Hydrography and Meteorology Specialist

#1
Newbie here - hello :)

I'm currently a physiotherapist in the NHS but am aiming to join the Navy as a Hydrography and Meteorology Specialist. I was wondering if anyone had recent experience with the role and could tell me what it is really like? I would prefer Hydrography but understand that you go where the Navy needs you to so could end up doing Meteorology (which does sound interesting but I would prefer sea time). I have used the search function and found some of the older posts helpful but (maybe because of the relatively small size of the branch) there aren't that many posts. The Royal Navy website is useful but I am aware they will be wanting to show all roles in the best light! Some real experience would be much appreciated.

I was also wondering:
A) what are the current waiting times for this branch? I think I read somewhere that there are two intakes for the training a year but may have been mistaken.
B) how are career changers viewed? Is it a disadvantage/not showing commitment or is a bit of life/work experience beneficial? I am 26 so I feel there should be plenty of time for me to learn a new trade and make a new career out of it!

Thanks for reading!
 
#2
@Tryneowy Unless a person joins straight from school/university they are having a career change so you will be in good company. The remainder of your questions I will leave to the more knowledgeable.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
 
#3
Metoc was never the largest branch in the navy. Have patience waiting for a reply from a serving or recently served person.
 
#5
Plenty of people have pre-RN careers. It's just another string to your bow, as they say. They may ask why Medical Assistant wasn't of interest to you, but a change of direction is your prerogative and you should go for what suits you best. It's not like you're a chronic career changer so it's not a commitment issue.

RE wait times, your AFCO will have the best idea. They will also have more info about the branch and might even be able to organise an aquaint.

While you're still waiting/looking for someone actually from the branch, it might be helpful to try different search terms on here if you haven't already - meterology is a common misspelling. Metoc, hydrography, oceanography etc.
 
#6
Plenty of people have pre-RN careers. It's just another string to your bow, as they say. They may ask why Medical Assistant wasn't of interest to you, but a change of direction is your prerogative and you should go for what suits you best. It's not like you're a chronic career changer so it's not a commitment issue.

RE wait times, your AFCO will have the best idea. They will also have more info about the branch and might even be able to organise an aquaint.

While you're still waiting/looking for someone actually from the branch, it might be helpful to try different search terms on here if you haven't already - meterology is a common misspelling. Metoc, hydrography, oceanography etc.
Thanks @Chalk_bosun

I'll definitely try different spellings and terms now you've suggested it. I hadn't thought of an aquaint either - I'll ask when I go to my AFCO. The Navy seem a lot more informative/open when it comes to recruitment. It makes a nice change from the NHS!

Thanks for your advice ☺
 
#7
I have an application currently running for this branch. I've been waiting two years with no real light at the end of the tunnel. Spoke to the afco a few days back trying to get information on any kind of time frame and the response was "dead man shoes son". Then was advised may 2019!!?? Interestingly I'm doing my fitness test in a few weeks time which seems kind of pointless as these lapse after a year. I have never felt confident with my afco, as everytime i call i always get the sense the person on the other end is bewildered someone has called and finds it hard that i would not know the answer myself. Being such a small branch there is very little to go on. It would be interested to hear how your application goes and what information or advice you are given. Im willing to hold on as I'm sure this is a job i will relish.
To get a good idea of the job of a hydrographic ship i came across a podcast on hms enterprises twitter account. https://t.co/rvjjZ2jP3N if the link does not work scroll through their twitter account and find omegataupodcast around feb time. Its very long but detailed and really informative. Hope this helps and good luck with what you choose.
 
#8
Trynoewy - can I ask why you are wrapping it in with pysio? As I recall in both the Army and RAF (spit!) you would get a commission and surely the RN would take you too? All the old RN Physios were POs or CPOs.
 
