Royal Navy Rating Careers

How to become Royal Navy Rating

What does a Royal Navy Rating do?

Royal Navy ratings can work on board a ship or submarine at sea, or in a Royal Navy shore base.

Ratings work to support the sea-going fleet and personnel across a range of areas:

  • warfare branch – operate and maintain the ship’s weapons, electronic systems and sensors. They also co-ordinate a ship’s communications systems, and undertake a range of other tasks
  • engineering branch - undertake the operation, maintenance and refit of the Royal Navy’s ships, submarines and aircraft
  • logistics branch - responsible for ensuring the effective operation of a range of office, accounting, stores and catering systems
  • medical branch - medical assistants, technicians and Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service (QARNNS) staff nurses provide a comprehensive health care service for Royal Navy personnel and their families
  • naval air branch - ensures that Navy aircraft are prepared for action. It could also include providing navigation information based on weather and ocean conditions
  • submarine service - responsible for the efficient operation and maintenance of a submarine’s weapons, electronic systems and sensors.
A list of all the specialisms available to ratings is available on the Royal Navy website (see Further Information).

What's the working environment like working as a Royal Navy Rating?

Royal Navy ratings are on call 24 hours a day, and generally work shifts. This can include weekends and public holidays.

Living quarters onboard ships and submarines are cramped. While serving at sea, ratings may be separated from their families for several months at a time.

What does it take to become a Royal Navy Rating?

As a Royal Navy rating you should:

  • be able to work as part of a team
  • have self-discipline and the ability to live in a small enclosed environment
  • be able to accept responsibility
  • make decisions and react quickly under pressure
  • be physically fit
  • be able to follow orders
  • have practical and technical skills
  • have an interest in science and technology
  • have good communication skills
  • be prepared to work anywhere in the world, possibly in combat situations.

Royal Navy Rating Career Opportunities

The Royal Navy recruits around 4,500 ratings each year. The number recruited into different roles can vary.

Promotion is to able rating on completion of basic training, and then based on merit and experience to leading rating, petty officer, chief petty officer and warrant officer.

Those with the necessary qualifications and potential can apply for a commission as an officer. About one in five of naval officers are former ratings.

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

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Royal Navy Rating that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Free leaflets and advice are available from all local armed forces careers offices (AFCOs). The addresses of these can be found in telephone directories listed under Naval Establishment.

The Royal Navy
Careers Enquiries: 0845 607 5555

Armed Forces Careers Office (NI)
Royal Navy and Royal Marines
Palace Barracks
Co Down
BT18 9RA
Tel: 028 9042 7040

Facts and Stats:

  • The Ministry of Defence is British Industry''s largest single customer
  • Every year, civil servants are responsible for public spending of around £300bn
  • If every MP turned up at the chambers of the House of Commons at the same time, there would not be enough seats for them all to sit down

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