The Australian Defence Force can take you where you want to go

Have you ever thought about a career in the Navy, Army or Air Force? To begin with, there are over 200 different job roles in the Australian Defence Forces (ADF). Not only is it stimulating and varied work, you’ll also be making a positive contribution to the world we live in. Plus there are heaps of benefits (we’ll come to in a minute).

There are a couple of ways you can join the ADF:

  • General Entry. This includes:
    • Non-technical jobs
    • Technical jobs
    • Gap year jobs (you can spend 12-months in the Navy, Army or Air Force, travel Australia, get paid, and gain skills for life)
    • Part-time jobs (the Reserves)
  • Officer Entry:
    • The Royal Australian Naval College
    • Royal Military College for Army Officer
    • The Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) for a university pathway to an officer role
    • Graduate Entry

While you don’t need to be an ‘A’-student at school, all Defence Force roles need a pass in Year 10 English and Maths. Of course, many roles have extra entry requirements. These could include:

  • Year 10 Science
  • Passes in certain TCE courses
  • A minimum ATAR for ADFA courses.

With so many career options, there’s a lot to wrap your head around. So it makes sense to do your research. Start by drilling down into the job opportunities.

Steps to exploration

Make the defence jobs website a priority target

Are you ready to start exploring an amazing career in the ADF? Everything you need to know is on the Defence Jobs website – Explore Defence Force jobs by:

  • Services – Army, Navy or Air Force
  • Categories
  • Entry methods – Full Time or Reserves (Part Time)

For each job, make sure you read the ‘Job overview’. If one sparks your interest, then read the ‘Full details’ to get the nitty gritty on all the requirements.

Read up on the lifestyle and benefits of joining the Defence Forces and see if it’s for you.  This includes:

  • Excellent salary packages.
  • Unique experiences
  • Job satisfaction
  • Lifelong friendships
  • Training and development

What to look out for

If you want to go to ADFA:

  • Apply through Defence Force Recruiting
  • Apply to UAC (University Admissions Centre) for your ADFA course at the University of New South Wales Canberra Campus –
  • Or maybe you’d like to test the water. If you’re interested in an ‘ADF Gap Year’ job keep an eye out for when ADF Gap Year applications open. Remember though, many ADF Gap Year jobs fill fast! So you’ll need to get a wriggle on when applications come out.


How to apply

There are lot of steps from the time you begin applying to the Defence Forces to arriving at your first day on the job (but hey, good things take time). The best thing to do is to try not to get ahead of yourself – go step by step. Read when you can apply. And then how to apply. Also, don’t leave it too late to apply if you hope to start in a Defence Force job or training soon after you finish Year 12. You can, in fact, start applying in Year 11 or early Year 12.

  • Apply online for your YOU session (Your Opportunities Unlimited). This is a chance for you to put your best foot forward. You’ll be asked to provide some personal details (e.g. birth certificate, proof of citizenship). Take an online aptitude test, and to list your job preference(s) if you have any.  To find out more about the next YOU session visit the Defence Jobs website –
  • Or if you prefer to have a chat to someone about applying for the Defence Forces, call 13190. 

You can also apply to the Australian Defence Forces if you already have a qualification such as a trade. Or If you have a university degree (or you are part way through your university studies) you can apply.

Key takeaway

With over 200 different job roles in the Australian Defence Forces, there is a job to suit just about everybody

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