Armed Forces Salaries

Average Salary: £38,502.20

Min: £20,697.00 Max: £94,731.00

Average Armed Forces Salary in UK: £38,502.20

The average Armed Forces salary is £38,502. Working in Armed Forces you can earn between £20,697 and £94,731.

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The UK's Armed Forces consist of 150,000 regulars, and the reserves and other personnel bring this number up to almost 200,000. There are hundreds of different careers within the British Army, Royal Air Force, and Royal Navy, making it one of the most diverse sectors to join.

You might start your military career as a soldier, engineer, mechanic, pilot, doctor, or musician. Qualifications are needed for certain jobs, but even without these, the army will help you build a successful career and move up the ranks. Some roles are open to everyone, while others have age restrictions.

Your salary will be greatly affected by the role, risks, or the qualification needed to complete the role. The army offers apprenticeships, graduate entry schemes, and sponsorships for undergraduates, so you could begin your career in the low, mid, or upper salary levels.

An armoured assault vehicle crew member who has undergone training and has experience typically earns £16,300 per year. Leadership roles and those that require a degree offer significantly more.

Core responsibilities in Armed Forces

You will primarily be responsible for the UK's security and safety, either directly or through a supporting role. Your responsibilities might include combat, peacekeeping, providing humanitarian aid, nursing injured soldiers, or cooking for a platoon.

There are many opportunities to work in logistics, vehicle maintenance, or HR. From gathering intelligence to working with dogs and horses, your responsibilities greatly depend on the field you move into. As your career progresses, you will likely find yourself in a leadership role.

Core Armed Forces skills

The best opportunities exist for those who earn a university degree in science, engineering, maths, technology, or healthcare. You will need to be fit and healthy, courageous, respectful, and disciplined. Integrity and the ability to work in a team is vital, and you should be keen to learn new practical skills every step of the way.

If you are passionate about the UK, helping others, and have a drive towards adventure, then a career in the Armed Forces could be your calling.

What to expect from a career in Armed Forces

To begin a career in the Armed Forces, you will often be required to commit to a minimum length of service, from 3.5 to six years. You will first be enrolled in a pre-commissioning course of 44 weeks or more. 

If you wish to be a part of the UK's Armed Service but cannot work in a full-time position, there are opportunities for you. Part-time opportunities exist in the RAF reserves, army reserves, and Royal Navy maritime reserves.

You should expect to be working unusual hours, and you may be posted at a base, in the UK, or overseas.


Armed Forces Salaries by Region

Compare Armed Forces salaries across different regions

Region Salary
East Midlands £24,402.94
Eastern £42,303.66
London £61,972.72
North East £34,270.31
North West £31,933.40
Northern Ireland £27,925.45
Scotland £42,014.29
South East £41,775.52
South West £33,280.91
Wales £30,344.50
West Midlands £29,778.65
Yorkshire and the Humber £32,476.47

Top Paying Locations for Armed Forces Jobs in the UK

The average salary for Armed Forces professionals in the United Kingdom is significantly influenced by location. The general region and area will affect your base salary in Armed Forces jobs. However, you are not alone if relocating is not something you want to consider, and it doesn't mean that you can't make a higher income.

For example, you could choose to work for an Armed Forces business that is city-based. While London leads the way, working for employers located in cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Reading, Leeds, and Cardiff will help you earn higher wages per year, compared to companies situated in smaller villages and towns.

Armed Forces Professional Development

The answer to 'how much do Armed Forces professionals earn?' can only be answered by considering where along the career path the individual and job title sit. The total year's experience in the Armed Forces sector will change what the employer is prepared to offer. An entry-level Armed Forces salary will be the lowest, followed by fully qualified workers, senior-level staff, and management.

While you can expect a starting salary for Armed Forces workers to be at the bottom of the pay scale, graduates with a relevant qualification have a higher worth, commanding a better starting salary. UK training opportunities are plentiful, so even if attaining a university degree is out of the question, increasing your skills through workshops and online courses will help you raise the money you can earn a year in your chosen role.

How much are Armed Forces professionals paid? Our data and graphs give you guidance on the wage range and earning per annum for junior, intermediate, and senior roles. 

Armed Forces Work Experience

Gaining Armed Forces pre-entry work experience can be crucial in helping you secure employment and a decent rate per hour. Work placements, internships, apprenticeships, shadowing, and vacation work can all help you gain the experience you need. If you cannot find work experience in the Armed Forces industry, you might be able to show potential employers that you have acquired transferable skills elsewhere.

Armed Forces Working Hours

As with all business sectors, the working hours in Armed Forces will affect what you earned during the month. Small, medium, and larger firms may pay a higher overtime rate or offer more money if you work unsociable hours, such as evenings, nights, weekends, and national holidays.

Salaries of part-time, full-time, permanent, temporary, and contract staff all differ and will affect your decision on whether you are earning fair compensation.

Armed Forces Salary Negotiations

Before you enter salary negotiations with employers, hiring managers, or the head of HR, it pays to get prepared. Compare the salaries for the Armed Forces sector on this page to help determine what you are worth. You can perform a salary search for different job titles and locations.

It is worth remembering that you can profit from more than just financial benefits and performance-related commission. Is a high salary in the UK worth more than the freedom to work from home, have more paid holiday, a gym membership, or have private healthcare benefits?

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