Navy Enlisted Classification Codes

Ratings and NEC Explanation

Navy Corpsmen
HM2 Dennis Astor, Senior Corpsman at Forward Operating Base Torkhem treats Afghan National Army Soldiers during routine sick call hours. Official Navy Photo

The Army, Air Force, and Marines have hundreds of enlisted jobs, while the Navy only has a few ratings. It may look that way at a glance, but the reason is that many jobs are classified within the individual ratings. The Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) system is how the Navy arranges it's jobs (ratings).

The NEC system supplements the enlisted rating structure in identifying personnel on active or inactive duty and billets in manpower authorizations.

NEC codes identify a non-rating wide skill, knowledge, aptitude, or qualification that must be documented to identify both people and billets for management purposes.

An NEC is an "advanced specialty" within a job. The other services also use the "advanced specialty within a job" system, in one way or another, but not to the extent that the Navy uses their NEC system. For example, in the Army, "Operating Room Specialist", and "Radiology Specialist" are two separate jobs (MOS 68D and 68P, respectively). The same is true of the Air Force (AFSCs 4N1X1 and 4R0X1 ). In the Navy, an operating room specialist and a radiology specialist hold the same rating (job) -- that of HM (Hospitalman).

The Navy knows which HMs to assign to Navy operating rooms and which HMs to assign to X-ray sections of the hospital by their NEC associated with their HM rating.  If an HM receives advanced training as a surgical technologist, he/she is then awarded the NEC of HM-8483, and can thereafter be assigned duty assisting Navy surgeons.

If a sailor with an HM rating receives advanced training as an x-ray technician, he/she would be awarded the NEC of HM-8451, or HM-8452, and then be assigned to work with Navy radiologists.  A motivated sailor can become trained in several NECs within their Rating and become highly valuable within a command as well as be an above average candidate for advancement within that rating.

Below are the current Navy Enlisted Classification codes, organized by basic communities:

Not Operationally Suitable


Air Traffic Controller

Aircraft Systems Maintenance Personnel

Aircrew Survival Equipmentman

Aviation Boatswain's Mate

Aviation Electrician's Mate

Aviation Electronics Technician

Aviation Initial

Aviation Machinist's Mate

Aviation Maintenance Administrationman

Aviation Mechanic

Aviation Ordnanceman

Aviation Support Technicians

Aviation Warfare Systems Operator

Boatswain's Mate


Construction Electrician

Cryptologic Technician

Cryptologic Technician (Technical)

Culinary Specialist

Damage Controlman

Dental Technician

Disbursing Clerk

Electrician's Mate

Electronics Technician

Electronics Technician and Fire Control Technician

Engineering Aid


Equipment Operator

Fire Control Technician

Fire Controlman

Gas Turbine Systems Technician

Gunner's Mate

Hospital Corpsman

Hull Maintenance Technician

Individual Augmentee

Information Systems Technician

Intelligence Specialist

Interior Communications Electrician


Machinery Repairman

Machinist's Mate

Mass Communication

Master at Arms


Missile Technicians


Naval Aircrewman

Navy Counselor

Nuclear Propulsion Plant Operator/Supervisor

Operations Specialist


Postal Clerk


Religious Program Specialist

Ship's Serviceman

Sonar Technician

Special Series (General)

Special Warfare / EOD-Special Ops / Diver

Steel Worker


Storekeeper (Aviation)



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