In a nutshell, private military contractors support the military by carrying out surveillance tasks, security and law enforcement missions, technical support, or even more mundane jobs like inventory management dealing with military secrets. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are good examples of these kinds of companies but there are less glamorous positions in the field as well.
While veterans definitely have many of the essential skills to become a private military contractor, it’s not a requirement that you’ve served. For those who wish to serve in a militant capacity but who may not meet the physical or medical qualifications to enlist, this is a solid alternative. Yet, there are still specifications that need to be met in order to become a private military contractor.
If you want to become a private military contractor, you’ll need:
- At least an Associate’s degree
- Weaponry and medical skills
- Conflict resolution and communication skills
- State registration
Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree
Especially if you want a job in the FBI or CIA, a Bachelor’s degree or higher is required. Yet, if you have experience in law enforcement or in the armed forces, you can still be hired as a military contractor elsewhere. It’s suggested to have three to five years of security experience in some capacity before applying to be a private military contractor, regardless of your educational status.
Weaponry and Medical Skills
When defending security and safety in areas of high importance, like those handled by the FBI or CIA, the ability to properly use firearms and other weapons like nightsticks and handcuffs is essential. After your time in the military, you should already be highly trained in these areas and it’s just a matter of keeping up with these skills. If you haven’t served, weaponry is something you’ll want proper training with.
Additionally, emergency medical services are sometimes needed on the job. While, of course, you won’t be expected to know everything, certifications in CPR and basic first aid are sure to come in handy as a private military contractor. Add these medical skills to your resume to become more competitive in this job market.
Ability to Handle Conflict and Communicate Effectively
You won’t have to look far to find dangerous conflicts occurring during the work day of a private military contractor. After all, their job is to maintain security and uphold the integrity of sensitive information. Since you might find yourself in the midst of real danger in this job, it’s important to have good communication skills with the ability to remain calm in hostile situations.
Most people with a military background should have the proper training for these kinds of situations and are typically well-suited for the position. But even if you weren’t in the military, it’s important to realize the importance of these skills and decide whether or not you’re up for it.
Each state has different requirements when it comes to registering private military contractors, so you’ll need to check it out depending on where you live. In most cases, you’ll need proof of your experience and to pass an examination in order to be certified. Make sure you register your weapons and you’ll likely need to undergo a background check and drug testing as well.
Advice for Landing the Job
While you’re in the military or in your current job, write down the names of every security company that interests you. Keep a log for when the time comes to apply so that you’re not scrounging for ideas when you’re down to the wire.
Then, apply to every company on that list and be patient with the results. Tailor your resume to each specific job description by swapping out any military jargon for more appropriate terminology and by specifically highlighting the skills you have that they’re looking for.
You may want to look over our article on how to write a resume as a veteran.
Make sure you keep a record of the positions you apply for and follow up with the companies that seem like the perfect fit. Have a little bit of money saved for when you are hired for background checks and examination fees too.
If you’re qualified, it’s an exciting and high-paying career choice, great for ex-military and those who are military minded. As long as you have everything you need, you’ll be well on your way to securing a position in this field.