Airservices is Australia's air navigation service provider - we provide air traffic control, aviation rescue and fire fighting and air navigation services.

Frequently asked questions


How many vacancies are there for each of the stations you are recruiting for?

As operational requirements fluctuate throughout the course of the recruitment process, the numbers of vacancies at each station may change so we are not able to confirm this information.

What are the key dates for the recruitment process?

Due to the current uncertainty and restrictions on gatherings and travel we have decided to cancel the current Recruit Course (RC) 96 recruitment process. We will recommence our recruitment process later in 2020 for RC 97 with successful candidates expected to commence their training in March 2021. Thank you all for your efforts and understanding.

The below dates provide an approximate timeline for our process. Once the new recruitment round is opened, these dates will be updated.

17th February 2020 Applications Open
9th March 2020 Applications Close
10th March 2020 Online Testing Commences (open 7 days)
14th April – 22nd May 2020 Physical Testing Commences (dates and locations TBA)
25th May – 26th June 2020 Assessment Centres (dates and locations TBA)
10th July 2020 onwards Offers of Employment Made
31st August 2020 Recruit Course commences

*Dates are approximate only and subject to change. You will be notified if you are successful in reaching each key stage of the recruitment process and provided with further details including dates, locations and requirements.

How often do you advertise?

Intakes for each Recruit Course is determined by operational requirements within ARFFS. In general recruitment for new recruits takes place around one to two times per year.

If I have previously applied, do I have to apply again?

Yes. You will need to apply for each recruitment campaign as they are advertised and re-submit a new application. Results from previous campaigns are not carried over.

Am I at a disadvantage if I am female or from a culturally diverse background?

No. Airservices values and recognises diversity and the benefits it brings to the workplace and the community we serve. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds to apply.

Which stations are you recruiting to?

Expected locations will be advised at the time of advertising. Please note that these are subject to change throughout the recruitment process. We also do not recruit to our Fly in Fly Out (FIFO) locations of Newman and Yulara.

You may not be offered your first preference if you are successful so please think carefully about the locations you list as preferences. You should only list those locations that you are willing to be located at as it is a requirement for successful applicants to live in that location for a minimum of three (3) years before becoming eligible to apply for a transfer.

Those stations that we are unlikely to recruit for will not be provided for you to list as your first few preferences.

Can I choose where I go/my end location?

No. You will have the opportunity to nominate your preferences at the application stage, however these cannot be guaranteed. While preferences will be considered where possible, Airservices will offer you a position at a location with an operational staffing need, should you be successful.

You should only nominate a preference in those locations you are willing to be located. You will remain in your final location for a minimum of three years.

Is a Fly In, Fly Out (FIFO) arrangement possible from any of the locations advertised?

No, we do not recruit to FIFO positions.

What are the medical requirements for eyesight?

For safety reasons, contact lenses or standard prescription glasses are not permitted during emergency responses or training simulations. Airservices will order specially made prescription glasses for you to wear whilst you complete any training and any emergency responses requiring you to wear a face mask.

What happens if I am colour blind?

Due to CASA regulations, if you are colour-blind to a certain standard, this WILL preclude you from working as an aviation rescue firefighter with Airservices. The final stage of the selection process is to undertake a medical based on a CASA Class 2 medical examination including two colour vision tests:

  1. Twenty four (24) plate Ishihara pseudo-isochromatic plates shown in random order – you must not make more than two (2) mistakes. If you do, you will need to sit the second test.
  2. Colour vision-testing with the Farnsworth colour-perception lantern – you must not make more than two (2) mistakes.

If you make more than two (2) mistakes on the Farnsworth colour vision test, we cannot offer you employment as an aviation rescue firefighter. We do NOT offer practical colour vision tests.

The Role

Will I be required to work at heights?

Aviation rescue firefighters respond to a range of properties including high rise and medium density buildings, airports, major industrial complexes and residential buildings.

You will undergo formal training to work at heights and use ladders which may be up to 24 metres. While working at these heights you are fully harnessed and wearing full Personal Protective Equipment.

