Why electronics engineering jobs are a great choice for ex-forces personnel

Published on: 11 Oct 2022

If you're leaving the armed forces and heading back into civilian life, finding a new career path will be one of the most difficult decisions you take. If you've been in the UK military for your entire adult life, you may have never had to draft a professional CV or go through a civilian application process. Even knowing what area you want to go into can prove challenging.

However, there are plenty of opportunities for you to use the transferable skills you've picked up in the armed forces in your next job. But this isn't just about the technical skills you've learned during your time in uniform. The standards of military discipline, problem-solving and integrity you possess will also be in great demand among employers, especially those looking to fill security cleared roles.

One area that is always keen to hire former forces personnel is companies with electrical and electronic engineering vacancies. Many people leaving the military will have been trained either directly in this area or in a related field such as signals or mechanical engineering, and so will have a good knowledge base they can transfer into civilian life.

Who hires security cleared electronics engineers?

While electronics engineers are in demand across many sectors, ex-forces personnel may find their skills are especially suited to jobs that require security clearances. Electronics have a vital role to play in a number of highly sensitive industries and so will require professionals to work with confidential systems and materials on a daily basis.

For example, critical national infrastructure projects depend on people with these skills to keep the country connected. Telecommunications firms, for instance, are constantly developing, upgrading and maintaining networks that rely on electronic components, so trusted engineers to manage these processes are vital.

Utilities firms, including power suppliers, also have a need for experienced electronics engineers who are capable of passing the stringent security checks necessary to work in this highly regulated and controlled sector.

Elsewhere, the UK's booming aerospace and defence sector is another top employer of security cleared engineering roles. The likes of BAE Systems, Thales, Babcock and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, to name but a few, often work on extremely classified projects that require the highest-possible top secret security clearances.

The ex-forces skills businesses want

While roles at these companies will be open to any qualified and experienced professional with the right background to pass the necessary vetting procedures, those who have military experience may have a significant advantage over candidates from civvy street, especially in organisations with connections to the defence sector. 

As well as the technical skills and personal qualities that life in the armed forces builds, a good knowledge of military procedures and structure could be highly advantageous in certain sectors that are expected to work closely with the Ministry of Defence, for example.

In general, there are a few key qualities that employers are keen to see in candidates for security cleared electronic engineer jobs, and these are skills that armed forces leavers are often likely to possess. They include:

  • Reliability
  • Trustworthiness
  • Communication
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork

There are also certain roles within the armed forces that may be of particular interest to employers. For instance, if you're leaving a role as an electronics technician in the Royal Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, you'll naturally be well-placed for these roles. However, roles such as a signals specialist in the Army, marine or systems engineer in the Royal Navy or an aircraft engineer with the Royal Air Force, will also set you up well for a future career as a civilian electrical or electronics engineer.

Browse our latest electronics engineering job vacancies today at SecuirtyClearedJobs.com.