The defence industry represents a critical and highly influential force in the UK economy. In recent years, defence spending totalled almost £40 billion, and the sector provides employment for more than 280,000 armed forces personnel alone. Furthermore, the military offers recruitment opportunities to about 10,000 new entrants each year. But the defence industry also encompasses many private sector employment opportunities, most of which are supported by lucrative government contracts, and Defence recruitment agencies routinely find placement for ex-military personnel, CAD designers, marine engineers, aerospace experts, and a diverse pool of other jobseekers.Engineering, manufacturing, and personal security make up significant portions of the industry, so positions range from skilled manual labour to highly technical R&D jobs. In any case, those in the industry tend to be well paid. Salaries range from £25K to £65K, and the average annual income is just under £40K. London and Scotland are by far the highest paying regions in the UK, with salaries averaging about £47K, while annual earnings in the North East are substantially lower than elsewhere in the nation (only £33K). Advanced degrees are required for most upper-level positions, and many areas of the industry are quite competitive.
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