The Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) is an alphanumeric code used by the United States Air Force to identify an Air Force Specialty (AFS). Officer AFSCs consist of four characters and enlisted AFSCs consist of five characters. A letter prefix or suffix may be used with an AFSC when more specific identification of position requirements and individual qualifications is necessary. The AFSC is similar to the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) used by the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps or ratings used by the United States Navy.


After the Air Force separated from the Army in 1947, it retained the Army's system of MOS occupation codes, modifying them in 1954. These were 5-digit codes; for example a maintenance data systems specialist was 39150 and a weather technician was 25170. In October 1993, the Air Force implemented a new system of AFSCs, aligning occupations with the forcewide restructuring that was implemented under Merrill McPeak[1]. These reduced officer AFSCs from 216 to 123 and enlisted AFSCs from 203 to 176.

Enlisted AFSCsEdit

The enlisted AFSC consists of five alphanumeric characters:

  • Career group (Numerical)
  1. Operations
  2. Maintenance/Logistics
  3. Support
  4. Medical/Dental
  5. Legal/Chaplain
  6. Acquisition/Finance
  7. Special Investigation
  8. Special Duty Identifier, typically used for Airmen hand-picked for specialized jobs
  9. Reporting Identifier, typically used to identify the duties of Airmen in a transitive status, such as officer trainee, Airman awaiting retraining, prisoner, etc.
  • Career field (Alpha, different for each)
  • Career field subdivision (Numerical, different for each)
  • Skill level
  1. 1 – Helper (recruits or retrainees in technical school)
  2. 3 – Apprentice (technical school graduates applying and expanding their job skills)
  3. 5 – Journeyman (experienced Airmen functioning as front-line technicians and initial trainers)
  4. 7 – Craftsman (Airmen with many years of experience in the specialty, responsible for supervision and training)
  5. 9 – Superintendent (Airmen in the grade of Master Sergeant and above, with at least 14 years of experience, responsible for broad supervision)
  6. 0 – Chief Enlisted Manager (CEM) (Airmen in the grade of Chief Master Sergeant responsible for policy and direction on a broad scale, from the individual squadron to HQ USAF levels)
  • Specific AFSC (Numeric, specialty within career field subdivision)

For example, in the AFSC 1N371:

  • The career group is 1 (Operations)
  • The career field is N (Intelligence)
  • The career field subdivision is 3 (Cryptologic Linguist)
  • The skill level is 7 (Craftsman)
  • The specific AFSC is 1 (Crypto-Linguist Specializing in a Germanic Language)

For some specialties, an alpha prefix is used to denote a special ability, skill, qualification or system designator not restricted to a single AFSC (such as "J" for an parachutist position). Additionally, an alpha suffix (a “shredout”) denotes positions associated with particular equipment or functions within a single specialty (an Afrikaans specialist in the Germanic linguist field would have an "E" shredout). Using the above example, the AFSC J1N371E would refer to a Germanic Cryptologic Linguist who is jump qualified and specializes in Afrikaans.

Here is an extended listing of AFSC groups. Most categories have numerous actual AFSCs in them.


  • 1A - Aircrew Operation
    • 1A0X1 - In-Flight Refueling
    • 1A1X1 - Flight Engineer
    • 1A2X1 - Aircraft Loadmaster
    • 1A3X1 - Airborne Mission Systems
    • 1A4X1 - Airborne Battle Management Systems
    • 1A6X1 - Flight Attendant
    • 1A7X1 - Aerial Gunnner
    • 1A8X1 - Airborne Cryptologic Linguist
    • 1A8X2 - Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Operator
  • 1C - Command and Control Systems Operations
    • 1C0X2 - Aviation Resource Management
    • 1C1X1 - Air Traffic Control
    • 1C2X1 - Combat Control
    • 1C3X1 - Command Post
    • 1C4X1 - Tactical Air Command and Control
    • 1C5X1 - Aerospace Control and Warning Systems
    • 1C6X1 - Space Systems Operations
    • 1C7X1 - Airfield Management
  • 1N - Intelligence
    • 1N0X1 - Operations Intelligence
    • 1N1X1 - Imagery Analysis
    • 1N2X1 - Communications Signals Intelligence Production
    • 1N3XX - Cryptologic Linguist—Includes 1N3X0, 1N3X1, 1N3X2, 1N3X3, 1N3X4, 1N3X5, 1N3X6, 1N3X7, 1N3X8, and 1N3X9
    • 1N4X1 - Network Intelligence Analysis
    • 1N5X1 - Electronic Signal Intelligence Exploitation
    • 1N6X1 - Electronic Systems Security Assessment
  • 1P- Aircrew Flight Equipment (merged Aircrew Life Support and Survival Equipment in 2007)
  • 1T - Aircrew Protection
  • 1S - Safety
  • 1W - Weather

Maintenance & LogisticsEdit

  • 2A - Manned Aerospace Maintenance
    • 2A6X3 - Aircrew Egress Systems
    • 2A6X4 - Aircraft Fuel Systems
  • 2E - Communications & Electronics (converged with 3D - Cyberspace Support on 1 November 2009)
  • 2F - Fuels
  • 2G - Logistics Plans
  • 2M - Missile & Space Systems Maintenance
  • 2P - Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory
  • 2R - Maintenance Management Systems
  • 2S - Supply
  • 2T - Transportation & Vehicle Maintenance
  • 2W - Munitions & Weapons


  • 3A - Knowledge Operations Management (converged with 3D - Cyberspace Support on 1 November 2009)
  • 3C - Communications & Computer Systems (converged with 3D - Cyberspace Support on 1 November 2009)
  • 3D - Cyberspace Support (activated on 1 November 2009)
  • 3E - Civil Engineering
  • 3H - Historian
  • 3M - Services
  • 3N - Public Affairs
  • 3P - Security Forces (Military Police)
  • 3S - Mission Support
  • 3U - Manpower
  • 3V - Visual Information

Medical & DentalEdit

  • 4A0 - Hospital Administration
  • 4A1 - Medical Materiel (Logistics)
  • 4A2 - Biomedical Equipment Maintenance Technician (BMET)
  • 4B - Bioenvironmental Engineering
  • 4C - Mental Health Services
  • 4N - Medical Technician
  • 4P - Pharmacy Technician

Legal & ChaplainEdit

  • 5J - Paralegal
  • 5R - Chaplain Assistant

Finance & ContractingEdit

  • 6C - Contracting
  • 6F - Financial

Special InvestigationsEdit

  • 7S - Special Investigations (OSI)

Officer AFSCsEdit

The officer AFSC consists of four alphanumeric characters:

  • Career Group (Numerical)
    • 1 (Operations)
    • 2 (Logistics)
    • 3 (Support)
    • 4 (Medical or Dental)
    • 5 (Legal or Chaplain)
    • 6 (Acquisition or Finance)
    • 7 (Special Investigation)
    • 8 (Special Duty Identified)
    • 9 (Reporting Identifier)
  • Utilization Field (Numerical, different for each)
  • Functional Area (Alpha, different for each)
  • Qualification Level
    • 0 – Qualified commander (when used in conjunction with “C” in the 3rd position)
    • 1 – Entry (any AFSC)
    • 2 – Intermediate (is only used for pilots, bomber navigators, and missile launch officers)
    • 3 – Qualified (any AFSC)
    • 4 – Staff (relates only to the level of functional responsibility and is restricted to positions above wing level; it does not denote additional specialty qualifications)

For example, in the AFSC 11A4:

  • The career group is 11 (Pilot)
  • The functional area is A (Airlift)
  • The qualification level is 4 (Staff)

For example, in the AFSC T63A3

  • The career group is 63 (acquisition manager)
  • The functional are is A (all 63 officers are "A")
  • The qualification level is 3 (fully qualified)
  • The prefix "T" designates a formal training instructor (other pre-fixes are available for other specialty positions)

As with enlisted AFSCs, prefixes and suffixes may be applied to make the AFSC more specific.

Additional informationEdit

During the course of their Air Force careers, Airmen sometimes switch jobs and receive multiple AFSCs to denote training in multiple specialties. A Primary AFSC (PAFSC) is the designation for the specialty in which the individual possesses the highest skill level and is, therefore, the AFS that he or she is best qualified to perform. The Duty AFSC (DAFSC) reflects the actual manpower position the Airman is assigned to. The Control AFSC (CAFSC) is a management tool to make assignments, assist in determining training requirements, and consider individuals for promotion. Often an enlisted Airman's PAFSC will reflect a higher skill level than his or her CAFSC since the CAFSC skill level is tied to rank while the PAFSC skill level is tied to performance and education.

The “normal” situation for most Airmen is for the PAFSC, DAFSC, and CAFSC to be the same; however, there are situations (retraining, special duties, Air Force-level changes and other situations either within or beyond an Airman's control) when the three will differ. Additionally, Airmen retraining into other specialties will acquire one or more Secondary AFSCs (2AFSC, 3AFSC, etc).

Special Experience Identifiers (SEIs) are established to identify special experience and training not otherwise identified. They provide a means to track individuals and identify positions requiring or providing unique experience or training that would otherwise be lost. The Air Force Enlisted Classification Directory (AFECD) contains the complete list of authorized SEIs and includes designation criteria and authorized AFSC combinations. (AFI 36-2101)