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 requisitioned 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 as part of the Navy's Human Capital Strategy, in 2006.
On September 29, 2016, the Navy announced a major change to how an individual's job would be classified. Over time, Navy ratings were to be eliminated and be fully replaced with Navy Occupational Specialty (NOS) codes. After much push back, the Navy rescinded the idea on December 21, 2016. The NOS codes are in fact the same codes that have always been used as part of the Navy's computerized personnel system and will continue to be associated with their corresponding rating.
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. Duties may be served at sea, on board ships or on submarines (submarine service is voluntary), or on land at the various bases, ports, or air stations located around the world.
All Navy jobs 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.
Navy Ratings with NOS codes
|Enlisted Navy Jobs & Rating Insignia|
Aviation Boatswain's Mate -- A100 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 -- A110 ADs are aircraft engine mechanics.
Aviation Support Equipment Technician -- A430 The AS operates, maintains, and repairs aviation support equipment.
Air Traffic Controller -- A400 The AC provides air traffic control services from both shore and afloat commands.
Aerographer's Mate -- A410 The AG is the Navy's weather forecaster.
Aviation Structural Mechanic -- A130 The AM rating maintains the structure, landing gear, and the various hydraulic systems of aircraft.
Aviation Ordnanceman -- A420 AOs are weapons specialists for Naval aircraft.
Aviation Electrician -- A200 The AE rating maintains the electrical systems of aircraft.
Aviation Electronics Technician -- A210 The AT rating maintains the electronic equipment of aircraft.
Aircrew Survival Equipmentman -- A450 The PR rating is responsible for an aircraft's survival gear.
Aviation Maintenance Administrationman -- A440 The AZ rating plans, schedules, and coordinates an aircraft's maintenance workload.
Boatswain's Mate -- B400 BM's are the leaders and backbone of every ship's crew.
Builder -- H100 BUs work as carpenters, plasters, roofers, concrete finishers, masons, painters, bricklayers, and cabinet makers.
Construction Electrician -- H110 CEs install and repair interior wiring, and build, maintain, and operate power production facilities.
Construction Mechanic -- H120 CMs repair and maintain heavy construction and automotive equipment.
Culinary Specialist -- B650 Those in the CS rating operate and manage dining facilities and living quarters.
Cryptologic Technician -- B5XX Those in the CT rating perform collection, analysis and reporting on communication signals.
Damage Controlman -- B200 DCs do the work necessary for damage control, ship stability, firefighting, fire prevention, and chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) warfare defense.
Electrician's Mate -- B210 EMs are responsible for the operation of a ship's electrical power generation systems, lighting systems, electrical equipment and electrical appliances.
Engineering Aid -- H140 EAs assist construction engineers in development of construction plans.
Engineman -- B110 ENs operate, maintain, and repair internal-combustion engines.
Equipment Operator -- H150 EOs operate heavy machinery such as bulldozers and power shovels.
Explosive Ordnance Disposal -- E200 Those in the EOD rating locate, identify, render safe and dispose of all forms of ordnance.
Gas Turbine Systems Technician -- B120 GSs operate, repair, and perform organizational and intermediate maintenance on gas turbine engines and main propulsion machinery.
Gunner's Mate -- B320 Those in the GM rating operate and maintain guided missile launchers, rocket launchers, gun mounts, and other ordnance systems and equipment.
Hospital Corpsman -- G000 HMs perform duties as assistants to medical and dental professionals in the prevention and treatment of disease and injury.
Hospital Corpsman ATF-- G000 HM-ATF perform duties with the Fleet Marine Force RECON and the Navy Dive and Aviation communities.
Hull Maintenance Technician -- B220 HTs do the metal work necessary to keep all types of shipboard structures and surfaces in good condition.
Information Systems Technician -- B460 Those in the IT rating perform core and specialty functions of communications operations, message processing, and network administration and security.
Intelligence Specialist -- B600 Those in the IS rating analyze intelligence data.
Interior Communications Electrician -- B230 ICs direct and coordinate the installation, maintenance and repair of interior communications systems on ships and at shore facilities.
Legalman -- B630 LNs perform paralegal duties under the direction and supervision of Judge Advocates.
Logistics Specialist -- B740 The LS rating manages inventories of repair parts and general supplies that support ships, squadrons, and shore-based activities.
Machinist's Mate -- B130 MMs operate, maintain, and repair ship propulsion machinery, auxiliary equipment, and outside machinery.
Machinery Repairman -- B250 Those in the MR rating are skilled machine tool operators.
Mass Communication Specialist -- B610 Those in the MC rating are the Public Affairs and Visual Information experts.
Master at Arms -- B640 The MA rating is the Navy's military police force.
Mineman -- C160 MNs assist in the detection and neutralization of underwater mines.
Missile Technician -- C180 MTs maintain ballistic missiles and their launching systems.
Musician -- B660 MUs have a proud tradition of setting a high standard of musical excellence.
Navy Diver -- E100 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 -- B440 OSs operate radar, navigation, and communications equipment in combat information centers and on the ship's bridge.
Personnel Specialist -- B710 The PS rating maintains the financial and service records of military personnel.
Quartermaster -- B450 QMs determine their ship's position by visual and electronic means.
Religious Program Specialist -- B720 RPs provide support to Navy Chaplains.
Retail Services Specialist -- B730 RSs are responsible for managing and operating all shipboard retail and service activities.
Sonar Technician -- B340 STs are responsible for operating sonar systems and underwater fire control systems.
Special Warfare Boat Operator -- E350 Those in the SB rating support and perform maritime Special Operations in open ocean, littoral, and riverine environments.
Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) -- E300 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 -- H170 The SW rating rig and operate the special equipment used to build metal structures.
Utilitiesman -- H190 UTs work with plumbing, heating, steam, compressed air, fuel storage, and distribution systems.
Yeoman -- B750 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. ***Program is no longer available***
Navy Aircrewman -- A500 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.
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, the Master at Arms rating requires a four year active obligation, and 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.
Written by NCCM Thomas Goering USN (Ret)
Article modified on October 19, 2019.