private military contractor jobs
General Military Questions

9 Common Private Military Contractor Jobs

Private Military Contracting, in general, has gotten a pretty bad rap over the years.

They often get labelled as “mercenaries”, however, that is not always the most appropriate or accurate description.

As a matter of fact, I personally wouldn’t call it an accurate description at all. 

In fact, there are a lot of military contracting jobs that don’t involve carrying a gun…at all.

Related Article: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Private Military Contractor

Some of the most well known companies that employ private military contractors include:

  • ACADEMI (formerly known as Black Water)
  • G4S
  • FDG Corp
  • MRPI
  • Northbridge Services Group
  • Aegis Defense Service
  • Triple Canopy

There are literally dozens of others, but those are the bigger, more well-known ones.

These companies operate both domestically and overseas, often in hot spots like Afghanistan, Africa, and even Europe.

While a good chunk of these companies require previous military experience, many require no experience at all.

 

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In this article we will examine the most common private military contractor jobs, as well as explore some less popular roles that are available to citizens without military experience.

Note: The images below are for illustrative purposes ONLY.  These are not actual private military contractors, as finding images of PMC’s is about as easy as patching through to the White House!

Jump To A Job

Common PMC JobsUn-Common PMC Jobs
#9: Static Security

#8: Roving Security

#7: Security Management

#6: Personal Security Detail

#5: Private Investigations

#4: Medic

#3: IT / Network

#2: Logistics

#1: Training
#3: Maritime Security

#2: Designated Defensive Marksman | Sniper

#1: Explosive Dog Handler

#9 – Static Security

By definition, static security essentially means providing security in a fixed position or location.

When you think “static security”, think of a guy manning a tower.

static security contractor at work
Something like this. Image: Wikimedia.org

The term static security is a little misleading, at least in the context of private military contracting.

It does entail fixed position security, however, in some cases it is actually done in patrols, not just in a stationary position.

Static security is really important to the U.S. government. It helps ensure that important people and vital infrastructure is guarded at all times.

These can include things like:

  • Dams and bridges
  • Airfields / Airports
  • Prisons / Jails
  • Power plants
  • Oil rigs
  • Construction sites
  • Maritime Security (IE ships)

Private military contractors that work static security are assigned by the Department of Defense to patrol places of high importance and value, often in conflict zones.

Even though most patrols go without conflict, there is always the potential for something dangerous to occur.

Especially when in combat zones.

Static security contractor guarding a nuclear plant. Image: Wikimedia.org

Therefore, those that work static security must remain very disciplined, organized, observant, and well trained to handle a variety of potential situations.

Static security is put in place to prevent bad guys from f#$king things up, not to capture them.

When a static security shift is effective at their job, it goes without incident.

In short, the patrol managed to thwart any crime. 

It can be a very boring, tiresome job, but the pay can make it worth the boredom.

According to a report by CNN, pay for static security can range from $500 to $750 per day. 

#8 – Roving Security

Roving security is comparable to static security with the exception that some guards may have some type of transportation, like a vehicle, to patrol a larger area.

“Area 51” is thought to use private military contractors for exterior base security. Image: Wikimedia.org

The objective of roving security is similar to the duties of static security.

While guards are prepared to handle combat, a vast majority of their time on the clock is intended to prevent attacks.

When there is a visible security presence, terrorists, enemies of the state, and bad guys may think twice about going through with an attack.

Roving security is another primary military contracting job. Image: Af.mil

Therefore, the U.S. Military relies on independent contractors to get stationed at places where they may not want to use their own troops.

In addition to deterring crime, roving security can also serve as public information officers.

They can help make sure that basic rules around or inside the premise are adhered to.

Think of them as military police, without actually being in the military.

roving security patrols - private military contractor jobs
Image: Pxhere.com

Furthermore, they can spot incidents before they even happen and be the ultimate watchdog for the security detail.

How much does a Roving Security Contractor make?

The salary and compensation can be all over the place depending on the company you work for, the location you work in, etc.

With that said, here’s a few examples:

  • High Threat Security Operator – $450 a day
  • Personal Security Specialist – $600 – $650 a day
  • Guard Site Supervisor – $800 a day

In general, roving and static security are some of the highest paying private military contractor jobs on the planet.

#7 – Security Management

As you would expect with any management position, working as an independent contractor in security management offers more incentives like better pay and benefits

However, it also entails far more responsibility.

Security is a major role that private military contractors serve in the U.S. Military.

Once again U.S. Armed Forces branches do not always want to lower their troop count just to handle security.

It’s why private contractors are often tasked with important security detail.

If you get employed as a security manager you will handle an entire operation. You will have other members that work under you and together as a team you ensure the safety and security of an assigned location.

Security managers often work in tandem with active duty members of the military. Image: NationalGuard.mil

In addition to important infrastructure such as foreign embassies and military bases, you may also handle security for a specific individual.

Regardless, there is plenty of planning and organization required to handle your own security detail.

Mangers are usually very knowledgeable and well trained. They are natural leaders that are good with delegating and managing other contractors as well.

