People enlisting in the Air Force for the first time could get up to $15,000 in initial enlistment bonuses in fiscal 2016, depending on their career field.

According to a bonus chart provided by the Air Force Personnel Center, new enlistees signing up for 14 career fields could get enlistment bonuses, as long as they sign up for six years. There are no bonuses being offered for four-year enlistments in 2016.

New enlistees signing up to be 1C2X1 combat controllers and 1T2X1 pararescuemen could get the top enlistment bonuses of $15,000.

Enlistment bonuses for other career fields:

  •  Enlistees signing up to be 1C4X1 Tactical Air Control Party, airmen could get $14,000.
  •  The 1T0X1 Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape, or SERE, 1W0X2 special operations weather, and 3E8X1 explosive ordnance disposal,  career fields could earn an enlistee $13,000.
  • Bonuses of $11,000 could go to those signing up to be 1A8X1 airborne linguists and 1N3XX crypto linguists, $11,000.
  • The 4H0X1 cardipulmonary,  career field could get enlistees $8,000., and the
  • 1N431 fusion analyst, career field could net them $7,000.

Four other career fields — 3D0X2 cyber systems operations, 3D0X3 cyber surety, 3D1X1 client systems and 3D1X2 cyber transport systems — require an enlistee to have a current Defense Department-approved industry certification to get a bonus. The amount of the bonus varies depending on their level of certifications. Someone with a level I certification would get $4,000, a level II certification draws $6,000 and a level III certification would get an enlistee $10,000.

The 3D1X1 client systems career field is the only one newly-added for 2016 from the previous year, AFPC said. The other three career fields that require certifications offered $3,000 bonuses last year.

Another career field — 3D1X3 RF transmission systems — was removed from last year's list of eligible career fields. Newly-enlisted airmen receive their bonuses in one-time lump sums 30 to 90 days after they successfully complete the training required and sign in at their first permanent duty station. This means that enlistees who wash out of their chosen career field have not yet received their bonuses.

Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.

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