Filling the skills gap: Engineering

Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 by Faye CoppNo comments

Ex-Military engineers are qualified and experienced in a breadth of engineering specialties including; civil engineering, aircraft engineering (avionics and mechanical), marine engineering, automotive engineering and systems engineering. In addition to technical expertise, military engineering professionals also bring a wealth of unique ‘soft’ skills to commercial employers. These are skills they have solidified through arduous military training and subsequent experience in barracks and overseas.  

Ex-military engineers will have additional skills and experience, such as:


Military engineers are qualified up to Postgraduate level, with knowledge, skills and experience in:

  • Computer Aided Design (CAD).

  • Site Safety Supervision.

  • Engineering Maintenance.

  • Human Resource Management.

  • Project Management.

  • Engineering Instruction and Training.

  • Warehousing and Storage.

  • Mechanical Engineering.

  • Electrical/Electronic Engineering.

  • Air engineering (avionics and mechanical).

  • Systems engineering.

  • Marine engineering .

  • Health and Safety.

  • IT.


Employers find that military people are proactive, team players, mission focussed with the drive to get things done to the highest quality standards. They are often trained and experienced in:

  • Stakeholder and relationship management.

  • Customer focus.

  • Accounting for their actions.

  • Working calmly under pressure.

  • Delivering efficiency.

  • Time management.

  • Communication and presentation.

  • Planning and Implementation.

  • Problem Solving.

  • Teamwork.

  • Collaborative working.

  • Adaptability and resourcefulness.

  • Leadership; motivating others.

  • Being flexible and resourceful.


  • Contract management in challenging environments.

  • Managing complexity and multiple concurrent projects.

  • Managing risk.

  • Supply chain management.

  • Warehousing, accounting and distribution.

  • Managing budgets.

  • Consultation and design engineering including technical drawing.

  • Site safety supervision.

  • Material testing.

  • Surveying of sites in a range of geographic settings.


  • Aesseal

  • Alstom

  • Atlantis Marine

  • Babcock International

  • Capita PLC

  • Drumgrange LTD

  • Forsberg Services

  • Lothian Buses

  • Masterfix

  • M Group Services

  • United Utilities

Read more about these top forces-friendly employers and why they actively recruit from the military talent pool here.



  • Qualified to the same professional standards as commercially qualified engineers.

  • Proven their ability to manage engineering projects from design to delivery.

  • Experienced in solving complex engineering problems in the most challenging environments.

  • Possess a broad range of soft skills, including their ability to form effective stakeholder relationships to their provision of strong, fair leadership.

  • Ability and willingness to operate under extreme levels of pressure - calmly and without compromising on quality.

  • Relentless mission focus and determination to achieve the very highest professional standards.

  • Willingness to learn.

These technical and general skills, knowledge and experience set them apart from others and make them exceptionally strong candidates for a commercial engineering roles.  

Read our ultimate guide to getting into engineering.

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