Nuclear Navy

"It is now time to stop and to ask ourselves the question which my last commanding officer, Admiral Hymon Rockover, asked me and every other young naval officer in the atomic submarine program. Why not the best?" -Jimmy Carter


For the Nuclear Navy, there are three job titles. Those three titles are: Electronics Technician(ET), Electrician's Mate(EM), and Machinist's Mate(MM). The title I will be talking about is ET as that is the one I am going for. For this rating, there are 3 types of schoolng required following basic training. The schools, in order, are Nuclear Field "A" School(NFAS), Nuclear Power School(NNPTC), and Nuclear Prototype Training Unit(NPTU). Each of these are six months of very rigorous academics. Examples of things learned are: technical maths, good knowledge of electronics, theory, nuclear physics, reactor engineering. To learn all of this, one needs extreme dedication and demonstrate apt to learn rapidly.

Job Advancement

Like all military occupations, there is room for plenty job advancements. All who go into the Nuclear Navy are already starting two pay grades/rankings above the average person. Rather than starting at an E-1, they start at E-3, and move to E-4 upon graduating their first school. In an average job, moving from E-1 to E-4 can take up to two years. Most Nuclear Navy sign-ons are E-6 after their first 6 years. Job advancement takes time just for the eligibility from moving from one rank to the next. From E-1 to E-2, it takes around 9 months. From E-2 to E-3, it takes approximately 9 months, etc., but there is a large amount of opportunities for all who go into the military as they're all on the same base pay scale regardless of the job or branch. All of these pays are affected by the amount of time served and what bonuses are also accumulated, but they also all include housing allowances, clothing allowances, cost of living allowance, incentive pays, health care, life insurance, subsidized product availability, and education allowances with a G.I. Bill for when leaving the military that pays for 3-4 years of nearly any college.

Career Outlook

Career outlook in this job, and in the military in general, is great. There are many options to choose from and until you die, there will always be advancements available. It isn't as hard to stay in the military as it is getting out. Being in the nuclear navy opens a ton of profitable choices in the future. From getting out, former-Nukes get plenty of job offers from very high-end companies, such as Lockheed Martin, because of the level of technical knowledge they've gained. Also, they're very marketable because of being in the military with an honorable discharge, having a security clearance, and from having the college level experience with the hands-on experience to follow all from a matter of six years. It isn't uncommon for former Nuclear Navy members to hold jobs paying six-figures straight out of the military. From all of this, it is easy to conclude that this career field is very good when it comes to the outlook of it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I attend school while I'm in the Navy?

Yes, the Navy encourages continuing education while in and will pay up to 100 percent of the tuition for Active Duty servicemembers stationed ashore who attend courses during their off-duty time at accredited colleges, universities, vocational/technical schools and business schools. Also, many ships have accredited teachers and educators on board who get underway with the ship to teach college-level lessons and help Sailors keep up with their studies while at sea.

Will the Navy give me financial help for an advanced degree?

The Navy encourages continuing education and will pay all or most of the tuition costs, depending on the program for which you qualify.

Can I request to work in a certain area or field?

You can request career placement in fields such as nuclear engineering, advanced electronics, computers or aviation. The Navy has jobs in more than 60 fields, and if a position is open in a field for which you are qualified, your recruiter will work with you to get you that position.

Can I switch jobs if I don't like what I do?

It is possible to switch jobs, but you can't always count on it. That's why you are encouraged to find a job you like before training so that your training will not go to waste. Also, the Navy is more likely to let you switch jobs if you want to switch to a rating that is in high demand, such as one in nuclear power.

What if I don't know what job I want to do?

No problem. Your recruiter can help you figure out what you may be good at and can help you find a job that matches your existing aptitudes.

If I find a Navy job I like but have no experience, will the Navy train me?

Absolutely. You just need to have the interest and meet any entrance-level qualifications.