Navy sailor


Also known as:

  • Air force - general entrant
  • Air force technician/tradesperson
  • Army soldier - technician
  • Navy technician
  • Soldier

What they do

Navy sailors occupy a number of administrative, managerial and other non-technical roles in the operation and support of the Royal Australian Navy. They undertake a specific group of duties that relate to their specific role. These may include working in health care, hospitality, transport and logistics and in combat. They support the strategic operations and organisational structures of the navy during both peacetime and combat activities, and may travel across the country and internationally in support of the Royal Australian Navy's general and military operations.

Specialisations include: Acoustic warfare analyst (navy), Air dispatcher (army), Air surveillance operator (air force), Aircraft life support fitter (air force), Aircraft life support fitter (army), Aircrewman (navy), Airfield defence guard (air force), Boatswains mate (navy), Combat engineer (army), Combat systems operator (navy), Combat systems operator mine warfare (navy), Commando (army), Crewman armoured personnel carrier M113 (army), Crewman Australian light armoured vehicle (ASLAV) (army), Crewman main battle tank (army), Electronic warfare - linguist (navy), Electronic warfare - technical (navy), Geospatial imagery intelligence analyst (air force), Ground crewman mission support (army), Gun number (army), Marine specialist (army), Naval police coxswain (navy), Operator artillery meteorology and surveyor (army), Operator electronic warfare (army), Operator ground based air defence (army), Operator weapon locating radar (army), Rifleman (army), Security police (air force), Signal operator linguist (air force), Signal operator technical (air force)

Working conditions

Navy sailors work in a wide range of environments depending on their specific role within the organisation. For example, cryptologic systems sailors and boatswain's mates all work on board marine vessels. However, dental assistants and medical sailors usually work in military medical facilities on shore, in roles that involve medical procedures and dealing with people. Most Navy sailors will be required to spend long periods at sea, in all weather conditions, which may include stormy weather and rough seas.

Tools and technologies

The tools used by Royal Australian Navy sailors vary greatly depending on their specific area of expertise. For example, boatswain's mates use ropes, anchors and other equipment used in operating marine vessels whilst docked or at sea, and Navy writers use computers and other clerical tools to undertake administrative tasks either on board or whilst ashore. All naval personnel are required to wear uniforms.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a navy sailor within the Australian Defence Force (ADF), you must pass the recruitment process and complete Basic Training at the Royal Australian Navy Recruit School.
You will undergo a series of written, physical, psychological and medical checks and interviews. You will also need to undergo a National Police History Check.

Successful applicants are required to complete 11 weeks of Basic Training at the Royal Australian Navy Recruit School at HMAS Cerberus, in Westernport, Victoria.

Once you have completed Basic Training you will then progress to a Category School where you will learn about your specific role. The length, location and qualifications required for training will be dependent on your role.

You can join the Navy through the ADF Gap Year program.  You must be between 17 and 24 years old, and have completed year 12 (or equivalent).

You can also join the Australian Defence Force on a part time basis within the Navy Reserves.

Visit the Defence Force Recruiting Centre website for more information.