Communications Technician

Service:Surface Fleet
Branch:Warfare
Level:Rating
Weapons
Hands on
Communications
Strategic
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At a glance

What you’ll do

Being a Communications Technician means you’re vital to the ship’s intelligence gathering operation. The go-to for information that shapes the operational decision-making process. Your insight will transform raw data into an indispensable analysis of the situation. You’ll also use your keen eye for detail to prepare briefings for senior officers. It’s these clear and concise reports that will help them make each mission a success.

Your role

  • At the heart of every mission, you’ll be in the thick of the action on our most advanced warships, performing an invaluable role as you transmit sensitive, and often classified, information.
  • Use a range of highly specialist, cutting-edge communications equipment to gather mission-crucial information for the Captain and senior officers.
  • Operations change quickly, so you’ll adapt to whatever comes your way with quick thinking and clear communication. 
  • You’ll have the sense of pride and purpose that you’ll be helping the Royal Navy do what it does best: protecting our nation’s interests.

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • Study for GCSEs, A-Levels, NVQs or a degree
  • Gain specialist vocational qualifications as your career progresses

Skills you'll develop

  • The ability to work accurately and calmly under extreme pressure, providing reliable information for senior officers
  • Become a master at analysing complex information, using your tactical knowledge to produce concise and insightful reports
     

What you'll need

Eligibility

  • You must be aged 16 to 36
  • If you take your GCSEs after the start of 2017, you need English Language and Maths at at grades 9 – 4; before 2017, you need English and Maths at grades A*– C. Or Scottish Standard Grades (1 to 3) or equivalent  
  • You need to be a minimum height of 151.5cm and within the healthy range for Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • You must be a British or Irish national, a Commonwealth citizen who has lived in the UK continuously for the 5 years prior to applying, or a dual national

Skills and interests

  • An ability to thrive in high-pressure situations
  • An affinity with technology, computers and electronics
  • A love of teamwork
  • A passion for life at sea
  • A real sense of adventure, with a high level of physical and mental fitness
Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, the joining process is as follows:

  • Submit an application

    Once you’ve registered your interest and have satisfied the basic eligibility criteria, you will be sent an online application form

  • Naval Service Recruitment Test (NSRT)

    You’ll be tested on general reasoning, verbal ability, numeracy and mechanical comprehension

  • Interview

    A formal interview to talk through your suitability for the role

  • Medical and eye tests

    These are quite comprehensive and must be completed by one of our Ministry of Defence-approved doctors

  • Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT)

    This involves completing a 2.4km run on a treadmill within a certain time, at a fitness centre near you

  • Pre-Royal Navy Course (PRNC)

    This four-day induction to life in the Royal Navy is a pass or fail course

  • Start training

    Once you’ve passed a Security Check, you’ll be offered a place at HMS Raleigh


Initial training

Your Royal Navy career begins with 10 weeks’ basic training at HMS Raleigh, a shore base in Torpoint, Cornwall. The discipline, teamwork, organisational, firefighting and weapon handling skills you learn here will stay with you right through your career.

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


Professional training

Once you have the essential military and maritime skills under your belt, it’s time to start your specialist 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. It includes:

  • A seamanship course, to develop your knowledge and practical skills
  • Four to six months of sea training, gaining practical experience of life on board a modern warship 
  • Six months at the Defence Intelligence and Security Centre at Chicksands in Bedfordshire, where you’ll gain the technical knowledge and advanced skills that are vital to your role