Related Article: DEVGRU (aka SEAL Team 6) – Everything You Need to Know

Security management contractors generally have a lot of experience working in the industry. The individual is capable of developing and implementing security policies, protocols, and numerous procedures.

There is also the need to manage a budget and make sure security expenses stay within reason. Additionally, managers need to recruit and train personnel. It is a supervisor role so managers are consistently monitoring performance and how security can be improved.

How Much Do Security Management Personnel Make?

While it is difficult to get a precise figure on what you can expect to receive in terms of earnings as a security manager because of the secretive nature of private military contracting work – expect higher paying salaries due to the more important roles.

According to several sources, private military contractors can earn between $80,000 to $250,000 per year.

So it is not out of the question that security management for the right company could earn you six figures a year.

Keep in mind that many of these jobs can be as short as 1 month, to as long as several years.

You can get employed working private military detail. Image: Wikimedia Commons

#6 – Personal Security Detail (PSD)

Personal security detail, or PSD, is an important role that many different independent contractors serve for the Department of Defense and other private organizations.

Personal security detail is another common job of private military contractors. Image: State.gov

PSD is short for protective services detail. It is also sometimes referred to as “personal security detachment” or “personal security detail”.

The biggest difference between static or roving security and PSD assignments is that PSD personnel are in charge of an individual or group of people.

Protective service detail involves some more organization and planning compared to static and roving security because the detail is not stationary.

L Paul Bremer with his personal security detail in Iraq. Image: Muhammed Muheisen – Getty Images

Therefore, personal security detail must adapt to a variety of different environments, some of them very complicated and crowded.

Private Security Detail assignments may include high profile people, some of which have a massive target on their back.

The personal security detail could include just you or a team of security organized to protect the individual or group.

Personal security detail jobs often translate to lucrative private sector jobs, like guarding Mark Zuckerberg. Image: Yahoo.com

Security teams can represent a combination of military personnel, private security contractors, and law enforcement.

One aspect of PSD work that is attractive for independent contractors is that they can work at home or abroad.

Unlike most private military contractor assignments, PSD is hired for domestic as well as international work. So it is possible to live at home, or close to home, while on assignment.

Note that I said “possible”….this of course, isn’t always the case (and most of the time isn’t).

There are other PSD jobs that require international travel and exist primarily, or exclusively abroad.

ACADEMI, DynCorp, and Triple Canopy Inc. are three different organizations known to employ private military contractors for personal security detail.

Formerly known as Blackwater, Academi is one of the largest private military contracting companies in the world. Image: Wikipedia.org

Private security detail applicants are scrutinized heavily. Companies look for very decorated individuals with a lot of experience. It helps to be former military yet is not a necessity.

There are plenty of military contractors doing PSD work that were former police, for example.

PSDs that are experienced working in stressful or dangerous situations are preferred. Your background will also get assessed thoroughly. PSDs are not considered with a criminal record or other red flags.

How Much Does PSD Work Pay?

Like most of the other private military contracting jobs on this page, the pay varies based on experience and the individual job.

A typical executive protection job will be anywhere from $450 – $800 a day, including benefits and paid training.

#5 – Private Investigations

Private investigations may not quite represent the nosy PI’s that are depicted on TV screens, however, there is some truth to how freelance operatives can gather intelligence for a private client.

Private Investigation is an integral role in military contracting work. Image: CareerOneStop.org

In the case of the U.S. federal government it is possible to receive work as a private investigator gathering important information regarding matters of national interest.

There are actually a variety of ways that private investigators can earn a living through the U.S. Military. In addition to gathering intel they may also work technical surveillance counter-measures.

Since PIs for the military work some fairly secretive operations there is not a lot known about this position regarding specifics. However, it is a way you can earn money working for the federal government privately.

Related Article: CIA Special Activities Division – Inside SAD

#4 – Medic

People rarely connect the two subjects, however, becoming a professional medic actually has a lot of purpose if you ever plan to become a private military contractor.

Why? Medical qualifications give you a leg up on competition for military contract jobs because of the dangerous predicaments and how those skills can be useful in combat situations.

Even better if you were a medic that served in the military. Image: Af.mil

In fact, oftentimes private military contractors are not hired for their marksman skills, but rather survival skills.

Therefore having the ability to patch up wounds, deal with medications, and other skills of a medic are very practical.

Medics help save lives and these skills are very desirable in the field of private military contracting.

As a valuable asset of the military you can work as a paramedic, nurse, or doctor.

How Much Do Medics Make?

Though the medical profession generally pays well for starters, you can potentially make nearly double of a typical salary back in the States with the right qualifications and experience.

It is especially true if there is a strong demand for medics at the moment due to a shortage.

The government will pay handsomely in order to reward you for working in conflict zones and places of high stress.

#3 – IT / Network

In addition to working as a medic there are other PMC jobs that do not require you carry a firearm or have much advanced training in terms of being prepared for combat.

While you may still work in potentially dangerous situations the vast majority of work that IT and network teams handle for the military are not all that risky.

