The Path from Military to Civilian Engineering


For military engineers coming to the end of their term of service, there are many opportunities available in the world of civilian engineering.

The working environment of the armed forces along with the skills drilled in are good preparation for civilian engineering positions.

This is especially true for military personnel specific to engineering functions, such as those in REME (Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers).

But leaving the Armed Forces and looking for civil engineering roles is not always a straightforward path.

This is not because the candidates are unsuitable. On the contrary, serving in the military instils many of the qualities engineers need to be successful.

Attention to detail, problem solving and leadership skills, the ability to be inquisitive and innovative, along with strong core mathematical and mechanical abilities are all a necessity for successful engineers in both military or civilian situations.

However, it’s sometimes difficult for ex-services candidates to translate their military experience to those recruiters and employers look out for. Most recruiters won’t recognise that a Regimental Signals Officer has experience and skills matching a civilian Operations Manager, for example.

One person at Millbank who understands this better than most in the engineering recruitment world is Chris Hill. Chris spent 6 years as an Infantry Officer in the British Army before becoming a Recruitment Consultant specialising in technical and engineering roles, which he has been doing for the past ten years.

Chris has a rare ability to identify skills that translate from military to potential employers in the civilian engineering and technical sectors.

If you have engineering skills and a military background, talk to us about potentially suitable roles and how best to approach them.

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