#9
I have an application currently running for this branch. I've been waiting two years with no real light at the end of the tunnel. Spoke to the afco a few days back trying to get information on any kind of time frame and the response was "dead man shoes son". Then was advised may 2019!!?? Interestingly I'm doing my fitness test in a few weeks time which seems kind of pointless as these lapse after a year. I have never felt confident with my afco, as everytime i call i always get the sense the person on the other end is bewildered someone has called and finds it hard that i would not know the answer myself. Being such a small branch there is very little to go on. It would be interested to hear how your application goes and what information or advice you are given. Im willing to hold on as I'm sure this is a job i will relish.
To get a good idea of the job of a hydrographic ship i came across a podcast on hms enterprises twitter account. https://t.co/rvjjZ2jP3N if the link does not work scroll through their twitter account and find omegataupodcast around feb time. Its very long but detailed and really informative. Hope this helps and good luck with what you choose.
@dart16 Wow you have been waiting a long time already! I think I saw someone on here who applied in December and has a May 2019 start date. Though I may have muddled up the dates. I'll let you know what they tell me when I finally get to my AFCO.

Trynoewy - can I ask why you are wrapping it in with pysio? As I recall in both the Army and RAF (spit!) you would get a commission and surely the RN would take you too? All the old RN Physios were POs or CPOs.
@SONAR-BENDER I did apply to the army over a year ago for physio and was rejected on medical grounds and told to reapply October 2018. I've just had a lot of time to think and realised I still want to be in the armed forces but not as a physio. I don't enjoy it and I'm not particularly interested in it either. It leaves me feeling flat and I don't think I've wanted to do it since my first year at university (5 1/2 years ago). It's quite scary to start afresh as it's a secure job with reasonable money. I might have to find a temporary job if this application is going to drag for years as I won't be physio'ing for that much longer!
 
#10
Trynoewy - can I ask why you are wrapping it in with pysio? As I recall in both the Army and RAF (spit!) you would get a commission and surely the RN would take you too? All the old RN Physios were POs or CPOs.
Medway Maritime Hospital had the first Royal Naval School of Massage with its Head --Sister Elspeth Kingdom. Mrs Kingdom was, therefore, the first Physiotherapy Officer the Royal Navy had
 
#12
What you perspective naval weather persons are probably not aware of, and it does impact on recruitment.
Metoc is a specialised trade. The branch is very small indeed and as a recruiter said. ‘Is dead mans shoes’.
So the Navy would have wait until current serving metoc’s fall from the sky, (or should that be precipitate), whatever!!! Before they recruit new. If the branch was overloaded that in turn would have ramifications to those serving.
Viscious circle!!!
 
#13
What you perspective naval weather persons are probably not aware of, and it does impact on recruitment.
Metoc is a specialised trade. The branch is very small indeed and as a recruiter said. ‘Is dead mans shoes’.
So the Navy would have wait until current serving metoc’s fall from the sky, (or should that be precipitate), whatever!!! Before they recruit new. If the branch was overloaded that in turn would have ramifications to those serving.
Viscious circle!!!
@Waspie Damn that is frustrating but it makes sense. Thanks for your input. I think this will turn into a much longer journey than I anticipated!
 
#16
My son has been waiting two and a half years to to join the Hydo branch. He has had frustrations with AFCO from the outset which hasn't filled him with confidence. He is on his 4th point of contact now and has been told it "may" be October 18. He was told months ago that it "may" be April 18 but has had a change of contact since then and comms is poor.
Frustratingly no one has been man enough to tell him it is "dead mans shoes".
 
#17
Just an update - I went to my NSRT today (I passed - woohoo!) and asked re: the current waiting time for WS(HM). I was told it was currently 12-14 months which is a lot shorter than I previously thought. So if anyone is interested maybe now is the time to apply. I'll update this thread if I learn anymore.

Thanks :)
 
#18
My son had a call to say that someone had dropped out and he joins on 13th May. That’s 2 and half years but hopefully that’s changing as per above post.
 

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