Career Advice Ex-Forces

What Can I Do After the Military?

Paul Brown
24.03.2022 Published: 24.03.22, Modified: 24.03.2022 09:03:17

The transition from a military career back to civilian job may seem daunting but with the right training and support, you can succeed at any role. At FDM, we have years of experience helping ex-forces personnel of all ranks launch their civilian careers and  understand the value you can bring to any business. Many of the skills you have developed in the military can be translated seamlessly into a business environment, opening up numerous career paths for you, including secure jobs in business-related and technical roles. These types of jobs will give you the opportunity to test your skills, expand your knowledge-base and excel in your chosen industry. Read on to find out more about what employers look for when hiring ex-forces personnel and what jobs you can do after the military.

What do employers look for when hiring ex-forces personnel?

When hiring ex-forces personnel, employers will typically look for a variety of soft and hard skills. This includes, but is not limited to, strong problem-solving, teamwork and leadership skills, as well as some role-specific expertise. During your time serving in the military, you will have gained a variety of transferable skills, for example anyone who has worked in a technical capacity within the military will likely be a great candidate for technical roles. In most cases, employers will not require you to have a university degree which means you  can kick start a successful civilian career straight away, without having to undertake any additional formal qualifications. Many employers recognise the benefits of hiring ex-forces personnel, such as providing invaluable skills and life experiences, and demonstrating a strong work ethic.

At FDM, our Ex-Forces Careers Programme helps support ex-military personnel on their journey back to civilian life, giving you the tools you need to translate your existing skills to meet role requirements, prepare for job interviews and succeed in your chosen career. We provide excellent training, CV advice and exclusive work placements with our industry-leading clients across a range of industries. The FDM Ex-Forces Programme is largely run by ex-forces personnel who have first-hand experience and can best support your development. We also offer a range of support programmes, designed specifically for ex-military personnel to help you every step of the way.

Top 10 civilian jobs to do after the military

Here are just a few of the exciting jobs can you get after the military:

1. Software Development

The role of a Software Developer is to assess user requirements and design software according to specifications, run software tests and solve any issues. The key skills required to become a Software Developer or Software Engineer include problem-solving and teamwork skills and the ability to adopt a project-based working style. This is important since many Software Development teams will use Agile Scrum methodologies. It may also be helpful to have some programming knowledge, however this is not always necessary. At FDM, our Ex-forces Programme includes expert training in Agile working and programming languages to prepare you for a job in the technical field.

Average salary: £22,000- £50,000 (£31,066 Median)

2. Technical Operations

Technical Operations involves the planning and organisation of all technical aspects of a project, including reporting tasks and development supervision. For this role, organisation and communication skills are essential, as well as more tech-specific skills, such as data processing. Previous leadership experience is useful for a role in Technical Operations and can help with delegation and planning responsibilities.

Average salary: £29,000-£57,000 (£40,000 Median)

3. Project Management

A Project Manager is in charge of overseeing projects to ensure they are running smoothly, being executed to a high standard and are aligned with stakeholder requirements. A successful Project Manager will have exceptional leadership, coaching and critical thinking skills. They will also need to be well-organised, excellent communicators and have quality management skills in order to deal with various teams and keep projects streamlined. Since this is a more senior position, previous leadership experience is often required.

Check out Danielle Cairns’ story about her experience transitioning from the combat field to a role in Project Management.

Average salary: £26,000-£62,000 (£40,000 Median)

4. Stakeholder Management

A Stakeholder Relations Manager is responsible for maintaining a good working relationship with everyone involved in a project and communicating stakeholder expectations across relevant teams. For this role, communication, planning, negotiation, accountability and risk management skills are beneficial. No prior experience is expected.

Average salary: £38,818-£53,011 (£45,000 Median)

5. Risk Management

Risk Analysts or Managers are responsible for ensuring that a company is compliant with regulatory requirements. This helps protect the company from outside threats, criminal activity and large fines. Risk Management roles are suitable for individuals with strong problem-solving, analytical and numeracy skills. Some roles may also require you to work well under pressure and play a part in key decision making during a crisis, such as a data breach.

Average salary: £33,000-£80,000 (£50,000 Median)

6. Software Testing

A Software Test Analyst tests software systems or applications to ensure proper functionality and identify potential problems. They are also tasked with verifying products to meet user specifications and quality standards. Attention to detail, reporting proficiency, logical thinking, teamwork and communication are all crucial skills required for a Software Tester. Prior experience using software systems or coding languages can be extremely helpful in this role, too.

Average salary: £18,000-£36,000 (£25,000 Median)

7. Project Support Officer

As a Project Support Officer (PSO), you will work alongside the Project Manager to coordinate projects and ensure they are completed in a timely manner and to a high standard. The necessary skills for a PSO include: quality assurance, reporting, time-management, best practice knowledge and organisational skills. Similar to a Project Manager, a Project Support Officer takes on a more senior position therefore will require previous leadership experience.

Read Amanda Scott’s story about her transition serving in the Army Reserves to becoming a PSO for a Student Loans company.

Average salary: £37,500-£57,500 (£42,000 Median)

8. Business Analysis

Working as a Business Analyst, you are responsible for identifying business problems, such inefficiencies in administration, technology or communication, and finding solutions to streamline processes and implement them across teams or clients. Data analysis, logical thinking and problem-solving skills are essential for analysing company data and finding areas of improvement. Exceptional communication skills are also key  for translating these findings and passing them on to other team members. Programming knowledge is helpful for organising and presenting data but is not essential for the role.

Average salary: £24,000-£53,000 (36,000 Median)

9. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Development

An RPA Developer works to design and develop RPA systems, a type of automation technology designed to improve operational efficiency. To work in RPA, you will need strong problem solving skills, excellent attention to detail, interpersonal skills and proficiency in statistics. RPA relies heavily on computer programming therefore experience using programming languages or automation tools is usually required.

Average salary: £20,000-£48,000 (£28,000 Median)

10. Cloud Computing Engineering

A Cloud Engineer develops and maintains cloud computing systems in line with business requirements. Some responsibilities include maintaining cloud infrastructure software, resolving potential server issues or carrying out cloud migrations. A Cloud Engineer is expected to be adaptable with excellent communication, data handling and risk management skills. Some roles in cloud computing will require coding skills however this is not always the case, opening up numerous cloud opportunities for non-coders!

Average salary: £39,000-£69,000 (£48,000 Median)

Check out the FDM Ex-Forces Programme for more information on what to do after the army or to kickstart your journey from a military role to a civilian career.