Tell me about working in extreme heat

Your training will include drills to prepare you for an emergency situation where you are required to fight a fire temperature that may reach as high as 200 degrees Celsius. At all times you will be wearing Personal Protective Equipment, however, you will need to feel comfortable remaining in this heat for minutes at a time whilst extinguishing the fire.

Explain working in confined spaces

At times you may need to crawl through confined spaces that may only be the width of a person. This can include planes, tunnels, cars, etc. Therefore it is important to assess whether you are confident when working in this type of condition. 

Is wearing personal protective equipment mandatory?


Overalls, jacket and helmet

Aviation rescue firefighters are required to wear turn-out clothing to an emergency response or during training for this; both the jackets and trousers (overalls) weigh approximately 1.5kgs each, as does the helmet which does up underneath your chin.

In total you will be wearing 4.5kgs of clothing. Our turn-out gear is state of the art with a breathable liner making it quite comfortable and cooler, however in potentially 200 degrees of heat you will still be hot!

Face masks

When attending to an emergency situation (or training simulation) where you may be required to fight a fire, you will be wearing a face mask that completely covers your face and is firm around the edges of the face. This could be for approximately half an hour at a time.

Aviation rescue firefighters describe this feeling similar to wearing a snorkel or scuba diving mask but this mask covers your full face, not just your eye area.

Breathing apparatus

Breathing apparatus consists of a cylinder, mouth piece and harness. The cylinder sits on your back similar to a backpack and the harness consists of shoulder straps and waist straps. The set weighs approximately 12kgs and you would wear this in conjunction with a face mask and other Personal Protective Equipment. It can feel the same as wearing a scuba diving oxygen tank on your back.

Do recruits work on weekends?

Yes, you may be required to work nights and weekends as required while attending the 15 week recruit course. Once you graduate from the recruit course you will be required to work 7-day shift work, this will vary depending on your location and category requirements.

What is the ARFF rank structure?

Please refer to the Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting Enterprise Agreement for a detailed outline of the rank structure.

The Application Process

What are the document or qualification requirements I must provide at each stage of the recruitment process?

Recruitment Phase Requirement
Application Must be at least 18 years of age

Hold Australian/New Zealand citizenship (Australian citizenship is mandatory for Darwin candidates)

Hold a current unrestricted manual drivers licence

Have the ability to (or already hold) a heavy rigid licence

Hold either a Year 10 or Year 12 high school certificate or a Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree

Have a minimum two years full time work experience or equivalent

Provide certified documents of application requirements (citizenship/residency, Year 10/12 high school certificate or Bachelors/Masters degrees)

Physical Aptitude Test (PAT) Obtain medical clearance for participating in PAT

Current unrestricted manual drivers licence

Assessment Centre Hold a current Senior First Aid certificate (or equivalent)

Hold a current water competency qualification for those stations that provide water rescue response

ASIC application security documents

Offer Stage (including Reserves) Evidence of completion of secondary education in Australia/New Zealand

OR that you have worked 3 of the last 5 years in Australia/New Zealand or specified country

Complete and pass a medical check in accordance with the ARFFS Recruit medical standard

Obtain an Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC)

What are the minimum education qualifications and experience requirements?

Please refer to our entry standards webpage for information on the minimum entry requirements.

A Year 10 Certificate is the minimum educational requirement. While you can attach additional qualifications to your application, your Year 10 or 12 Certificate OR University Bachelors or Master’s degree qualifications must be provided and attached to your application as the minimum standard. Your application will not be progressed if you do not provide this at the time of submission. We also require you to provide an updated CV or resume with details of your qualifications, skills and work experience—this requires a minimum of two years’ fulltime equivalent vocational experience. Your CV or resume should include details of your employment/volunteering/elite sporting representation or other vocational history, including the name of your employer or volunteer organisation, your role, dates, key duties and average weekly hours for each type of engagement.

