Marine Engineer Officer questions


I am an engineering undergraduate interested in becoming a MEO on board a submarine. I have attended the normal careers presentation, but I still have a few questions.

Firstly, I am studying a degree in general engineering, of which the first two years include mechanical, electrical, fluids, etc. However, I have opted to do mainly electrical, information and control options in my third and fourth years. Will this significantly hinder me in pursuing a marine engineering role, when my academic choices would perhaps better suit a WEO or Information EO?

Secondly, what is the time scale like for becoming a chartered engineer with the RN?

Thirdly, the careers advisor at the RN presentation said that you join simply as an engineering officer and are then assigned to a particular branch, with some consideration for your preference. I fully accept that the navy's needs must come above my own, but I would like to know how likely you are to get your preferred career option. If I request to be a MEO on board a submarine, am I likely to be allocated to this job?

The presentation also said that the average duration for a submarine operation is 3-4 months. What is the normal time between going to sea on operations?

Finally, I would like to ask some financial questions. Do you pay for accommodation and food during training at BRNC and HMS Raleigh, and if so, roughly how much? I was also told that subsidised accommodation is provided at your base- again, roughly how much is this? Perhaps these should be common-sense, but I like to make sure.

I would be very grateful for a reply to any of my concerns. I'm sorry if the questions are a bit long and boring, but I like to know as much as I can before making a decision. Any other information about general submarine life, nuclear engineering, or training would also be very welcome.

Thank you in advance,
As long as you've got an Engineering Degree, it doesn't really matter what it's in. What's important is your ability to apply engineering common sense to what you'll be taught. In the case of MESMs, you'll be taught an awful lot, so don't worry about it unduly.

Charted Engineer within about 10 years or so from joining the RN, although this may be quicker/slower dependent on specifics. As a MESM you're in a good place to be CEng.

If you volunteer for MESM you're in with a pretty good shout to be selected.

Sea Time for SM is variable, and anyone who can tell you exactly the amount of time before heading back to sea is lying, or needs to speak to CINCFLEET immediately.

Not sure about the food and accom stuff, but it is a specific amount, but enough to leave you with something to live on.

I suggest you repost this in the 'Newbies' section, and hopefully Ninja_Stoker (our resident AFCO man) will be able to answer some of your specifics.


War Hero
As long as the Engineering Degree is accredited by the UK Engineering Council & verified acceptable by the Admiralty Interview Board, it's pretty much the choice of the individual which type of Engineering Officer they wish to be. MESM & WESM are certainly the areas which traditionally have a shortfall of applicants.

Nowadays propulsion plants are very much "electrical" as much as they are mechanical when it comes to processor/remote control, monitoring & indeed turning the propeller shaft by 'wigglies', so MEO is equally as viable as WEO.

Food & Accom charges, whilst living ashore/inboard during training are roughly similar to these:

Daily food charge £4.13, Monthly £123.90
Accommodation Daily 58p, Monthly £17.40
Council Tax Daily 9p, monthly £2.70

More details on accommodation here: PRMC - Royal Marines - View Single Post - Rented Service Accommodation & Buying Privately

AFPRB 2011 Chapter 5, (Accommodation Charges)




I have just completed my assignment as MEO. Just joined this site - my brother said it was worth a look.

I am not sure how the site works, but if you can get a message to me I will be happy to answer any of your questions regarding a career as a MESM Officer.
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