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Careers / Services / RFA
Life in the RFA
Careers / Services / RFA

Life in the RFA

Life at sea with the RFA brings its own unique rewards, lifestyle and support. You’ll get to see the world, make lifelong friendships, and develop a merchant navy career like no other.

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RFA Cardigan bay alongside Manama, Bahrain, with the crew of HMS MONTROSE doing circuits on the jetty.

Social life and free time

An RFA ship is a very social place. You’ll soon be making friends as you work alongside your crewmates in challenging conditions and on rewarding operations. And when you have some time to relax, you’ll enjoy a range of on board activities, from Friday night socials, to working out in the gym (there’s one on every ship).
 RFA Mounts Bay delivers aid to The Bahamas. The ship has distributed Department for International Development (DFID) relief items, including vital shelter kits.

See the world

The RFA is a truly global organisation. Whether it’s helping to fight drug trafficking in the Caribbean or contributing to humanitarian efforts, you‘ll never be short of stories to tell from across the globe. And with plenty of time off, you can explore and enjoy even more of the world with friends, family and loved ones.

Navy personnel siting and talking to the camera as part of a video interview.

Working as a Steward in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Looking to take your hospitality career to the next level? As a Steward in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), you’ll develop your skills, gain recognised qualifications and travel the world, as you look after the needs of our world-class team. Interested?
Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Argus off the Island of Monserrat. British military conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise in Monserrat.
I get three months off for every four months I’m at sea. My mates with families go home for some quality time with their kids. I try to use my time to see even more of the world. I’ve been all over Asia and spent time in New Zealand, and as long as I’m where I need to be for my next operation there’s no problem.


Motorman Grade 1

As part of the RFA, you’ll play a key role in unique circumstances. From landing Royal Marines where they’re needed most; through essential replenishment to vessels at sea; or being on an anti-drug patrol; to saving and improving lives in a humanitarian crisis, it‘s vital work at the highest level.

Life on board

On deployment you’ll typically have your own cabin, complete with a bathroom that’s shared with one other crew member, (or a private en-suite for officers), giving you some personal space to relax and watch television. Some ships also have internet, allowing you check emails and do online banking. And whether there‘s an internet connection or not, your Communications Team can always help you contact home.

Support and welfare

From the day you join the RFA, you’ll be assigned a mentor who’s been with us for a while, serving as a reassuring voice if you ever need some advice, and our Welfare Team will make sure you feel at home away from home.

Pay and benefits

If you work for us, you can get 6 weeks of paid holiday every year, opportunities to progress and earn over £54,500, free medical and dental care - and you’ll travel around the world. The benefits in the RFA compare very well to other merchant navy organisations. You’ll get access to an excellent pension scheme on top of it.

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If you are ready for an exciting career in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, use the below link to request your application.

Not ready to apply?

If you are unsure at this stage if you want to apply, you can still register your interest with us using the below link.