Job type

Royal Marines commando

£15k - £51k

Typical salary

40 – 50

Hours per week

Royal Marines commandos take part in frontline combat, and are sent at short notice to deal with emergency situations.

More info

  • Take part in frontline combat and be sent at short notice to deal with emergency situations
  • You'll need resilience, resourcefulness and a determination to succeed
  • You could advance to corporal, then on to sergeant or become an officer


As a Royal Marines commando, you'll have a specialism like:

  • Landing craft officer - planning and leading beach assaults
  • Signals officer - overseeing radio communications
  • Heavy weapons officer - in charge of 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 leader - 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 and staff duty officer - dealing with administration, training, planning and logistics


You could work in a warzone, at a military base or on a ship. Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding and outdoors in all weathers. You may need to wear a uniform and protective clothing. During exercises and operations, your hours may be long and irregular. You must be prepared to go wherever you're needed around the world, and for long periods away from home. 

You'll need

This role would be ideal for someone with resilience, resourcefulness and a determination to succeed, the ability to work and live in close proximity to others, the ability to follow orders, the ability to think and react quickly under pressure, and practical skills.

You can apply directly to join the Royal Navy as a commando. You don't need any specific qualifications, but you will need to meet the Navy's eligibility requirements. For example, you must be aged between 16 and 32, be at least 151.5cm tall (no limit for women), pass fitness tests, be a citizen of the UK, Republic of Ireland or the Commonwealth, pass a medical check, pass security checks and pass enhanced background checks.

If your application is accepted, you'll be invited to talk to someone at your local armed forces careers office about what you want to do. You'll then attend an interview and assessment.

You can join the Royal Marines Reserve to get some experience of what life is like in the service and to learn new skills at the same time. You'll do the same commando training as the regulars, but over a longer period. If you're between 13 and 18 years old, you can join the Royal Marines Cadets.


With training and experience you could move up through the ranks and get a commission to become an officer. You could go into a wide range of careers after leaving the marines. The Career Transition Partnership, Quest and Troops to Teachers have more information on careers outside the armed forces.