What do I need?

Choosing a Royal Navy apprenticeship is your opportunity to shape your career, your way. There are more than 20 apprenticeships available, so you’ll be enrolled on the one that suits your chosen role. The majority require no qualifications, which makes them ideal if you’re just starting out or want to try a new career path. We’ll equip you with all the skills you need to do your job, so you can quickly become a vital part of our world-class team.

What you'll need

There are a number of different apprenticeship schemes available, so it’s easy to find a role that suits you, whether you’re a school leaver, have further qualifications, or are planning to go to university. 

Regardless of the role you choose, you’ll need the right attitude, a passion for travel and a real sense of adventure – we’ll help you with the rest.

Am I eligible?


The age range for joining the Royal Navy is 16-36, although that may vary for certain roles. If you're under the age of 18 you will need the consent of a parent or guardian. If you are thinking or joining straight from school, it’s important to remember that you’ll have the opportunity to continue your education while you serve in the Royal Navy, at the same time as earning a wage.

To be eligible you have to be:

  • At least 15 years old and 9 months when you apply
  • Over 16 years old on entry
  • Under the maximum age requirement, which varies from role to role.

You can see the age requirements for each job by using our Role Finder.



You need to be medically fit to deal with everything that life in the Royal Navy throws at you. Common conditions that may delay or bar your entry to the Naval Service include:

  • Asthma within the last four years 
  • A break or joint strain that caused you to seek medical help
  • Any medical condition that requires regular prescription medication or review by your GP
  • If your BMI exceeds 28 or is under 18. There may be some exceptions to the upper BMI rate if your waist measures less than 94cm 
  • Minimum height of 151.5cm (157cm for Submariners)

Nationality and residency

Some roles have stricter nationality and residency requirements than others, but in general you can join the Royal Navy if you are:

  • A national of the United Kingdom or Ireland
  • A Commonwealth citizen who has lived in the UK continuously for the 5 years prior to applying, with no period of absence over 180 days (this does not apply to citizens of the Republic of Ireland, Malta and the Republic of Cyprus)
  • A dual Commonwealth or British national who is not required to complete national service (written evidence is required
  • A British national living abroad

Criminal Convictions

If you have a previous criminal conviction, you may still be able to join. However, if you’ve committed certain offences, you might be permanently barred from entering the Royal Navy.

You will be required to:

  • Complete a full Security Check
  • Declare all previous convictions, both spent and unspent
  • Undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check if you're applying to the medical branch, gaining a suitability certificate where appropriate

Tattoos and piercings

Most tattoos and piercings won’t prevent you from joining the Royal Navy, providing:

  • Tattoos are not visible above a shirt collar on a front-facing passport photo (i.e. not on your throat or face)
  • Tattoos are not offensive or obscene
  • Any piercings can be removed. Flesh tunnels are a barrier to entry

What our apprentices say

Sandra, Writer

Every day brings a new challenge, whether that’s a new skill to learn or an unexpected problem to solve, but I’m more equipped than ever to deal with it.

Tony, Warfare Specialist (Submariner)

I’ve always loved team sport, and that’s exactly what it’s like being on board a submarine. We work together to get the job done.

Baz, Engineering Technician

I had to really commit to my apprenticeship, but I’ve got so much in return. I’m qualified, skilled and have seen more of the world than I ever imagined.