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Protecting our Nation's Interests

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Careers Reserves Royal Navy

How to join the RFA

Once you’ve decided that you’re interested in a career in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, it’s time to begin the formal recruitment process.

    • 1
      Get in touch

      1. Get in touch

      A short chat is all it takes to find out if you’re eligible to apply to the RFA. Call us on 08456 04 05 20.

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      Your application

      2. Your application

      Once we've talked to you, we’ll let you know whether we have vacancies in the specialist area you’re interested in. Assuming we do, or we can offer you a suitable alternative, we’ll invite you to fill in an application form.

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      Your way ahead

      3. Your way ahead

      When we've considered your application form, if you’ve applied for a rating job, we’ll invite you to come to a formal interview at HMNB Portsmouth.

      If you’ve chosen an officer job or we feel you have the potential to train as an officer, we’ll invite you to come to the Admiralty Interview Board (AIB) at HMS Sultan in Hampshire. This will give you a chance to show us that you have the skills and personal qualities we’re looking for in a potential Royal Fleet Auxiliary officer.

    • 4
      Fit to join

      4. Fit to join

      To serve in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, you will need to pass and receive the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) medical fitness certificate. You’ll usually hear this referred to as an ENG1. You will also need to meet our own medical standards, including colour vision (the way you see and interpret colours).

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      Welcome aboard

      5. Welcome aboard

      When you’ve passed the various tests and checks, we’ll make you a formal job offer for our next available training course.

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      There are vacancies in the following RFA roles for intakes in 2014

      Catering Assistant Cook

      Qualified Deck Rating (A and B)

      Officers are recruited throughout the year


The RFA currently have a number of vacancies in the RFA. The positions are open to men and women aged 16 upwards with British nationality. Please click on the links for further information and to check whether you are eligible to apply.


Qualified Deck Rating (Seaman Grade 1A)
Salary from £25,039 plus RFA Allowance of £3072 annually

Qualified Deck Rating  (Seaman Grade 1B)
Salary from £22,920 plus RFA Allowance of £3072 annually


Officers are recruited throughout the year:

Qualified Deck Officer
Salary from £26,745 plus RFA Allowance of £3072 annually

Qualified Marine Engineer Officer
Salary from £25,797 plus RFA Allowance of £3072 annually

Qualified System Engineer Officer
Intake is to start training at BRNC in September, with grade specific training in January, annually
Salary from £27,811 plus RFA Allowance of £3072 annually


Officer Cadets are recruited throughout the year for intakes into BRNC Dartmouth in May and September

Deck Officer Cadet
Salary £11,546 to £12,557 plus RFA Allowance of £3072 annually

Marine Engineer Cadet
Salary £11,546 to £12,557 plus RFA Allowance of £3072 annually

System Engineer Cadet
Currently only Foundation Degree level, which is only available in September, therefore, recruit for BRNC in May
Salary £12,557 plus RFA Allowance of £3072 annually


Use our Role Finder to discover jobs that match your skills and interests

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Life as an Officer

Officers are the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s management team, providing the leadership and taking the decisions needed to fulfil our many and varied jobs. You’ll also be responsible for the training and development, welfare, morale and ultimately the lives of the people under your command.

Life as a Rating

Your ship isn’t just your workplace. And supplying the Royal Navy isn’t just your job. You’ll get generous paid leave and have plenty of opportunity to play every sport imaginable. What’s more, job security is unrivalled and the salaries compare really well with equivalent Merchant Navy jobs.

RFA cadetships

By joining us on one of our Cadetship Schemes, you don’t have to choose between gaining higher qualifications and earning decent money on your way to a career as a Royal Fleet Auxiliary Deck or Engineering Officer.

RFA training

Much of your training in the RFA will be on the job. But you’ll also be fully funded to gain your Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) certificates. And if you’re an officer, you’ll have the chance to be funded while you gain higher degrees and management qualifications.