How to join the Army

There are several ways to start your career in the Army, and each job has different entry options and requirements. Whether you are considering a General Entry Soldier role or an Officer Entry role, this page and your Defence Force Recruiter will help you decide what is right for you.

General Entry

An exciting career awaits

You will find many excellent career options in the Army that do not require experience or qualifications. For these positions, you will receive all the training you need, be paid while you train, and you could earn industry recognised qualifications. While you are not required to have completed Year 12 to join, it is best to check each job page for specific entry and education requirements.

General non-technical positions
For more general roles and career opportunities in the Army
  • Completion of Year 10 (or equivalent) education required with passes in English and Maths.
  • Some roles in this category require a pass in Year 10 Maths and Science, or passes in Year 11 (or equivalent) and above.

Technical and trade apprenticeships
For those seeking nationally recognised trade training to undertake hands-on tasks
  • Completion of Year 10 (or equivalent) required with passes in English, Maths, Science and one other subject.
  • Some trade roles also require Science with a Physics component.
  • Be paid while you learn.

Qualified positions
For those who are already qualified
  • Pursue your profession in fields such as trades, healthcare and more.
  • Apply your skills to exciting new challenges in the Army.
  • Appropriate qualification requirements specific to each role.

Officer Entry

Build on your ambition and become a leader in your field

Aspire to lead teams as an Army Officer. Officer roles are available for school leavers (successful year 12 completion), undergraduates, graduates and qualified professionals. If this interests you, see the education requirements specific to each role on the relevant job page.

Your commitment to the Army

The Army will invest significant resources in your training and development, so naturally each job has an 'Initial Minimum Period of Service' (IMPS). Once completed, and given the appropriate amount of notice, you are free to move on like you would at any other job.

Army Officer
Initial and leadership training as an Army Officer
  • Train as an Army Officer with or without a degree.
  • Get world-class leadership training at the Royal Military College – Duntroon (RMC) in Canberra, ACT.
  • Gain the skills, knowledge and values to lead a platoon of soldiers.

Get paid to study and train

If you are interested or enrolled in studying at an Australian university, there are a number of methods of entry to join as an Officer, where the cost of your tuition and training will be covered. If you already have a relevant degree, you will be able to join the Army as an Officer in a more technical or specialist role.

Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA)
For those wishing to undertake a degree
  • Start a career as an Army Officer via the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA).
  • Be paid to study a recognised degree from the University of New South Wales.

Undergraduate entry
If you are currently studying for a degree
  • A Defence University Sponsorship (DUS) is available if you are currently studying a relevant degree at an Australian university.
  • You will need to have successfully completed a minimum of 12 months of your degree.
  • Earn a salary while you study and have the remainder of your university fees paid in return for a commitment to an Officer role.

Graduate medical program
For those with a degree who wish to move into medicine
  • Successful applicants must have a relevant undergraduate degree and have passed the Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admission Test (GAMSAT).
  • You will need to have been accepted into an Australian university.
  • Be sponsored as a medical practitioner, then serve as a Medical Officer.

Graduate entry
For those with an appropriate degree
  • You’ll need a recognised degree in Medicine, Law, Dentistry, Nursing, Engineering, Business and IT (among others).
  • Pursue your profession as an Officer and add an exciting new dimension to your work.
  • Receive further training and post-graduate study opportunities.

Flexible Commitment

There are many options in the Army that have flexible commitment options. For these positions, you can serve on a part-time or flexible basis, or for a shorter amount of time. These entry methods can be for General and Officer positions, so it’s best to check each job description.

Part-Time (Reserves)
For those wishing to serve part-time
  • Help the community and give something back to our country.
  • Flexible part-time role – do something really different on the occasional weekend or days off work.
  • Gain extra training and experience in your profession.

Gap Year
Get a taste of life in the Army
  • Completion of Year 12.
  • Only commit to 12 months.
  • Receive a salary and valuable training to help get you where you want to go.
  • Make unforgettable friendships.