Why RFA?

The RFA is the largest employer of British merchant seamen in the world. That’s because we look after our people and give them the opportunity to push themselves, and their career, in the direction they want. If you’re considering life at sea, want to start a meaningful career with great prospects, or you just want to know more about it, the RFA is a great place to start.

From one of the best civil service pensions available, to three months off for every four months you spend at sea, you’ll be looked after in a way that is commensurate with your dedication and expertise. This is a job that will take you places, like higher up the career ladder, and all around the world.


The RFA is a truly global organisation.. Whether it’s helping to fight drug trafficking in the Caribbean or contributing to humanitarian efforts, you'll never be short of stories to tell.

Pay and benefits

From competitive salaries for our apprentices, to the packages our experienced people expect, our offer more than compares to other merchant navy organisations as well as an excellent pension scheme. Your pay is dependent on your role and level of entry.

Job satisfaction

Doing a job that has a significant impact on our nation’s defence capabilities comes with real responsibility. It’s not easy – you’ll be challenged every day – but being part of an RFA bring a team spirit and job satisfaction that you won’t experience anywhere else.

Work pattern

Life in the RFA is about more than the work you do at sea. For every four months you work, you’ll get three months off to spend however you want. You might want to learn a language, or just see a bit more of the world in your own time.

Continued learning and progression

Throughout your time with the RFA, your development will be supported, and even funded by us. From the qualifications and experience you can gain from an Officer Cadetship or Apprenticeship, to the industry recognised accreditation and world-class training you need to progress.


Our maritime support operations will take you all over the world, and much of what you do will be hard work. However, every ship is its own community. There is a fund for activities that could mean you enjoy anything from shark diving in South Africa, to a quiz night with your mates.