We recently ran a survey for Veterans back in September 2019.

Our hope was to get enough usable data that can then be shared or used by charities or Veteran ran businesses to present to local council’s, MP’s or other authorities.

The survey was quite successful and we will definitely be running more surveys in the future. If you’ve like to be involved in future surveys then just sign up to our newsletter and you can be a part of something helpful for the Veteran community.

The Results

Let’s not beat around the bush and get straight to the statistics.

We debated on whether to make this into several articles to make the data clearer however we feel it’s more relevant for everyone if we have it all rolled into one. If you would like to let us know your view on these results, please let us know in the comments below.

Service Results

In this section, we wanted to see what our audience looked like. It’s nothing special but these results can be correlated with other results further on making them quite important.

forces type

The majority of those that completed this survey have served in the Army whilst only 4% were Royal Marines. Interestingly, every single Royal Marine has stated in the survey that they suffer from some sort of depression, anxiety, PTSD, physical or other mental illness.

Service Type

70% of those who have served in both Regular and Reserves managed to serve for 20+ years. The remaining 30% was serving between 6 to 10 years and all signed off with an average of £5687 saved before leaving.

Time Served

The time Veterans have served tends to be roughly the same throughout the different options.

What is interesting though is that those that left between 6-10 years are the highest earners against all other demographics. We’ll cover more about this further down the article.

Leaving Stats

In this section we were looking to gather data on how Veterans left, if they had any plans for civvy street and whether they were financially stable before and after leaving.

Leaving Plans

We asked participants if they had any plans before leaving the military. Surprisingly it was a close outcome between the two choices we offered.

37% of people who didn’t have a plan had served between 6 to 10 years and 16% of people of those people are now self-employed with a following 62% in full term employment.

70% of people who had a plan before leaving had a job position waiting for them on civvy street.

16% of people that had a plan are unfortunately now unemployed. Maybe some business ideas for Veterans might help them get their foot in the door?

Savings When Leaving The Military

When we asked Veterans “Did you have any money saved before leaving?” we never mentioned a minimum amount that could be classed as “savings“.

That being said, the same people that put “no” as their answer still had just over £1,000 saved on average before leaving.

An interesting range of answers here showing that the more time served equals a higher amount of savings when getting out.

Those who spend less that 11 years serving seem unable to save as much as those who have been in longer.

This could be due to a number of factors such as LSA days or promotions.

Veterans from all across the country told us their annual income on civvy street.

It’s quite difficult to determine anything from these results due to there being such a wide range of jobs that are available.

The consistency between annual income vs time served doesn’t seem to differ.

We found these results to be interesting.

When we looked into the metrics of self-employed Veterans vs employed Veterans we honestly thought the results would be different.

Self-employed Veterans or those that run their own business have an annual income that’s nearly £650 less than people in regular employment.

These days there are many higher paying jobs available for ex-forces so it’s no surprise about these results. For example, a digital marketing executive with 5 years experience can earn up to £40,000 – £50,000 in the South East while a business owner might pay themselves less in this economy.

Adapting To Civvy Street

Coming out of a military career and over to Civvy street can be difficult for anyone. No matter how long you served or what your job role was, the mentality of civilian life can be difficult for anyone to adjust to.

In the chart above, we asked Veterans to rate on a scale of 1 to 10 how happy they were with their career, their current happiness, how likely they were to rejoin, how hard they found it to find work and how difficult interviewing for a civilian job actually was.

The majority of people rated their career and current happiness levels around about the same with the average score for “likely to rejoin” being a lowly 2.95.

On average, participants said that looking for work or applying for work isn’t too hard or too easy for them. Of course there are those that find these processes to be extremely difficult so perhaps more support is needed in those areas?

Coping On Civvy Street

When we asked participants to state whether they had suffered from any form of addiction since leaving the military, we wasn’t sure what the response would be.

We felt that many were open and honest with their answers and hopefully the 14% of veterans that suffer with an addiction have sought help.

Perhaps a future survey could be targeted solely at people with addictions to help gather even more results.

Being homeless is nothing to be ashamed of.

People from all walks of life can be made homeless for thousands of different reasons. Unfortunately there are 9% of Veterans surveyed said they had been homeless as some point in their life after leaving the military.

Out of those ex-forces that said they had been homeless 37% were medically discharged, 5% were retired and the remaining 58% signed off intentionally. Hopefully the new Veterans ID Card scheme can help better keep track of homeless Veterans in the UK.

