military training exercises?

You will not be eligible to deploy overseas during your Gap Year. You will, however, participate in domestic training exercises and operations once you are qualified in your job.

Will I get weekends and public holidays off?

During initial training, you will receive minimal leave, however, leave for each Service is different. After this period, leave on weekends and public holidays is granted subject to any training activities being conducted.

Once initial training has been completed, working hours vary between regions – so you may work from 0730 to 1600 in one place, but 0800 to 1630 in another. Outside these times (and on weekends and public holidays) your time is your own for leisure and recreation. However, from time to time you may be required to work additional hours subject to Service requirements, and some jobs entail shift work.

Will I be posted overseas during my ADF Gap Year?

No, ADF Gap Year personnel are not eligible to deploy overseas. You will, however, participate in all your unit's domestic training exercises and operations once you are qualified in your job.

Life after ADF Gap Year (2 items)

Can I stay in the ADF after my Gap Year?

In most cases your options will be:

  • Apply for a full-time position in the Navy, Army or Air Force with ongoing job opportunities (subject to Service requirements and availability of positions).
  • Apply for a reserve position in the Army or Air Force, where you can continue to use your skills on a flexible or part-time basis (subject to Service requirements and availability of positions).
  • Choose to leave the Australian Defence Force and pursue an alternative career path.

Will I be able to transition into a casual or part-time role?

Yes, on successful completion of your Gap Year you may be able to transfer to, or apply for, a reserve position in the Army or Air Force, where you can continue to use your skills on a flexible or part-time basis (subject to Service requirements and availability of positions).

View all jobs

Getting started

Applying for ADF Gap Year involves the same recruitment process as all roles. It starts with:

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1 - Choose a role

There are 26 across the three Services.

2 - Apply online

There’s no commitment at this stage.

3 - Wait to hear

We’ll contact you for an informal chat.