Marine Engineer Officer (Submariner)

Service:Submarine Service
Branch:Engineering
Level:Officer
Technology
Management
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At a glance

What you’ll do

As a Marine Engineer Officer (Submariner), it’s your job to lead a highly trained team in some of the most challenging conditions imaginable. Working on a submarine isn’t for everyone. That’s what makes you, and your team, elite.

Being a Submariner Engineer Officer means overseeing the maintenance and operation of a nuclear reactor. It’s a role that comes with huge responsibility, because without you the boat is stranded, and some top secret missions don’t happen. You’ll push your engineering knowledge to the limit, as you find solutions to complex problems, and work with the most advanced kit imaginable.

Your role

  • Lead a team of specialist Engineering Technicians. They’ll be doing longer days than anyone else on board and will rely on your support, advice and understanding.
  • Solve complex problems using the most sophisticated equipment on the planet. You might need to work alone, or rely on the expertise of your team.
  • Keep our kit functioning correctly. You might be maintaining the nuclear reactor of a Vanguard Class Trident submarine, or guaranteeing the functionality of vital support systems on an Astute Class vessel. 
  • Look after the welfare, morale, training and development of a team of skilled men and women, using your expertise to make decisions about complex engineering problems quickly.

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • Study for an MSc or MA
  • Become an internationally recognised Chartered Engineer

Skills you'll develop

  • Learn how to lead people in a highly pressurised environment, understanding your role as part of the management team
  • Gain an in-depth knowledge of nuclear engineering, developing a resourcefulness that will see you adapt to any situation

Career progression

What you'll need

Eligibility

  • You’ll need to be aged 17 – 29
  • A BEng or MEng degree accredited to IEng or CEng level by the Engineering Council
  • If you take your A-levels after the start of 2017, you need 72 UCAS points, including two non-overlapping subject areas; before 2017, you need 180 UCAS points
  • If you take your GCSEs after the start of 2017, you need 5 at grades 9 – 4, including English Language and Maths; before 2017, you need 5 at grades A*– C
  • Minimum height of 157cm and within the healthy range for Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • A British or dual national
     

Skills and interests

  • An ability to thrive on responsibility and lead from the front
  • Confidence making key decisions in high-pressure situations
  • A passion for cutting-edge engineering
  • Strong teamwork skills
     
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

  • Naval Service Recruitment Test (NRST)

    You’ll be tested on general reasoning, verbal ability, numeracy and mechanical comprehension

  • 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 over a day and a half. It’s a competency-based assessment that confirms that you’re physically and mentally ready to become a Royal Navy Officer


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’ve learned by the time you join us.


Professional training

Your professional training starts with a 10-month systems engineering and management course, focussing on:

  • Learning about gas turbines, diesel generators, hydraulics and air systems
  • In-depth study of avionics, engines and weapon systems
  • Managing an engineering department
  • Maintaining and operating a nuclear reactor, resulting in Diploma in Nuclear Reactor Technology 
  • Learning about all the systems on board a submarine, from warfare and weapons, to propulsion

After successfully completing your professional training, you will stay 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.