Army Officer


Army officers command, manage and motivate teams of soldiers.

You could get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly to the Army

University Course

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

You’ll usually need 2 to 3 A levels to get on a degree course.

College Course

You could work towards this role by doing a relevant subject like Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Public Services.  This would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this career.

You’ll usually need 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3  for a level 2 course and 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 for a level 3 course.


You can work towards this role by starting with an intermediate apprenticeship as a HM Forces Serviceperson.

You’ll need to apply directly to the army to find the best apprenticeship route for you.

To do this apprenticeship, you’ll need some GCSEs, usually including English and Maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship.

Direct Application

To apply directly for Army Officer training you will 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 or equivalent, including English, maths, science or a foreign language.  You will also need  2 A levels or equivalent

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.


Whichever route you take into joining the Army it be be helpful to gain experience by volunteering.  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


Skills and Knowledge

You will need the following:

  • 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
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently


Restrictions and Requirements

To enter the army you will also need to:

  • meet the British army nationality and residency rules 
  • pass a fitness test
  • pass a full army medical
  • pass security tests
  • pass enhanced background checks

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

The following salaries are a guide only:

  • Starter: £26,504
  • Experienced: £40,826


Working Conditions

  • You will work variable hours: often working away from home on weekends and bank holidays.
  • 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.

Additional Information

Next Steps
Army Website




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