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The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is looking to recruit graduate students with master’s degrees in science and engineering to become shipborne aircraft pilots.

In a recent advertisement on the popular social media platform WeChat, the PLAN announced that it has raised the age limit to 26 for the sought-after candidates. This adjustment expands upon a change initiated last year when, for the first time, undergraduates up to 24 years old became eligible to apply, a significant leap from the earlier restriction to high school graduates under the age of 20.

The advertisement emphasized the growing need for “high-quality military talent,” citing an accelerating “strategic shift of the navy” and the expansion of its mission and tasks. Moreover, prospective candidates must be male, have a clean “political history,” and have no record of legal or disciplinary issues.

According to the Chinese military, a comprehensive training program awaits successful applicants, encompassing three to four years of aviation theory and practical flight instruction. Additional benefits include complimentary medical care for the recruits and their immediate families and provisions for government housing.

This recruitment strategy corresponds with China’s broader objective to modernize its military forces by 2035, a vision in which the development of a robust naval force equipped with trained personnel plays a pivotal role.


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