Alternative titles for this job include Army soldier, army non-commissioned officer (NCO), army reserve

Soldiers take part in peacekeeping missions, support disaster relief operations and fight in combat zones around the world.

Average salary (a year)

£19,000 Starter


£36,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

Variable a week

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 Soldier

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You can apply to join the army through an HM Forces Serviceperson Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship.

You apply directly to the army to find the best apprenticeship route for you. This will depend on your qualifications and which service role you're interested in, for example, engineering, health or logistics.

Entry requirements

  • entry requirements vary

More Information


You can join the Army Reserve to get 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 aged between 18 and 43
  • 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 to join the army. You do not need any specific qualifications unless you're applying for a technical role like engineering or communications.

You'll also need to be:

  • aged between 16 and 36
  • physically fit

If your application is accepted, you'll be invited to talk to someone at your local army careers centre about the opportunities available to you. You'll then attend a 2-day assessment, which includes medical and fitness tests.

More Information

Further information

You'll find more information about becoming a soldier 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:

  • physical fitness and endurance
  • concentration skills
  • active listening skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

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 a soldier, your duties will depend on your unit. You could:

  • service and repair HGVs, Land Rovers, tanks and other armoured vehicles
  • refuel and re-arm combat helicopters as part of an aviation groundcrew team
  • set up communications links and conduct cyber warfare activities
  • collect and analyse military intelligence to help plan operations
  • support medical, veterinary or administrative services
  • take part in training exercises, and humanitarian and combat operations

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 protective clothing and a uniform.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

When you join the army, you sign up for 4 years. You can leave at any time after this as long as you give 12 months' notice. If you want to stay longer you can extend your contract.

Throughout your army career, you'll have the opportunity to gain qualifications in your chosen field. With experience you could move up through the ranks or into a specialist unit like the commandos or paratroopers. You could also train to become an officer.

You can move into a wide range of careers after leaving the army. You'll find details about support and opportunities from:

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

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Courses In England

Public Services First Certificate

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Bexhill on Sea

Public Services Diploma level 2

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Newport

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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