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Career Opportunities with the Defence Forces

Career Opportunities with the Defence Forces

What are the main occupations in this sector?

The main occupations in the Defence Forces are:

Army

  • Army Officer
    • Infantry
    • Artillery
    • Cavalry
    • Communications & Information Systems
    • Supply and Transport
    • Engineer
    • Ordnance
    • Military Police
    • Army Equitation Officer
  • Army Medical Officer (Direct Entry) In demandVIDEO here
  • Army Dental Officer (Direct Entry)
  • Army Engineer Officer (Direct Entry)
  • Army Pharmacist Officer (Direct Entry)
  • Army Soldier
    • Infantry
    • Artillery
    • Cavalry
    • Communications & Information Systems
    • Supply and Transport
    • Engineer
    • Ordnance
    • Military Police
    • Medical Corp
    • Army Ranger Wing
  • Army Bands Instrumentalist
  • Army Equitation School Groom
  • Army Medical Corp – Dental Surgery Attendant
  • Army Medical Corp – Dental Hygienist
  • Army Apprentice – Heavy Vehicle Mechanic
  • Army Apprentice – Ordnance Fitter Armourer
Find out more about Army Careers here including videos and FAQs 

Naval Service

  • Naval Service Officer Operations Branch
  • Naval Service Officer Engineer Branch
  • Naval Service Officer Electrical (Direct Entry)
  • Naval Service Seaman
    • Seaman/Gunner
    • Seaman/Radar
    • Mechanician
    • Supply
    • IT Support Technician
    • Naval Diver
    • Sick Berth Attendant
    • Electrical Artificer
    • Engine Room Artificier
    • Hull Artificier
    • Radio & Radar Technician
Find out more about Naval Service Careers here including videos and FAQs

Air Corp

  • Air Corp Officer – Pilot
  • Air Corp Officer – Air Traffic Control (Direct Entry)
  • Air Corp Airman
    • Winchman
    • Winch Operator
    • Air Traffic Control
    • Transport
    • Medical
    • Photography Section
    • Avionics
    • Sea Air Radar Operator
    • Communications and Information Section
    • Flight Attendant
    • Ground Crew
  • Air Corp Apprentice – Aircraft Mechanic
Find out more about Air Corps Careers here including videos and FAQs

Check out the Defence Forces YouTube Channel to for more information on what life is like working with us. 

What types of employment contracts are there?

The Permanent Defence Forces recruits personnel only on Full Time contracts.

What are the typical earnings of these occupations?

Start Pay Rates Defence Forces
 
 

Army:

Army Officer 

Army Equitation Officer 

Army Medical Officer (Direct Entry)

Army Dental Officer (Direct Entry)

Army Engineer Officer (Direct Entry) 

Army Ordnance Officer (Direct Entry)

Army Pharmacist Officer (Direct Entry)

Army Clinical Psychologist Officer (Direct Entry)

Army Psychiatrist Officer (Direct Entry)

Army Soldier

Army Bands Instrumentalist

Army Equitation School Groom

Army Medical Corp – Dental Surgery Attendant

Army Medical Corp – Dental Hygienist

Army Apprentice – Heavy Vehicle Mechanic

Army Apprentice – Ordnance Weapon Armourer 

 

€37,366

€37,366 

€86,269

€47,081

€61,326

€61,326

€66,733

€61,326

€61,326

€27,578

€29,014

€27,578

€29,736

€29,376

€13,075

€13,075

Naval Service:

Naval Service Officer Operations Branch 

Naval Service Officer Engineer Branch

Naval Service Officer Electrical (Direct Entry)

Naval Service Seaman  

 

€37,366

€37,366

€49,981

€28,614

 
Air Corp:

Air Corp Officer – Pilot

Air Corp Officer – Air Traffic Control (Direct Entry)

Air Corp Officer – Aeronautical Engineer

Air Corp Airman                                               

Air Corp Apprentice – Aircraft Mechanic

 

€39,952

€65,743

€50,918

€27,578

€13,075

*Please note all figures are approximate and are subject to change for each competition.
 

How do you get a job in this sector?

The Defence Force recruits in a number of ways as follows:

General Service  – This relates to people who are interested in joining the Defence Forces as a Soldier/Sailor or Airman. Candidates who join at this level start as a recruit and when they have completed this initial training they commence their as Soldier/ Sailor or Airman.

Within this career field there is the opportunity, if found suitable, to move up the ranks to the highest Non-Commissioned Officer rank of Sergeant Major.

Apprenticeships – This relates to people who are interested in joining the Defence Forces as an apprentice. Candidates who join at this level will receive military and SOLAS (Formerly FAS) training to qualify them in a particular field such as Heavy Vehicle Mechanic, Aircraft Mechanic etc. To find our more click here.

Within this career field there is the opportunity, if found suitable, to move up the ranks to the highest Non-Commissioned Officer rank of Sergeant Major.

Officer Cadetship – This relates to people who are interested in joining the Defence Forces as an Officer (Management Level). Candidates who join at this level start as a Cadet and when they have completed this initial training they qualify as a 2nd Lieutenant / Ensign. To find out more click here.

Within this career field there is the opportunity, if found suitable, to move up the ranks to the highest Commissioned Officer rank of Lieutenant General (Army Chief of Staff)

Direct Entry – As the term implies this entry path relates to people with certain qualifications who are inducted into the Defence Forces to carry out a specific function related to this qualification. These personnel undertake limited initial military training before being posted to the specific job. Direct Entry competitions are available for both General Service positions and Officer positions.


General Service
This relates to applicants who wish to apply for a position as a Soldier / Sailor / Airman.

Soldier
Recruitment - applications are only accepted only through the Defence Forces website www.military.ie and only at certain times of the year


Officer Cadetships
The Officer Cadetship competition normally runs from January to March. Applications are accepted in two ways:

Direct Entry Competitions
These competitions are advertised as required. Applications are accepted through our website:

Fitness Test Centre link

Defence Forces Fitness Test link