air force age limits
Air Force

Air Force Age Limit For 2023

Active Duty Air Force Age Limit

Like the other branches of the military, the minimum and maximum age you can join the Air Force will depend on which career path you take (ie officer or enlisted).

Here are the minimum and maximum age limits for the Air Force in 2023:

  • Enlisted:  The minimum age to join as an enlisted is 17, and the maximum age is 39.
  • Officer: The minimum age to join as an officer is 18, and the maximum age is 39.

Exceptions are made for those with healthcare experience and clergy, and prior military enlistment. A waiver will be required.

For medical professionals and clergy members, the minimum age is 18 and the maximum age is 48.

For those with prior enlisted service, the cutoff age is based on whether you’ll be able to complete 20 total years of service, with your prior service included. You’ll also have to serve at least 10 of those years as a commissioned officer. 

Air Force Reserve Age Limit

To join the Air Force Reserves, the age requirements are as follows:

  • Non-prior service: 17 – 39 years old
  • Prior service: Your adjusted age must be less than 40. *

* How To Calculate Your Adjusted Age

For prior service Air Force Reserve candidates, your adjusted age must be less than 40 years old.

You can calculate this by simply subtracting your years of service from your age.

So for example, if you served for 10 years in the active duty Air Force, and you’re 48 years old, your “Adjusted Age” would be 38.

This would make you qualified to serve in the Air Force Reserves.

Related Article: Does The National Guard Pay For College?

Pilot Age Requirements / Limit

Just like with the height and weight requirements, there are different age limitations for pilots.

While the minimum age for pilots is 18, it’s very uncommon for a pilot to be that young.

The average age for Air Force pilots entering flight school is around 23 years old.

Before earning a slot at Undergraduate Pilot Training (aka UPT), the candidate must first meet with a selection board.

This board will determine whether or not you’re competitive enough for a slot in UPT, and it must be conducted and you must have begun training before you reach 33 years of age.

You must also have less than 8 years of TFCS, or Total Federal Commissioned Service.

With that said, age waivers are available for potential pilots up to the age of 35.


Craig S.
USAF Age Limit

USAF Age Limit

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See the US Air Force age limits for pilots in both active duty, as well as the National Guard. Also includes the age limits for officers and enlisted.
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30 Replies to “Air Force Age Limit For 2023

    1. Hey Laura,
      Sorry for the late reply. Yes, since you are a registered nurse the Air Force would consider granting you a waiver. However, 48 is the maximum age one would be able to join, so if you’re going to do it you need to get in touch with a recruiter ASAP to start the waiver process.

  1. I am age 35 with a Master’s. Can I enter the Air Force to fly fighter jets? If yes, what step do I need to take next?

    1. Unfortunately, that’s not possible Nate. As per Air Force requirements, you have to be enrolled in Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) by the age of 30.

      1. I’m 32 with a bachelors and my commercial fixed wing pilot ratings with 1,100hrs. Would I have a shot with helicopters in the Air Force?

        1. Like I told Nate, it’s unfortunately not possible. As per Air Force requirements, you have to be enrolled in Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) by the age of 30.

          1. I’m 34 with 12 years in pro audio. In 2010 when I was 20 I was scheduled for Meps and was inclined towards intelligence. I had a rough case of appendicitis and ended up going to school for audio after several weeks of being in hospital and recovery and a summer of thinking life over. With a technical background and late age start, what’s your thoughts on that kind of candidate?

          2. Hey Markus,
            Thanks for your comment. As the saying goes, ‘If There’s A Will, There’s A Waiver’! Check out this article. We have a section on Air Force waivers that could be of some help. Best of luck and let me know if you have any other questions!

            Rob V.
            OMK Founder

  2. Hello, I am 37 years old and thinking of joining the airforce once I am done with my Bachelor’s degree in computer systems in 3 months. Is there a limitation of how many kids I have or support?

    Thank you

    1. As far as I’m aware, there’s no limits to how many children you have. With that said, the age cutoff for the Air Force for both enlisted and officers is 39, so you should get the ball rolling ASAP.

      1. Hi I’m 22 and I am 6 foot tall and i weigh 130 pounds ie there a way to join the Airforce and get weight waiver?

          1. Hey Rob, I’m 40 and an Army FW pilot in the Reserves, ATP Corporate Jet Pilot on the civilian side. 17 years of active and reserve time, any chance I can switch branches to fly for the Air Force?

          2. Hey George,
            Is it possible? Yes. Is it likely? Probably not, at least not on the active duty side. Your best bet would probably be to apply to an AF Guard unit. Not sure where you live, but lookup Air Force Guard units near you and start making phone calls. They should be able to guide you in the right direction.

            Hope this helps and good luck!

            Rob V.
            OMK Founder

    1. Well, you’re right at the upper limit. So if you’re gonna join, you better hit the recruiters office like yesterday!

  3. Do you have any information on how to obtain an age waiver for the Reserves? I am prior service (7 years) and currently 49. I have been offered a position with a unit, but need the waiver and don’t know where to start. Thanks.

  4. Great article. I know you have answered this question before, but do you think I could get an age waiver to be a pilot in the Air Force at age 36 considering that I have 15 years/10,000+ of flight experience in helicopters and airplanes including contract flying in Afghanistan (Hueys), Medevac (H135, H125, B407), Fire fighting, and now fly for United Express (Trans States Airlines) in the E145 Jet. I have part 141 Chief Pilot experience, Part 135 check airman experience, and am just finishing my BS Aeronautics at Embry Riddle.

    Helicopter ATP, CFI/CFII – 9000+ hrs
    Fixed Wing ATP 1200+ hrs

    I would love to be a military pilot or instructor in the reserves. If not, what job would you recommend in the reserves that is based in Colorado that best suits my experience? Thank you!


    1. Hey Ian,
      It’s definitely possible, and given your qualifications, you actually may have a better chance than most. I would talk with an Air Force reserve recruiter and see what they can do!

  5. To become a pilot for the Air Force, would I have to get any type of eye surgery such as PRK or LASIK, if not then am I allowed glasses or would I need to get contacts? Also I’m 17 and what should my general steps I should take or follow to becoming a Pilot?

    1. Hey Jared,
      Sorry for the late reply. We plan on getting a full article about how to become a fighter pilot shortly. Just need to find an actual fighter pilot to write the article! Stay tuned!

      Rob V.

  6. Do you think the airforce may reduce this age limit soon? I am working on my degree and will be done in a couple of years, I am 32 already and I wanted to join as an officer.

    1. It’s certainly possible. If they ever do make any age changes, we’ll definitely update this page accordingly!

  7. Hello, I am 46 years of age. I am a 20 year plus Law Enforcement Officer still currently serving the community and country as a Police Officer. I have before enlisted into the Marine Corps 1995. I am interested in joining the Air Force Reserves and know that I will need a waiver. Can I still join the Air Force Reserves?

    1. Hey Larenzo,
      Apart from specialized areas such as medical professions (i.e. doctors / nurses), I believe the oldest you can apply to the Air Force Reserves with a waiver is 45 years old. Sorry if this isn’t the news you wanted to hear!

      Rob V.
      OMK Founder

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