Defence Force Careers

A wide variety of careers are offered in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), which consists of the Regular Force, Part-time Force and the Reserves. The operational structure of the SANDF comprises the SA Army, SA Air Force, SA Navy and the SA Medical Service. Each of these divisions of the service has a specific task to perform. Various staff divisions namely, the Personnel, Intelligence, Operations, Logistics and Finance divisions, provide staff-related support to each arm of the service.

Career opportunities offered by the SANDF include:

Careers as Specialist Officers:

Anatomist, Anti-Corrosion Officer, Architect, Archivist, Audio Engineer, Biochemist, Chaplain, Communications Officer, Constructor, Cryptographer, Dietician, Director Of Music, Documentation Officer, Engineer, Ethnologist, Inspector Of Works, Land Surveyor, Language Officer, Lecturer, Librarian, Medical Officer, Medical Specialist, Military Historian, Military Law Adviser, Optometrist, Organisation and Work Study Officer, Pharmacist, Physical Education Officer, Physiologist, Psychologist, Public Relations Officer, Quantity Surveyor, Statistician, Technical Munitions Officer, Town and Regional Planner, Veterinarian, Welfare Officer.

Learners and tradesmen: In the SANDF learners and qualified artisans in the various trades are given the opportunity to acquire the highest skills in their chosen field.

There are approximately 80 different musterings in electronics, mechanical and instrumentation trades.

Special military careers include:

SA Army:

  • Dog-handlers and Trackers
  • Mounted Infantry
  • Technical Munitions Officers in the SA Ammunition Corps
SA Air Force:
  • Air Traffic Controller
  • Mission Controller
  • Missile Controller
SA Navy:
  • Communicators
  • Divers
  • Mine Countermeasures
  • Security
  • Strike Craft
  • Submarine
  • Vessel and Supply Vessel
SA Medical Services:
  • Combat Medics
  • Casualty Evacuation

Personal Requirements

  • medically fit
  • at least 16 years old
  • a South African citizen

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

Career officers with academic training:
National Senior Certificate with matric exemption plus the necessary subject requirements for the different fields of study

Officers with in-service training:
National Senior Certificate

Appointments in non-commissioned ranks:
Grade 10 Certificate

Grade 10 Certificate with Mathematics, plus pass aptitude tests

What to Study

Apart from the basic training offered at all the arms of the service, the SANDF also offers in-service training, which may include academic training at the Military Academy at Saldanha. The University of Stellenbosch offers a course in Military Sciences. Each arm of the service also offers training for specialised work.

The best time to join the SANDF is just after leaving school. The SANDF provides excellent training opportunities, which could qualify one for other careers after a term of service in the military. A good military record is always an asset.

Further Information

South African National Defence Force (SANDF) Media Liaison Officer
Department of Defence Information Centre
Private Bag X161
Pretoria, 0001
Tel: (012) 355-6372/3

Chief of the SA Army
SA Army Recruiting Centre
Private Bag X172
Pretoria, 0001

Chief of the Navy
SAN Recruiting Centre
Private Bag X104
Pretoria, 0001

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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