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Royal Navy rating

Royal Navy ratings work in a variety of job roles on board ships or submarines at sea, or onshore at a naval base. 

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £14,750 to £48,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need to be:

  • 16 to 36 years old
  • a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen
  • in good health and physically fit

For a lot of jobs there are no set entry requirements, but it will help if you have some GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C).

You’ll be put through a series of selection tests, an interview and a medical examination. You’ll also need to pass a security and reference check.

With the exception of submarines and clearance diving, jobs are open to both women and men. 

The Royal Navy has more information on how to get into specific roles.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent team working skills
  • the ability to make decisions and react quickly under pressure
  • the ability to follow orders and take responsibility
  • practical and technical skills
  • communication skills

3. What you'll do

Depending on your skills and role you’ll support a part of the service, like:

  • warfare – operating and maintaining ship’s weapons, electronic and communications systems
  • engineering – operating, maintaining and refitting ships, submarines and aircraft
  • logistics – coordinating office, accounting, stores and catering systems
  • medical – providing a healthcare service for Royal Navy personnel and their families
  • aviation – making sure aircraft are prepared for action, and giving navigation information based on weather and ocean conditions
  • submarine service – operating and maintaining submarine weapons, electronic systems and sensors

4. Salary

Starter: £14,750 (trainee)

Experienced: £18,250 to £31,000

Highly Experienced: £48,000

Submariners, divers and anyone required to fly may receive extra pay. Deductions may be made from your pay when accommodation is provided.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually be on call 24 hours a day and work on a shift system, including weekends and public holidays.

Living quarters on board ships and submarines are often cramped. While serving at sea you may be separated from your family for several months at a time, sometimes working in dangerous situations.

6. Career path and progression

You could progress to Leading Hand, Petty Officer, Chief Petty Officer or Warrant Officer. 

With the right skills and qualifications you could also progress to officer.

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Last updated: 18 August 2017