Ranks & roles

Are you a leader? Can you command respect? Look after the morale and lives of the men and women under your charge? And ensure the success of the mission? If the answer is yes, you could have what it takes to be a Royal Navy Officer.

  • Midshipman

    While you're still completing your training for your specialist role at Britannia Royal Naval College, you'll have the rank of Midshipman.
  • Sub-Lieutenant

    After 12 months of service and while you're still training, you'll automatically be promoted to Sub-Lieutenant.
  • Lieutenant

    Once you've moved into an operational environment, you'll automatically be promoted to Lieutenant, after 30 months as a Sub Lieutenant as long as you perform to the required standard.
  • Lieutenant Commander

    You’ll now be in charge of a department on a large ship of shore base, or Executive Officer (XO) or even Commanding Officer (CO) in a smaller unit.
  • Commander

    You may command a warship or submarine, Fleet Air Arm squadron or shore establishment. You could also serve as a Staff Officer in the Ministry of Defence or the Permanent Joint Headquarters.
  • Captain

    With the rank of Captain, you'll be commanding a large ship or hold a more senior position on shore.
  • Commodore

    As a Commodore, you'll be the Commanding Officer of a large Royal Navy establishment and well on your way to the top.
  • Rear Admiral

    As an officer of flag rank, you'll have your own flag flying on your ship or headquarters and be responsible for an entire capability within the Royal Navy.
  • Vice Admiral

    By now a very senior officer, you'll be second-in-command to a full Admiral, and working at the level of government, helping to implement defence policy etc.
  • Admiral

    Admiral is the highest rank in the Royal Navy, equivalent to a General in the British Army.
  • Air Engineer Officer

    In this technically demanding job, you’re ultimately responsible for the people who keep the Royal Navy flying.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • Degree
  • Air Traffic Control Officer

    As an Air Traffic Control Officer, you’ll head up the team responsible for maintaining the safe flow of air traffic.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • A-level
  • Aircrew Officer Observer

    As an Observer you are responsible for the tactical employment, sensors, mission and weapon systems of the aircraft – you’ll have one of the most demanding jobs in aviation.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • GCSE
  • Aircrew Officer Pilot

    A pilot’s job is to fly aircraft or helicopters from aircraft carriers, assault ships, frigates, destroyers and shore stations.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • A-level
  • Chaplain

    As a Chaplain, you could be a member of our senior management team as well as a chaplain – where you’ll be a friend and adviser to all, no matter what their rank or length of service.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • GCSE
  • Dental Officer

    You’ll be in charge of primary dental healthcare for the entire ship’s company. On large ships you’ll have a fully-fitted dental surgery. On smaller ones you’ll manage a portable dental unit that travels with you.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • Degree
  • Environmental Health Officer

    You’ll be responsible for developing and maintaining environmental health standards throughout the Naval Service.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • Degree
  • Hydrographic and Meteorology Officer

    You will work in the most extreme environments on the planet providing detailed environmental advice to the command, at sea and in Naval Air Stations.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • 5 GCSE (A – C)
    • Degree (English/Maths/Physics)
  • Logistics Officer

    You’ll be responsible for all the support functions to make sure your ship has everything it needs to stay effective on operations.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • A-level
  • Logistics Officer Submariner

    You’ll be responsible for all the support functions to make sure your submarine has everything it needs to stay effective on operations.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • A-level
  • Marine Engineer Officer

    You'll lead a team of skilled technicians, project managing the maintenance, function and even procurement of all the ship's mechanical and auxiliary systems.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • Degree
  • Marine Engineer Officer Submariner

    You’ll be responsible for the management and maintenance of some of the most technically advanced kit in the world, including a nuclear reactor.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • Degree
  • Medical Officer

    As a medical officer, you’ll be a member of our senior management team as well as a doctor. You can specialise in a major discipline like surgery, medicine, anaesthetics, orthopaedic surgery or primary care. Or other areas unique to a military career.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • Degree
  • Nursing Officer

    You’ll join Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service (QARNNS), leading a team providing primary health care and medical support.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • Degree
  • Training Management Officer

    You are responsible for the education, training and personal development for ratings and officers.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • Degree
  • Warfare Officer

    As a decisive leader, skilled seaman and navigator, you'll be able to handle your ship safely in all conditions. This Branch also includes specialist Principle Warfare Officers, Mine Clearance Divers and Intelligence Officers.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • GCSE
  • Warfare Officer Submariner

    You’ll take your submarine through the deep oceans, close to shore or through busy shipping lanes, staying hidden but always alert.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • GCSE
  • Weapon Engineer Officer

    You're responsible for all the ship’s weapons and sensor systems, as well as managing complex engineering development and procurement projects.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • Degree
  • Weapon Engineer Officer Submariner

    You're responsible for the most advanced weapon and sensor systems in the world, as well as managing complex engineering development and procurement projects.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • Degree

The Royal Navy is a team. And the Ratings are the trained professionals ensuring the success of every single mission. No matter the weather, the conditions, or demands of the job.

