Air Force Specialty Code

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.

Enlisted AFSCs

The enlisted AFSC consists of five alphanumeric characters:

  • Career Category (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 Group (Alpha, different for each)
  • Career Field (Numerical, different for each)
  • Skill Level
    • 1 – Helper (recruits or retrainees in technical school)
    • 3 – Apprentice (technical school graduates applying and expanding their job skills)
    • 5 – Journeyman (experienced Airmen functioning as front-line technicians and initial trainers)
    • 7 – Craftsman (Airmen with many years of experience in the specialty, responsible for supervision and training)
    • 9 – Superintendent (Airmen in the grade of Senior Master Sergeant responsible for broad supervision)
    • 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, different for each career field subdivision)

For example, in the AFSC 1N371:

  • The career group is 1 (Operations)
  • The career field is N (Intelligence)
  • The career field is 3 (Cryptographic 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. Additionally, an alpha suffix (a “shredout”) denotes positions associated with particular equipment or functions within a single specialty. Using the above example, the AFSC 1N371E would refer to an Afrikaans Cryptologic Linguist.

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


1A - Aircrew Operations

1C - Command & Control Systems Operations

1N - Intelligence

1T - Aircrew Protection

1S - Safety

1W - Weather

Maintenance & Logistics

2A - Manned Aerospace Maintenance

2E - Communications & Electronics<br>
2E0X1 - Ground Radar Systems, 2E1X1 - Satellite, Wideband and Telemtry Systems, 2E1X2 - Airfield Systems, 2E1X3 - Ground Radio Maintenance, 2E1X4 - Visual Imagery and Intrusion Detection Systems, 2E2X1 - Computer, Network, Switching and Cryptographic Systems, 2E6X2 - Communications Cable and Antenna Systems

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 - Information Management

3C - Communications & Computer Systems

3H - Historian

3M - Services

3N - Public Affairs

3P - Security Forces (Military Police)

3E - Civil Engineering

3S - Mission Support

3U - Manpower

3V - Visual Information

Medical & Dental

4X - Medical

4Y - Dental

Legal & Chaplain

5J - Paralegal

5R - Chaplain Assistant

Finance & Contracting

6C - Contracting

6F - Financial

Special Investigations

7S - Special Investigations (OSI)

Officer AFSCs

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)

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

Additional information

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).

See also


External links

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