Navy Enlisted Rating (Job) Descriptions

Nuclear Community

Submarine alxpin / E+ / Getty Images

The Nuclear Power Community is one of the most competitive and requires the highest standards of academic (science / math) skills in the military - and for good reason.  These men and women are solely responsible for operating a nuclear reactor for the submarine and aircraft carrier power and propulsion.  If you show up and ace the ASVAB, one of the first things the recruiters will tell you is that you qualify for the Nuclear Field (NF) - also known as the Nuclear Power Program in the Navy.

Below are the Navy enlisted ratings that fall into the Nuclear Community. Click on each rating designator to read a basic job description, as well as basic qualification criteria established to obtain the particular rating.

NF - Nuclear Field Enlistment Program - When you sign on the dotted line as a new enlistee in the Navy and you are exceptionally qualified, you will be granted the Nuclear Field (NF) title.  Once you complete Nuclear Power School, you will advance into other nuclear ratings.  The qualifications to attempt Nuclear Power School are high:  

ASVAB Score: plus Naval Advanced Placement Test (NAPT)

VE+AR+MK+NAPT = 290 (with minimum 50 NAPT score) or AR+MK+EI+GS+NAPT = 290 (with minimum 50 NAPT score) or VE+AR+MK+MC = 252 (No NAPT required) or AR+MK+EI+GS = 252 (No NAPT required).  You only need to take the NAPT if you do not score high enough on the ASVAB.

Other Requirements:

Security Clearance, (SECRET) required.

Must be a U.S. Citizen. At least 17 years of age but not have reached 25th birthday by active duty date (waivers on a case basis). Police Record Checks required.

Any offense (except minor traffic) in DEP requires a waiver. Any history of drug use (including marijuana) requires a waiver. Must provide complete transcripts of high school records.

Must have completed one full year of algebra though higher math is recommended in HS or college.

Then you must finish these courses of instruction before you can advance to be prepared your rating:

  • Nuke Power School School, Charleston, SC -- 6 months
  • Nuclear Power Training Unit, Ballson Spa, NY or Charleston, SC -- 6 months

EM(N) -Nuclear Trained Electricians Mate - The EM rating A school is also 6 months.  

Nuclear-trained EMs perform duties in nuclear propulsion plants operating reactor control, propulsion and power generation systems. 

ET(N) -Nuclear Trained Electronics Technician - The ET rating school is also 6 months.  Nuclear-trained ETs operate reactor control, propulsion, and power generation systems in nuclear propulsion plants.

MM(N) -Nuclear Trained Machinist's Mate - The MM rating school is 3 months. Nuclear-trained MMs operate reactor control, propulsion, and power generation systems in nuclear propulsion plants.

All of the above training and A schools are located in Charleston South Carolina and will take 15-18 months to complete before you are eligible to be deployed with ocean going commands in the Submarine Fleet or the floating city they call the Aircraft Carrier.

 Both are nuclear propelled and will require these important skills learned by its sailors to stay operable and battle ready.

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