Which one of the Navy Jobs is right for you?
When joining the Navy, there are 80 different enlisted Navy jobs to choose from. Compared to the other military branches, this is not a lot of jobs to choose from but this is because the Navy puts all of the sub-specialties into one of the 80 job ratings. Navy Jobs are called ratings and each rating has more specific specialties that are listed under the Navy Enlisted Classification. New enlistees are only able to choose from one of the 80 ratings and more specific jobs under that rating are assigned or applied for with additional training. For example, a sailor who enlists for the rating HM (Hospitalman) can apply for more advanced training to be a radiology specialist or operating room specialist but will not have this guaranteed in their contract.
Another contract option is General Detail, where an enlistee is not guaranteed on of the Navy jobs or ratings at all. This option is a recipe for disaster because you could end up in the “Deck Division” doing a job you might hate for 3-4 years. If this is your only option and you want to get into the military that bad, more power to you, but it is not advised. The Navy has to fill positions and there are not many people lining up a the recruiters office to be cooks.
Whether you join with an general detail or guaranteed contract, the best advice is to graduate at the top of your class. If there are only a few seats available for a school you want they will be chosen based upon the highest scores. So study hard, excel on tests, inspections, drill, leadership and don’t go overboard. No pun intended!
For now, take a look at the different ratings to see which career path interests you. Write down a list of at least five ratings and any questions you have for your recruiter.