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About the Job
The Navy Gap Year Mechanical Engineer role is a unique opportunity where you’ll get to work alongside fully qualified Mechanical Engineers, all without needing any prior qualifications. You'll experience what it's like to work with mechanical engineering systems, get paid to travel and gain invaluable life and work experience, while making friendships that could last a lifetime.
You’ll learn how Navy engineers manage the operation, maintenance and repair of the engineering plan critical to the ship's mission. You'll be be immersed in this world of Navy innovation and engineering, exposed to a full range of engineering systems, including diesel engines, gas turbines, ventilation, power generation or hydraulics. These specialists have dealt with engineering challenges both at sea and ashore, so they have a wealth of knowledge to pass on. You’ll also gain leadership skills as you watch them oversee their teams to keep the ship ready for service.
You will be supported throughout your training by professional and enthusiastic Navy personnel who will provide the guidance necessary for you to get the most out of this experience. Your Gap Year will be broken up into different stages. This will give you the opportunity to receive basic training and to tour Navy's shore establishments. You will experience life at sea, as well as what it is like to be employed ashore. As a Navy Gap Year officer, you will be provided with the opportunity to contribute to the operation of the ship or unit.
Your training will begin at the Royal Australian Naval College (RANC), HMAS Creswell in Jervis Bay, NSW, where you'll complete a 15-week course alongside other new Navy officers prior to continuing with the program. RANC is an energetic environment where you will be challenged to meet Navy standards of fitness, demeanour and behaviour.
Coupled with the highest standard of leadership training, the skills you'll gain across this role are transferable to other management and leadership positions and will provide you a unique edge.
At the end of the Gap Year program, you can choose to continue your career in the Navy or use the skills and experiences you’ve gained to move into an alternative career path. There’s no obligation to serve beyond the one-year program period.
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ADF Gap Year
Experience life in the ADF with no commitment beyond 12 months
Preparing for Your Recruitment Process
This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.
Salary & Allowances
In the Navy you'll get paid a good salary from day one regardless of your age, experience or qualifications; and your pay increases as you progress through training.
In addition to your salary you'll receive a variety of allowances, extra pay for relevant qualifications – plus 16.4% superannuation, a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.
The Initial Entry Officer Course is conducted at HMAS Creswell in Jervis Bay on the South Coast of NSW.
The Shore Establishment tour may include visits to:
- Fleet Base East, HMAS Penguin, HMAS Watson and HMAS Waterhen in Sydney
- HMAS Albatross and HMAS Creswell at Nowra
- Fleet Base West in Western Australia at HMAS Stirling
Assignment to Sea Deployment and Shore Employment at Establishments could be in a range of locations around Australia.
Gap Year candidates must be 17-24 years old on enlistment and be at least 18 years old by completion of military training.
Education & Experience
ATAR Navy Gap Year:
To be eligible for an ADF Gap Year job you must have completed Year 12 with the passes required of the role you are applying for and an ATAR of 85 or above. If you have studied science, technology, engineering or math's subjects you may have a competitive advantage when applying for a Navy Gap Year officer role. Applications can be considered if you are yet to complete Year 12 and are tracking towards the required ATAR.
Current or former serving military personnel (ADF or Foreign Service) are not eligible for Gap Year.
Medical & Fitness
To be appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry into the ADF. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination. You will also be required to pass a physical fitness test before appointment.
You must also pass the swim test and physical fitness test to graduate from your Navy Training and to proceed to the Safety of Life at Sea Training that is a requirement for Recruit School and Officer training.
You will be required to pass a Pre-entry Fitness Assessment (PFA) before enlistment. The PFA requires you to complete a specified number of sit-ups and a timed cardio component. Fitness standards differ for selected age groups. Please refer to the Navy - Health and Fitness page for further details.
The RANST is conducted to ensure the Navy's duty of care to all serving personnel, with respect to rudimentary swimming skills. The purpose of the RANST is to ensure fundamental water survival skills as a prerequisite to training such as survival at sea training. Individual components of the RANST are fundamentally related to the survival at sea scenario.
Competency in the RANST is achieved through completion of each component:
- A safety jump off a 3m tower in overalls
- A 10m underwater swim in overalls
- A 50m swim using three safety strokes
- The ability to tread water or float for 15 mins in overalls
All personnel will undertake the RANST upon entry and competency is to be achieved before the end of your initial military training.
Period of Service
Your Navy Gap Year experience is a fully sponsored program of up to 12 months service. After successful completion of this program, you may have further opportunities within the ADF as a permanent member, depending on capability requirements and available vacancies, or you can choose to leave the ADF. You may request discharge at any time by providing 21 days’ notice.
The Job Opportunities Assessment (JOA) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete a further evaluation at a later date.
The JOA is used by Defence to establish suitability for ADF entry, and then identify jobs that best match your abilities.
Further information about the JOA can be found in the Guide to the Job Opportunities Assessment for the ADF.
To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in the Job Opportunities Assessment and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Job Opportunities Assessment Example Questions.
To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.
If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary deferral of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.
Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local ADF Careers Centre.
The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have a security clearance appropriate to their employment.
A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and if required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.
The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1 (NV1), and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years.
This means applicants must provide credible referees (non-family members) who are able to provide information about the applicant covering an extended period of time. Required information for an NV1 includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Financial information
Some ADF jobs may require a higher level of security clearance such as Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2) or Positive Vetting (PV). Your individual circumstances will determine the number and complexity of the questions and the supporting documents required for these levels.
Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.
The security clearance is critical to an applicant's successful progression through the recruiting process. It is strongly recommended that all applicants action the Security Clearance Package (ePack) and provide the required documentation without delay to provide the best opportunity to commence training and be employed in their preferred employment category.
For more detailed information on the security vetting process and specific clearance level requirements set by AGSVA, please refer to the AGSVA website.
Support will be provided by DFR during the initial application process.
All naval officers will commence their careers by completing NEOC immediately upon entry into the Navy. NEOC is conducted in January and July each year at the Royal Australian Naval College. NEOC is designed to teach the knowledge, skills and attributes required to be an effective junior naval officer.
NEOC will cover the following key themes:
- Physical fitness: General fitness, adventure training and the Navy swim test,
- Military life: Discipline, mannerisms, uniform procedures and Defence studies,
- Speciality skills: Small arms weapons training, first aid and survival at sea,
- Navy skills: Drill and ceremonial procedures, officer of the day duties, rank structure and Naval history,
- Personal development: Leadership and management (including practical exercises), effective oral and written communication methods, and,
- A sea training cruise to introduce life at sea
On completion of NEOC, all officers will proceed on their respective employment training specific to their employment category. For further information, please see the New Entry Officers’ Course Joining Instructions, available at https://www.navy.gov.au/naval-college.