Air Force

10 Best Air Force Jobs for Civilian Life

The US Air Force is one of the best branches of the military to launch a new career.

While most people think it’s all for the pilots, many don’t realize the enormous infrastructure required to dominate the air in foreign conflict.

If you’ve been thinking about joining the Air Force, but don’t know which jobs are the best, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, I’m going to explain the 10 best jobs in the United States Air Force that help in civilian life.

All of these Air Force jobs are in demand in 2023, and can turn in to very lucrative careers once you leave service.

Special Note: This list is for enlisted personnel, click here to see the best Air Force jobs for officers.

10 Best Air Force Jobs

Here, in no particular order, are our top USAF jobs that will set you up nicely for the civilian work force.

#10: Legal Operations

paralegal - best air force jobs

Air Force paralegals and Staff Judge Advocates work to ensure service members are legally compliant in many military operations and even personal matters.

When using tax dollars to complete missions, the Air Force must ensure it is not involved in any financial fraud or misuse cases.

The enlisted and officer personnel that complete these tasks are well versed in law in many different applications.

Civilian legal practices look for Air Force veterans due to the fact that they have been dealing in federal law and even sometimes state law depending on the situation.

Major companies also like to stay out of legal trouble so a team of legal personnel with a high attention to detail to compliance is basically a requirement in this day and age.

Avg. salary for paralegals (2023): $62,800

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics – May 2022

#9: Command Post/Control Center

command post control center - best air force jobs

Air Force bases have a lot of moving parts, and information flow paired with timely communication is key to ensuring air superiority.

Command Post personnel are the sole point of contact no matter the emergency.

Command Post personnel ensure, the moment something happens, the correct people are contacted to best deal with the situation to minimize further effects of an issue or speed up the reaction time to get operations back on track.

Thinking About Joining The Navy? Check Out Our List Of The Top 10 Navy Jobs For Civilian Life

Emergency dispatch centers in the civilian world work in the same way.

Civilian organizations highly prefer individuals that have experience in keeping calm in any situation in order to ensure any and all information is relayed in a timely manner.

Some organizations can be local 911 operators, the American Red Cross, Department of Homeland Security and even private organizations with high operations natures.

Avg. salary for Dept. Of Homeland Security personnel (2023):  $84,000


#8: Logistics Planners

logistics planner - best air force jobs
Source wikimedia

When you look at the things around you no matter where you are sitting, you may find a plethora of different items that originate in many different places.

Logistics is the reason why you are able to go where you want for vacation, why you have many of your favorite brands and furniture in your home, and even in some cases how your home was even built.

Air Force logistics ensure people and cargo get where they need to be when they need to be there and sometimes earlier.

The suspense of ordering something from a website and waiting for it to get there is what adds to fun of a job in logistics.

Logistics planners can work anywhere there is movement of goods or people.

Related Article: 10 Pros And 10 Cons Of Joining The Air Force

Many people think of just mail handlers and parcel services in the civilian world but it encompasses so much more. If it can be moved, civilian companies need a logistics planner to get it moved.

Related AFSC’s That Can Help You Land A Logistics Job

Average salary for logistics planners (2023):  $74,000


#7: Safety

safety personnel - best air force jobs

When thinking about busy military operations, there is a lot of room for error and fatalities.

Air Force safety personnel ensure all actions done are evaluated with risk management protocols that ensure individuals can complete tasks without injury or damage to expensive property.

This experience can be used in many fields such as construction, flight line operations, maintenance (plumbing or electrical) and even event planning.

Before something takes place, Air Force safety personnel think about everything bad that can happen and attempt to implement a fix to prevent that from happening before the event is even approved to take place.

This proactive mindset and attention to detail can keep many civilian companies out of courtrooms and keep workers at work!

Average Health and Safety specialist salary (2023): $75,900

Source: ZipRecruiter

#6: Law Enforcement

law enforcement - best air force jobs
Source flickr

Whether you work to secure the base and personnel on the base or investigate crimes within the Air Force, military law enforcement officers work to achieve the safest environment for all personnel.

In fact, Air Force bases are so secure that insurance companies even have special discounts for those living and working on base.

Related Article: A List Of All 135 AFSC’s in the Air Force

Civilian law enforcement agencies love the experience, physical health and discipline of military law enforcement officers.

It’s considered one of the best jobs in the Air Force for a reason… you’re almost guaranteed a job after your time is up.

Average Law Enforcement Salary (2020):  $81,800


#5: Medical

medical technician - best air force jobs
Source wikimedia

In order to have the best Air Force in the world, everyone has to be healthy. The enlisted and officer personnel that work in the medical field, work together to provide just about any service you could get at your average hospital.

The Air Force has everything from dental technicians to surgeons that keep their personnel in tip-top shape.

