SANDF Careers & Traineeship Programmes

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Looking for job at SANDF? Here's what you need to know

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is always looking for qualified, experienced people to join their ranks, but not just anybody can land a SANDF job. You’ll need to meet the minimum requirements and jump through several hoops before you’re even considered. Here’s what you need to know about getting a SANDF job.

Is it worth it to work at SANDF?

Working for a state institution is something many would consider lucky. The opportunities, perks and benefits that come with working for such an employer seem like a dream come true.



However, just because working at a state institution seems all glitz and glamour, it doesn’t mean that it’s as great as it seems at first look. So is working for SANDF really worth it? Well...we can’t give you that answer. 

Do I need certificates?

If your search is leading you toward a specific type of job, it’s a good idea to check in with your chosen department or division. While not every division of SANDF requires their candidates to have matric, some, such as Air Force, require a Grade 12 certificate (passed or failed) and others prefer that candidates hold a Grade 12 diploma.

For example, if you’re interested in joining one of South Africa’s elite military units, such as the 32 Battalion or 44 Parachute Brigade, you will need a matric certificate.

In addition to these requirements, each branch has its own minimum entry requirements; while one might accept only four subjects from an applicant’s school career and another might want two years of work experience before even considering an application.

It’s important to do your research so you don’t find yourself disappointed when you apply.

The Benefits

Civil servants enjoy decent salaries, medical and dental cover and access to higher education. You’ll have 40 days’ annual leave a year (20 in excess of statutory minimum), a 13th cheque each year and access to long-term care if required. There are also staff housing schemes.



Each employee is entitled to free legal advice by an attorney who acts as an employment consultant and can take up disciplinary cases on your behalf, advising you of your rights.

When can I apply for a job at the Defence Force?

When can I apply for a job in SANDF is a question we often receive. The answer depends on how you want to get into the South African National Defence Force. The first step towards your career as a member of the South African National Defence Force is following all of our online application steps.

There are many ways and opportunities to join, but there are also specific dates when we receive applications from eligible candidates wanting to be part of SANDF. We have identified three main streams where people can join SANDF: Citizen Force, Volunteer Service and Military Service.

In each case, there are different rules around applying for these positions, so make sure you read up on them before proceeding with your application. 

The Application Process

Most national government applications are handled online via Government Careers, which provides information on how to apply and details on current opportunities. Your CV (curriculum vitae) should be up-to-date, as well as a certified copy of your ID book or passport.

You’ll also need two copies of each document you send in with your application. Once you submit your application, it can take anywhere from one day to four months before you hear back from them.

If they ask for an interview, make sure to dress professionally—and don’t forget that South African citizens must have a valid South African identity document when applying for any position within the SANDF.



The Interview

Before accepting a position with an employer, it’s important to remember that an interview is a two-way street. In addition to assessing whether or not you’re fit for a role, potential employers are also determining if they want to work with you and whether they can afford your salary requirements.

While it might be tempting to negotiate a higher salary after receiving an offer, resist doing so until you’ve thoroughly thought through all of your options. If you accept before making other arrangements, you could end up in a situation where you have no choice but to take on a job that doesn’t meet your needs.

The Career Development Opportunities

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) runs a recruitment campaign every year. Candidates from all over Africa apply for these positions. The interest in joining the army is also high among many local candidates.

Because of numerous unemployed people and because military training and skills are respected, it can be relatively easy to join as an army recruit if you have good leadership qualities, can follow orders and are willing to work hard. Training starts with being assessed physically and mentally.

Interested in joining SANDF?

Click here for the latest SANDF vacancies

or check out the latest SANDF opportunities below

  1. SANDF Graduate Internship Programmes 2022/2023
  2. South African Navy Trainees Recruitment
  3. South African Army Trainees Recruitment
  4. South African Air Force Trainees Recruitment 2022
  5. South African Military Health Service Trainees Recruitment
  6. South African Air Force General Recruitment Programme




Before you look at how to apply for the job, take a look at the recommended career resources and guides we have for you below. It is always good to prepare yourself for your dream job. Carefully read the articles and proceed to apply.


#1, 13 Reasons Why Your CV Will Get Rejected
#2. How To Write A Perfect CV
#3. How To Write The Perfect Cover Letter
#4. Smart Ways To Answer Standard Job Interview Questions
#5. Fully Funded Scholarships to Study Abroad
#6. How to make Money Online

How To Apply

Interested applicants should:

Click here for the latest SANDF vacancies

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