  • Able Rate

    Whatever your job, you'll start your career as an Able Rate.
  • Leading Hand

    With some experience and further training, you could be promoted to Leading Hand, often managing a small group of Able Rates.
  • Petty Officer

    As a Petty Officer, you'll have responsibility for certain sections within your department and you have now moved up to become a Senior Rating (non-comissioned officer)
  • Chief Petty Officer

    The rank of Chief Petty Officer give you more responsibility in the team, with the officers relying heavily on your skills and experience.
  • Warrant Officer 1

    WO1 is the highest rank you can achieve as a rating and you'll provide a crucial leadership link between your officers and the ratings serving under you.
  • Air Engineering Technician

    As a vital part of our air operations team, you’ll take charge of aircraft maintenance and servicing.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Aircraft Controller

    You’ll be the critical link between the aircraft and its base and will be involved in the mission at every single stage.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • GCSE
  • Aircrewman

    You’ll be a vital member of a helicopter's crew, undertaking many different mission profiles.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • GCSE
  • Chef

    You’ll plan and prepare meals for the Ship’s Company, visiting dignitaries and even royalty.  You may also go into the field to cook for the Royal Marines.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Chef (Submariner)

    You’ll plan and prepare meals for the crew and could find yourself cooking for visiting dignitaries or even royalty.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Comms and Info Specialist

    You’ll use highly sensitive radio and satellite systems and networks.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Comms and Info Specialist (Submariner)

    You’ll use highly sensitive radio and satellite systems and networks.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Communications Technician

    You’ll be an essential part of the intelligence organisation on a ship, providing critical information to the command.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • GCSE
  • Dental Hygienist

    You're responsible for running, restocking and hygiene of the surgery, just as you would in a civilian dental practice.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • GCSE
  • Dental Nurse

    You're a vital member of the team, responsible for the running, restocking and hygiene of the surgery, just as you would in a civilian dental practice.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • GCSE
  • Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering)

    You’ll be part of the team that makes sure the ship's systems, from the engines to the hydraulics run smoothly.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Engineering Technician (Marine Submariner)

    You’ll be responsible for maintenance on your submarine’s vital machinery and auxiliary systems.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Engineering Technician (Weapons Submariner)

    You will be looking after some of our most formidable weapons on board our submarines.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Engineering Technician (Weapons Systems)

    Operating the ship’s complex communications equipment, sensors and weapon systems, your job is to protect your ship from attack.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Hydrographic Meteorology & Oceanography Specialist

    You could help prepare nautical charts by surveying the ocean floor, work in the most extreme environments on the planet or prepare forecasts for maritime operations collecting vital data.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Medical Assistant (General Services)

    Your patients will be the people you live and work alongside every day and their lives may literally depend on your skills.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Medical Assistant (Submariner)

    Your place in the team is so important that the submarine literally can’t leave port unless you’re on board so you can look after the health of your crewmates.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Mine Clearance Diver

    You’ll be part of a close-knit team based on shore or on board one of our sophisticated mine countermeasures (MCM) vessels disposing of multiple types of ordnance.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Mine Warfare Specialist

    You’ll be doing vital work hunting for mines to make the seas safer for both Royal Navy and civilian ships.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Naval Airman (Aircraft Handler)

    As an Aircraft Handler you’re in charge of safety all the time the aircraft is on the deck or ground. Your main task? Making sure they’re ready for action, no matter what the conditions.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Naval Airman (Survival Equipment)

    You’re responsible for all aspects of aviation-related survival equipment. This includes both the maintenance and instructions in its use for aircrew and passengers.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Naval Nurse (Qualified)

    You'll provide quality primary care, keeping everyone in the Naval Service team fit, healthy and effective anywhere in the UK and overseas.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • Degree
  • Naval Nurse (Student)

    The Royal Navy will take you through your training to become a fully qualified Nurse, ready to provide primary care to everyone in the Naval Service.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • GCSE
  • Radiographer

    You’ll be a vital member of the team just as you would be in any well-equipped civilian hospital. The difference is, you’ll be seeing your patients both on shore and at sea, in the UK and around the world.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • Degree
  • Seaman Specialist

    You'll learn the special skills needed to steer your ship, act as lookout and communicate with other ships as well as a host of seamanship skills.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Steward

    You’ll be part of a professional team planning and providing hospitality for the officers on board as well as visiting local dignitaries, Admirals and even Royalty both in the UK and abroad.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Steward (Submariner)

    You’ll be part of a professional team planning and providing hospitality for the officers on board as well as visitors in the UK and abroad. You’ll also get to steer and control the submarine as a Planesman.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Supply Chain Logistician

    You’ll ensure your ship has everything it needs to sail and your actions may determine how long your ship remains on operations.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Supply Chain Logistician (Submariner)

    As a Supply Chain Logistician (Submariner), you’ll ensure your submarine has everything it needs to sail. Your actions may determine how long your submarine can remain hidden under the surface.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Warfare Specialist

    You’ll be part of the team detecting threats to your ship, identifying targets and making crucial tactical decisions.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Warfare Specialist Sensors (Submariner)

    You’ll be responsible for working out exactly where the enemy is, without giving away your submarine’s position.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Warfare Specialist Tactical (Submariner)

    In this highly technical job, you’ll be directly responsible for keeping the submarine safe and undetected.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Writer

    As a Writer you will deal with pay, personal records and any manner of human resource management tasks, yet being a Writer in the Royal Navy is about as far away from a ‘desk job’ as you can get.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None
  • Writer Submariner

    As a Writer (Submariner) you will deal with pay, personal records and any manner of human resource management  tasks. You’ll also get to steer and control the submarine as a Planesman.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • None