How to Become a Private Military Contractor? – Things to Do

Written by

John Cotton


Logan Miller

how to become a private military contractor

Are you looking for up-to-date information on how to become a private military contractor with or without military experience?

Because the job of a PMC is slightly similar to various military positions, the requirements needed to become PMC is also similar.

You’ll need at least a high school diploma or GED, some security experience (police, military, or other similar jobs), and a firearms training certificate. You also have to be physically, mentally, and emotionally fit with First Aid knowledge and conflict resolution skills.

What is a Private Military Contractor? What Do They Do?

Private military contractors (PMCs) are companies that provide military-related services. They are mostly made up of ex-military since PMCs could perform as bodyguards to protect sites or individuals or serve as backup teams for special forces in war zones and other high-danger areas.

Sometimes, the government hires private military contractors to serve as convoys for trucks carrying supplies between sites. Private military contractors do not replace the job of personnel in governments, military and private security companies. PMCs actually help fill the gap.

Other duties of a private military contractor include:

  • Joining surveillance activities of special forces
  • Escorting ambassadors, diplomats, and other high-risk personalities from point A to point B
  • Fighting against terrorists and criminals near fields, oil rigs, and other similar sites.
  • Guarding buildings and establishments with possibility of attack (such as government offices or embassies)
  • Conducting anti-drug operations
  • Assisting military on assignments

Those who do not have military experience can still become a civilian contractor for the military. However, their tasks often focus only on their fields, such as:

  • Armor vehicle technicians fix armored vehicles stuck in dangerous areas
  • Investigators examine sites for crimes, forensic data, etc.
  • Oil rig operators assess the health of oil rigs (often located in high-risk areas)
  • And so on…

Things to Prepare to Become a Private Military Contractor


Private Military Contractor Requirements

1. Education

You can become a PMC with either a high school diploma, GED or college degree. Those who graduated with criminal justice or police science have an edge over other applicants.

Sometimes, a degree may not be necessary. But if you specialize in a foreign language where the PMC will be assigned, this could give you an advantage.

2. Clean criminal record

A private military contractor should provide evidence of no criminal record or prior felony charges.

3. Security or military experience

The best route to join PMCs is to have experience in the police, military, or government agencies like FBI or CIA.

4. Evidence of weapony experience

If you’re ex-military or ex-police, you’re likely already trained with tactical shooting, counter-terrorism, firearms instruction, self-defense tactics, gun usage, and other firearm skills.

If not, you must educate yourself and be familiarized with common weaponry such as AKs, Glocks 9mms, Remingtons, and more.

5. Double-check all documentation

If your goal is to get hired by an international private military contractor, you need to check if you’ll be legally able to work in that particular country.

International laws are tricky, so it is best to study them or seek advice before applying to any PMC job.

Note that countries such as the UK, US, South Africa, Germany, Austria, and France (among others) forbid their citizens to fight in foreign wars unless as part of their country’s own armed forces.

Steps to Get a Job as a Military Contractor


1. Craft your Job-Specific CV

Before sending your application to every PMC company you discover, make sure you craft an impressive resume.

Remove unrelated jobs, such as the fast food gig you had as a teenager or the part-time desk job you did while transitioning from one PMC assignment to the next.

Showcase your strengths and military experience in your CV. Include all the skills, qualifications, and certifications you think would help give you the edge over your competition.

Don’t undersell yourself. Think about other qualifications, such as:

  • the ability to remain calm under pressure
  • risk assessment and critical thinking skills
  • the ability to work well with other people
  • leadership skills

2. Get certifications

If your educational achievements are not enough to make it to a PMC job, you still have time to get certifications from short courses. These include:

  • First Aid and CPR
  • Gun control and safety
  • Emergency management
  • Police academy training

3. Send application to the Department of Defense

Most private military contractors directly create their bids and apply directly to DoD. This process can last for several weeks to a few months.

You’d also need to disclose all personal information from education to finances.

Aside from passing security clearances and background checks, the DoD might also ask you to undergo certain tests to prove physical fitness, weapondry handling, EMT skills and other abilities.

4. Make a List of PMC Companies and Apply

Those with former security-related skills can apply for private military contractor companies such as Wagner Group, DynCorp, G4S, RSB-Group, SOC, IDS, and Triple Canopy.

Some private military contractor companies are well-known for hiring non-military positions. If you’re a civilian on a mission to become a PMC, check these companies first:

  • Vinnell Corporation
  • MPRI, Inc.
  • KBR
  • Academi (formerly called Blackwater)

Don’t rush your application. Check the requirements for the positions you plan to apply for and ensure you’re submitting required documents completely.

FAQs: Tips to Become a Private Military Contractor With No Experience


Not everyone can become a private contractor for the military. These frequently asked questions about PMCs should help you decide if this is the right path for you.

Does the CIA hire private military contractors?

Yes. However, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is one of the most secretive US agencies.

As such, there are no reliable statistics and information about who they hire as private military contractors, or what kind of work they outsource to PMCs.

What is the difference between PMC and mercenary?

The definitions can be blurry because mercenaries and private military contractors both work in exchange for money and are not directly employed by a government entity.

PMCs are hired by organizations, who then sell their services to any individual, company or public institution in need of special protection or military-grade assignments.

In the US, PMCs must be licensed under the Defense Trade Control Office.

Mercenaries are individual soldiers who are hired by whoever pays them. As such, there are often no checks and balances, leading to the bad reputation of mercenaries.

How can a civilian become a private military contractor?

As a civilian, it is possible to become a contractor for the military. However, expect that there will be fewer PMCs hiring for an ultra-specific position with your unique skill set. And if you do find one, the job would likely have more competition.

For example, an oil rig technician may be required to join a team of PMCs in an active war zone. Unlike ex-military PMCs that are hired in numerous security-related scenarios, an oil rig technician position would likely be an occasional hiring.

Can doctors apply as private military contractors?

Another pathway to becoming a private military contractor is through the medical field.

If in your former life, you worked as a paramedic, EMT, nurse, medical assistant, First Aid instructor, and other similar professions, you could land the PMC job even without combat experience.

Your job would be to help save the lives of other PMCs or treat wounds should the assignments become life-threatening.

How much do US private military contractors make?

Private military contractors are hired under strict confidentiality agreements. It is why the salaries of PMCs are wildly under-reported. The best average former contractors reveal ranges between $400 and $750 a day.

Private military contractors in the United States are estimated to earn between $25,000 and $140,000, with an average annual salary of $65,000.

Of course, the salary will depend on individual experience, skills, employer job location, and specific details of the PMC contracts.


Now you know how to become a private military contractor.

If you’re armed with the right skills, are brave enough to face war zones and dangerous situations, and prepared for difficult humanitarian or medical aid, this could be a fulfilling career path for you.

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