Proudly, 20% are now self-employed and another 45% are in active employment. With any luck, the remaining 35% will find work soon.

This chart shows the percentage of those surveyed who suffer with some sort of physical or mental illness.

As we mentioned previously, every Royal Marine that completed the survey said they are seeking treatment for at least one illness since leaving.

48% of those who have suffered with PTSD also said they struggle with addiction.

37% of Veterans suffering with depression are unemployed while a surprising 9% run their own business.

Ex-Forces Employment Statistics

We found this section of the survey to be extremely interesting.

A diverse range of results that we believe reflects a positive highlight onto the Veteran community.

Employment Results

We debated on whether to make this into several articles to make the data clearer however we feel it's more relevant for everyone if we have it all rolled into one.

Here we can see quite a varied result between those that are employed Veterans vs those that are unemployed Veterans.

While 80% of Veterans are employed or self-employed –  the remaining 20% is still a very high number.

Something clearly needs to be done about this.

We do have some ideas in place to reduce unemployment rates within the ex-forces community but we need to think long and hard on how to implement it.

If you have any ideas then please let us know in the comments.

Employment Sector Results

Halfway through the survey we asked what sector the employed Veterans worked in.

Here is a complete breakdown of the top ten sectors for you to use or share for future reference.

Current Sector Percentage
Engineering & Manufacturing 23%
Logistics 11%
Property & Construction 10%
Civil 8%
Healthcare 6%
Energy & Utilities 6%
Security 6%
Teaching / Training 6%
Law Enforcement 3%

The remaining of those surveyed worked within a range of sectors including media, marketing and retail.

Military Earnings vs Earnings On Civvy Street

earnings on civvy street

A very clear and simple question that we asked here was “do you earn more money on civvy street than you did in the Army/Navy/RAF/RM?”.

75% of those who said they earn more now are ex-Army with the majority stating their line of work is within the Engineering & Manufacturing sector which seems to be the most popular sector throughout the entire survey.

We honestly think it’s fantastic that 65% of Veterans earn more on civvy street.

We are truly a fantastic community and this survey proves it.

Other Results From This Survey

Lastly, we wanted to quickly cover off a few miscellaneous results that we felt didn’t quite fit throughout the rest of this article.

Hopefully, you find these interesting enough to use for future articles:

  • Most Veterans will have an average of 2 jobs upon leaving the forces up to retirement
  • 75% of Veterans drive to work in their own vehicle while 6% use public transport
  • 8% said they’re not interested in seeing their old colleagues ever again
  • 19% said they’re not in touch with old colleagues and wished they would make contact
  • 85% of Veterans prefer their military friends to those on Civvy street
  • 44% said they had a job lined up before leaving the forces
  • 56% of Veterans miss their friends the most and another 23% miss the banter more than anything


We feel that the results of this survey were very helpful.

While there were some not-so-serious questions, we believe someone will find this data extremely useful.

Veteran employment, housing and mental health issues are still rife in the UK and hopefully this survey helps someone shine a light on those affected so they can get some help.

Please let us know your thoughts, ideas or anything else that can help benefit the ex-forces community in the comments below.

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for future surveys, results and opportunities.


0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
10 months ago

An interesting observation on mental health, but wonder how many of those with mental illness/ “PTSD” had taken the anti-malaria drug Mefloquine (Lariam), and of those who experienced adverse effects which mimic the symptoms of PTSD, including Suicide ideation, attempts & completion.

Andy Mitchell
Andy Mitchell
10 months ago

I think that there’s a couple of points being missed here. I never left the Army, I turned 40 and it was decided that I was too old to be an infantryman. Another of your statistic mentions that only 6% go into security, well over 10,000 of us went on to work on the circuit in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and the anti piracy maritime security. Many of these were over 40 before they embarked on this secondary career. You made another point about people with full pensions not needing to work, where did that come from? My children are… Read more »

10 months ago
Reply to  Andy Mitchell

I think you’re missing the point there mate. It’s a survey.

Whoever took the survey answered the questions. If they don’t fit your views on how people cope on civvy street then that’s not their fault.

I’m ex RLC and most of my mates work in logistics – so by your logic, this survey is wrong because there should be more than 11% working in logistics on civ div?

10 months ago

Very interesting.

So veterans in employment earn roughly £37k a year? That’s amazing considering I left 5 years ago and still only earn £25k.

I think it’s time I change my job? Anyone want to employ a balding civvy driver? 😀