Career change. Mechanic to Royal Navy. Thoughts?

Hi guys,
My name is Andrew and I’m 26, I have recently begun deliberating joining the RN as an engineer. I am very curious about the navy lifestyle and the usual questions about time away. I have recently seen a Job role for a direct entry petty officer which sounds fantastic and could possibly be a good career change for me,not to sound like I’m blowing my own trumpet but I do see myself as a leader, in my current role as a technician I manage another technicians day to day workload and tasks.
I love what I do but I feel like that I could be doing so much more as a person. My job pays great and the staff are fantastic so I’m not considering this for a bad reason!

Can anyone give some insight into the navy lifestyle? I have a partner and I’m not sure how confident she would be with me joining. Any help would be appreciated!



War Hero
Assuming you've read the thread on the depot scheme, probably the best guys to ask are @Hooly & @Richbomber as they came across from the Army and will no doubt have a different view of daily life in the Navy as compared to those of us who have less experience elsewhere and just take things for granted.

Undoubtedly your biggest step change will be separation and communications home. Possibly longer hours (without overtime) and a longer working week. Travel costs will also be a significant consideration if your partner intends remaining in your home town (assuming your hometown isn't Plymouth, Portsmouth or Helensborogh).


@Technotechnics I transferred directly from the Army so not really a culture shock for me apart from the bars open at lunch. However @Hooly did a whole Army career, was a civi for a while and then joined via the Direct entry petty officer route, so he will defo have more info on that. However as far as I know only around 4 - 8 people are selected for direct entry a year and a few hundred apply so you need atleast a level 4 NVQ just to get through the door as far as i'm aware, but obviously the guys with degrees are probably pushed to the top of the list. PO is a reasonable level of experiance aswell as qualifications gained and only being 26 yourself are you sure you are at that level even though you are as you say a leader. Not saying you arn't but PO's in the Navy are pretty much the backbone. There is also a direct entry leading hand scheme which requires a level 3 NVQ and is aimed at guys that are looking to lead and have completed a form of technical training off their own back. You can fast track once in the Navy if you prove yourself to PO pretty quickly, this might also be something to look at. If you need any more info feel free to private message me on here. As far as Navy life it's pretty much work hard play harder. Hard to explain every part of service life but you can be away a lot but on the other hand you get a lot of time off in my opinion so its pretty even. My family enjoy it but thay have been used to it for a couple of decades now.
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