As activation of the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway is a critical component of M-CSF-promoted osteoclast survival, determining specific mechanism by which M-CSF activates this signal transduction pathway is paramount towards advancing treatment of pathological conditions resulting in increased bone turnover. The p21 activated kinase PAK1 modulates activation of the Raf/MEK/ERK pathway by either directly activating Raf or priming MEK for activation by Raf. Therefore a role for PAK1 in M-CSF-mediated activation of the MEK/ERK pathway controlling osteoclast survival was assessed. Here we show that PAK1 is activated by M-CSF in a Ras-dependent mechanism that promotes osteoclast survival. Surprisingly, PAK1 did not modulate Raf activation or Raf-mediated MEK activation. M-CSF mediated activation of Raf was required for PAK1 activation and osteoclast survival promoted by PAK1. This survival response was MEK-independent as expression of constitutively active MEK did not rescue osteoclasts from apoptosis induced by blocking PAK1 function. Functionally, PAK1 promoted osteoclast survival by modulating expression of the IAP family member Survivin. M-CSF therefore functions to promote PAK1 activation as a novel MEK-independent Raf target to control Survivin-mediated osteoclast survival.