Levels of entry: an introduction

When you join any organisation, the roles you can apply for, and at which level, are based on your qualifications. In the Royal Navy there are hugely rewarding careers available to you, whether you’re a school leaver or a university graduate.

What kind of job should I do?

If you’ve trained in something vocational (like Engineering or Nursing), you probably have a good idea where you’ll fit.

Unsure? No problem. While many of the roles have specific entry criteria, more than anything we’re looking for the right type of people. That means characteristics and skills that aren’t qualified by an exam certificate. We need people with drive, determination and ambition, with a can-do, think-on-your-feet attitude. And because we invest so heavily in world-class training, you can build the career you want, whichever service and branch you choose.

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This has been calculated using the new UCAS points total, this system is in place from the start of 2017. 

Find out more about levels


What is a Rating?

  • Ratings are the people who get the job done, across approximately 60 different roles
  • Typically school leavers looking to develop their skills while earning a wage
  • Part of the highly trained team that puts strategies into practice, performing the daily tasks that help protect our nation’s interests
  • The majority of apprenticeships lead to rating roles. These generally don’t require any qualifications.

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What does a Rating do?

  • Use the skills developed in training to complete tasks that are essential to the success of missions all over the world
  • Take information provided by the leadership team and use it to produce the right results in pressure situations
A group of Royal Navy ratings at work on board ship. A group of Royal Navy ratings at work on board ship.


What is an Officer?

  • Officers are the managers and leaders of the Royal Navy
  • Typically excelled at A-level or graduated from university
  • Officers use their experience and skills to mentor junior members of their team
  • There are scholarship opportunities, which usually lead to officer roles. These schemes offer funding to help you get the further qualifications you need.

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What does an Officer do?

  • Provide leadership, drawing on experience and expertise to make key strategic decisions
  • Take responsibility for the welfare of a highly trained and professional team, on missions all over the world
A woman smiling at the camera with arms folded A woman looking into a compass