Navy Enlisted Rating (Job) Descriptions and Qualification Factors

Airman (AN)

A US Navy fighter jet launching
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This enlistment program option enables men and women to eventually qualify for one of several Navy ratings (skill specialties) through on-the-job airman apprenticeship training. The program also offers apprenticeship training in ratings that may not be available at the time of enlistment.

After completion of recruit training, enlistees in the Airman Apprenticeship Training program attend a three-week course on basic theory in aviation fundamental skills.

After successful completion of this training, airman apprentices are usually assigned to squadrons or other aviation commands where the Navy needs them the most.

Airman apprentices can request and may receive on-the-job training in any one of several available ratings available at their first command by completing correspondence courses and personal advancement requirements. They must be qualified for and recommended by their commanding officer to receive this training.

Airman apprentices may also attend special Navy schools to learn about fire fighting, aircraft systems, preventive maintenance of equipment and the use of special tools used in the rating they are seeking.

Airman apprentices must be able to get along well with others, as they are important members of the aviation team. Other qualities include resourcefulness, curiosity, a good memory, manual dexterity, physical strength and normal color perception.

Enlistees enter the Navy as E-1s (Airman Recruit). Advancement to E-2 (Airman Apprentice) may be achieved after nine months of successful naval service, with advancement to E-3 (Airman) after an additional nine months.

What They Do

The duties performed by airman apprentices include:

  • • repairing, maintaining and stowing aircraft and associated equipment in preparation for flight operations;
    • working with qualified personnel to gain job training and experience;
    • performing ground and deck duties involved in the take-off and landing of aircraft;
    • standing security watches on flight lines or decks;
    • doing temporary duty for 90-120 days with food services divisions;
    • serving as members of crash crews and security alert teams;
    • participating in naval ceremonies.

    ASVAB Score:

    VE+AR+MK+AS=210 or VE+AR+MK+MC=210

    Other Requirements: Must have normal color perception. Must have normal hearing. Security Clearance, (SECRET) required. Must be a U.S. Citizen

    Technical Training Information:

    Airman apprentices are taught fundamental skills needed in an aviation environment. Most of the training takes place at their first duty station in the form of on-the-job training in the rating for which they are "striking." By "striking" for a specific Navy rating, a qualified person may be assigned to a Navy class "A" technical school for further training in that rating.

    Navy Ratings in the Airman Apprenticeship Training Program

    • Electronics
      AT - Aviation Electronics Technician

      AE - Aviation Electrician's Mate

      AD - Aviation Machinist's Mate
      AME - Aviation Structural Mechanic (Safety Equipment)*
      AMH - Aviation Structural Mechanic (Hydraulics)
      AMS - Aviation Structural Mechanic (Structures)
      AS - Aviation Support Equipment Technician

      ABE - Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment)
      ABF - Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Fuels)
      ABH - Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling)
      AC - Air Traffic Controller*
      AG - Aerographer's Mate*
      AK - Aviation Storekeeper
      AO - Aviation Ordnanceman
      AW - Aviation Warfare Systems Operator
      AZ - Aviation Maintenance Administrationman
      PH - Photographer's Mate
      PR - Aircrew Survival Equipmentman*

      * Class "A" technical school required.