Direct Entry Petty Officer Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering)

Fast track role A high priority role with an accelerated joining process.
Service:Surface Fleet
Two engineers fixing equipment on a ship

At a glance

What you’ll do

As a Direct Entry Technician (DET) you will begin your Royal Navy career at the rank of Petty Officer Marine Engineering Technician, effectively accelerating your career by three ranks. You will responsible for providing your expertise and leadership at the head of a team of Royal Navy engineers. You’ll serve on board a ship in active duty and on shore. In both scenarios you’ll experience all the excitement, camaraderie and variety of life in the Royal Navy.

If you have questions, talk to us

Your role

  • When you’re deployed at sea, you’ll take the role of Marine Engineering Department Section Head, where you’ll lead on vital engineering projects.
  • Depending on your chosen specialism, you’ll be responsible for sophisticated electrical or mechanical equipment across either propulsion, controls or ship systems.
  • You’ll provide crucial support to the Head of Group, ensuring the systems in your charge are maintained and repaired to the highest level.
  • As a senior member of your team, you’ll be responsible for providing guidance and training for less experienced engineers.

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Opportunities open to you  

  • Work towards a relevant degree such as Mechanical Engineering.
  • Free professional registration with a recognised engineering council.

Skills you'll develop

  • Adapt and build on your civilian experience, conducting maintenance in a challenging and dynamic environment.
  • Learn to manage an engineering team responsible for maintaining some of the most powerful kit on the planet.
  • Improve your leadership qualities and gain professional qualifications through the Institute of Leadership and Management levels.

What you'll need


  • You'll need to be under 18 to 39 years old
  • A minimum of two GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade 4 or above in English Language and Mathematics
  • A formal academic engineering qualification at minimum of Level 4 (HNC or equivalent) 
  • Three years’ experience maintaining and diagnosing faults on electric or mechanical systems. Relevant systems include; propulsion, controls, diesel engines, water plant, power generation and refrigeration
  • Experience supervising and line managing at least two engineering technicians
  • A National of the United Kingdom, a Commonwealth citizen or Dual National
  • Pass the Naval Swimming Test


Skills and interests

  • A quick thinker, with a passion for working with the latest equipment and technology
  • A problem-solver who can work well as part of a team
  • A real sense of adventure, with a high level of physical and mental fitness
  • Enthusiasm for fixing and maintaining electronic and mechanical systems
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 and have satisfied the basic eligibility criteria, you will be sent an online application form

  • 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. This is normally conducted using your own device over the Shine video platform

  • 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

  • Candidate Preparation Course (CPC)

    This four-day induction to life in the Royal Navy, including a Swimming Test and a fitness assessment, is a pass or fail course

  • 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

  • Start training

    Once you’ve passed a Security Check, you’ll be offered a place at HMS Raleigh

Initial training

Your Royal Navy career begins with 10 weeks’ basic training at HMS Raleigh, a shore base in Torpoint, Cornwall. The discipline, teamwork, organisational, firefighting and weapon handling skills you learn here will stay with you right through your career.

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

You’ll be embarking on a second, exciting and unique career. As a small cohort of handpicked experienced engineers and managers you will be given the opportunity to lead and manage motivated, highly trained and dedicated junior engineers who will look to you for guidance, leadership and direction. The discipline, teamwork and technical training you receive will form a solid foundation on which to build a long and fulfilling career within the Royal Navy. All of our training and experience is recognised by professional institutions (such as the IMechE), providing a streamlined route to accreditation.

Once you have the essential military and maritime skills under your belt, you’ll undertake marine engineering training at HMS Sultan, focussing on:

  • Learning how machinery works
  • Repairing equipment
  • Making components
  • Using essential tools and techniques
  • Safety procedures