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.
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.
Police and Security Work
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 just under 158,000 UK regular Forces personnel as of 1st April 2022. 56% of these serve in the army, whilst the rest are equally split between the Royal Marines and the Royal Air Force.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Services employ around 7,726 staff in uniformed and non-uniformed roles, however entry is very competitive.
There are very few jobs for Coastguards. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency employ 1,150 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 2023, there were 16,615 police officers in Scotland. This is a decrease of 190 since previous year. Police Scotland have recruitment intakes at various times throughout the year.
The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) has 15 prisons directly operated by SPS and 2 private sector prisons under contract with SPS in Scotland. In 2021-2022 it employed 4,589 staff (1,629 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 10,000 full time staff. They work in 140 ports and airports in the UK and overseas.
For detailed information about the Army, phone 0345 600 8080 or visit the Army website (www.army.mod.uk).
You can also find information on careers in the armed services at the Ministry of Defence website (www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-defence).
For detailed information about the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, visit their websites at (www.royalnavy.mod.uk/careers).
For careers in the Royal Air Force, phone 0345 605 5555 and visit its website (www.raf.mod.uk).