MCD or Warfare Officer?

My name is Neil and Im looking to join the RN to become an MCD. Im 25, have given up a graduate career in banking and am looking for something that will push me to the limits both mentally and physically, where I can be part of a strong bonded team and get to do something that I believe adds value to the world and not to a shareholders back pocket. Moreover, I love diving and so MCD seems spot on.

However, I am getting a lot of pressure to go for an officer role (family) but I have my heart set on MCD and know if I join as a warfare officer there is no gurantee I will get to dive at least for a few years if at all.

SO what I am looking for is an idea of how long it realistically takes to be promoted to lead rating (diver ) and then petty officer diver? Also, any details on pay / and additional diver pay would help? I am ambitious so do want to earn a level of responsibility, and am happy to spend time proving myself, but if it takes ten years to get to lead diver then I may have to rethink!!

Any reply would be really appreciated, thanks for your time....



War Hero
Welcome to the site.

Starting pay as a diver is £13,013 gross, increasing to around £16,227 after 6 months. Then raising incrementally over 9 years, at todays rates, to £27,559 without promotion.

Diving pay, once qualified starts at approximately £300 per month gross.

If you were to complete your degree and enter as a Warfare Officer, starting pay is £28,216.

With regard promotion to Leading Hand it can vary & is probably best advised by a serving diver nearer your joining date.

As an estimate, you would not normally expect to reach Leading Rate before you had served around 4 years (I stress this is an estimate, not a fact) or more but many choose not to advance as you do less "hands on" diving as you advance up the ranks. Similarly diving officers, whilst they do dive, don't do an awful lot of hands-on diving as they are promoted through the ranks.
Many thanks for the info below - much appreciated.

COuld you explain the difference between leading hand and leading rating. I thought they were the same. So you start as a able rating after training, and then roughly 4 years to become a lead rating..? Where does the leading hand fit in?


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