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Navy technician

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Summary of occupation

Navy technicians undertake a range of technical and trade roles in the operation and support of the Royal Australian Navy. They undertake a specific group of duties that relate to their specific role. These may include the maintenance and repair of naval air or water craft, or the operation of the electronic, electrical, hydraulic and mechanical systems and machinery on board naval vehicles. They support the strategic operations and organisational structures of the navy during both peacetime and combat activities, and may travel across the country and internationally in support of the Royal Australian Navy's general and military operations.  

ANZSCO description: Navy technicians undertake a range of technical and trade roles in the operation and support of the Royal Australian Navy.
Alternative names: Navy Technical and Trade Workers
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A Navy technician needs:

  • Australian citizenship 
  • to be over the age of 17
  • a passion for protecting and defending Australia and its allies
  • good health and fitness
  • technical and practical skills
  • to enjoy the lifestyle associated with the armed forces
  • the ability to follow orders
  • a willingness to live and work anywhere in Australia and overseas
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Working conditions

Navy technicians work in a wide range of environments depending on their specific role within the organisation. All of the various technicians employed in the Navy work on board marine vessels undertaking technical duties that may be dirty and dangerous. Navy technicians may be required to spend long periods at sea, in all weather conditions, which may include stormy weather and rough seas.

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Salary details

Trainee navy technician recruits undergoing basic training can expect to earn at least $676 per week ($35 151 per year), while recruits undertaking employment training can expect to earn between $773 and $869 per week ($40 173 and $45 194 per year). Once their training period ends, a navy technician can expect to earn at least between $906 and $1 101 per week ($47 087 and $57 249 per year) depending on their duties, rank, role and level of experience.

As a navy technician gains experience and progresses through the ranks their pay rate increases. Salary may also vary based on your deployment location and conditions.

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Tools and technologies

The tools and technologies used by Navy technicians vary greatly depending on their specialised role. Whilst aviation and marine technicians use hand and power tools to maintain and repair the mechanical systems of Navy aircraft and water vessels, avionics and electrical technicians on the other hand use more specific electronic and electrical testing equipment to ensure the premium operation of electrical, hydraulic and mechanical systems. All Navy personnel are required to wear uniforms.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a navy technician within the Australian Defence Force you must pass the recruitment process and complete Basic Training at the Royal Australian Navy Recruit School.

Applicants must be an Australian citizen and at least 17 years old to enlist. You will undergo a series of written, physical, psychological and medical checks and interviews. You will also need to undergo a National Police History Check.

Successful applicants are required to complete 11 weeks of Basic Training at the Royal Australian Navy Recruit School at HMAS Cerberus, in Westernport, Victoria.

Once you have completed Basic Training you will then progress to a Category School where you will receive your technical training. You may also have the opportunity to undertake additional specialist training.

The technical training varies and will prepare for your specific role within the Navy, in areas such as aviation, surface fleet and submariner trades, or traditional trades. The length, location and related qualifications of this training depend on the role you will be moving into.

If you already hold an existing trade qualification, related to the trade you wish to work in, you may become a navy technician through the Qualified Entry pathway. However, specialised training may still be required.

You can join the Navy through the ADF Gap Year program.  You must be between 17 and 24 years old, and have completed year 12 (or equivalent).

You can also join the Australian Defence Force on a part time basis within the Navy Reserves.

Visit the Defence Force Recruiting Centre website for more information.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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