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About the Job
In this role, you’ll be operating some of the most advanced systems in the Navy, making tactical recommendations relating to the information and data that you receive. You’ll also be responsible for general seamanship duties that vary according to whether the submarine is surfaced, dived or alongside the wharf.
When the submarine is on the surface, you’ll take part in roles such as control room watch-keeping, lookout, helmsman, first responder to incidents, anchor party and boat or helicopter transfer. When the submarine is dived, you’ll keep watch as a sonar operator and fulfil a range of supporting positions including navigator’s assistant, and damage control or survival equipment sailor. When alongside the wharf, you’ll conduct hull preservation work as required and participate in a wide variety to tasks including force protection and training exercises.
As a submariner, you’ll be a part of the most exclusive and stable workforce in Australia having a direct effect on Navy missions and operations at sea. You will also perform additional duties and learn new skills to become highly trained and efficient in supporting the whole submarine. This may include boat security, firefighting, flood repair, first aid, medical emergency team member, ammunitioning or ceremonial duties.
You’ll enjoy a competitive salary package, career stability, opportunities for continuous progression and an adventurous lifestyle, all while making a difference to Australia.
To succeed with the Navy tomorrow, apply today.
Other Ranks - Non Technical
Join the ADF with appropriate high school passes
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.
All sailors will serve in fleet units and shore establishments on a rotational basis.
Applicants must be at least 17 years of age and able to complete the Initial Minimum Period of Service before reaching Compulsory Retirement Age (60).
Applicants will not be allowed to enter the ADF until they achieve a minimum of 17 years of age, however they may be able to initiate the application process from 16 years and six months of age.
Education & Experience
The minimum educational standard for entry to the Sonar Operator category is successful completion of year 10 level, which must include passes in English and Mathematics. However, you may apply while still studying year 10.
Medical & Fitness
To join the Navy, it's important that you meet the necessary medical and physical requirements. This is assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination. Regular exercise prior to joining will set you up for success as it is an important part of training and service life.
You must also pass the swim test and physical fitness test to graduate from your training.
Royal Australian Navy Swim Test (RANST):
The RANST is conducted early in your training 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:
- Safety jump off a 3m tower
- 10m underwater swim
- 50m swim using survival strokes
- Treading water or floating for 15 minutes
Note: You will be wearing your Navy uniform during the swim test.
All personnel will undertake the RANST upon entry and competency is to be achieved before the end of your initial military training. You will find it much easier to pass the swimming test if you undertake swimming training before you join.
Period of Service
You will be enlisted for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of two years. Subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service. Your Careers Coach can advise on how IMPS will relate to your chosen occupation.
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.
Duration: 10 weeks
Location: Recruit School at HMAS Cerberus, Victoria
All sailors who join the Navy will conduct their initial sailor training at the RAN Recruit School prior to commencing specific category training. The NESC course is designed to prepare you to conduct basic duties as a sailor. Some of the key components of the NESC course are:
- Physical fitness: General fitness and the Navy swim test
- Military life: General service knowledge, including drill and ceremonial procedures
- Specialty skills: Weapons training, workplace safety, first aid and sailing
- Navy skills: Seamanship, corrosion control, survival at sea and fire and flood control,
- A one week sea familiarisation period
Recruits, who successfully complete all components of the course will participate in a Graduation Parade to mark the occasion. Recruits will have the opportunity to invite family and friends to view the parade.
On completion of NESC course, all sailors will proceed on to their respective employment training specific to their category. For further information, please see the RAN Recruit School joining instructions Navy recruit school website.
Duration: 2 weeks
Location: HMAS Cerberus Crib Point, Victoria
This course is completed by all Seaman Branch Sailors and covers all aspects of basic seamanship, including:
- Boatwork - crew, maintenance and navigation of power boats
- Rigging - working all types of cordage and wire ropes, understanding splicing, maintenance of all forms of rigging, blocks, slips and shackles
- Helmsmanship - steering the ship
- Ships Husbandry - cleanliness and maintenance of all parts of a ship (except machinery spaces) and
- General - a working knowledge of ship organisation, routines, survival at sea and 'Rule of the Road' for the prevention of collision at sea
Duration: 2 Days
Location: HMAS Stirling, Rockingham WA
Provides information and manages your expectations for your career and lifestyle as a Submariner so that you can make a fully informed decision.
Includes tours of a Submarine (or VR tour), Submarine Training and Systems Centre and discuss your career path with a qualified Submariner.
Duration: 5 weeks
Location: HMAS Stirling, Perth WA
Consists of a series of computer based and instructor-based modules that introduces you to how the systems and construction make up the submarines. You will also undertake Submarine Firefighting and Submarine Escape courses during this 5-week period.
Location: STSC, HMAS Stirling, WA
Duration: 11 Weeks
The course covers those aspects of passive sonar design, construction and operation that are essential to maintaining acoustic awareness and is designed to give the student the requisite knowledge to undertake their job as part of the submarine technical and tactical departments.
After your shore based training you will be issued your Submarine Task Book, for completion, to consolidate your training. You will be posted to a submarine to progress your Task Book and work towards your submarine qualification. On completion of this phase you will attend a board. Successful completion of the board will culminate in Submarine Qualification and the award of “Dolphins” – the badge of the Submariner.
Further information is available on the submariner pages.
Duration: 7 Weeks
This is the supervisors course for promotion to Leading Seaman and consists of instruction in:
- Oceanography and weather
- Brief presentation and preparation
- Aural and narrowband analysis
- Supervision of sonar watch
- 2 week practical component in the combat system trainer for practical instruction on watch supervision; and
- Operations and a practical assessment
Duration: 6 Weeks
This advanced training is designed to give the POAWASM the skills to play a major lead in the Control Room Command Team. This training is to be completed before promotion to Petty Officer.
As a qualified POAWASM you may also be selected to undertake advanced acoustic analysis course that are conducted in the UK or Canada.
Duration: 12-18 months
The AWA4-AS, is by selection only and is advanced training conducted under a detailed Learning and Development Strategy, designed to provide the candidate at the Chief Petty Officer level the skills as an Acoustic Specialist to enhance and lead the Submarine Command Team during acoustic operations.