Weapons Engineering Technician (Submarines) Undergraduate Apprenticeship Scheme - Royal Navy


Royal Navy

Training Provider:


Monthly wage £2,666.67
40.0 hours per week Shifts TBC
duration: 36 months
start: 31 December 2019
Advanced(level 3)
Engineering Technician (apprenticeship standard)
17 positions available
25 December 2019 (application closing date)
Starting on a salary of over £32,000 rising to over £42,000, you’ll be on a structured career path as a Weapons Engineering Technician, starting on a Level 3 Apprenticeship and ultimately leading to a fully funded BEng (Hons) Degree in Electronic & Manufacturing Engineering. You'll travel the world and experience a challenging & varied career.


On joining the Royal Navy Under-Graduate Apprenticeship Scheme Weapon Engineer (Submariner) (UGAS (WESM)) you will undergo intensive training so that you can take your place as a crucial member of a close-knit and professional submarine crew. At sea, as a senior engineering technician, you will directly responsible for maintaining the availability of technologically advanced electronic equipment which is critical to the fighting ability of the Submarine be that from the Tactical Weapons System (Spearfish torpedoes and Tomahawk missiles) or the Strategic Weapons System (Trident missiles).  When the submarine goes into action, you could also be part of a damage-control and fire fighting team capable of dealing with a wide variety of submarine emergencies so that the submarine can still fight effectively.  In harbour, you will eventually lead a highly trained team of technicians to maintain and repair the equipment that forms the submarine’s complex weapon systems.  Your service will also include time at university to build on your extensive submarine engineering education and gain a BEng (Hons) degree.  As a qualified submariner, you’ll be part of an elite fighting force, respected throughout the Royal Navy and beyond.

Future Prospects

You start your military training at HMS Raleigh, Torpoint.  You will then undergo your initial submarine training, which all Submariners, regardless of specialisation complete.  This will then be followed by a move to the Maritime Warfare School in HMS Collingwood, Fareham as a probationary Leading Engineering Technician. Completion of the first phase of your technical training will be followed by a consolidation phase onboard a Submarine where you will become a qualified Submariner.  You will then return to HMS Collingwood to complete your technical and leadership training ahead of taking up a role onboard as a Petty Officer Engineering Technician. If you show the right commitment, skills and academic ability, you will also have the opportunity to complete the Admiralty Interview Board (AIB) process and become a Commissioned Officer. You’ll be selected for promotion on merit, so if you work hard, you can rise through the ranks.

Reality Check

Your Royal Navy career begins with 10 weeks’ basic training at HMS Raleigh, a shore base near Plymouth. The discipline, teamwork, organisational, fire fighting and weapon-handling skills you’ll learn here will stay with you right through your Royal Navy career. Aim to get yourself as fit as you can before you arrive as the training is intense and physically demanding. Ensure you can swim before you join as there’s also a swimming test. You then progress to basic submarine training, some of which will be onboard a submarine. You will learn how all the machinery and equipment work and how the crew operates the submarine. And dependent upon timings and submarine availability you may complete the final phase of this training and be awarded your Dolphins – the mark of a submariner. If not your submarine qualification will complete after your specialist Submarine Weapons engineering training. Following basic submarine training you will complete a basic introduction to Submarine Weapons Engineering at the RN Submarine School at HMS Raleigh. There are many benefits of undertaking an Apprenticeship within the Royal Navy

  • Be part of a highly regarded, world leading, extremely professional team, operating and maintaining one of the most complex machines ever built.
  • Gain a BEng(Hons) Electronic Engineering degree while being paid by the Royal Navy and with the Royal Navy paying all your tuition fees.
  • Guaranteed rapid promotion to Petty Officer providing you meet all your obligations under the scheme.
  • Gain a £5,000 ‘Golden Hello’ bonus on attaining your submariner qualification.
  • Get paid to travel the world, and protect our nation’s interests, every day.
  • Option to extend your career engagement beyond the initial contract through either the Rating or Officer route to achieve your pension.
  • Earn extremely competitive rates of pay which is amongst the highest in the Royal Navy.
  • Gain transferable skills which are highly sought after by industry, including the opportunity to gain Internationally recognised accreditation through professional engineering bodies.
  • Have access to a wide range of benefits including, Adventurous Training, and at least six weeks of paid holiday every year.

Skills Required

The Royal Navy will develop your technical and leadership abilities to achieve your potential as both a skilled technician and motivational leader.  It will also provide you with highly sought after, civilian recognised, professional qualifications. With the opportunity to achieve professional accreditation through engineering institutions.

Qualities Required

You’ll need commitment, enthusiasm, common sense and an interest in engineering. Your education and training will be intense, and you must be dedicated to learning and consolidating complex skills quickly. Strong teamwork is essential, and you will need to be able to live and work within the challenging Submarine environment. Serving on board a submarine takes a special type of person, one who thrives on challenge and professionalism.

Qualifications Required

5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above in Maths, English Lang and at least one science. PLUS 48 UCAS points from STEM qualifications (such as A Levels or BTEC) in Maths, Science or Engineering.

You will need to pass a RN recruiting test and must be in a good state of health and fitness. You must be between 18 and 34 years old when you start training and a British Citizen.  British Citizens who are dual nationals must be appropriately security cleared prior to being accepted in to the Submarine Service. 

Training Provided

At the end of your Apprenticeship training you will have achieved:

  • Level 3 Engineering Technician Apprenticeship
  • Foundation degree in Engineering
  • BEng (Hons) Electronic Engineering Initially you are offered a limited career with the option to apply to extend to 20 years

You may have the opportunity to serve beyond this, depending upon what you would like to do and the needs of the Royal Navy.

At the end of the scheme you will have the choice to:

  • Apply to stay in the Royal Navy for 20 years of service (or longer if offered) and continue your career as an engineering technician, seeking further promotions to Chief Petty Officer and Warrant Officer
  • If you have been selected to become a Commissioned Officer, start training at Britannia Royal Naval College and forge a career as an Engineering Officer
  • Leave the Royal Navy with a BEng(Hons) degree, no student debt and extensive experience of working within the Engineering field 

In a prime position to land a new career in the Defence industry. Note - Duration of the apprenticeship will depend on apprenticeship level and type.

Apply now

About the employer

Welcome to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). Where careful planning and rigorous teamwork make sure the Royal Navy is equipped with everything it needs to be effective - no matter where in the world it deploys. Wherever. Whenever.

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