Air Force Stressed Job Listing

Air Force Enlisted Jobs Fiscal Year 2019

The U.S. Air Force's Non-Commissioned Officer Retraining Program (NCORP) will allow veteran airmen (E-5 and above) who have re-enlisted at least once to retrain into undermanned job specialties in 2019. These undermanned specialties are referred to as "stressed" jobs. Airmen applying for such jobs must already be in career fields that are adequately manned. Staff sergeants applying must have less than 12 years of active duty, and E-7s and E-8s must have fewer than 16 years of service to be eligible to retrain under the NCORP.


The Air Force publishes stressed jobs each spring after it examines all enlisted and commissioned officer jobs and assigns stress ratings.

Stress is driven by three main factors: manpower, manning, and deployments. The driving force is different for each career field, but when a career field is "stressed," it means there are not enough people to adequately carry out the assigned mission.

The stress levels provide Air Force leadership with an objective, single means to measure Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) jobs. The results serve as an indicator of problems—not an absolute statement of problems. The formula provides a starting point to pick out abnormalities. It also allows Air Force leadership to measure progress. The stress level is assigned based on these parameters:

  • A stress level of 1.0 means there is no deployment or home station shortfall.
  • A stress level greater than 1.0 means there is a shortfall. The shortfall is expressed as a percentage of assigned personnel. For example, a stress-level rating of 1.2 means that each person at a home station, on average, is doing the work of 1.2 people.
  • A stress level lower than 1.0 means there is a surplus. The surplus is expressed as a percentage of assigned personnel. For example, a stress-level rating of 0.8 means that each person at a home station, on average, is doing the work of 0.8 people.

Air Force Goals

The Air Force has a goal of trying to achieve a stress level of 1.2 or less for each AFSC job. Just because a job is considered "stressed," does not necessarily mean that the job has openings for new recruits. The AFSC may be adequately manned in the first-termer (new recruits) ranks but considered stressed because of a shortage in the noncommissioned officer (NCO) ranks. 

Even if the stress is caused or partially caused by a shortage of personnel in the first-termer ranks, available training seats come into play. Air Force technical schools can train only so many students at any given time, and all the projected training slots already may be filled by people already in the Delayed Enlistment Program (DEP), or already in the Air Force, but awaiting a training slot.

Increasing the number of training slots available is generally not a viable option. Adding more slots means adding more resources. More instructors must be added, dormitory space would need to be added, support personnel would need to be increased, chow halls expanded, etc. This process is neither cheap nor fast.

These are the top stressed jobs in the Air Force, as of 2019:

AFSC Career Field Slots Available for 2018-19


Security forces

1B411 Cyber warfare operations career field 209


Education and training career field



Command post-career field

4N051F Aerospace medical service job 116
1A111 Flight engineer field 115


Special missions aviation field—Gunner AC130



Flight and operational medicine technicians



Independent duty medical technicians