* Full-Time experience equals an average combined 38 hours working week over a twelve month period (any combination of paid work, volunteer work and/or sports representation) and should be able to be verified by details in application (CV and application) as well as through referees and any other verification that Airservices may wish to seek. Please also refer to FAQs which provide details on specific evidentiary requirements (for example, completion of schooling evidence) which must be provided as part of your application submission.

What evidence is required for my Year 10 or 12 Certificate? What if I have misplaced it or don’t have a copy?

At the time of application you must attach a copy of your Year 10 or Year 12 Certificate. If you do not provide clear evidence that this level of attainment has been achieved then your application will not be progressed beyond online testing stage. Late submissions will not be accepted. It is important that you ensure you have these documents ready to go when applications open, as obtaining replacement copies or other verification can take some time.

If you have misplaced your certificate or have not got a copy, you can contact your State board of education or the school that you attended. We require a copy of your Year 10 Certificate as a minimum (as issued by the relevant State or Territory Department). If the Board or School is legitimately unable to provide a copy of the Certificate, sometimes they can provide you with a formal letter stating where you attended school and what grade you successfully completed. This may be enough to show us what grade you successfully completed. It should be on the State Board or School letterhead with appropriate details (year and certificate reached, year of completion, school attended).

Copies or transcripts of results do not qualify and will not be accepted unless they very clearly show that your results have provided you with the required level of attainment.

Any copies provided with your application must be certified copies.

I have an overseas qualification. Can I use this to meet the educational prerequisites?

We do accept international qualifications, however these must be accompanied by an assessment from the Department of Education that the international qualification is equivalent to an eligible Australian qualification. This assessment will confirm your qualification is equal to or superior to one that was obtained from an Australian educational institution. This must be done prior to submitting your application to Airservices and can take up to three months to obtain.

How long are applications open for?

Applications are generally open for three (3) weeks. The day after they close you will be required to complete online testing which details will be provided to you by email. You must complete this testing within seven (7) days of the test been sent to you.

What are the additional requirements if I apply for a water rescue station?

Several of our coastal locations require aviation rescue firefighters to assist in search and rescue in open water, assisting local authorities with locating and rescuing missing boats and/or people and helping them to the safety of the water vessel.

The stations that perform water rescue are:

If you are applying for a position with one of these stations, you will be required to demonstrate a competent level of swimming ability before your commencement with Airservices.

Candidates who possess and can provide evidence of the following will not be required to undertake a water competency assessment:

  • Bronze Medallion: Pool Lifeguard Award
  • Bronze Star: Pool Lifeguard Licence
  • Bronze Cross: Other – please describe on your application form
  • Pool Lifeguard Award
  • Pool Lifeguard License

If you do not possess any of the above certifications, you will be required to pass a water competency assessment prior to you attending an assessment centre in order for us to progress your application.

Assessed by a qualified lifeguard, you will need to successfully complete the following:

  • swim 50m in any stroke unaided
  • tread water for two (2) minutes unaided without stopping

Please ensure you can meet this standard before applying for a role at a water rescue station.

PLEASE NOTE: You will be provided with the necessary documents and instructions to obtain a water competency assessment in the event you are invited to attend an Assessment Centre. There is no need to undertake a water competency assessment before that stage.

Is the shuttle run/beep test a requirement of the physical assessment?

Our physical aptitude test currently includes a version of the Yo-Yo Test.

The Recruitment Process

Can I do practice tests for the Online Testing section of the application process?

Yes. If your initial application is deemed suitable, you will be asked to complete online Cognitive and Psychometric Assessments. You will receive an email with a link to the tests and you will have up to seven (7) days to complete the assessments online.

To prepare yourself for this testing you can complete some practice tests on the SHL website for numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning and inductive reasoning

Can I get feedback throughout the recruitment process?

At each stage of the process, we will advise you of the outcome via email. Due to the volume of applications, detailed verbal or written feedback is only available to applicants who reach the assessment centre stage.

If I am successful

Who conducts the CASA Class II (2) Medical Assessment?

