We would like to place Cookies on your computer to give you the best possible experience when you visit our website. If you are happy with the current Cookie settings and want to continue to use this website as normal, click 'OK'. You also have the option to change these settings, plus learn more about Cookies and how we use them. More information on Cookies.

Change settings

Sign into my account

Forgot your username Forgot your password

Protecting our Nation's Interests

Skip to main content
Careers Royal Navy

Communications Technician

Add to favourites

As a Communications Technician, you’ll be an essential part of the intelligence organisation on the ship, using your skills and specialist equipment to gather and analyse information, which the Captain and other officers will use to make their decisions. Preparing face-to-face and written briefings for senior officers on the information you’ve analysed and helping them build up a picture of what’s going on is a crucial part of your job. As your career progresses, you may have opportunities to train in more technical fields or to learn a foreign language.


Type Level

  • Action: 4
  • Leadership: 2
  • Hands on: 3
  • Technical: 2
  • Admin: 1
  • Teamwork: 3

Eligibility and qualifications

What are we looking for

To join the Royal Navy as a Communications Technician it is vital that you have common sense and commitment, plus a technical and analytical mind. Also, an interest in electronics and computers is a real plus as the type of information you will be processing will not only involve speed but also accuracy. Effective communication skills are essential as you will be expected to brief senior officers in a clear and confident way (both spoken and written). You will undoubtedly have a varied and rewarding career as a Communications Technician but it is important to realise that you will be working in some challenging conditions, both at sea and on land operations.


Two GCSEs (A* to C) or Scottish Standard Grades (1 to 3) or equivalent, in English and Maths.

You must be aged between 16 and 36 years.

Skills and interests

You should like

  • Working as Part of a Team
  • Working in challenging Environments
  • Working with Cutting Edge Technology
  • A taste for Adventure



You should have these skills

  • Honesty and Integrity
  • Good Communicator
  • Multi-tasker
  • Reliable and Discreet


Career progression

Skills for Life

Training will be a constant feature of your time with us. We’ll help you gain academic qualifications like GCSEs, A-levels, even a degree. You can also work towards NVQs and other vocational awards. As well as helping you develop your Royal Navy career, everything you achieve will be recognised and valued by a future civilian employer.

Find out more about lifelong learning


You’ll start your career as an Able Rate. With some experience and further training, you could be promoted to Leading Hand. After that, you may go on to become a Petty Officer, Chief Petty Officer, then a Warrant Officer. If you show the right commitment, skills and academic ability, you may also have the chance to become a Commissioned Officer. You’ll be chosen for promotion on merit, so if you work hard, you can quickly rise through the ranks.

Pay & benefits

Royal Navy pay compares well with similar civilian jobs. As well as your basic pay, you’ll also receive extra money when you’re promoted and when you’re away at sea. We also offer an excellent pension scheme, six weeks’ paid holiday a year and free medical and dental care. 

You’ll generally join us on a full career, which is 18 years or to age 40, whichever is later. You may have the opportunity to serve beyond this, depending on what you want and the needs of the Royal Navy. If you want to leave, you can send us your request one year before completing your specified return of service. How long this return of service is, will depend on the branch you join. You will need to give 12 months’ notice.

Learn more about pay and benefits

Joining process

1. Get in touch by filling out a simple form or calling 08456 07 55 55.
2. Attend an Initial Careers Presentation (ICP) at a careers office near you.
3. If you’re still interested, then fill out a short application form.
4. We'll book you in for the Royal Navy Recruitment Test (RT). Find out more.
5. We'll then review the results with you and chat through the most suitable jobs.
6. Take the medical tests and the Royal Navy pre-joining fitness test. Take a look at our fitness programme.
7. Pass our Pre-Royal Navy Course.
8. Once you’ve passed all the tests, we’ll make you a formal job offer.
9. Join the Royal Navy.

Find out more about the joining process

Training Process

Initial Training

Your Royal Navy career begins with 10 weeks’ basic training at HMS Raleigh. It sounds like a ship, but in fact it’s a shore base near Plymouth. The discipline, teamwork, organisational, firefighting and weapon-handling skills you’ll learn here will stay with you right through your Royal Navy career. Find out more about HMS Raleigh.

Aim to get yourself as fit as you can before you arrive. You’ll be doing a lot of physical exercise, and you’ll find it much easier if you’re already in good shape. There’s also a swimming test, so if you can’t swim, make sure you’ve learned by the time you join us.

More about Initial Ratings Training.

Professional Training

Communications Technician is a specialised role that will involve almost two years of training before you are fully qualified to take up your first operational assignment. At first, your training will begin with a seamanship course, designed to develop your knowledge and practical skills. You will then complete four to six months’ sea training, gaining practical experience of life on board a modern warship, which will help you understand its military role and where you fit into the team. The main part of your training, which lasts about six months, takes place at the Defence Intelligence and Security Centre at Chicksands in Bedfordshire. It is here that you will gain the technical knowledge and advanced skills that will allow you to operate specialist equipment which is vital to your role. Once you’ve completed this phase, you’ll be ready to take up your first post as a serving Communications Technician.



Find out more about


If you have a family member joining the Royal Navy, what can you expect and how can we support you.


Have you seen?

The next step in the process is completing an application form.


Not found what you are looking for? Try our Role Finder tool

Find my role