Uniformed and Security Services

Career Area Image

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:

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 almost 149,000 UK Regular Forces personnel (compared to 151,000 the same time last year) (1 March 2017). The Army is looking for recruits at present, despite the recent budget cuts across the Armed Forces. As yet it is not clear what, if any, impact there might be on recruitment. However, it is planned to decrease Regular Forces by 12,000, by 2020.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Services employ around 9,000 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 around 1,050 people who are supported by 3,500 volunteer Coastguard Rescue Officers based across the country.

As of 31 December 2016, there were 17,256 police officers in Scotland (lowest level since the end of 2010). 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 4,651 staff in a variety of roles (1,328 of those employed are female).

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.

Facts and figures

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 the Royal Navy and Royal Marines websites.

For careers in the Royal Air Force, phone 0345 605 5555 and visit its website at Royal Air Force. They also have a Facebook page with careers information called Altitude aimed at 13 to 18 year olds.


Was this article useful?
Please help us improve Planit by rating this article.