Engineering Technician (Direct Entry) Reserve

Service:Surface Fleet
Branch:Royal Naval Reserve
Engineer looking at equipment

At a glance

What you’ll do

As an Engineering Technician (Direct Entry) in the Royal Navy Reserve means you'll work with fellow Royal Navy and Reserve engineers conducting operational maintenance and repair on our state of the art warships and weapons systems. Whether working across the UK or in overseas ports, your commitment will open up extraordinary responsibilities and opportunities like never before, in some of the most challenging and rewarding environments imaginable.

If you have questions, talk to us

Your role

  • Complete your Initial Training (INT) and then join your fellow Royal Naval Reserve and Royal Navy engineers in maintaining the warships and weapons of the service
  • Start as a Probationary Leading Engineering Technician and work to gain a promotion
  • Depending on the nature of your engineering experience, specialise as either a Marine or Weapon Engineer 
  • Work throughout the UK and across the world
  • Work as part of a team dedicated to keeping Royal Navy assets operationally ready

What you’ll get

Skills for life

  • Dramatically boost your skills and knowledge to advance your future civilian career
  • Gain nationally accredited qualifications

Skills you’ll develop

  • Determination, discipline, confidence and teamwork
  • Responsibility, time management, organisational and leadership skills

Career Progression

You will start your career as a Probationary Leading Engineering Technician. Providing you meet the required standards, you will then have the opportunity to be promoted to Petty Officer Engineering Technician and beyond.

Initially you will be offered a 12-year engagement, with the potential opportunity to extend in due course.

What you'll need


  • Must be aged 18 to 40 when you start training
  • Hold a level 3 (HNC) or higher in an Engineering discipline, accredited by a UK Engineering institution
  • Be registered with a UK Engineering institution at or above Level 3 (Eng Tech)
  • Have a minimum of two years practical employment experience in an engineering related position within five years of applying
  • Must be a British or Irish national, a Commonwealth citizen, who has lived in the UK continuously for the past five years prior to applying, or a Dual National
  • Have a healthy range for Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Pass a written and oral Level 3 technical scenario examination
  • Pass the Naval Swimming Test

Skills and interests

  • Enthusiastic and competent technician
  • Team player
  • Problem solver
  • Able to commit to 24 days through the year (not consecutively)
Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

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

  • Submit an application

    Your first step is to fill in an online application form. If you have any questions beforehand, you can phone us on 0345 600 3222.

  • Presentation

    You will be invited to attend an Initial Maritime Reserves Presentation (IMRP) at your nearest Unit. This is your chance to have a look around, meet the team, ask any questions and find out about life in the Reserves.

  • Defence Aptitude Assessment (DAA) and interview

    You will be invited to your nearest Armed Forces Career Office (AFCO) for an interview, where we will check your eligibility and outline the joining process. See more advice here.
    You will then sit the DAA, which assesses: Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Reasoning, Work Rate, Spatial Reasoning, Electrical Comprehension and Mechanical Comprehension.
    To prepare, you can practise the DAA. If successful at this point, you will be invited to attend the technical interview and scenario examination board. You will also be invited to have an interview with the medical recruiting team.

  • Join your local Unit

    You will then be invited to join your Unit for Attestation. This involves swearing allegiance to His Majesty The King and signing the Official Secrets Act. At this point you’ll be a Phase 0 recruit, and will attend weekly drill nights, however you won’t be able to start formal training until you pass your medical and fitness test.

  • Medical and fitness test

    The medical tests are carried out by your nearest Ministry of Defence approved doctor, but eye tests can be completed at selected high street centres. The Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT) requires you to complete a 2.4km run on a treadmill at a local approved fitness centre.

  • Phase 1 training

    You’ll now be a signed-up member of the Royal Naval Reserve as a Phase 1 recruit. At this stage you’ll be given your Royal Navy identification card and uniform, and be able to conduct formal basic training.

  • Training

    During your Phase 1 training you will learn about life in the Royal Navy. This takes place on weekly drill nights. You’ll also spend two weekends learning about life in the military and what it is like at sea.

  • Confirmation course

    This two-week course is held at HMS Raleigh or Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC). Once you’ve completed this you will go on to specialise in your chosen discipline.

Initial training

Training and development continues throughout your career with the Royal Navy Reserve (RNR).

Basic training takes place at weekends and on weekday evenings at your local unit. These link in with national training weekends where you’ll train with people from other units. You’ll complete a 1-week weapons course, before attending a 2-week confirmation course at HMS Raleigh. There you’ll train alongside ratings who are completing their Basic Training for the full-time Royal Navy.

Training is also conducted online via a Virtual Learning Environment, so you’ll need access to the Internet.

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

Professional training

In the Royal Naval Reserve, you’ll have the chance to complete professional training that you can take through life.

  • You will learn discipline, teamwork, organisational, firefighting and weapon handling skills which will stay with you throughout your career
  • You will be given Sea Survival and Safety related training
  • You will also take the Leading Rates Leadership Course, which is recognised in civilian life, helping to further your regular career