Mine Clearance Diver

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

What you’ll do

From the moment you join, you’ll train to become a world-class diver, wherever you are in the world. Being a Royal Navy Mine Clearance Diver means you’re part bomb disposal master, part sub-aqua specialist. Because there’s only a handful of divers on any ship, you’ll form close bonds with your team and be central to their – and your crewmates’ – safety. This is one of the most physically demanding roles in the Royal Navy. And it’s hugely rewarding too.

Your role

Your role

  • Play a central role in maritime counter-terror operations, whether you’re shore-based or on board a ship.
  • Work collaboratively and inspire team morale, from pairing up on dives, to helping prepare your mate’s equipment.
  • Embrace constant challenges, develop your skills, and have the opportunity to progress quickly to a Command role. 
  • Learn how to deal with a range of ordnance, from state-of-the-art mines to World War Two devices.

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • We’ll make a contribution towards GCSEs, Masters degrees, and everything in between
  • Specialist vocational qualifications as your career progresses

Skills you'll develop

  • The ability to work accurately and calmly under extreme pressure in challenging and potentially dangerous situations
  • How to use hydraulic and pneumatic tools and shoot video while working at a maximum depth of 60 metres

Career progression

What you'll need

Eligibility

  • You must be aged 18 to 32
  • 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 a dual national
  • You don’t require any qualifications to be eligible, though we will give preference to people with previous diving experience 

Skills and interests

  • An ability to thrive in high-pressure situations
  • A love of teamwork
  • A passion for life at sea
  • A sense of adventure
  • 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

  • Diving medical test

    Specific to the rigours of being a diver

  • Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT)

    This involves completing a 2.4km run on a treadmill within 10 minutes 30 seconds (regardless of your age), at a fitness centre near you

  • Potential Divers Assessment

    This is a challenging, pass or fail, 2½-day programme to gauge fitness and suitability for being a Navy diver 

  • 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, and ensure you adhere to the strict Mine Clearance Diver fitness levels. Being a Diver is such a physically demanding job, you’ll need to maintain a high level of fitness during your career, and will ideally have previous diving experience.


Professional training

Once you’ve got the essential military and maritime skills under your belt, it’s time to start your specialist training. During your 20 weeks of specialist diving training, you will:

  • Practice diving in Portsmouth Harbour
  • Learn the theory behind all the equipment you use
  • Train in open-water search techniques, beach reconnaissance, mine clearance diving and basic mine warfare
  • Use the latest equipment to dive to your maximum depth
  • Gain underwater video and engineering skills