Hydrography and Meteorology Specialist

Service:Surface Fleet
Branch:Warfare
Level:Rating
Technology
Sciences
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At a glance

What you’ll do

Helping to plan global missions for Royal Marines Commandos and our state-of-the-art aircraft and warships is a huge responsibility. That’s what you’ll be doing as a Royal Navy Hydrography and Meteorology Specialist: building a detailed picture of environmental conditions so that our missions are operationally effective. It’s a challenging role, and you’ll work in some of the most diverse environments in the world, whether you’re on an Ice Patrol Ship in the Antarctic, or supporting flying operations from one of our new Aircraft Carriers.

Your role

  • You’ll get to choose whether you specialise in Hydrography or Meteorology, and from day one you’ll work towards a Foundation Degree, and then a BSc.
  • Hydrographers complete ocean and coastal surveys, recording information on currents, water composition and depth.
  • Meteorologists measure the environmental impact on operations, determining cloud cover for our aircraft or oceanographic information for our submarines, and ultimately forecasting the weather.
  • Both roles use some of the most advanced kit on the planet. 

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • GCSEs, A-Levels and the option to complete a BSc
  • Specialist vocational qualifications, with a significant financial contribution from us

Skills you'll develop

  • The ability to collect, process and analyse complex data, while understanding how to use it to our advantage 
  • How to use advanced survey equipment and environmental sensors

Career progression

What you'll need

Eligibility

  • You must be aged 16 to 36
  • 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 dual national
  • There is no minimum qualification requirement

Skills and interests

  • Analytical thinking and good communication skills
  • Interest in cutting-edge technology
  • A passion for working in new and unique environments
  • Team player
  • An adventurous spirit
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’ve learnt the essential military and maritime skills, it’ll be time to start your specialist training at HMS Drake in Devonport.

For Hydrography Specialists, this includes:

  • Learning about tidal theory, the global positioning system, gravity and magnetics
  • Using a range of surveying equipment and techniques
  • Understanding your role as Helmsman, including boat-handling and general seamanship

For Meteorology Specialists, this includes:

  • Learning basic meteorological and oceanographic theory
  • Qualifying as an accredited weather observer
  • Gaining 12 months of experience at a Royal Naval Air Station before going to sea