Why now is the time to consider a career in defence

28 Sep 08:48 by Myles Kendrick

Why now is the time to consider a career in defence

The defence sector is an exciting and vital industry that provides thousands of jobs all over the world.

In fact, the UK defence industry alone is one of the strongest in the world, employing approximately 146,000 people and supporting a further 260,000 UK jobs.

According to a 2018 study, with an annual turnover of £22 billion, the defence industry is a major investor in its highly skilled workforce - and as result, working in defence is an exciting and varied career option that provides skilled workers with excellent opportunities in land, sea and aviation-based work. 

So, if you are currently working in defence and are looking for a new challenge or if you are keen to make a change in your career and move into the defence industry, read on to discover why now is the perfect time to do so! 

1. It’s a growing sector

The defence sector is expanding year by year and turns over billions each year. The defence budget is continuing to rise and is predicted to total £41.3 billion by 2021, highlighting the wealth of opportunities and career progression available in the industry; according to ADS figures, 64% of companies in the defence sector plan to invest in growth.

What’s more, according to a recent study, productivity in the defence sector has also grown by 23% since 2010, a growth which is seven times higher than that of the UK economy. So, if you want to be part of an industry that is experiencing unprecedented growth and can offer unbeatable opportunities, the defence industry is for you! 

2. You can further your skills

The continued development and improvement of skills of those working in defence is key to the industry’s prosperity - so it’s no wonder that across defence, according to recent research there are over 25,500 people enrolled on apprenticeships.

There really is no better industry in which to grow your skills, whatever your level of experience! Of course, the more skills you have, the more desirable you will be to potential employers. By working in a British defence contractor role overseas, you’ll have the chance to develop specific skills with each role - which means you can expand your experience and further your skills more than you would in a long-term or permanent role.

3. Variety is the spice of life!

If you decide to work in a defence contracting role, every day is different. For starters, the working environment can vary, and you may even be posted to a choice of different locations throughout your career.

Additionally, because these positions are typically for a set period, there is also the option to change jobs at the end of each contract.

This means that you can expand your CV, improve your portfolio, and develop your practical skills by working on some of the world’s most technologically advanced equipment - and because you can choose who you work for and what sort of job you’d like to do, you’re always in control of what projects you take on.

So, you can set yourself goals, strategically climb the career ladder and get to where you want to be.

4. Work at the forefront of technology 

Working in defence is a fulfilling and varied career, providing skilled workers with excellent opportunities in land, sea, and aviation-based work.

As subcontractors for the US Military, M&E is proud to offer some of the most exciting defence technology jobs for mechanics. For example, many of our contracts are based in Germany, a nation renowned for their expertise and quality in engineering.

It’s a great place to learn from those at the forefront of defence technology, giving you the chance to work on some of the world’s newest equipment.

5. You can live and work abroad

If you find yourself longing to see more of the world, contracting overseas gives you a unique opportunity to visit different countries, explore different cultures and meet new people - whilst all the while enhancing your CV! 

At M&E, we have contracts in several different countries, from Germany to Afghanistan, which means our candidates have the chance to experience working in environments all over the world.

From learning about new cultures to meeting new people, overseas contract work is an exciting opportunity and a great way to boost your CV for future roles.

6. Enjoy competitive rates of pay

Did you know that defence industry pay is higher than the UK average, reflecting the skilled nature of the workforce? Research by BEIS shows that there is a consistent ‘wage premium’ of about 20-25% for working in the defence industry compared to the rest of the economy.

In fact, in 2017, the average salary in the UK defence industry was found to be £39,300; that’s 42% more than the national average of around £27,600! Of course, if you decide to undertake a contracting role overseas, the pay is very competitive - and sometimes your meals and accommodation could also be covered or subsidised too.

Opportunities available at M&E

At M&E, we regularly work on positions across a range of specialist functions, such as:

Supply and logistics

We are always on the lookout for highly skilled workers to manage supply chain systems and logistics planning. From warehouse workers and forklift operators to supply technicians and logistics specialists, there are a number of opportunities in supply and logistics - so, you’re certain to find one that’s right for you. 

Maintenance and engineering

We recruit maintenance and engineering workers across the land, aviation and marine sectors, both in the workshop and the field, covering maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of equipment. From heavy vehicle mechanics to mechanic roles in the aviation sector, there are plenty of options available. 


The UK defence sector uses a range of combat and transportation vehicles with multi-billion-pound contracts regularly awarded to manufacturers to keep the military moving, and as a result, we have a number of transportation roles available at M&E.

Want to find out more?

If you’re ready to explore the benefits of a career in defence, contact M&E today to find out more about the exciting roles we are currently working on. With more than 20 years of experience in the industry, we specialise in overseas contract roles for those looking to boost their career and learn new skills.

And, because we take the time to get to know each and every one of our candidates, we’re able to recommend jobs that not only suit your skills but match your values too. Click here to discover the exciting roles we are currently working on.

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