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Royal Marines Officer

Royal Marines Officers lead teams of Commandos in combat situations, at sea and on land.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £25,700 to £85,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll need to be:

  • aged 18 to 25
  • at least 151.5cm tall
  • a national of the UK or Ireland, a Commonwealth citizen who has lived in the UK for the last 5 years, or a dual national
  • in good health, physically fit, and a BMI between 18 to 28

You’ll also need:

  • 5 GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths
  • 2 A levels (or equivalent) with 72 UCAS points

You’ll be put through a series of pre-selection tests, a medical examination and an interview. If selected, you'll be invited to join the three-day Potential Officers Course (POC), which includes further interviews and tests in areas like leadership, team-working, and physical and mental fitness.

If you successfully complete the POC, you'll be invited for an interview with the Admiralty Interview Board. You’ll then be considered for a place on the Royal Marines Officer training programme.

The Royal Navy has more information about becoming a Royal Marines Officer.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • leadership skills
  • resilience and resourcefulness
  • self-discipline, confidence and determination
  • the ability to think, react and make decisions quickly
  • a high level of physical fitness and stamina
  • the ability to work effectively under pressure

3. What you'll do

You could have a specialism like:

  • landing craft officer – planning and leading beach assaults
  • signals officer – overseeing radio communications
  • heavy weapons officer – weapons deployment and tactics
  • weapons training officer – advising on the use of small arms and training snipers
  • Special Boat Service (SBS) officer – carrying out special missions 
  • mountain leaders – leading and instructing commando troops in mountain exercises
  • intelligence officer – collecting, coordinating and interpreting intelligence reports
  • pilot officer – flying aircraft and helicopters physical training and sports officer – developing and supervising training
  • staff duty officer – dealing with administration, training, planning and logistics

4. Salary

Starter: £25,700 to £31,000 (after training)

Experienced: up to £40,000 (Lieutenant)

Highly Experienced: up to £85,000 (highest level of Captain)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work shifts and be on call at all times. During exercises and operations, your hours may be long and irregular.

You must be prepared to go wherever you are needed around the world, and you may spend long periods of time away from home.

You’ll face a wide variety of conditions including extremes in weather and terrain. You'll also face mental, physical and emotional challenges, often in dangerous situations.

6. Career path and progression

After 3 years' development as a Lieutenant, you could progress to Captain and then on to higher ranks.

You could move into other careers once you leave the marines, depending on the skills, training and qualifications you gained while serving.

The Career Transition Partnership and Quest have information on careers outside the armed forces.

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Last updated: 05 May 2017