What is it Like to Be a British Army Officer?

Army header

If you are hungry for life-changing experiences around the world and opportunities to quickly progress, a career in the army is worth considering.

Officers in the British Army hold huge responsibility, leading a team of soldiers to make the world a safer place. It isn’t an easy job by any means, but it is a challenge that can come with great rewards.


What will you do?

No two days are the same in the army, this is as far from your typical 9 – 5 office job as you can get. If that alarms you, this isn’t the career for you.

Your duties will involve commanding and supporting a team of soldiers on operations, leading humanitarian missions, and providing support on home soil following attacks.

In the face of conflict, Army Officers are equipped to prevent it from happening in the future by tackling the causes head-on.


Furthering your career

Army Officers are encouraged to use existing skills, abilities and education to their advantage. Individuals with leadership potential and an ambition to push the limits of success are set on to a clear path for progression with promotions along the way.

Full support is provided throughout to ensure that every officer reaches their full potential.


Go adventuring

As well as a great career move, you can quench your thirst for adventure with adventurous training.

This includes training in: caving, sub-aqua diving, mountain biking, parachuting, gliding, canoeing, kayaking, mountaineering, skiing and offshore sailing. You’ll take part in training around the world, and can even become a certified coach or instructor.

Recent adventures include an Everest expedition by Gurkha soldiers, an 11-strong descent into cave passages under France and Spain, and an all-female expedition crossing the Antarctica coast-to-coast.


We’ve all found that inner confidence and strength. It’s great if people are inspired but I’m a normal person. I’m not this crazy, active all the time, person. I just saw a challenge and set myself to it.’ – Antarctica expedition leader, Major Nicola Weatherill.


What they can offer

The armed forces are well known for their wide-ranging benefits. Army Officers begin on a competitive starting salary of £31,000 after training, pension with contributions, subsidised accommodation with free meals, and free medical/dental cover.

They also offer generous holiday of 30 days, bank holidays and extra time in lieu from operations.

If you have a family, the army offers a lot of support which includes providing Service Families Living Accommodation, as well as maternity and paternity leave.


With a career in the army, you never stop learning…

All officers are given opportunities to earn well-recognised professional qualifications which can be used in civilian careers.

Undergraduate university students who want to become an Army Officer once they graduate are eligible for bursaries starting from £6,000. MOD sponsored degrees are also available in science and engineering from selected universities.


I joined the cadets at 12, did the two year course at Welbeck at 16, and then went on to an Army sponsored engineering degree at Aston University. Having the support of the Army while I was at university was brilliant and already having a confirmed place at Sandhurst gave me great job security.” – Jo, Lieutenant, Troop Commander in the Royal Engineers



After the recruitment process, new recruits begin their journey at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst.

At the academy thorough training is given on weapon handling, survival and leadership to prepare for the role ahead.

Once completed, the next task is to lead a team of soldiers and learn specialist skills in engineering, intelligence or piloting to become an expert.


Who can join?

To join the British Army as an Army Officer you must be 18-30 years old (you can be aged 17 years, 9 months – 28 years, 11 months to apply), in excellent physical health, and a British national or have lived in the UK for at least 5 years.

If you have a degree you can become a Professionally Qualified Officer, however you don’t need a degree to become a regular Army Officer.

The British Army are recruiting for Army Officers nationwide, find out more here.

Back to listing