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Protecting our Nation's Interests

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Careers Royal Navy

Mine Clearance Diver

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As a Mine Clearance Diver, you’ll be part of a close-knit team of five or six, based either on shore or on board one of our highly sophisticated mine countermeasures (MCM) vessels.  Your main job is to identify mines and other explosives, whether in shallow water or attached to the hull of a ship, and get rid of them, which might mean blowing them up.  As well as modern technology, you could be called on to dispose of old mines from the Second World War dragged up in a trawler’s nets.  You’ll also be trained to use hydraulic and pneumatic tools and shoot video, while working at your maximum depth of 60 metres.  This will allow you to carry out major engineering jobs on your ship’s propeller or hull if needed.  It’s a highly skilled, physically tough job that demands a lot of you, but gives a huge amount back in return.  In return for the demanding nature of the job once qualified, you are rewarded with extra pay starting at £4.24 per day.  This could increase to £32.72 per day plus other financial supplements as you progress throughout your career.

If you join the Royal Navy as a Warfare Officer, you can choose to sub-specialise as a Minewarfare and Clearance Diving Officer once you have completed your Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate and have been recommended by your Commanding Officer. This is a physically demanding, elite and incredibly satisfying career, offering you the chance to gain responsibility at a very young age and progress to Command quickly. You could be second in command of a Mine Counter Measures Vessel by the age of 24 as well as acting as the Diving Supervisor in charge of your team of Mine Clearance Divers.  You will undergo three phases of training: Diving, Explosives Ordnance Disposal and finally Minewarfare lasting 46 weeks altogether.  Although the course is long and challenging, you could earn up to £1000 per month specialist pay on top of your basic salary if you successsfully complete the training.  Handsome reward for a great career opportunity.


Type Level

  • Action: 5
  • Leadership: 3
  • Hands on: 5
  • Technical: 3
  • Admin: 1
  • Teamwork: 5

Eligibility and qualifications

What are we looking for

You’ll need commitment, enthusiasm and common sense. You’ll need to be very fit and have a strong understanding and awareness of safety issues. You need to have an aptitude for practical work and, of course, enjoy being in the water. Above all, you need to work well as part of a team.

For practical advice on the fitness requirements, see the booklet at the link.

Mine Clearance Diver - Get Fit to Apply


You do not need any specific qualifications for this job.  However, we will give preference to those with previous commercial or other diving experience.

You should be aged between 18 and 32.

If you are interested in joining as a Warfare Officer and sub-specialising as a Minewarfare and Clearance Diving Officer, see the entry requirements for Warfare Officer at the link:

Warfare Officer

Skills and interests

You should like

  • Working in Challenging Environments
  • Working as Part of a Team
  • Working with Cutting Edge Technology
  • Getting 'Hands On'

You should have these skills

  • Good Physical and Mental Stamina
  • Multi-tasker
  • Good Communicator
  • Reliable

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 and the Mine Clearance Diver fitness requirements.
7. Pass our Pre-Royal Navy Course.
8. Following a diving medical, pass the Royal Navy Potential Diver Assessment. Find out more about the PDA.
9. Once you’ve passed all the tests, we’ll make you a formal job offer.
10. 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

During your 20-week diving training, you’ll be trained to the highest professional military standards, learning about diving theory and equipment and making practice dives in the 1000 metre Horsea Lake and Portsmouth Harbour. You’ll also be trained in open-water search techniques, beach reconnaissance, mine-clearance measure diving and basic mine warfare. You’ll use the latest equipment to dive to your maximum depth and perfect underwater engineering and video skills. Depending on the needs of the Royal Navy, you’ll then join a mine countermeasures vessel, or a shore-based diving team for your first experience of front-line diving work.

More about the Potential Diver Assessment.


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