One field that will be with us as long as technology is medical support.

No matter how much technology in the world we have, we still need people to take care of us when we just aren’t sure about that ache or pain in our back.

Many medical fields in the Air Force translate directly to civilian fields that can be quite lucrative, here’s a few of them:

Average Biomedical Equipment Technician salary:  $69,500


#4: Cyber Security

cyber warfare - best air force jobs

With the ever-changing technology state our world is in, we need people to be able to protect our information and servers from outside sources.

The information the Air Force has can be extremely detrimental to national security if placed in the wrong hands.

Air Force enlisted and officers work in a capacity of ethical hackers assisting decision-makers in hardening security measures on servers that hold sensitive information.

Think of them as hackers for good.

Career Detail:  Click Here to read more about Cybersecurity Operations Officers

Individuals that are trained on the hardened security of government systems are a gem to private companies that do not want proprietary information to be released to the wrong people.

Just think, if an organization uses a computer or server for anything, they need to be able to protect it.

To be able to protect it, they need people to hack it to identify vulnerabilities.

Cybersecurity is one of the safest jobs in the Air Force, both in the literal sense and job opportunity sense.

You’ll walk out of your time in the Air Force with potential for a very lucrative career.

Average Cyber Security Technician (2023): $65,600

Source: ZipRecruiter

#3: Aviation Maintenance

English: Master Sgt. Val Gempis, U.S. Air Force, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Contrary to popular belief, just about all branches of the military have pilots and aircraft.

For obvious reasons, however, the Air Force is the first branch that comes to mind when thinking about working in aviation.

While many Airmen want to become pilots, working in aviation maintenance can also be pretty lucrative in the outside world.

The civilian marketability for aviation mechanics is wide open as flight becomes more specialized and high-tech. 

Airlines such as Delta, American Airlines, and United have the budget to offer things to offer aviation technicians they won’t receive in the military.

Also, those with the right experience and certifications receive the same benefits and travel advantages without the military formalities.

Average Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians  salary (2023): $75,700

Source: ZipRecruiter

#2: Military Intelligence

military intelligence - best air force jobs
Source: flickr

Needless to say, military intelligence officers and enlisted personnel can be the best at keeping secrets.

The military intelligence career field holds civilian marketability just for the security clearance alone.

Moreover, military intelligence operators brief higher-ups on emerging issues which allow the proper officials to make the most informed decisions which can affect national security.

Career Detail:  Click Here To Read More About Air Force Intelligence Officers

Military Intelligence officials can make careers in the Department of Homeland Security, Border Patrol, National Security Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigations cells and the like.

Also, with their gained ability to brief officials, their public speaking skills are some of the best.

This skill can translate into motivational speaking and advisement roles to government officials outside of the military.

Average Signals Intelligence Analyst salary (2023): $83,700 


#1: Air Traffic Control/Airfield Operations

air traffic control - best air force jobs
Source wikimedia

When you have planes, you must have an airfield, and when you have an airfield, you must have well-trained individuals to run it to decrease fatalities and financial losses due to accidents.

Air Traffic Controllers and Airfield Operations technicians in the Air Force can be some of the best in the world.

In the civilian realm, there are busy airports that need really good operators to ensure there are no incidents. In the Air Force, there are airfields that have to be able to support all types of military and civilian aircraft ranging from unmanned aircraft, helicopters, fighter jets, cargo planes, and even civilian aircraft.

Related Article: 10 Best Marine Corps Jobs for Civilian Life

They must be able to understand the different aircraft and the way they work while ensuring everything moves harmoniously.

Additionally, they have to be able to work on the fly and handle stress easily.

Things change at a rapid pace, and it’s up the Air Traffic controllers to manage the mess.

Coping with stress, working on the fly, and minimizing incidents with various types of aircraft moving together make Air Traffic Controllers and Airfield management technicians highly sought after by civilian aircraft.

Average Air Traffic Controller Salary (2023): $130,8000

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics – May 2022


And there you have it, the 10 best jobs in the Air Force for 2020.

There are hundreds of other available jobs, but if you’re thinking civilian marketability once you get out, you should focus on these 10.

As mentioned previously, all of these jobs offer huge potential upon completion of your service.

Related Article: Which Branch Of The Military Should I Join? 7 Things To Consider

The Air Force has given me and many others the opportunity to learn how to do a job and be marketable in the civilian world as well as an educational opportunity to obtain college-level education in your field of expertise.


Featured image: wikimedia

Rob V.
Best Air Force Jobs For Civilian Life

Best Air Force Jobs For Civilian Life

4.8 out of 5 (71 Ratings)

If you're thinking about joining the US Air Force, you might want to consider one of these 10 jobs. They will set you up for success in the civilian world, allowing you to obtain necessary skills to become competitive.
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