The U.S. Military employs private contractors for IT jobs. Image: JTFCS

As the world becomes more technologically dependent the operations of the U.S. Military are no different.

The military stills needs to hire people, generally independent contractors, to help keep their technological systems and networks up and running.

A skilled IT member can earn six figures working for the federal government. The military depends on the best IT technicians available because they can’t afford down time.

Skilled IT professionals can quickly diagnose issues and make repairs to eliminate down time.

The biggest drawback, like most private military contractor work, is that you may work in some remote places and in foreign places that are not the most comfortable or accommodating.

However, adventurers at heart will absolutely thrive in this kind of career path.

#2 – Logistics

Logistics is a very sophisticated term that can encompass a number of different jobs.

In relation to the U.S. military and private contract work it can include everything from coordinating people, facility management, or management of supplies.

Private military contractors fuel aircraft. Image: Defense.gov

It can also resemble the movement and transportation of goods or people. In military settings there is plenty to organize from troops to their supplies to their equipment and weapons.

Members of the military also need to get well fed, clothed, and transported in mass quantity. It can also include building maintenance and other construction or labor jobs.

#1 – Training

Anyone that has ever served in the U.S. Military can attest to the variety and comprehensive levels of training they receive.

There is always a need for experienced instructors and other experts in a certain niche to offer their services.

Firearms instructors often serve as private military contractors. Image: Flickr.com

If you have a specialized skill or have become what some would define as an expert in a certain type of combat, you could get hired by the U.S. Military to train recruits or veteran soldiers.

Training something you already know well is also beneficial to your pockets as instructors can earn some serious cash for dishing out their knowledge.

3 Uncommon Private Military Contractor Jobs

Now that you know the 9 best ways to get a private contract job working for the U.S. Armed Forces or federal government, let’s examine a few of the lesser known professions:

Related Article: Delta Force – Everything You Need to Know

#3 – Maritime Security

Maritime security is a broad term for security that has to do with the sea.

It is often broken down into four other categories known as national security, marine environments, economic development, and human security.

Maritime security contractors protect ships from pirates. Image: Dodlive.mil

This vital position is responsible for protecting ships that pass through areas like the Gulf of Aden.

Once known as one of the most dangerous areas in the world to pass through, the addition of Maritime security contractors on ships has all but effectively stopped ship hijackings.  

Like other security jobs the compensation is lucrative, with the average compensation starting at $700 a day.

#2 – Designated Defensive Marksman | Sniper

It is important to remember that Private military contractors are first and foremost trained to handle potential conflict yet not pursue it as a first line of combat.

Most private military contractor jobs are security types that are a form of preventive defense, not roles that approach direct attack and initiate it.

Some PMC work is more common than other types of jobs. Image: Flickr

However, designated defensive marksman are one example of a private military contractor role where the contractor is prepared to handle serious resistance.

There are some serious marksman qualifications and certification you must meet because it is the role of a sniper, yet part of the role is also providing advanced security.

Designated defensive marksman are capable of providing quick backup support in the event things go south though they are not sent in as a first line of attack. Once again it remains more of a defensive position, hence the job title.

#1 – Explosive Detection Dog Handler

Dogs have saved countless lives as they’ve grown to have a more significant role in the U.S. Military.

Dogs, like explosive detection experts, can help uncover dangerous explosive devices and other weapons of warfare before other personnel pass through the area.

Explosive detection dog handlers are an uncommon military contracting job. Image: Defense.gov

Every service dog of the U.S. Military needs its own handler.

The handler is responsible for the well trained animal. In addition to keeping them trained to handle the most recent weapons, they also look after every other aspect of their welfare.

Canine handlers in the military usually need to have several years of experience and many different levels of certification in order to get considered as a PMC.

If you do land a rare job working as a handler, it is an incredibly important job that can help save many lives.

Conclusion

It is possible to work for the U.S. Armed Forces independently with the right connections and work ethic. Image: Pixabay

There are a variety of different ways you can earn a living working for the military as a private contractor. PMCs work hard, and often in dangerous situations, yet earn a handsome compensation in response.

Not everyone qualifies to get considered for private military contract work.

However, if you think you have what it takes contact the Department of Defense of a private company that hires PMCs for more information.

References

https://www.militarytimes.com/2016/08/17/report-contractors-outnumber-u-s-troops-in-afghanistan-3-to-1/

https://www.thejournal.ie/piracy-somalia-down-on-last-year-1219326-Dec2013/

https://www.academi.com/pages/careers

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-navy/2019/03/14/who-are-the-private-contractors-in-iraq-and-afghanistan/

Rob V.
Rob V.
Rob V. is the founder of OperationMilitaryKids.org. While he never actually served in the US Military, he has a passion for writing about military related topics. Born and raised in Woodbridge, NJ, he graduated from the New Jersey Institute Of Technology with an MBA in eCommerce. His hobbies include beach volleyball, target shooting, and lifting. Rob is also a commercially rated pilot with over 1,500 hours of flight time.

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