Military Ship and Submarine Officers

Military Career

General Information


Ship and submarine officers command watercraft vessels on oceans, bays, sounds, lakes, and coastal waters. They are responsible for the proper operation and safety of the vessel, including discipline of the crew and seaworthiness of the vessel. Ship and submarine officers also direct diving activities in connection with underwater salvage, repair or rescue work, and administer or instruct all phases of diving.

Work Environment

Ship and submarine officers work aboard their vessels. Engineering officers are subjected to hot, humid, and noisy environments. Submarine officers work in confined spaces for extended periods.

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Military Outlook

Service Branches

Jobs in this career field may be available in other service branches. Call or email a particular branch for more info.

Military Status

  • Enlisted
    • Hands-on/specialized
    • High school diploma required
  • Officer
    • Managerial/professional
    • College degree required

Military Workforce

Ship and Submarine Officers in the Military


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Average Salary


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Military training

Officers typically enter the Military after they have completed a four-year college degree; enlisted service members can transition to officer positions through a variety of pathways and earn a degree while serving. Job training for ship and submarine officers primarily consists of classroom instruction and on-the-job learning in one of the following departments: air, weapons, operations, communications, engineering, deck, administration, or supply. Like other officers, they complete a comprehensive training program covering responsibilities, military structure and etiquette, traditions, and leadership development. Job-specific training content may include: Management and organization of ship or submarine operationsPiloting and navigation of shipsInterpretation of maritime laws and policies

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