Royal Navy rating

Security, uniformed and protective services

Career outlook for royal navy rating

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would support the Royal Navy through a variety of roles on ships and submarines or in a shore base.

Your work would vary depending on which branch of the service you support and your specific trade.

You could work in:

  • Warfare – you would look after weapons, electronic systems and communications systems on a ship
  • Submarine service – you would look after weapons, electronic systems and communications systems on a submarine
  • Engineering – you would keep ships, submarines and aircraft running
  • Logistics – you would manage office, accounting, stores and catering systems
  • Medical, including Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service (QARNNS) – you would give healthcare to personnel and their families
  • Naval air branch – you would prepare aircraft for flight and help to navigate

Working conditions


You would usually be on call 24 hours a day, generally working eight-hour shifts, which would include weekends and public holidays.


You would live and work on board a ship or submarine for several months at a time. Living quarters are cramped. You may face a wide variety of conditions including extremes in weather, as well as mental, physical and emotional challenges.


You must be prepared to move within the UK and overseas. Whilst serving at sea, you would be separated from your family for several months.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Resilience
  • Making decisions
  • Developing a plan
  • Understanding
  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Working with technology
  • Verbal communication
  • Cooperating
  • Problem solving

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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.


There are no minimum requirements for entering the Royal Navy as a rating. But to give yourself the widest range of opportunities it’s a good idea to have National 4/5 qualifications or equivalent.

Useful subjects

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

You will also need

You need to be aged between 16 years and 36 years old, however you can apply when you are at least 15 years old and 9 months. Certain roles may have different age ranges which you should check.

You will need to be a minimum height of 151.5cm. The only exception to this rule is the Submarine Service where you will need to be a minimum height of 157cm.

You will need to be a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen or have dual nationality.

You must also be within the healthy range for Body Mass Index (BMI).

Some roles may require you to have normal colour vision.

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.

You will need to pass the Royal Navy Recruiting Test (RT), a psychometric ability test used to assess specific academic ability and shows your ability to cope with the technical and academic aspects of training. There are four separate parts to this test which you will need to complete within a strict time limit. These measure general reasoning, verbal ability, numeracy and mechanical comprehension. You will also need to pass medical and eye tests and the Royal Navy Pre-Joining Fitness Test.

Once you’ve passed all the tests, you must attend and pass the Pre-Royal Navy Course to enter this career.

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that demonstrate the Royal Navy's core values of commitment, courage, discipline, respect, integrity and loyalty, 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