How to become an Army Officer

Army Officers command, train and motivate soldiers in one of many military specialisations. They are the leaders and managers of the Army, working at the middle and executive management level.

Personal requirements for an Army Officer

  • Good organisation skills
  • Leadership and management qualities
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Meet aptitude, physical fitness and medical requirements
  • Completion of Year 12 with passes in English and three other approved subjects
  • At least 17 years of age
  • Australian citizenship

Education & Training for an Army Officer

To become an Army Officer you require your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with passes in English and three other tertiary entry units, preferably including mathematics and a science unit. To join the Army you will need to meet the eligibility requirements and attend a YOU Session and an Assessment Day before sitting an Officers Selection Board. There are four different education and training pathways to become an Army Officer. You may apply to join the Army as a direct entry officer cadet; complete a degree through the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA); apply as a sponsored undergraduate through the Defence University Sponsorship; or you may apply after completing one of a selected range of specialist degrees. Entry as a direct officer cadet requires the completion of 18 months of training at the Royal Military College, Duntroon, ACT. This is followed by specialist training with the Army. Entry to ADFA requires you to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with an appropriate score in prerequisite subjects relevant to your chosen area of study. All ADFA students are required to complete a 3 or 4-year course of academic study at ADFA, followed by a year of military training. The Defence University Sponsorship is available to students pursuing an engineering or health discipline at a recognised tertiary institution. Sponsorship is available to undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduates must have completed one or two years of their degree before sponsorship can commence. Graduate students must have already obtained a relevant undergraduate degree before being eligible to be sponsored for the graduate medical or dental program. Following completion of their specialised degree, they are appointed as Specialist Service Officers. People who already have specialised degrees may also apply for direct entry into the Army as Specialist Service Officers. Before becoming fully operational in their specialised field, these applicants are required to complete a 32-day Specialist Service Officer First Appointment Course at the Royal Military College, followed by specialised employment training. Please note that entry requirements will depend on the specialised occupation.


Additional information

To enter ADFA, you must satisfy entry requirements for a relevant degree at the University of New South Wales or equivalent. As it is a competitive process, it is recommended that you apply in Year 11. Year 11 students who apply to ADFA may be eligible for an ADFA Education Award. The Education Award is presented annually to Year 12 students in recognition of outstanding achievement shown during the ADFA entry recruiting process.

Duties & Tasks of an Army Officer

An Army Officer may specialise as:

  • Armoured Officer - take command of Soldiers operating high-tech mobile weapon systems such as tanks and armoured vehicles; using the skills gained through training.
  • Artillery Officer – take command of artillery delivery by providing fire support, systematic surveillance, target acquisition and ground-based air defence.
  • Helicopter Pilot – fly Army rotary wing aircrafts on a variety of complex missions ranging from combat to disaster relief.
  • Catering Officer – manage the catering logistics and trained chefs that deliver nutritious meals in barracks and on deployments.
  • Electrical and Mechanical Engineer – take responsibility for the maintenance of hardware ranging from tanks to watercraft and weapon systems.
  • Engineering Officer – manage a team constructing and maintaining roads, bridges, airfields and military defences.
  • Infantry Officer – take command of a highly trained combat team operating in diverse and challenging environments.
  • Intelligence Officer – manage the acquisition and dissemination of military intelligence on strategy and combat tactics.
  • Health Officer – coordinate the health planning and leadership of health capabilities on exercises and operations.
  • Military Police Officer – plan, execute and command military policing functions such as law enforcement, mobility and manoeuvre support, security and internment operations.
  • Ordnance Officer – responsible for supply chain management, logistical support and issuing of Army equipment.
  • Signals Officer – manage the teams responsible for communications, information systems, cyberspace operations and electronic warfare support to the Army.
  • Transport Officer – manage complex logistical operations in delivering the Army’s fuel, ammunition, equipment and provisions; by road, rail, air and sea.

Tasks

  • Prepares reports, authorises the release of information, and handles public relations activities..
  • Makes policy decisions and accepts responsibility for operations, performance of staff, achievement of targets and adherence to budgets, standards and procedures..
  • Prepares budgets and other management plans..
  • Represents the organisation in dealings with other organisations and the public..
  • Establishes lines of control and delegates responsibilities to subordinate staff..
  • Controls the collection and interpretation of management information to monitor performance..
  • Establishes administrative and operational procedures by taking account of the organisation's operating environment..
  • Controls the use of, and accounting for, the assets and facilities of the organisation..

Employment Opportunities for an Army Officer

Recruitment into the Australian Defence Force is conducted on an Australia-wide basis all year round.


Specializations

Army Officer

Army Officers command, train and motivate soldiers in one of many military specialisations. They are the leaders and managers of the Army, working at the middle and executive management level.

  • Average age
    Average age
    33 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Moderate
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    17% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    51 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $2,834
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Very high skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    92% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    6,600 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 27.8%
    NSW: 27.4%
    NT: 4.5%
    QLD: 19.1%
    SA: 4.9%
    TAS: 0.5%
    VIC: 10.9%
    WA: 4.4%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 6%
    20-24: 16.8%
    25-34: 30.5%
    35-44: 21.4%
    45-54: 16.9%
    55-59: 5.6%
    60-64: 2.1%
    65 and Over: 0.7%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 12.7%
    Bachelor degree: 29.7%
    Certificate III/IV: 6.5%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 26.1%
    Year 10 and below: 1.9%
    Year 11: 0.8%
    Year 12: 22.2%
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