What can I do as a graduate officer?

There are nineteen different graduate officer roles for you to choose from, each enabling you to shape a future that fits your skills and ambitions. Graduates typically join as officers, which means you’ll be leading from the front, managing people and having real responsibility from very early on.


You’ll find roles from the disciplines you’d expect, like engineering and medicine, but the Royal Navy’s size and scope means there are plenty of opportunities that are less obvious. So if you’re studying for, or already have, a degree in any subject – whether it’s arts, humanities, law or languages - there’s a future for you in the Royal Navy.


You'll be working across all areas of the Navy, supporting and growing our organisation and our people, so first-class communication skills are essential. You’ll need to enjoy helping others develop, and appreciate having lots of opportunities to increase your own skill set; there’s funding available for postgraduate and professional training courses.

SKILLS: Problem solving, multi-tasking, project management, teamwork, attention to detail, and an agile, inquisitive mind. 

DEGREES THAT MIGHT BE USEFUL: Finance, Law, Business Studies, Humanities, Languages or similar.

ROLES: Logistics Officer, Logistics Officer Submariner and Training Management Officer. You'll be able to view these roles and more in the role finder.


You’ll need to be a quick thinker who thrives under pressure. The ability to quickly see all aspects of a potentially dangerous situation, and dealing with them, is essential. You’ll be at the forefront of operations, making command decisions that have real impact. These roles are perfect if you prize travel and adventure, and want a job that takes you far beyond an office.

SKILLS: Decision-making, problem solving, teamwork, and leadership.

DEGREES THAT MIGHT BE USEFUL: Humanities, Politics, Arts or similar.

ROLES: Aircrew Officer Pilot, Aircrew Officer Observer, Royal Marines Officer, Warfare Officer, Warfare Officer Submariner and Warfare Officer (Hydrographic & Meteorological). You'll be able to view these roles and more in the role finder.


You’ll need to understand, maintain and manage the state-of-the-art systems and equipment that enable us to be operationally effective and protect our nation’s interests. Unlike many civilian engineering jobs, you won't simply be working from behind a desk - you'll be in the field working on equipment like the F35 Joint Strike Fighter or the Type 45 Destroyer.

SKILLS: Complex problem solving and technical ability, leadership, and an agile, inquisitive mind.

RELEVANT DEGREES: Engineering, Maths, Physics or similar.

ROLES: Air Engineer Officer, Air Traffic Control Officer, Marine Engineer Officer, Marine Engineer Officer Submariner, Weapon Engineer Officer and Weapon Engineer Officer Submariner. You'll be able to view these roles and more in the role finder.


You’ll play a vital role by keeping your crewmates and colleagues fit and healthy. Naval medical professionals should be ready to work across disciplines and in all conditions. You'll be administering medicine on the front line, in conflict zones or after natural disasters. These situations will call for you to be calm under pressure and resourceful. You’ll learn a lot – many new treatments are pioneered on the front line and revolutionary medical techniques often developed under combat conditions.

SKILLS: Leadership, multi-tasking, ability to work under pressure, helping your crewmates and colleagues.

RELEVANT DEGREES: Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing.

ROLES: Dental Officer, Environmental Health Officer, Medical Officer, Medical Technician (Qualified), Medical Technician Student, Naval Nurse (Qualified) and Nursing Officer (Qualified). You'll be able to view these roles and more in the role finder.

How will my career progress?

In rank and pay, a Royal Navy career typically progresses in the following way:

  • Midshipman This is your rank during basic training. After the 7 months it typically takes to complete, your salary will increase to just over £30k.
  • Sub-Lieutenant You’re automatically promoted after 12 months of service, attracting a salary of almost £31k. Your salary will rise every year, according to your experience.
  • Lieutenant Following 30 months as a Sub-Lieutenant, and as long as you’re meeting the required standards, your pay will increase to just over £39k, with annual rises up to a maximum of £46k over 8 years.
  • Lieutenant Commander Promotion to this rank depends entirely on your performance. The salary ranges between £49-£59k.
  • Commander With the right drive and ambition, you may make it to Commander, whose salary range is £68-£79k.

Beyond this, and depending on you and your performance, you could progress all the way to Admiral – the highest active rank in the Navy – and earn over £100k.

SUBMARINERS: If you choose to join the Submarine Service, you’ll receive a £5,000 ‘golden hello’ – as well as the coveted Dolphins badge on your uniform.


BA Modern Languages
- Junior Warfare Officer

It’s more than a job. It’s a life and a lifestyle, and has without a doubt truly exceeded my expectations.

Bsc Physics & Astronomy
- Sub Lieutenant Deputy Logistics Officer

I’m getting world class professional training, and I’m not adding to my student debt as I do it.

M.Eng Materials Engineer
- Junior Marine Engineer Officer

It’s more than a graduate scheme, it’s an open door to travelling the world and working on some interesting equipment as you do.