Salary against pounds per hour

My application came to a halt a couple of years ago but I am considering applying again soon.
Something that is niggling me though is the consideration of salary against how many hows per week are actually required : as salaries are a figure worked out based on a set number of hours paid at a set rate per year, yet RN wages seem to be based (initially early on in a career) on a salary and a large number of potentially uncertain (?) hours required to obtain that wage.

My question is this : can the actual wage received worked out as an HOURLY rate be worse than the national minimum? Rating salary (out of Raleigh) is £18000 (although I'm sure after all PH2 training etc this wage will raise, but obviously this is hard to gauge by how much due to number of promotions and time taken) - 48 hours per week would mean working for the national minimum wage. I'm guessing when based in UK you can't be made to work in excess of those hours otherwise the RN would be in breach - is this always the case?

When considering being as part of a ships crew/on a tour, daily work hours would be around 10-12 hours? Would this not make someone on low wages take home less than the NMW? I appreciate you can't have people sat idle on ships/boats so it's in everyone's benefit if the whole ships' company are busy, but how close to the threshold will a matelot be? I also know it's a case of "if you want to join, this is what happens" but I'd like to get a feel of how it really is just so I can be prepared!

Please put me straight if I'm talking rammel!


Lantern Swinger
Well, you are paid a salary because you are expected to be available 24/7, even when on leave. This is the reason minimum wage does not come into it. You are not just being paid for those 12 hours you worked at your job, but also when you're in town having a drink or on a run ashore in a foreign port.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Lantern Swinger
Also, the working time directive doesn't really count with the military- it's not as if we could be out there fighting a war 'oh, my 48 hours is up. Guess I'll go home! Have a good fight' if you see what I mean!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I worked 83 hours this week if I was on an hourly rate I'd be minted. Could you imagine it "Sorry sir, I can't go to sea today as I've already worked 37.5 hours and I don't get over time"


Lantern Swinger
If pay is your primary concern I suggest you shred your application and look elsewhere for employment.

Whilst doing so ask the new employer if they supply all medical and dental facilities, free gym membership at all places of work, subsided food and accommodation, comprehensive training, free education where required, further free training when leaving the firm, non-contributory pension and private education paid for your kids. Just for starters.

People like you make me *)%&$(*_)*$
Thanks for your replies. Branch-hopper, you're a great guy/girl. As I said, I know the score. But when I'm considering leaving a job where I work long hours and not always for a fair return I have to ask the question if looking to move to another job where the situation is similar. And I've had other jobs similar to that. So forgive my standing. And I get it - the RN would pay for a lot of stuff and the needs of the service come first (I have also worked in a similar environment). Perhaps I just need to have it clear.
It's a reasonable question. But your response highlights "there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers" as being relevant.

I get the whys and wherefores, but if you don't ask, you don't know...
You will work more than 48 hours a week. Quite often.

It might work out less than national minimum wage; but the RN isn't ******* McDonalds. Bear in mind that you get at least 8 weeks paid leave per year, and various other 'perks' as have been mentioned above.

The Armed Forces are also exempt from he working time directive.

If you're going to join up with your attitude, you won't last long.
Do the Morning watch, 0400-0800. late breakfast, time to spruce up. Start work 1000 to 1200, break for lunch, start 1300 to 1600 and do the Last Dog, 1800 to 2000. That's one day, multiply it by 7. Pay's shit to start but then you don't join just for the pay and there's always promotion if capable. It'd cost you a fortune to do the same on a cruise liner. Get in! It's all worth it in the end. :cool:
Or join boats and work 6 on\6 off for 3 months solid, if your back aft at least your watchbill is 1 in 3.

God knows how much I'd have earned per patrol if I'd been paid hourly!!!


War Hero
Bluntly, some days you are quids in, others you are not. For every long day, there is another where you can find a reason to slip away or you might go on AT or play sport. Don't think of it as an hourly rate - if thats the sole thing motivating you then you're going to be massively unhappy.

A better way to look at it is look at the payscales, realise what you are likely to be earning in 3-5 years, and ask yourself if your current work would offer that plus the wider package you'll enjoy (healthcare, dental, A/T, housing etc). The answer is likely to be no...
What difference does it really make how many hours you work whilst at sea? Its not as if you can go down the pub when you are in the middle of the Atlantic/Pacific/Med............ When alongside, working hours/time off will be dependant on the role you play and the requirements of the ship, same when shore based. Sometime you dip in, others you get on with the job and drip like a tap.

Being in the armed forces is not a 'job' as such, it is more a way of life. It the dim and distant, whilst at sea, I was Blue Card aka a day worker, did this mean I only worked office hours, no, it meant I worked for as long as required, sometime working late, some time told to piss off early. Shoreside, I did work office hours, I was also part of the duty watch (1 in 3 or 1 in 4) so duty weekend to match, but as long as I was up to date with my work, I was out of the office at 11:30 on a Friday if I was going weekend and not duty watch, which occasionally meant putting in a few extra hours on a Thursday night to ensure I was upto date


War Hero
There are many perceived injustices and concerns with regard the Armed Forces terms and conditions including the military salary in relation to the minimum wage (which in itself is age discriminatory), the length of contract, minimum age to join, maximum age to serve, pensions earned, when they are paid and a whole lot more.

All questions are equally valid but there's not much point getting the hump about the truthful answers given or the perceived tone of the answer. Things can change, as pregnant females, homosexuals and those with some degree of autism have successfully proven more recently.

Snag is: Joining the Armed Forces is the choice of the individual and the taxpayer picks-up the tab, whatever the outcome. My advice? Ask the questions, expect honest answers & make your choice but don't expect rapid changes unless you are prepared to take-on the cost and risk of forcing change.
Some very helpful answers here and if I'm honest is exactly the type of stuff I was looking for. It was also a way finding out possible working hours/patterns which is something I'm sure is a consideration for a number of potential recruits.
Not out to change anything - have been a civil servant and know that change doesn't happen easily. And I know that there'll be enough going off in the job without needing axes to grind.

It's just good to get some background on what's involved. I thought it better to ask, rather than wonder. Again N.S. thanks for your input. Always fair and to the point.
You are looking to join a way of life, yes some class it as just a job..
You have to choose is it a reasonable salary for that way of life?
If you do not think its for you do not join, if you join a do not like it leave.
The grass is always greener on the other side until you get there, and find it's just a different shade.

Similar threads

Latest Threads

New Posts