All pre-employment medicals for the position of Aviation Rescue Firefighters are conducted by Designated Aviation Medical Examiners (DAME) certified by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. The testing is based on the CASA Class II (2) medical exam for the role of Aviation Rescue Firefighter.

Airservices are unable to offer applicants medical advice in relation to this testing. If you have any questions about colour blindness or any other medical questions in relation to the undertaking of a medical based on the CASA Class II (2) Medical, please visit

You are able to look up a DAME in your area from the CASA website. However, please note that advice over the phone may not be as accurate as a formal assessment. You ultimately need to be assessed in person by a DAME, in the event you are successful in obtaining a position. The DAME will provide a final assessment of Pass or Does Not Pass. All offers of employment are conditional on passing this medical assessment and we will provide you with the exact requirements and paperwork should you be successful in receiving an offer of employment or being placed on our reserve list.

What if I can’t get my Senior First Aid (Apply First Aid) certificate before the application is due?

You may still apply, however it is required that you obtain the required certificate prior to attending the assessment centre should you be successful in reaching this stage.

What kind of drivers licence do I need?

At the time of application, Airservices requires that you hold (and provide evidence of) a current manual drivers licence within Australia and have the ability to obtain a Heavy Rigid Licence.

If you are successful in winning a position or placed on our reserve list, then Airservices requires you to hold a current manual drivers licence and a current Heavy Rigid (HR) licence. If you do not have a HR licence, you will be required to obtain one at least four weeks prior to your commencement with Airservices or if a reserve candidate at a date as advised by us. Our fire trucks are the ultra-large fire vehicle Mk7 and Mk8 which require the driver to possess a HR licence.

Please see below for the entry requirements of your state. You must meet these requirements in order to apply.


HR licence information

Have held a Class C license for two years or more. Pass the HR knowledge test and an eyesight test before completing the driving test.


HR licence information

Have held a Class C license for two years.


HR licence information

Have held a Class C license for two years. Minimum age is 20.


HR licence information

Held a Class C licence (including a provisional licence) for a period of at least 24 months.


HR licence information

Have held a Class C license for two years.


HR licence information

Have held a Class C license for two years.


HR licence information

Have held a Class C license for two years. Minimum age is 19.


HR licence information

Have held a Class C license for two years.

If you obtain your HR Licence in ACT, NT or NSW, you may also have a condition on your licence which only allows you to drive vehicles with an automatic or synchromesh transmission. ARFFS current fleet of ultra-large fire vehicles have automatic gearboxes so the HR (unrestricted or with either “A” auto or “B” syncromesh transmission condition) is suitable for driving the vehicles.

If you are successful, at least four weeks prior to commencement you will be required to provide a certified copy of your HR Licence (not the certificate of attainment) to meet the Registered Training Organisation requirements.

Will Airservices pay for my travel in order to complete testing?

No, any travel or other costs associated with completing any of the recruitment process is at your own time and own expense. We will have a number of testing locations and, should you be selected to attend physical testing, we will select a location closest to your home location, where possible.

If I am successful, what and where is the required training?

The program will take fifteen weeks of training at our Melbourne (Tullamarine) facilities. Upon completion of the 15 week course, you will come out with a Certificate II in Public Safety PUA20613 (Firefighting and Emergency Operations).

Will you pay my costs when I am in Melbourne training?

If you are successful and accept an offer of employment, for your initial relocation travel to Melbourne you will receive an airfare to Melbourne, or motor vehicle allowance in lieu of airfare, for those recruited from outside of Victoria, but within Australia. You will also receive a return airfare to your assigned location (home location). You will be required to make your own way to the accommodation from Melbourne Airport upon arrival. We will also fund your accommodation in a serviced apartment for the duration of the Recruit Training, as arranged by Airservices. This will be on a share basis. Daily transport to and from your accommodation in Melbourne is arranged and paid for by Airservices.

Will you pay any costs if I have to move from my current home location?

Should you be required to move from your current home location to take up a position with Airservices this will be at your own expense.

Further information

Who do I contact for any further information?

Where you have a question that is not already answered above, please email