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Accelerated Apprentice Scheme (Submariner)
Job Role

Accelerated Apprentice Scheme (Submariner)

You’ll be fast-tracked to working with one of our most elite teams, making sure that submarines are always ready for action.

Fast trackTechnologyEngineeringMechanicsApprenticeships
  • £37,000 - £85,000
  • A-Levels / college qualifications
  • Submarine Service
  • Engineering
  • Rating level

At a glance

Joining the Royal Navy on the Accelerated Apprentice Scheme (Submariner) means furthering your career with one of our most elite teams, where you’ll be paid to study, gain practical skills and use highly sophisticated equipment.
Submariner working on equipment
I didn’t have the qualifications to join as an Engineer Officer, but this scheme meant I could move straight into a role that’s got the responsibility I want. Now I get to travel the world, getting my hands dirty, and working with amazing kit.


Engineering Technician, Engineering branch

Role details

What you’ll do

Joining the Royal Navy on the Accelerated Apprentice Scheme (Submariner) means furthering your career with one of our most elite teams, where you’ll be paid to study, gain practical skills and use highly sophisticated equipment.

You’ll spend time in active service as either a Marine Engineer Submariner (MESM) or Weapon Engineer Submariner (WESM). As a MESM, you’ll operate and maintain the nuclear reactor of a submarine, taking part in highly classified operations. Alternatively, as a WESM you’ll guarantee the efficiency of Spearfish torpedoes and Tomahawk missiles, or provide the nation’s nuclear deterrent.

Your role

  • Be a crucial part of one of our most respected and highly-trained teams. You’ll be supporting your boat’s nuclear reactor, ensuring its safe operation, and maintaining all the support systems that are vital to submarine missions
  • Work on board a Vanguard Class submarine, ensuring the nation’s nuclear deterrent is operational, or an Astute Class vessel where you’ll be part of some highly-classified hunter killer operations
  • Operate at the highest levels of the industry as you complete an accelerated scheme to become a nuclear engineer. After that you can extend your service, apply to become a commissioned officer, or transfer your new skills to a career in the civilian sector

Pay & benefits

  • A starting salary of at least £37,000, rising to in excess of £85,000 as your career progresses
  • A £5,000 bonus on being awarded your Dolphins – the mark of a qualified submariner
  • Additional Submariner pay for every day at sea once you’re fully qualified.
  • An excellent non-contributory pension scheme – we pay into it for you, so you don’t have to sacrifice any salary
  • Six weeks of paid holiday every year
  • Free gym and sports, from football to kayaking to kite-surfing
  • Forces Help to Buy scheme – a 0% loan to get you on, or further up, the housing ladder
  • Subsidised travel, accommodation and food

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • An Advanced Apprenticeship (level 3) in Engineering.
  • The opportunity to complete a Foundation Degree in Mechanical or Electronic Engineering depending on your career progression and your career stream.

Skills you'll develop

  • Gain a firm grounding in electrical and mechanical engineering principles, and an opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of nuclear reactor theory.
  • You’ll learn to maintain and operate some of the most cutting-edge kit on the planet.
  • You’ll become familiar with a variety of sophisticated mechanical systems – as well as an opportunity to manage and maintain a submarine's nuclear reactor. 



  • You need to be aged 17 to 25
  • A minimum of three GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade 4 or above including Mathematics, English language and at least one Science
  • British National (or hold Dual Nationality iaw UKSV policy)
  • You need to be 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

There are two options for acceptable qualifications required in addition to the basic academic criteria above:

Option 1

  • A National Qualifications Framework Level 3 Diploma (with a minimum of a Merit Pass) in Engineering discipline

Option 2

  • At least 48 UCAS points in A-Levels (or equivalent) in Mathematics and a STEM based subject  (minimum grade D or above in each subject)

Skills & interests

  • A quick thinker, with a keen interest in mechanics and electrics
  • 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 learning to maintain and fix cutting-edge equipment

Joining process

From picking your role to starting on your first day, these are the steps you'll take to join as a rating.

Got a question?

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