Job type

Security service personnel

£22k - £40k

Typical salary

37 – 39

Hours per week

Security Service personnel protect the UK against threats to national security.

More info

  • Protect the UK against threats to national security
  • You'll need excellent observational skills and a flexible approach to duties
  • You could move into management or apply for opportunities with SIS and GCHQ

There are a variety of roles in the Security Service. These range from investigative and operational roles to support jobs like vehicle technician or security guard.


  • Collecting information on threats to national security
  • Watching and reporting on suspects' movements and actions
  • Using specialist IT or electronics equipment to record and observe meetings, conversations or activities
  • Reading emails and letters, and checking social media
  • Deciding if something poses a potential threat
  • In some roles you'll work closely with the police, Secret Intelligence Service (SIS or MI6) and Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)


You could work at a police station, in an office, in government or in a control room. Your working environment may be emotionally demanding, outdoors some of the time and travelling often and spending nights away from home. You may need to wear a uniform.

You'll usually work a shift rota which could include evenings and weekends. You may need to work extra hours during certain operations. Most roles are based in London and the South East, but you may be employed elsewhere in the UK or around the world. You may be expected to travel in the UK or overseas, depending on your role.

You'll need

This role would be ideal for someone with excellent observational skills, a flexible approach to duties, the ability to make decisions, excellent communication skills, and balanced judgment.

You must be at least 18 and meet strict residency and nationality criteria.

Due to the sensitive nature of the work, you would have background checks carried out, which could include detailed questions about your life. You would also have to provide work and character references. You can get more information about the vetting process and eligibility from the Security Service MI5.

To enter the Security Service with a degree, you'll need a pass at upper second class or higher. Relevant degree subjects include history, languages, politics, economics, maths or law. With a degree you can apply for job roles, like intelligence analyst, internet and computer technology specialist, security exploitation officer or foreign language analyst.

For some roles within the Security Service, like foreign language analyst or security guard, you would not need any specific qualifications. Entry would be based on the experience and skills you could bring to the role, for instance fluency in a language like Russian or Mandarin.

There could also be opportunities for you if you have technical, vocational or professional qualifications in subjects like electronics or accountancy.

For support jobs such as business officer or administration assistant, you may need five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent including English and maths, or have relevant office-based experience.

You could also enter some roles through an intelligence analyst higher apprenticeship.


With experience and a good performance record, you could move into management. You could also move to another station in the UK or apply for opportunities with SIS and GCHQ.