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Defence sector – the obvious choice for post-university hopefuls


Did you know that the average defence job in the UK pays more than 16% of the national average?

With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that the defence sector maintained its status as one of the UK’s largest employers despite the pandemic. The opportunities for university graduates within the sector are unparalleled. But, how much do you know about the opportunities for you in this sector? 

So, if you’re about to graduate or you’ve recently left uni, you might be wondering what UK defence jobs have to offer you. Read on to find out more about working in the sector.

A Vast Array of Different Roles

When you think about the defence industry, what images spring to mind? You might be visualising tanks, planes and battleships rolling off a production line. But the modern defence industry is far more varied. 

The sector is diversifying. It’s increasingly looking for talent in areas like cyber security, human resources, and statistics. 

Whether your degree is in software design, engineering, modern languages or even nutrition, you could find a role in the industry. This is an industry that deals with humans and machines on a global scale, so almost all skillsets are useful in the sector. 

Defence Jobs Offer High Pay and Benefits

There’s a lot of money floating around the defence industry. So, it’s only natural that workers in the sector benefit from some of the biggest wages in the United Kingdom. 

We’ve already mentioned how wages in the defence sector are significantly higher than average. But promotion opportunities mean you’ll stand to make even more. Technical roles in defence are some of the highest-paid, with experienced professionals easily making six-figure salaries.

The Perfect Place to Build Your Skills!

So, you’ve just got out of uni and you’ve got your degree. You might have studied for years in your chosen field, working hard and picking up expertise. But true professionals know that learning never stops and there’s always a chance to build your skills. 

When you work in the defence industry, you’ll meet new challenges every day. Rising to the occasion and solving a variety of problems is the perfect way to hone your skills and build real experience.

You’ll also get the chance to learn from some of the foremost experts in your field. Since the defence sector has already attracted many of the brightest minds in a given field, it’s a hub for experts. 

Lots of Opportunities

The number of graduates and apprentices entering the sector has risen steadily in recent years. Due to the growth of the industry, there has been an increasing need to bring in new talent. 

Luckily, the strong British education system has proved a fertile recruiting ground for defence companies of all stripes. If you’re fresh from a UK university, you’re first in line to take up one of the exciting opportunities working in defence.  


Many of the biggest companies in the UK are part of the defence industry. There are lots of different ones to choose from and many offer a wide range of different career paths along with plenty of promotional opportunities. Let’s learn a little more about some of the major players in the industry.

If none of this appeals, don’t worry. This is just a small sample of the major employers out there. But there are lots of smaller and more specialised companies offering great opportunities too. 

BAE Systems

BAE Systems is the largest defence contractor in Europe. They are responsible for creating various pieces of hardware used by militaries around the world.

Although officially founded in 1999, the company traces its foundations back to Supermarine, the company that famously produced the Spitfire fighter plane. 

Today, BAE produces modern military equipment for principal markets in the United Kingdom, United States, Saudi Arabia and Australia. Equipment includes M2 Bradley fighting vehicles, submarines and warships. 

Lockheed Martin

You might have already heard a little bit about Lockheed Martin. Although this is an American-based company, it has almost 115,000 employees spread across the world, with many based in the United Kingdom. 

If you’re looking for an employment opportunity in the aerospace industry, Lockheed Martin could be for you. Their UK subsidiary operates out of London. 


Airbus is known throughout the world as a manufacturer of aircraft parts. They also operate one of the biggest, most unusual-looking aircraft in the world, the Beluga.

But did you know Airbus also works as part of the defence industry? They’re a provider of parts for modern aircraft like the Eurofighter Typhoon and A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport.

Airbus is also a key player in modern innovations within the aviation defence industry. The company is the prime contractor for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), a network of drones and satellites designed to respond to any threat. 

Most of Airbus’ operations are based out of Wales. That’s ideal for those who want a high-paying job without the need to live in London with all its associated expenses. 


In the modern era, wars aren’t just fought on land, sea, and air. They also rage in the digital world, which is why there’s a thriving cyber defence sector. For many graduates, this is fertile ground for a prosperous career. 

That’s why GCHQ, the UK’s communications and intelligence organization, is hiring a growing number of staff to work in the area of cyber warfare. With upwards of 5,000 staff members, it’s another employer offering a wide range of job opportunities.

An Exciting Career in Defence Awaits!

There really is no end to the opportunities offered by the various defence jobs. In manufacturing, engineering, marketing, and many other sectors, there’s something for you. 

If you like the sound of a career in the defence industry, then we have good news! There’s never been a better time to dive into the world of defence and carve out a niche for yourself. Check out our contracts and learn more about defence jobs.

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