Job type

Army officer

£27k - £42k

Typical salary

37 – 45

Hours per week

Army officers command, manage and motivate teams of soldiers.

More info

  • Lead a group of soldiers in defending the country
  • Move up through the ranks with training and experience
  • May be away from family and friends for long periods of time

DAY-TO-DAY DUTIES

There are a wide range of different roles for officers in the army, but these can be roughly divided into combat roles and combat support roles. 

In combat, you could work as:

  • An infantry platoon commander leading a team of trained soldiers on operations
  • A helicopter pilot officer with responsibility for your crew and ground troops
  • A tank troop officer in charge of men and their vehicles,
  • An artillery troop officer leading a team of soldiers

In combat support you could work in a variety of specialist areas like health, engineering or logistics. You could be:

  • An adult nurse caring for injured soldiers
  • A dental officer for army personnel and their families
  • A veterinary officer working with military animals
  • A logistic troop commander managing the supply of things like petrol and ammunition
  • An engineering troop commander managing engineering projects
  • An intelligence officer specialising in intelligence and security
  • A military police officer managing military police soldiers

You'll be responsible for the operational effectiveness, training, discipline, welfare and career development of the soldiers under your command.

DAY-TO-DAY ENVIRONMENT

You could work at a military base or in a war zone and your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

You'll need

You'll need to develop strong leadership skills, persistence and determination, and excellent communication skills.

Before you can start you'll need to meet the British army nationality and residency rules, pass a fitness test, pass a full army medical, pass security checks, and pass enhanced background checks.

You can apply directly for officer training. You'll need to be between 17 years 9 months and 28 years and 11 months old, get a GP's medical report, and you'll usually need GCSEs including English, maths, science or a foreign language, 2 A levels or equivalent qualifications. You'll be invited to talk to someone at your local army careers centre about what you want to do. You'll then attend an assessment, which includes medical and fitness tests.

Some army officers will complete a degree before applying for officer training, or you could complete an intermediate apprenticeship as a HM Forces Serviceperson.

To help you gain experience or decide if full time army life is for you, you could join the army reserve as a part-time officer.

You'll need to be between 18 and 49, commit to at least 19 or 27 days a year, depending on your unit, and attend a 2-week training camp each year.

CAREER PROSPECTS

With training and experience, you could rise up through the ranks from lieutenant to captain, major, colonel and beyond.

On leaving active service, you could use your skills, qualifications and experience to go into a new career, for example in management, planning or teaching.