How to join the Navy

There are several ways to join the Navy, with many roles offering more than one entry method. To make it easy to choose the right path for you, we’ve broken down the different entry requirements for ‘General Entry Sailor’ and ‘Officer Entry’ roles below.

General Entry Sailor

An exciting career awaits

No experience or qualifications are needed for General Entry Sailor roles to have an exciting career in the Navy. The training we provide will place you among the best in your field, and you’ll even be paid while you train. Completing Year 12 isn’t required to join, but it's worthwhile checking each job page for any other specific entry and education requirements.

General non-technical positions
For those seeking non-technical career opportunities in the Navy
  • Completion of Year 10 (or equivalent) education required with passes in English and Maths.
  • Some roles in this category require a pass in Year 10 Maths and Science, or passes in Year 11 (or equivalent) and above.

Technical and trade apprenticeships
For those seeking trade training to undertake hands-on tasks
  • Completion of Year 10 (or equivalent) required with passes in English, Maths, Science and one other subject.
  • Be paid while you learn.

Qualified positions
For those who are already qualified
  • Pursue your profession in a field such as Trades or Hospitality.
  • Fast-track your career by applying your skills in the ADF.
  • Appropriate qualification requirements specific to each role.

Officer Entry

Become a leader in your field

Grow into a leader as a Navy Officer. Officer roles are available for school leavers (completed Year 12), undergraduates, graduates and qualified professionals. If this interests you, see the education requirements specific to each role on the relevant job page.

Your commitment to the Navy

The Navy will invest significant resources in your training and development, so naturally each job has an 'Initial Minimum Period of Service' (IMPS). Once completed, and given the appropriate amount of notice, you’re free to move on like you would at any other job.

Navy Officer training
Initial and leadership training as a Navy Officer
  • Undergo training at the Royal Australian Naval College (RANC) near Jervis Bay, NSW.
  • 15-week course at Royal Australian Naval College, HMAS Creswell.
  • Reservists complete a similar course with a reduced amount of residential training balanced with remote study.

Get paid to study and train

If you’re interested or enrolled in studying at an Australian university, we have a number of entry methods for you to join as an Officer and have your tuition and training paid for. Holding a relevant degree will allow you to join the Navy as an Officer in a more technical or specialist role.

Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA)
For those wishing to undertake a degree
  • Start a career as a Navy Officer via the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA).
  • Be paid to study a recognised degree from the University of New South Wales.

Undergraduate entry
For those currently studying for a degree
  • A Defence University Sponsorship (DUS) is available if you are currently studying a relevant degree at an Australian university.
  • You will need to have successfully completed a minimum of 12 months of your degree .
  • Earn a salary while you study and have the remainder of your university fees paid in return for a commitment to an Officer role.

Graduate medical program
For those with a degree who wish to move into medicine
  • Successful applicants must have a relevant undergraduate degree and have passed the Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admission Test (GAMSAT).
  • You will need to have been accepted into an Australian university.
  • Be sponsored as a medical practitioner, then serve as a Medical Officer.

Graduate entry
For those with an appropriate degree
  • Leverage a recognised degree required in Medicine, Law, Dentistry, Nursing, Engineering, Business and IT, among others.
  • Pursue your profession as an Officer and add an exciting new dimension to your work.
  • Receive further training and post-graduate study opportunities.

Flexible Commitment

There are many options in the Navy that have flexible commitment options. For these positions, you can serve on a part-time or flexible basis, or for a shorter amount of time. These entry methods can be for General and Officer Entry positions, so it’s best to check each job description.

For those wishing to serve part-time
  • Help the community and give something back to our country.
  • Flexible part-time role – do something really different on the occasional weekend or days off work.
  • Gain extra training and experience in your profession.

Gap Year
Get a taste of life in the Australian Defence Force
  • Completion of Year 12.
  • Try before you buy and only commit to 12 months.
  • Receive a salary and valuable training to help get you where you want to go.
  • Make unforgettable friendships.