Uniformed and Security Services

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Are you attracted to the idea of being part of a team and doing an important job? Or what about working abroad and challenging yourself mentally and physically? A career in the uniformed and security services can not only offer these opportunities, but you can receive quality training and, in some cases, learn a trade or new skill too.

This career sector contains services that are concerned with security across a broad spectrum, from the country’s defence to civil order and protection of private businesses and individuals, to dealing with emergencies at sea or on land.

What areas can I work in?

This career area consists of four sectors:

To see the routes to getting into each of these sectors, take a look at our Career Pathway.

What kind of companies can I work for?

Armed services

Emergency Services

Police and Security Work

Prison Work

What’s the job market like?

Generally the job prospects are good, although entry can be very competitive. It can help if you are able to move around the country in many jobs.

The armed services are a major UK employer, with 198,880 UK Regular Forces personnel as of 1 April 2021 (an increase of 2.5% from 1 April (2020).

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Services employ just 7,818 staff in uniformed and non-uniformed roles, however entry is very competitive.

There are very few jobs for Coastguards. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency employs 1,037 people who are supported by 3,500 volunteer Coastguard Rescue Officers based across the country. These volunteers are led and supported by over 100 professional Coastguard Officers.

As of 31 March 2021, there were 17,283 police officers in Scotland. Police Scotland have recruitment intakes at various times throughout the year.

The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) has 13 publicly managed prisons and 2 privately managed prisons in Scotland and employs around 4,437 staff (1,472 are female) in a variety of roles.

There is a growing private security industry in Scotland, providing CCTV surveillance, security patrols and other guarding services as well as private investigation and intelligence services. This sector includes door supervisors and stewards.

Border Force UK employ around 9,027 full time staff. This may increase due to the UK leaving the EU.

Facts and figures

The RAF offers more than 50 different careers for both men and women. There are jobs in aircrew, air operations and support, logistics and equipment, communications and intelligence, technical and engineering, medical and medical support, catering and hospitality, personnel support as well as security and defence.

Want to find out more?

For detailed information about the Army, phone 0345 600 8080 or visit the Army website (

You can also find information on careers in the armed services at the Ministry of Defence website (

For detailed information about the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, visit their websites at ( and (

For careers in the Royal Air Force, phone 0345 605 5555 and visit its website (

For government security careers, see websites for Security Service (MI5)Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) or GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters).



DYW Moray

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