Weapon Engineer Officer (Submariner)

Fast track role A high priority role with an accelerated joining process.
Service:Submarine Service

At a glance

What you’ll do

Being a Weapon Engineer Officer (Submariner) means leading a team of skilled engineers on some of the Royal Navy’s most top secret missions. You could be on board a Vanguard-class submarine, where you’ll ensure the ballistic missiles that are our nation’s nuclear deterrent can be fired quickly and accurately, or guaranteeing the performance of cutting-edge radar and detection systems on a hunter killer boat. 

Whatever the operation, below the surface, teamwork is key. You’ll need to combine your first-class engineering knowledge with personal skills, as you take responsibility for the submarine’s potency as a state-of-the-art fighting machine. It’s a job that is hugely important, which is why you’ll get a £27,000 bonus just for joining and an extra £5,000 for qualifying as a Submariner.

If you have questions, talk to us

Your role

  • Lead a team of up to 60 skilled engineers, from specialists in communications and IT, to those with a unique knowledge of explosives and electronic sensor systems.
  • You’re the person who is responsible for the performance of our weapons, radar and detection systems, overseeing their maintenance and preparation so that we’re ready for anything.
  • Take responsibility for some of the world’s most advanced defence systems, using, developing and adapting your engineering knowledge in highly-challenging environments that are unique to Royal Navy life.
  • Take advantage of wide-ranging career development opportunities, from becoming a Chartered Engineer, to working alongside industry partners on equipment development projects.

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • Become an internationally recognised Chartered Engineer – we’ll support your registration. 

Opportunities open to you 

  • Post graduate qualifications including an MSc in Guided Weapon Systems, Cyber Defence Information and Assurance, Explosive Ordnance Engineering, or Programme and Project Management are possible if you’re committed to progressing academically.

Skills you'll develop

  • Learn to work efficiently in a highly pressurised environment – no two days are ever the same.
  • Mentor junior personnel and oversee complex projects.
  • Gain an in-depth knowledge of weapon systems, radars and other detection equipment.
  • Build a deep understanding nuclear engineering and physics.

Career progression

What you'll need


  • You’ll need to be aged 18 to 39
  • All Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) degrees will be considered
  • You’ll need a minimum of 96 UCAS points. At least 64 points should be in maths and an engineering-based science. These can be accrued from either GCE A/AS levels (or equivalent) or National Diplomas (e.g., BTEC)
  • You’ll need at least 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C (9-4) (or Scottish equivalent), which must include English and Mathematics
  • British National (or hold Dual Nationality iaw UKSV policy)
  • A minimum height of 157cm
  • A Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18 and 28 (between 17 and 27 if under 18)
  • Pass the Naval Swimming Test

Skills and interests

  • Learn to work in an ever-changing environment where no two days are the same, mentoring junior personnel and overseeing complex projects.
  • Gain an in-depth knowledge of weapon systems, radars and other detection equipment, while also understanding nuclear engineering and physics.
Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, the joining process is as follows:

  • Submit an application

     Once you’ve registered your interest, we’ll be in touch to discuss your options

  • Defence Aptitude Assessment (DAA)

    You’ll be tested on: Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Reasoning, Work Rate, Spatial Reasoning, Electrical Comprehension and Mechanical Comprehension.
    To prepare, you can practise the DAA

  • Interview

    A formal interview to talk through your suitability for the role

  • Medical and eye tests

    These are quite comprehensive and must be completed by one of our Ministry of Defence-approved doctors

  • Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT)

    This involves completing a 2.4km run on a treadmill within a certain time, at a fitness centre near you

  • Interview

    You’ll have a short interview to assess your suitability for a career in the Royal Navy, and to ensure you’re ready for the Admiralty Interview Board (AIB)

  • Admiralty Interview Board (AIB)

    This stage is unique to officers and takes place in two parts. A Pre Recorded Interview (PRI) is an online assessment which assesses your motivation to join the Royal Navy as an officer and your awareness of the Royal Navy. The Group Planning Exercise (GPE) is the second stage of the AIB and is an online competency based assessment which will take place on a separate day to the PRI. It will be conducted in a virtual group environment and you will be assessed on your contribution to the team based on your individual performance

Initial training

You’ll spend 30 weeks training at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) in Dartmouth, focusing on: Military Skills, Maritime Skills and Initial Fleet Time. The military skills phase includes learning leadership and teamwork skills, and the principles of command and management. You will put this into practice during several exercises on Dartmoor.

Aim to get yourself as fit as you can before you arrive. You’ll be doing a lot of physical exercise, and you’ll find it much easier if you’re already in good shape.

There's also a swimming test, so if you can't swim, make sure you learn by the time you join us.

Professional training

Your professional training starts with 12 months at the Maritime Warfare School, focussing on:

  • On-the-job training
  • Learning about all the systems on board a submarine, from warfare and weapons, to propulsion
  • A mixture of laboratory work and simulations
  • Learning to apply your engineering, leadership and management skills 
  • Undertaking training accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

After successfully completing your professional training, you will spend another four months at HMS Raleigh in the Submarine School. You’ll learn about submarine operations, including warfare, weapons, nuclear propulsion and escape training, and go to sea in a submarine. After this, there’ll be a test to check your knowledge. When you pass, you’ll earn your ‘Dolphins’ – the coveted badge of a qualified Submariner.

Once you’ve refined your skills, you’ll take your place on board an active submarine, where you’ll lead a team of engineers on deployments all over the world.