Army officer

Alternative titles for this job include Professionally qualified officer (PQO), army reserve

Army officers command, manage and motivate teams of soldiers.

Average salary (a year)

£26,504 Starter


£40,826 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

Variable variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

How to become an Army officer

You could get into this job by:

  • applying directly

Volunteering and experience

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

You'll need to:

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

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 foreign language
  • 2 A levels or equivalent

If your initial application is accepted, 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.

More information

Further information

You'll find more details about careers in the army, training and how to join through Army Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • leadership skills to manage and motivate soldiers
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills for making quick decisions
  • persistence and determination
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • concentration skills and fast reactions
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with others in a team
  • You will be expected to use a computer confidently as part of this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You could work in a combat role 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

You might work in medicine and healthcare as:

  • an adult nurse caring for injured soldiers
  • a dental officer for army personnel and their families
  • a veterinary officer working with military animals

You could also be:

  • 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
  • a chaplain giving support and guidance to soldiers and their families

Working environment

You could work at a military base 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

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. The Officers' Association gives advice and support to officers on finding a career outside the army.

The Career Transition Partnership, Quest and Troops to Teachers also have more information on career options outside the armed forces.

Training 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


  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Newport

NCFE Diploma for Entry to Uniformed Services L2

  • Provider: Bishop Auckland College
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Bishop Auckland

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