Royal Marines officer

RM officer

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would lead teams of commando-trained soldiers in combat situations, at sea or on shore. You may also be in charge of peace-keeping and disaster relief missions.

You would be responsible for the welfare and discipline of the marines under your command. You would usually start out as a troop officer in charge of 28 men. You would lead them and make decisions about their training and deployment.

You could also have a specialist role. You might become:

  • A landing craft officer – plan and lead beach assaults
  • A signals officer – oversee all radio communications
  • A heavy weapons officer – decide on the use of weapons such as anti-tank missiles
  • A weapons training officer – advise on the use of small arms and train snipers
  • A Special Boat Service (SBS) officer – carry out special missions from ships and aircraft as part of the special forces unit
  • A mountain leader – use your Arctic survival skills to lead commandos in mountain exercises
  • An intelligence officer – collect and study intelligence reports
  • A member of the Fleet Air Arm – fly or work with the full range of aircraft used by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines
  • A physical training and sports officer – manage physical training in commando units and training centres
  • A staff duty officer – deal with administration, training and planning

Working conditions

Hours

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

Environment

You would face a wide variety of conditions including extremes in weather and terrain, as well as mental, physical and emotional challenges.

Travel

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

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Working as part of a team
  • Taking the lead
  • Working with your hands
  • Being physically fit
  • Finding solutions to problems
  • Being logical
  • Coping with pressure
  • Planning and organising
  • Making decisions

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

You'll need five National 5 qualifications and Highers to the value of 180 UCAS points. This corresponds to grades at BBC. 

An HNC/HND (SCQF Level 7/8) will also support your entry. 

Some roles will require a relevant degree (SCQF level 9/10) acquired prior to applying. In some cases, you can apply before starting or whilst studying for a degree to access bursary support. 

As part of the joining process, you'll need to pass the Naval Service Recruitment Test (NRST) covering basic English, maths, problem solving and an understanding of mechanics. 

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science and technologies subjects such as engineering and ICT
  • Modern languages
  • Physical education

You will also need

Before joining the Royal Marines you'll need to pass:

  • The Naval Service Recruitment Test (NRST)
  • An initial formal interview
  • Medical and eyesight tests 
  • The Royal Marines Pre-Joining Fitness Test
  • A second short interview 
  • The Potential Officers Course (POC)
  • The Admiralty Interview Board (AIB)

Once you've completed the joining process, you'll begin your initial training which lasts 15 months. 

The Royal Marines have strict eligibility criteria. To be successful you'll need to be: 

  • A British, Irish, Commonwealth or dual nationality citizen who has lived in the UK for the last five years
  • To be aged between 18 and 25 years old when you start basic training
  • To be at least 151.5cm tall and weigh at least 65kg (women do not have to meet this requirement)
  • To be within the healthy range for Body Mass Index (BMI) 

You will need to complete a full security check. 

Any tattoos which would be visible in parade uniform are not allowed. There are also restrictions on body piercings.

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show teamwork, determination, physical and mental stamina, such as:

  • Skills for Work Uniformed and Emergency Services (SCQF level 4)
  • SQA  Leadership Award (SCQF level 5/6)
  • Cadet Organisation or other Youth Awards 

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