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How to Be a Navy Recruiter?

Patrick Wensink
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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The United States Navy is constantly on the lookout for men and women to fill its ranks, and a Navy recruiter tries to find the perfect candidates for military service. If you want to become a Navy recruiter, you will have to be an excellent communicator, a good judge of character and an expert on the Navy. There are a variety of educational and experience backgrounds that can help you do this job.

In order to become a Navy recruiter, you already must have joined the Navy. There are no specific time requirements, but you likely will need several years of military service in order to transition into a job as a recruiter. After you are ready to try for this role, you first must fill out an application. Next, you will be screened to see if you have the right skills for the job, and finally, you will have to be interviewed.

There is no specific educational background necessary to become a Navy recruiter. The Navy requires everyone to have a high school diploma or an equivalent certification, and any additional schooling can only improve your application. Subjects such as communication and psychology will help you communicate with a candidate and determine if he or she has what it takes for a Navy life. A professional background in human resources, personnel or marketing also can be helpful if you want to become a recruiter.

The biggest duty that a recruiter fulfills is meeting with young students in high schools or clubs and convincing them to join the Navy. This means you will clearly explain all of the various jobs available, all of the advancement opportunities and what kind of person the Navy teaches recruits to become. Travel is another important duty in the job, because you likely will have a region to cover and will call prospective candidates, occupy career fair booths and speak to classes about the military, the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) and the GI Bill.

Research is possibly the biggest duty of the job if you become a Navy recruiter. The Navy offers frequent classes to update recruiters about changes in jobs, structure and the Navy's overall mission. You will need to know the hundreds of different jobs, from that of ship captain to those such as airplane pilot, cook, radio operator and more, and you will need to know how to match the right job to the right candidate. A strong blend of these talents and skills will help you in your career as a Navy recruiter.

What Does a Navy Recruiter Do?

A Navy recruiter, much like a recruiter for other branches of the military such as the Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Air Force, serves his or her branch by counseling and interviewing those who wish to enter the Navy. Because a recruiter's job relies heavily on networking and communication, these individuals should have the following skills:

  • Exceptional oral and written communication
  • Expertise in explaining specific Navy positions to civilians
  • Ability to network with local schools and communities
  • Experience in the Navy
  • Willingness to answer numerous questions about Navy lifestyle

Navy recruiters may have served on sea or shore duty for a long time before becoming a recruiter, or they may have left active duty specifically to recruit new faces. Those in the Navy Reserves (who are not considered active-duty military) may work as recruiters under special circumstances.

How Much Do Navy Recruits Get Paid?

The pay of new recruits depends on their role in the Navy as well as their rank. An enlisted junior Seaman with an E-1 paygrade will receive just over $1,700 a month, while a chief petty officer will receive over $3,200 a month. Military physicians and other specialized roles will garner a much higher salary. Anyone joining the Navy, regardless of their eventual job, will undergo extensive physical training before they are considered ready to work. The Navy has many opportunities for advancement in rank based on performance and specialized training programs.

What Rank Must Navy Recruiters Hold?

To become a recruiter, you must first serve in the Navy. Requirements for those who wish to become sailors in the US Navy include the following:

  • US citizenship
  • Being at least 17 years of age
  • Having a high school diploma or GED (or, if you’re entering as an officer, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university)
  • Passing the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery exam
  • Passing the Military Entrance Processing Station exam to ensure that you are physically and medically ready to serve

New recruits cannot serve as recruiters. To be a Navy recruiter, you must have a rank of at least petty officer second class. This means that if you have not yet joined the Navy and your goal is to be a recruiter, you must serve for about three years before you will be able to apply for this type of position.

Do Navy Recruiters Have To Live Near the Ocean?

No. Navy recruiters live in most major cities — but there are differences between enlisted personnel recruiters and officer recruiters. Enlisted recruiters are easier to find as they recruit a larger number of candidates each year. You may find enlisted recruiters in smaller cities and towns as well as in metropolitan areas.

Officer recruiters are specifically seeking out those who will be good officer candidates in the Navy. Most of these recruiters work in major cities and are based regionally. It’s possible to join the Navy as an officer, but these recruits must first earn a bachelor’s degree and be at least 19 years old.

Do Navy Recruiters Have Sea Duty?

Sea duty refers to the time Navy personnel spend attached to a ship for duty. Often, this literally means that they are at sea. Many civilians are under the impression that Navy personnel are always on the water, but this isn’t the case for Navy recruiters and others with jobs that have a lot of shore duty. Most people in the Navy will rotate through a combination of sea duty and shore duty. Recruiting, as you may have guessed, is a shore duty position.

Active duty recruiters can transition back to sea duty. There are specialized positions that are permanent shore assignments, but these are rare and dependent upon the position the recruit was hired for.

Do Navy Recruiters Get Commission?

Recruiters don’t receive a commission for enrolling individuals in the Navy, but they are expected to meet certain benchmarks in order to pass their annual evaluations. Enrolling more recruits will look favorable, while failing to interest many recruits in signing up for Navy duty may be frowned upon by superiors. Recruiters receive supplemental pay in addition to their base monthly payments.

Though you may feel like a recruiter is trying to “sell” you on the idea of joining the Navy, these officers should operate quite differently than a salesperson in a retail store trying to interest you in a new line of sweaters. Navy recruiters have an ethical responsibility to recruits to be upfront and honest about the realities of training, shore duty, sea duty, and the eventual position of the recruit.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Patrick Wensink
By Patrick Wensink
Patrick Wensink, a bestselling novelist and nonfiction writer, captivates readers with his engaging style across various genres and platforms. His work has been featured in major publications, including attention from The New Yorker. With a background in communication management, Wensink brings a unique perspective to his writing, crafting compelling narratives that resonate with audiences.
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Patrick Wensink
Patrick Wensink
Patrick Wensink, a bestselling novelist and nonfiction writer, captivates readers with his engaging style across various...
Learn more
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