Enlisted Jobs in the Navy
Your specific job in the Navy is called your rating. In 1794, Congress passed, and the President approved, what is known as "The Naval Act" which requsitioned the six original frigates and the men to man them. The United States Navy's original "ratings" include, Master's Mate, Captain's Clerk, Boatswain's Mate, Cockswain, Sail-Maker's Mate, Gunner's Mate, Yeoman of the Gun Room, Quarter-Gunner, Carpenter's Mate, Armorer, Steward, Cooper, Master-at-Arms, and Cook.
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.
For all branches of the military, the initial enlistment requires an eight year service obligation. The eight years is broken into active, reserve, and/or inactive reserve service. The enlistment obligation specified on the various rating pages represents the active duty portion of that 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.
To ensure the mission of keeping our nation secure and to keep the sea lanes open, the Navy has a broad scope of jobs and programs that are filled by enlisted personnel. 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 are in addition to the basic Navy enlistment requirements.
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.
The Navy has a broad scope of jobs as demonstrated in the chart below. Use the links associated with the rating to see each job or program's responsibilities and qualifications.
|Enlisted Navy Jobs & Rating Insignia|
Aviation Boatswain's Mate ABs may specialize in launching and recovering aircraft; aircraft fueling and fuel systems; or aircraft handling, fire fighting and salvage and rescue operations.
Aviation Machinist's Mate ADs are aircraft engine mechanics.
Aviation Support Equipment Technician The AS operates, maintains, and repairs aviation support equipment.
Air Traffic Controller The AC provides air traffic control services from both shore and afloat commands.
Aerographer's Mate The AG is the Navy's weather forecaster.
Aviation Structural Mechanic The AM rating maintains the structure, landing gear, and the various hydraulic systems of aircraft.
Aviation Ordnanceman AOs are weapons specialists for Naval aircraft.
Aviation Electrician The AE rating maintains the electrical systems of aircraft.
Aviation Electronics Technician The AT rating maintains the electronic equipment of aircraft.
Aircrew Survival Equipmentman The PR rating is responsible for an aircraft's survival gear.
Aviation Maintenance Administrationman The AZ rating plans, schedules, and coordinates an aircraft's maintenance workload.
Boatswain's Mate BM's are the leaders and backbone of every ship's crew.
Builder BUs work as carpenters, plasters, roofers, concrete finishers, masons, painters, bricklayers, and cabinet makers.
Construction Electrician CEs install and repair interior wiring, and build, maintain, and operate power production facilities.
Construction Mechanic CMs repair and maintain heavy construction and automotive equipment.
Culinary Specialist Those in the CS rating operate and manage dining facilities and living quarters.
Cryptologic Technician Those in the CT rating perform collection, analysis and reporting on communication signals.
Damage Controlman DCs do the work necessary for damage control, ship stability, firefighting, fire prevention, and chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) warfare defense.
Electrician's Mate EMs are responsible for the operation of a ship's electrical power generation systems, lighting systems, electrical equipment and electrical appliances.
Engineering Aid EAs assist construction engineers in development of construction plans.
Engineman ENs operate, maintain, and repair internal-combustion engines.
Equipment Operator EOs operate heavy machinery such as bulldozers and power shovels.
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Those in the EOD rating locate, identify, render safe and dispose of all forms of ordnance.
Gas Turbine Systems Technician GSs operate, repair, and perform organizational and intermediate maintenance on gas turbine engines and main propulsion machinery.
Gunner's Mate Those in the GM rating operate and maintain guided missile launchers, rocket launchers, gun mounts, and other ordnance systems and equipment.
Hospital Corpsman HMs perform duties as assistants to medical and dental professionals in the prevention and treatment of disease and injury.
Hull Maintenance Technician HTs do the metal work necessary to keep all types of shipboard structures and surfaces in good condition.
Information Systems Technician Those in the IT rating perform core and specialty functions of communications operations, message processing, and network administration and security.
Intelligence Specialist Those in the IS rating analyze intelligence data.
Interior Communications Electrician ICs direct and coordinate the installation, maintenance and repair of interior communications systems on ships and at shore facilities.
Legalman LNs perform paralegal duties under the direction and supervision of Judge Advocates.
Logistics Specialist The LS rating manages inventories of repair parts and general supplies that support ships, squadrons, and shore-based activities.
Machinist's Mate MMs operate, maintain, and repair ship propulsion machinery, auxiliary equipment, and outside machinery.
Machinery Repairman Those in the MR rating are skilled machine tool operators.
Mass Communication Specialist Those in the MC rating are the Public Affairs and Visual Information experts.
Master at Arms The MA rating is the Navy's military police force.
Mineman MNs assist in the detection and neutralization of underwater mines.
Missile Technician MTs maintain ballistic missiles and their launching systems.
Musician MUs have a proud tradition of setting a high standard of musical excellence.
Navy Diver NDs perform underwater salvage, repair and maintenance, submarine rescue and support Special Warfare and Explosive Ordnance Disposal while using a variety of diving equipment.
Operations Specialist OSs operate radar, navigation, and communications equipment in combat information centers and on the ship's bridge.
Personnel Specialist The PS rating maintains the financial and service records of military personnel.
Quartermaster QMs determine their ship's position by visual and electronic means.
Religious Program Specialist RPs provide support to Navy Chaplains.
Ship's Serviceman SHs are responsible for managing and operating all shipboard retail and service activities.
Sonar Technician STs are responsible for operating sonar systems and underwater fire control systems.
Special Warfare Boat Operator Those in the SB rating support and perform maritime Special Operations in open ocean, littoral, and riverine environments.
Special Warfare Operator - SEAL Those in the SO rating perform a multitude of duties in support of special operations missions and operate on, under and from the sea, in the air and on land.
Steelworker The SW rating rig and operate the special equipment used to build metal structures.
Utilitiesman UTs work with plumbing, heating, steam, compressed air, fuel storage, and distribution systems.
Yeoman YNs perform secretarial, administrative, and clerical work.
Navy Enlistment Programs
|Navy Occupational Programs|
Underwater Construction Team The divers of the UCT perform construction related activities underwater.
Navy Aircrewman Those in the AW rating perform duties as in-flight crewmembers on board Naval aircraft.
Advanced Electronics Computer Field The AECF program offers extensive training in all aspects of electronics including computer systems, radar, communications systems, and weapons fire control systems such as the Navy's advanced Aegis radar and missile system.
Nuclear Power Program Nukes operate and maintain Naval Nuclear propulsion plants and associated equipment.
Submarine Electronics & Computer Field The SECF program offers extensive training in the operation and maintenance of advanced electronics equipment, digital systems and computers used in submarine combat control, sonar, navigation and communications systems.
Professional Apprenticeship Career Track Program (PACT) The PACT program is a monitored general apprenticeship program that provides apprentice level formal training and on the job training leading to a viable career field.
Written by NCCM Thomas Goering USN (Retired)
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