Job type

Royal Navy rating

£15k - £36k

Typical salary

40 – 50

Hours per week

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

More info

  • Work in a variety of job roles on board ships or submarines
  • You'll need excellent team working skills & the ability to make decisions
  • You could progress to senior positions or to an officer


Depending on your skills and role as a Royal Navy rating, 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


You could work in a warzone, on a ship or at a military base. Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding and outdoors in all weathers. You may need to wear a uniform and protective clothing. 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.

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'll need to be a citizen of the UK, Republic of Ireland or the Commonwealth, pass a medical check, have a good level of fitness, be at least 151.5cm tall pass security checks and pass enhanced background checks for this role.

You could apply to join the army through an HM forces serviceperson intermediate apprenticeship. You'll need to apply directly to the army to discuss which is the best apprenticeship route for you. This will depend on your qualifications and which service role you're interested in.

You can also apply directly to join the Royal Navy as a rating. 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 36 and pass fitness and medical tests. After applying, 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. If you have the right skills, you'll be invited to attend the 4-day Pre-Royal Navy Course. This includes further interviews, fitness, medical and aptitude tests. If you're successful, you'll be offered a place on the navy's basic training programme.

Joining the Royal Navy Reserve to get some experience of what life is like in the service, and to learn new skills at the same time can be very helpful. You'll need to be between the ages of 16 and 42 and able to commit to basic training, including a 2-week course at HMS Raleigh in Cornwall. If you're between 12 and 18 years old, you can join the Sea Cadets.


After you complete your basic training, you can choose to specialise in a particular area. Examples include: communications, logistics, mine warfare and submarine operations. With training and experience you could move up through the ranks and become an officer. You can go into a wide range of careers after leaving the navy. The Career Transition Partnership, Quest and Troops to Teachers have more information on careers outside the armed forces.