11 of the Highest-Paying Air Force Jobs

Updated March 10, 2023

The United States Air Force offers enlistees and officers the chance to attend a technical school and receive the education necessary to embark on new career paths. In the Air Force, there are jobs available in nearly every industry imaginable—from future technologies to arts and humanities—which means that it's easy for airmen to find an opportunity that suits their skills and interests. If you're currently in the Air Force or considering enlisting, there are many jobs to choose from, but some positions receive higher salaries on average than others. 

In this article, we list 11 of the highest-paying Air Force jobs.

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11 of the highest-paying jobs in the Air Force

Airmen have plenty of jobs to choose from when they enlist, including many positions that translate well to civilian life. In fact, unlike other military branches, serving in the Air Force is much like having a regular civilian job. There are even opportunities in fields like arts administration or the legal industry while serving in the Air Force.

One of the key benefits of joining the Air Force is that enlistees can start their careers in fields they have never worked in before by attending technical school and working their way up the ranks. With so many career options to choose from, it may help to narrow your search by considering the positions that receive the highest compensation figures on average. Here are 11 of the highest-paying Air Force jobs for you to consider. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, visit indeed.com/salaries.

1. Security engineer

National average salary:$48,201 per year

Primary duties: Security engineers develop data technology security systems that help prevent breaches and leaks. Airmen who work in cybersecurity use technological skills and tools like firewalls and data encryption technology to create effective security measures to handle classified and sensitive information regarding national security. In addition, security engineers monitor systems to ensure they are functioning properly and are not susceptible to cyber attacks.

2. Intelligence analyst

National average salary:$51,371 per year

Primary duties: Intelligence analysts are typically responsible for collecting information through a variety of sources. They evaluate the information and intelligence regarding national security, and they use law enforcement databases, surveillance, intelligence networks and geographic information systems to predict and combat crime. Intelligence analysts must be expert communicators, as they often interface with other agencies or departments to protect citizens under their jurisdiction.

Read more: Learn About Being an Intelligence Analyst

3. Police officer

National average salary:$52,098 per year

Primary duties: Police officers are responsible for deterring crime, patrolling designated areas and monitoring situations to ensure public safety. They investigate crimes by interviewing victims, witnesses and suspects. Police officers are often the first responders during an emergency. Air Force law enforcement officers in particular work to secure their bases, protect personnel and investigate crimes.

Read more: Learn About Being a Police Officer

4. Logistics planner

National average salary:$59,850 per year

Primary duties: Air Force logistics planners participate in the shipping of high-security cargo items. They are responsible for monitoring and tracking shipments carefully. Often, they work to coordinate the shipping and receiving of different supplies, goods, food items and even people. Logistics planners ensure goods transfer where they need to be in a timely manner.

5. Health and safety manager

National average salary:$62,963 per year

Primary duties: Health and safety managers are responsible for consulting with different organizations to minimize the potential for accidents and other issues in the workplace. In the Air Force, these individuals are key in maintaining error-free military operations to ensure there is no potential for injury or property damage. They receive training in risk assessment and consult with other managers and supervisors to give them safety recommendations.

Read more: Learn About Being a Safety Manager

6. Paralegal

National average salary:$69,687 per year

Primary duties: Paralegals support lawyers and other legal professionals by performing administrative tasks like drafting documents, organizing files and maintaining legal libraries. They are also responsible for calling on and arranging legal witnesses. Often, paralegals work at law offices, corporations or with the government. Air Force paralegals and legal operations specialists are often well-versed in both federal and state law.

Read more: Learn About Being a Paralegal

7. Financial management analyst

National average salary:$81,355 per year

Primary duties: Financial management analysts help businesses make informed investment decisions. In the Air Force, financial management analysts oversee the distribution of equipment, supplies and services. They study investment options, like stocks and bonds, to evaluate their risk level, strength and security. Financial analysts must also assemble spreadsheets and reports for presenting relevant information.

8. Air traffic controller

National average salary:$85,052 per year

Primary duties: Air traffic controllers monitor and direct aircraft on the ground and in the air. They communicate with Air Force pilots to inform them about the weather, runway closures and other critical information. Air traffic controllers also issue landing and take-off instructions in order to control all ground traffic on runways.

Read more: Learn About Being an Air Traffic Controller

9. Command center operator

National average salary:$87,590 per year

Primary duties: In the Air Force, command post personnel handle efficient communication and proper information regulation to respond to emergencies. Command center operators are the first point of contact in emergencies to protect bases and those in the vicinity. They respond to situations and assist security personnel by monitoring multiple systems to ensure the safety of people and properties.

10. Pilot

National average salary:$114,612 per year

Primary duties: Air Force pilots are responsible for efficiently navigating aircraft like airplanes and helicopters while communicating with air traffic controllers. They must analyze flight plans, calculate fuel accurately, monitor weather conditions and inspect equipment for functionality. To become an Air Force pilot, you must complete the Air Force specialized undergraduate pilot training program, and complete training via the Officer Training School (OTS), Air Force Academy (AFA) or Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC).

11. Physician

National average salary:$145,065 per year

Primary duties: In the Air Force, military physicians are vital in keeping personnel healthy enough to do their jobs efficiently. They can provide nearly any treatment you would receive at a civilian hospital, and they are used to working in a fast-paced environment. They are responsible for diagnosing patients, recommending treatment plans, prescribing medication and performing therapeutic measures. Physicians must also be able to interpret laboratory results and collaborate with other medical professionals to treat patients effectively.

Read more: Learn About Being a Physician

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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