Where will I work as an apprentice in the Royal Navy?

The Royal Navy is unlike any civilian organisation. We work on a truly global scale, so this is your opportunity to choose an apprenticeship where you’ll get paid to travel the world. You’ll meet new people, learn a trade, and experience things you never imagined – from diving in the Indian Ocean, to Antarctic research operations.

The work environment

You’ll be at sea faster than you might think. Depending on your job, you could join up with your crewmates a few months after basic training is complete. Generally, it takes six months from signing up to shipping out. 

The typical working day is 0800-1630 when you’re not on a shift pattern. Shifts (known as ‘watches’ in the Royal Navy) go around the clock, so you could be working at any time of the day or night – it’s all part of the Royal Navy lifestyle. 

When you’re at sea, you’ll go wherever your deployment takes you, which could be anywhere in the world. During that time, you’ll work on board ship with your crewmates, stopping in foreign ports and enjoying the unique Royal Navy camaraderie. 

When you’re not on deployment, you’ll work at a shore base in the UK, or a Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) if you’re in the Fleet Air Arm. You could also spend time at one of our training establishments, where you’ll learn new skills.



Submariners are some of our most exceptional personnel – and they’ve got their ‘Dolphins’ badge to prove it. They don’t just know how to do their job – they also know how every bit of the boat works, from its cutting-edge sonar, to its powerful propulsion systems. Why? Because living below the surface for up to three months at a time creates a unique community where everyone helps one another. 

On a submarine, you live and work closely with your crewmates – that’s how you develop such a strong team spirit. You’ll have your own space too, as well as access to fitness equipment and communal areas. 


The distance in miles that a Spearfish torpedo can attack a target


The amount of days a year there is a Trident presence at sea



Life on a Royal Navy ship is equal parts exciting, nerve-wracking and entertaining – often in the same day.

From ice patrol vessels and minehunters to destroyers and multi-billion-pound aircraft carriers, the Royal Navy boasts a huge variety of ships that are suited to any number of tasks. When you start a Royal Navy apprenticeship, you could find yourself on board any one of them for around six months at a time.

Whether you’re sailing the high seas or docking in a foreign port, one thing’s for sure: no two days will ever be the same. 


A typical deployment's length in months


The approximate number of crewmates you'll have



Royal Navy aviators work with some of the most sophisticated aircraft on the planet. You could be stationed at a shore base, or on an aircraft carrier; either way, you’ll be part of a dedicated team of ‘birdies’.

From Pilots to Aircrewmen and Air Traffic Controllers, it takes a whole crew of people to keep our advanced helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft in the sky – and the sense of camaraderie is unbeatable.

Although the length of your deployments may vary depending on the tasking, you’re likely to be away for a maximum of four months at a time.


The Mach speed of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.


The number of Aviation branch roles available

What our apprentices say

Catering Services (Submariner)

Living on a submarine is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. Sure, it can be difficult being so far away from home, but I’m always surrounded by great people.

Aircraft Controller

At first, I found it difficult being away from my loved ones – but my Royal Navy mates are like a second family to me, and I get to go to some awesome places.

Royal Marines Commando

Life in the Royal Marines is tough, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve always wanted to push myself to the limit, mentally and physically, and that’s what being a Commando is all about.