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Operating Department Practitioner (Student)
Job Role

Operating Department Practitioner (Student)

You’ll gain all the skills and qualifications you need for a career as an Operating Department Practitioner.

HealthcareHands onMedicalApprenticeships
  • £18,000 - £31,000
  • A-Levels / college qualifications
  • Surface Fleet
  • Medical
  • Rating level

At a glance

Saving the lives of the people who risk theirs. Once you’ve finished your fully-funded ODP Diploma, that’s your focus, wherever you are in the world and whatever the mission demands. You’ll quickly become an essential part of our surgical team.
Operating Department Practitioners walking a patient in a stretcher
I got my diploma paid for by the Royal Navy, so I can start my career without a mountain of debt.


Operating Department Practitioner, Medical Branch

Role details

What you’ll do

Saving the lives of the people who risk theirs. That’s what you’ll be doing when you qualify as an ODP in the Royal Navy. As soon as you’ve finished your fully-funded ODP Diploma, you’ll become an essential part of the surgical team, tackling all aspects of the operating theatre and developing skills that will stay with you for life. And you’ll work all over the world in some of the most challenging environments imaginable too. 

Your role

  • Gain your qualifications and then use your expertise where it’s needed most – from treating trauma patients during a humanitarian crisis, to providing surgical treatment at an NHS hospital
  • Provide crucial, lifesaving medical support in situations that can be demanding and sometimes dangerous
  • Benefit from experience in a wide range of disciplines, including becoming qualified as a Sterile Services Manager and Surgical First Assistant
  • Be part of a world-class medical service that’s respected far beyond the Armed Forces

Pay & benefits

  • A salary of at least £18,000 after initial training
  • Opportunity to earn over £31,000 as you progress
  • An excellent pension scheme
  • Six weeks of paid holiday every year
  • Free medical and dental care

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • An Operating Department Practitioner Diploma
  • Specialist vocational qualifications as your career progresses

Skills you'll develop

  • How to provide support for surgical teams and save lives in challenging environments
  • Gain training and skills in leadership and management throughout your career


  • Aged 17 and a half to 39
  • 112 UCAS points including Health and Social Care, Psychology, Social Science or Science subject at A-level or Level 3 equivalent
  • GCSE English Language or Literature, GCSE Maths and GCSE Science at grade C/4 or above
  • Evidence of academic study within the last 5 years
  • 2 weeks of clinical experience
  • Must be a British or Irish national, a Commonwealth citizen, or a Dual National. Dual Nationality restrictions apply
  • A Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18 and 28 (between 17 and 27 if under 18)
  • Pass the Naval Swimming Test

Skills & Interests

  • A technical thinker
  • An aptitude for the clinical environment
  • A team player
  • An adventurous spirit
  • Able to stay positive in the face of adversity

Joining Process

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

Career Progression

From responsibilities to pay, find out where this role can take you.

Got a question?

Our virtual recruiter is available to answer your questions 24 hours a day

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