It can be very busy and active to very boring and mundane you rarely will find a middle ground!

Personal Information

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NAME

Chris

JOB TITLE

Mine Clearance Diver in the Royal Navy

LOCATION

Portsmouth, United Kingdom

SALARY

Undisclosed

NUMBER OF YEARS IN THE FIELD

15 months

COMPANY

Royal Navy

Career Bio

The profession

Luckily for me there were no formal prerequisites! However you have to pass a psychometric entry test which grades you. So depending what score you achieve will dictate what branches you can apply for. My highest academic education are Scottish highers. A big positive about the navy is they will pay for further academic learning if you wish. This is a good option if your thinking of leaving as it gives you the chance to gain qualifications up to degree level to stand you in good stead when re-joining civilian life!

How I got here

I have tried quite a variety of different types of jobs before setting my sights on a career in the armed forces. From starting out in a bar and restaurant where I worked my way up to manager level to call center jobs which was telephony based. I spent sometime traveling in Australia and Asia. This I would recommend to anyone wanting to broaden your horizons of how other cultures live. Work included gutter cleaning with no harness up to 3 stories high! This was actually one of my favorite jobs, well paid, finishing at 2pm most days and hot sunshine. The spiders were a problem though! However after returning from my travels and getting a back office admin role with a insurance company I knew I wasn’t for-filling my potential and decided to start the application process to join the Royal Navy. From passing the psychometric test to starting basic training was 2 years. In this time you have an interview, fitness test and further fitness tests for certain branches. I chose the dive branch because its practical, a high level of responsibility is required and was a challenge i could be proud of and really needed. Military lifestyle although tough gives you a definite career path and can be very rewarding.

A typical day

It can be very busy and active to very boring and mundane–you rarely will find a middle ground! Within the dive branch there is a variety of different teams you can be in which will dictate your role. If you are on a land based bomb team you will have a typical 9-5 working day which could have you getting called out to ‘make safe’ a dragged up mine or bomb or if you’re on a fleet team you could be flown out to different parts of the world for training exercises. Its one of the very few branches where you can have the life of traveling the world to being based in a land team and have a relatively normal lifestyle.

The hardest parts

For me the biggest challenge so far was the training as its very physical and tiring but you have to remain extremely vigilant as your prepping life giving equipment where you cant afford (big) mistakes.

The best parts

I think without doubt its the friends you make. I can say with 99% certainty you will not form bonds with people the way you do unless your in the military. Were in a close knit team who go through very low lows and very high highs together.

The myths of the profession

That because your in the military you are a trained killer. On the contrary my role helps protect people from otherwise very dangerous things that go boom!

The workplace

They vary from dive team to dive team but its either on a ship to a military base which if your on a good one has good leisure facilities and decent accommodation. Although at weekends you no doubt will spend it at your home if you have one!

Advice for someone thinking about going into the field

Most importantly like with any other walk of life or job is enthusiasm coupled with determination. If you have these two qualities you can get through pretty much anything. Life in the military is hard on certain aspects of your life but can be very rewarding and can give you great qualities to then spread into the civilian world should you wish to leave the service. Above all have a good think about it but if your like me and struggle to decide on something because there is so much choice out there then this will give you a definitive direction.