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Qualified Systems Engineering Technician (RFA)
Job Role

Qualified Systems Engineering Technician (RFA)

Learn all there is to know about the complex electronic and communication systems on board our most advanced ships.

  • GCSEs
  • Royal Fleet Auxiliary
  • Engineering
  • Apprenticeship level

At a glance

Our ships deliver vital logistical and operational support, all over the world. This role puts you in charge of maintaining the electrical, electronic and other systems that are vital to their operational capability.
For me the transition from a job at home to a job at sea was relatively easy. I love the fact that I’m part of a close-knit team, keeping this ship going.


Cadet Systems Engineer Officer

Role details

What you’ll do

As a Qualified Systems Engineering Technician, you’ll perform the duties of a highly-trained Systems Engineer Rating, monitoring and maintaining vital equipment throughout the ship. This is a role that requires real technical ability and is key to ensuring we can provide vital logistical and operational support to the Royal Navy, all over the world. This is like no other merchant navy job. It’s a very challenging and rewarding position in an organisation that’s integral to protecting our nation’s interests.

The electrical, electronic and other systems that you work with every day are vital to the operational capability of the ship. You'll maintain a broad range of equipment, including power distribution, lighting and hotel services, as well as essential operational equipment that delivers task group capability such as self-defence weapons, mechanical handling equipment, lifts and replenishment-at-sea systems. You’re a key part of the engineering team that keeps our vessels running smoothly.

Your role

  • Travel the world, experiencing a wide range of new environments
  • Play a part in diverse operations, from assisting Royal Marines, to disaster relief
  • Work with a variety of complex electronic, electrical and mechanical systems, across all the different vessels in our fleet. Tackle operational equipment, self defence systems, ships auxiliary systems such as fire detection and fixed firefighting installations, and everything electrical in between
  • This is the perfect role for people seeking both personal development and a progressive career at the highest level of the electrical engineering industry

Pay & benefits

  • Starting salary of over £29,500
  • 21 days leave for every month spent at work onboard ship
  • Free phone calls home when you’re deployed outside the UK
  • Reimbursed travel and accommodation
  • Excellent career average, defined benefit pension scheme
  • Access to superb sports and fitness facilities at Royal Navy shore bases
  • Defined routes to professional accreditation and status with IMarEST

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • Training will be a constant feature of your time in the RFA, with the opportunity for you to gain the qualifications that will leave you well placed for career progression 
  • All relevant courses and qualifications will be paid for by us

Skills you'll develop

  • Learn a variety of hands-on engineering skills
  • Build on your previous experience and qualifications
  • Alongside your specialist engineering training, you will be taught to take your place in the ship’s emergency team, where you will carry out specific RFA roles, such as firefighting and damage control 


  • Aged at least 17 years 6 months to apply, and 18 years to commence employment. There is no upper age limit
  • Level 2 or higher qualification in Electrical engineering, or equivalent (e.g. NVQ, BTEC or GCSE)
  • Must be British, Irish or Commonwealth citizens. However, a number of career paths have nationality restrictions. Dual Nationality will be considered providing the first nationality is British. Note: Residency restrictions may apply
  • Need to have confidence with jumping into water and the ability to wade whilst wearing a life jacket

Skills & Interests

  • High capability in electrical and electronic engineering
  • An ability to multi-task and keep cool under pressure
  • An adventurous spirit
  • Enjoy working on diverse and complex equipment, on ships all over the world
  • Getting stuck into every task with the determination to find a solution, whatever the problem
  • Good teamwork skills, as you will need to collaborate with the rest of the engineering team, and the wider ship’s company

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?

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

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