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Army officer

Alternative titles for this job include Professionally qualified officer, officer reserve, commissioned officer

Army officers command, manage and motivate teams of soldiers.

Average salary (a year)

£31,000 Starter


£48,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

Variable variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Army officer

You could get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You can do a degree course before you apply for officer training although it's not essential.

Most subjects are acceptable.

You can also apply for an army officer internship before, during or after university. This gives you the chance to learn about the officer role and whether it's something you want to do.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information


You could work towards becoming an officer by doing a college course, for example in public services or A levels. You would then apply to the army for officer training.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

More Information


You could start your army career by doing an HM Forces Serviceperson Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship.

You would apply directly to the army to find the best apprenticeship route for you.

Entry requirements

To do this apprenticeship, you'll need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information


You can join the Army Reserve as a part-time officer to get some experience of what life is like in the regular army. You'll also learn new skills at the same time.

You'll need to:

  • be between 18 and 49
  • commit to at least 27 days a year, though this can fall to 19, if you apply for a specialist unit
  • attend a 2-week training camp each year

If you're between 12 and 18 years old, you can join the Army Cadet Force.

Direct Application

You can apply directly for officer training.

You'll need to:

  • be between 17 years 9 months and 28 years and 11 months
  • get a GP's medical report

You'll also usually need a minimum of:

  • GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, 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 the opportunities available. You'll then attend a 2-part assessment, which includes medical and fitness tests.

If you're accepted, you'll move onto formal officer training at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in Surrey.

More Information

Further information

You'll find more information about becoming an army officer from Army Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • leadership skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • persistence and determination
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • concentration skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As an army officer, your duties will depend on your unit.

In a combat role you could:

  • command infantry soldiers on operations
  • pilot a helicopter and lead your crew and ground troops
  • co-ordinate surveillance to locate tank and artillery targets

In a medical or healthcare role, you could:

  • care for injured soldiers as a doctor or nurse
  • provide dental care for army personnel and their families
  • work with military animals as a veterinary officer

You could also:

  • co-ordinate supplies for disaster relief efforts and military deployments
  • manage engineering projects from setting up camps to building bridges
  • plan operations based on intelligence gathering
  • provide support and guidance to soldiers and their families as a chaplain

Working environment

You could work at a military base, be based overseas or in a warzone.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear a uniform and protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

Your first command post will usually be for 12 years though you can leave during training or after 3 years' service. With training and experience, you could move up through the ranks from lieutenant to captain, major and beyond.

Throughout your army career, you'll have the opportunity to gain qualifications in your chosen field.

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. You can find details about support and opportunities from:

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for an Army officer right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Uniformed Services Courses (STC)

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: South Shields

L3 Diploma Uniformed Services

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Fareham

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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Skills assessment

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