How To Become An Army Officer

Army Officer

The Job

British Army officers are trained to lead a team of soldiers and make critical decisions, often in a highly pressurised, dangerous and rapidly changing environment. As an Army officer, you could find yourself leading a specialist team in the UK or commanding a combat troop abroad, guiding the soldiers under you command to complete your mission.
This is the kind of role that will appeal to people with a thirst for adventure who want to test themselves and work as part of a tightly-knit team. To be an Army officer, you will need to be able to demonstrate your leadership potential and prove you have the confidence and authority to inspire others to follow you. You should also be physically fit, have good communication skills plus the ability to make life and death decisions and take responsibility for them.
Many jobs are available to you as an Army officer, including roles in communications, engineering, infantry, IT and medicine. You could even become an army chaplain. Whatever role you take, you should be prepared to go into combat.

Annual Salary

Army Officer Salary

Minimum Education Level

Level: Level - 2

Minimum Qualifications

Minimum of 7 GCSEs (A-C), including English, maths and a science or foreign language.

Recommended Qualifications

Most Army officers have a degree, although this is not essential.

The first step to becoming an Army officer is to create an online account on the British Army website (, which provides details on how to apply. Step 1 involves filling out an application form and taking a preliminary medical questionnaire. At this stage you can get initial advice about what kind of role is best for you.

If your application is successful, you will take a more detail medical test and, if you are thought to be medically fit, you will be appointed a Candidate Support Manager, who will support you throughout the enlistment process. You will then be interviewed by a senior Army careers adviser, who will be able to answer your questions and confirm your suitability to become an Army officer.

The next step is the all-important assessment to test your leadership potential as well as your physical and mental fitness. The assessment process includes a 24-hour Army Officer Selection Board (ASOB) briefing, followed by the main selection board lasting 3 days. If you pass the assessment process you will be recommended for the 11-week Pre-Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (PRMAS) course.

Once you complete the PRMAS, you will be offered a place at Sandhurst and complete a 44-week course to prepare you for your appointment as an Army officer.

Average Working Hours Per Week = Varies


Common Working Pattern

Common Working Pattern

Time Taken To Qualify

One year

What Next/Career Development

If you possess the right skills and personal attributes you will have every opportunity to progress through the officer ranks from Second Lieutenant up to Lieutenant Colonel and beyond. Should you decide to leave the Army after a period of service you could seek work at management level in a range of related careers, depending on your education, skills and experience.

Facts And Figures

To become an officer you must be aged between 18-26, meet the Army nationality and residency requirements and pass a full Army medical.
Some roles in the Army require a specialist degree, such as doctor, dentist, lawyer, pharmacist, veterinary surgeon and physiotherapist.
In some cases the Army can provide financial sponsorship for your education, at sixth form college or university. Ask about this at your first Army careers interview.