Hydrographic, meteorological and oceanographic specialist

As H on survey ships you essentially do 2 months on, 1 month off (two out of three watches on board at any time) and I've heard of another ship doing that, but in general other ships do up to 9 month deployments. They tell us the month off is our own time unless you have courses etc to do and also losing a few days at start and end travelling to and from the ship... we'll see.

As Mets I'm not 100% sure, but some jobs you might just be part of a mobile unit, so deployed for as long as needed, eg. 1 month then back, so not part of ship's company, but otherwise I think you could be away on long deployment same as anyone else - sorry, not sure about that side of things. If you have more specific questions I can maybe find out or someone else on here might know for sure.
Hope this helps..
I do have questions though....

@bja199 How long are the phase two training periods for H and M streams?

I think people in the HM branch are in the higher pay band?
Do hydrographic sub-specialists receive a bonus?
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The met training is 7 weeks, which included 1 week at an air station, then straight after 3 weeks on a martem course basically practicing doing the job as you would at sea in watches. Hydrographic training starts with 4 weeks seamanship training (ropes, knots, cables, anchors, swimmer of the watch, boat driving etc) then 6 weeks hydrographic training includes practical stuff like beach surveys, setting up a GPS base station and driving the small survey boats.

After that you have to do various courses as required by the ships you're joining, eg. sea survival and firefighting, first aid, various weapons courses. In total I did about 10 weeks of other courses.

I'm sure Hydrographers get an additional payment once you go to sea (in addition to just 'sea pay'), but I've not found out anything about that yet. I seem to remember being told it was about £8 a day, but can't be sure...
Thanks for the info @bja199

For H stream I be looking at ten weeks of training in phase two?
And I think as soon as you finish phase two we start on £18.125 per annum ??

I believe that Hydrographers get to choose a ship to serve on, is that true?
If so I definitely want to choose a ship which has the 2 month on and 1 month off rota.


War Hero
Ratings pay increases to £18,125 six months after joining, regardless of branch. You can state a preference with regard your draft/assignment, but the needs of the service take priority. All survey vessels rotate their ships company(crew).
4 survey ships and it just depends which ones have how many spaces... might also depend if they have spaces in male / female cabins, so like Ninja says you put in your preference, but it's sorted out amongst the class depending on what's available at the time.
as Part of phase two there's also 3 weeks Functional Skills if you haven't done GSCEs in last 5 years plus a leadership / AT course in Wales, so an extra 4 weeks. In all, from starting Raleigh to being ready for deployment could take 7 - 9 months.
Thanks for the info @Ninja_Stoker & @bja199

I presume we'd train on board a ship for the seamanship course?

Really hope I get hydrographics.

Did my GCSE's ten years ago. lol I have 420 UCAS point from 3.5 a-levels

I have my PRNC booked for October and HMS Raleigh in January.

@bja199 which survey ship have you been drafted to?
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You do some bits of seamanship on a training ship, but a lot is classroom based. It seems like powerpoint overload at the time, but you do back it up with practicals. A lot of it is remembering lists and names of parts - sounds awful, but I found it interesting.

Forget any qualifications you have (except proof of 3 A-C GCSEs if you ever plan to go for officer)... It's sad, but past qualifications don't seem to count for much in general. Sitting through functional skills was worse than banging my head against a brick wall, but at the end of the day you're being paid for it. I can see why the Navy does it, to make sure everyone is at least at the same basic level, but it seems a tick in the box is the same no matter if it's 3 GSCEs or 10 plus a degree.

Good luck for the PRNC. There were some mixed views, but I found it gave a good insight of what it would be like at Raleigh - a bit of marching, a bit of drill, a bit of ironing, a bit of teamwork, a ship's visit, a bit of phys. Most of all a chance to ask some general questions about how everything works and a chance to get to know some people you're likely to go through Phase 1 with.


War Hero
Just to add the functional skills is only a 40 minute assessment to check whether you need extra tuition. It's not pass/fail, just a government initiative to improve the three core skills: Numeracy & Literacy ;)

3 GCSE's for Officer?