Naval Officer

U.S. Navy

Job Description

To be eligible to enlist in the U.S. Navy, candidates must be between the ages of 18-34


Aircraft carriers are at the core of ongoing missions because of their potential to carry so much of the Navys capabilities forward. Nuclear Surface Warfare Officers ensure that Sailors in their department maintain and operate the ships complex systems safely and efficiently.


Surface Warfare Officers (SWOs) form the backbone of Fleet leadership. In this role you could serve as Commanding Officer over an elite crew and be an authority in every aspect of your Navy assignments. Your responsibilities could include:


Directing personnel operations aboard Navy vessels, such as aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, amphibious warfare ships, mine warfare ships and frigates
Managing shipboard vertical launch systems and weapons systems
Using computer displays and advanced technology in battle and ship defense
Providing support to Navy expeditionary forces, Theater Air Missile operations, anti-submarine warfare, surface-to-air warfare, and support and supply missions




Nuclear Surface Warfare Officers are exposed to a variety of different work environments, from academic settings, to training on prototype units, to sea tours and shore assignments. The time spent on conventional ships and nuclear-powered aircraft carriers involves deployments of several months at a time. Fully qualified members may go on to hold positions that involve instructing, advising, consulting, recruiting or commanding surface ships.




For current undergraduate students who meet the prerequisite background especially those pursuing preferred majors such as mathematics, engineering, physics or chemistry theres all of the above to look forward to plus the chance to get paid while finishing school through the Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate (NUPOC) program.


Interested candidates should contact a local recruiter to discuss the opportunity to participate in a fleet visit to see if this career is right for you. The fleet visit is an all expense paid 3-day trip to San Diego to visit an active Submarine and meet with currently serving Submarine Officers. There is no obligation, and these trips are held monthly.


If accepted into the NUPOC program as an aspiring Surface Warfare Officer (Nuclear), you can:


Receive salary and benefits up to $168,300 and start receiving this funding up to 30 months prior to college graduation
Be eligible to receive a $15,000 selection bonus once accepted into the NUPOC program plus an additional $2,000 bonus upon completion of nuclear propulsion training
Enjoy military health-care benefits while you are a student in the program


Once out of school, youll have a position waiting as a respected professional and Officer affiliated with one of the most accomplished nuclear programs on earth. And beyond undergraduate and formal Navy training and education, Surface Warfare Officers (Nuclear) can also pursue additional graduate education by:


Pursuing opportunities at institutions such as Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) or Navy War College (NWC)
Completing Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) at one of the various service colleges


Theres also potential to pursue international and federal certifications, as well as state nuclear licensures.




Our people are our most valuable assets, so we care for them well. With world-class training, opportunity to pay for college and advanced degrees, access to the best health care in the country, retirement plans, tax incentives, and more perks than you could have imagined, Navy active-duty benefits are the most competitive out there.


Earn up to $168,300 while finishing your degree
Free Graduate Education through Post 9/11 GI Bill
A regular monthly income ranging from $3,280 to $5,610 for up to 30 months prior to your graduation   
Receive an immediate one-time sign-on bonus of $15,000
Opportunities to travel the world
30 days of paid vacation time each year
Competitive and pay and bonuses - Lieutenant total compensation at 4 years of Service ($112,343.76 - with dependents stationed in San Diego)
Automatic Promotions based on ability and performance 
Comprehensive medical and dental care at no cost to sailor
Low-cost childcare services
Excellent retirement benefits including Blended Retirement System/Pension and 5% 401K Government matching contribution
Food allowances
A housing allowance that is based upon the location of the school you attend




To be an eligible candidate, you must be:

A U.S. Citizen
19-29 years old
In pursuit of a bachelor's degree within 2.5 years from graduation and be currently enrolled full time, or have obtained a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
Completion of one year of calculus through differential and integral calculus with a grade of C or better
Completion of one year of calculus-based physics with a grade of B or better
Complete the rigorous NUPOC interview process with the Director of Naval Reactors and the Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion
Prior Service Navy and other branches of service are welcome to apply


Makeup of a competitive candidate: 
GPA > 3.0, preferably in preferably in mathematics, engineering, physics, chemistry or other technical areas
Physical fitness
Extra-curricular activities
Community involvement
Outstanding character
Great leadership potential
Excellent communication skills
True desire to serve in the Surface Warfare community


Required qualifications:

  • 18 years or older
  • Legally authorized to work in the United States

Preferred qualifications:

  • At least bachelor's degree or higher