Enlisted Jobs in the Navy
Your specific job in the Navy is called your rating. Sailors were referred to by their jobs before 1797, but it wasn't until 1797 that the United States Navy officially recognized individuals as a member of a rating. Over the years, the Navy has seen ratings come and go. Major rating shake-ups, mergers and realignments have occurred a few times over the last couple of hundred years, most notably in 1835, 1864, 1942, 1948, 1973, and most recently, as part of the Navy's Human Capital Strategy, in 2006.
All Navy ratings have minimum requirements (ASVAB scores, vision, citizenship, etc.) - the information contained within the various pages of this site will give you a good idea of what those minimum requirements are, along with a little history of the rating.
All initial active duty military enlistments require an eight year service obligation. The eight years is broken into active, reserve and or inactive reserve. The enlistment obligation specified on the various rating pages indicate the active duty portion of the eight year obligation. For example, Master at Arms requires a four year active obligation, the remaining four years will be spent in an Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) status. While in the IRR status, you are under no obligation to attend Reserve drills, but you could be called back to active duty if a national need arises.
You may serve your duties at sea, on board ships or on submarines (submarine service is voluntary) or on land at the various bases, ports, or air stations. Any qualification information referred to on the individual job pages would be in addition to the basic Navy enlistment requirements.
The Navy has a broad scope of jobs as demonstrated in the chart below. Use the links associated with the rating badges below to see each job or program's responsibilities and qualifications.