What Does A Navy Officer Do? (Plus Salary And Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 15 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Navy officers are among the most revered professionals. They serve the country, usually live a thrilling life and may also enjoy excellent pay and perks. If you are considering becoming a navy officer, then it is necessary to understand the job role and duties that these officers perform. In this article, we explain “what does a navy officer do”, discuss different branches they work in, look at the pay scale and perks they get and find out different ways to become a navy officer.

What does a navy officer do?

To answer the question, 'what does a navy officer do?', it may help to look at their official duties. Navy officers are high-ranking members of the naval military who hold leadership roles. There are certain responsibilities that these officers have in common, but the exact job description depends on the branch they get commissioned to.

For example, executive officers who get trained in navigation, gunnery and warfare are responsible for managing the warships and leading tactical war operations. Similarly, information technology officers trained in operating IT infrastructure may manage naval IT networks, software and safeguarding cyber security. Despite different roles, all navy officers perform tasks like planning operations, supervising subordinates, managing tasks and making critical decisions.

Related: What Is A Commissioned Officer? (With Ranks And Duties)

Different naval branches and types of navy officers

The Indian navy has five branches that are divided based on the functions and nature of their work. Various officer roles come under these branches. Their details are as follows:

Executive branch

The executive branch, also known as the general service branch, is the navy's frontline department that operates naval ships and other vessels. This branch deals with strategising and executing warfare and defending the country's territories. Officers working in this branch may also serve as ambassadors of the nation in foreign waters and may perform diplomatic and benign roles when necessary. The executive branch offers the following navy officer titles:

  • general service officer

  • hydrographic officer

  • naval armament inspection officer

  • pilot officer

  • submarine officer

  • diving officer

  • logistics officer

  • provost officer

  • observer officer

  • information technology officer

Engineering branch

The engineering branch in the navy deals with the operation and maintenance of sophisticated naval technologies. The branch has two departments: general service engineering and naval architecture that involves maintenance of general technology on ships and war vessels, respectively. The following are the officer roles offered in the engineering branch:

  • engineer officer (general service)

  • submarine engineer officer

  • naval architecture officer

Electrical branch

The navy's electrical branch deals with power generation and distribution on warships and submarines. It also oversees complex systems, such as radar and communication systems, underwater systems, artilleries and missiles systems, long-range sensors, computer-based management systems and software algorithms. Navy officers working in this branch are usually responsible for maintaining the machinery and keeping them combat-ready all the time. The following are the officer roles offered in this department:

  • electrical officer (general service)

  • submarine electrical officer

Education branch

The education branch of the navy focuses on the training and education of navy personnel. The branch provides continual learning and development to the personnel in peacetime so that they are ready for future missions. The officer title offered in this branch is education officer and they are generally responsible for developing methods and providing instructions for subjects related to navy and general education.

Medical branch

The medical branch, also known as Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) provides healthcare services to the navy personnel and their families. This includes services both during the time of war and peace. A medical or AFMS officer may provide direct treatment and support to navy personals on ships or in navy clinics and hospitals.

Salary of navy officers

Navy officers have one of the highest pay scales of government and defence sector. The pay scale may vary based on officers' rank and years of service. Here is the detailed salary structure of navy officers based on their rank:

  • Sub lieutenants: A sub-lieutenant is a level 10 junior officer with a pay scale of ₹56,100 to ₹177,500 and military service pay of ₹15,500.

  • Lieutenant: A lieutenant is a level 10B junior officer with a pay scale of ₹61,300 to ₹193,900 and military service pay of ₹15,500.

  • Lieutenant commander: A lieutenant commander is a level 11 field/senior officers with a pay scale of ₹69,400 to ₹20,7200 and military service pay of ₹15,500.

  • Commander: A commander is a level 12A field/senior officer with a pay scale of ₹121,200 to ₹212,400 and military service pay of ₹15,500.

  • Captain: A captain is a level 13 field/senior officer with a pay scale of ₹130,600 to ₹215,900 and military service pay of ₹15,500.

  • Comrade: A comrade is a level 13A general/flag officer with a pay scale of ₹139,600 to ₹217,600 and military service pay of ₹15,500.

  • Rear admiral: A rear admiral is a level 14 general/flag officer with a pay scale of ₹144,200 to ₹218,200.

  • Admiral and equivalent: A admiral is a level 15 general/flag officer with a pay scale of ₹182,200 to ₹224,100.

Related: How Much Does An Indian Army Lieutenant Make? (With Perks)

Other benefits offered to navy officers

Besides generous pay, navy officers may enjoy various perks and benefits. Some of them are as follows:

  • Health care: Navy provides high-quality health facilities to the navy officers and their family ranging from dental care to general medical facilities.

  • Accommodation: Navy officers also get free accommodation with access to all the necessary amenities.

  • Ration: Officers may receive free ration and can also seek dietary allowance when living with family.

  • Naval housing scheme: The navy also provides housing schemes to own a house of their choice after retirement.

  • Generous leaves: Navy officers get one of the most generous leaves in the defence sector. They get up to 60 annual and 20 casual leave.

  • Travel concession: Navy officers and their families also get travel concessions as free rail or air travel once per year.

How to become a navy officer

You can become a navy officer either through direct entry or Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam. The following are ways with necessary qualifications and other requirements to become a navy officer:

National Defence Academy & Naval Academy (NDA & NA)

National Defence Academy & Naval Academy is a UPSC entrance exam to join any of the three armed forces, including the navy. Students who have completed their senior secondary education (10+2) in the science stream with physics, chemistry and math are eligible for this exam. Also, only unmarried candidates between the ages of sixteen and half years to nineteen and a half years are eligible to apply. Once the candidates clear the exam, they have to pass the personal interview for final selection.

Read more: NDA Books For Exam, Syllabus And Tips For Preparation

Combined Defence Services

Combined Defence Service is another UPSC entrance exam for graduate candidates who want to join the armed forces. Students who have completed their graduation in engineering or are in the last year of the program can apply for this exam. Also, only unmarried candidates between the ages of nineteen and twenty-four can apply for this exam.

Related: Guide: How To Become A Lieutenant In The Indian Army

Direct entry (Permanent commission)

Candidates may also apply to the navy through a direct entry scheme. Unmarried candidates between the ages of seventeen and nineteen and half years can apply for direct entry, and educational merit decides the selection process. The following are the required educational qualifications:

  • pass 10+2 science with an aggregate score of a minimum of 70 per cent in physics, chemistry and math

  • require a minimum of 50 per cent in English in both 10th and 12th

  • appear for Joint Entrance Examination – Main (JEE)

University entry scheme

The university entry scheme allows candidates to apply for the navy while they are pursuing an undergraduate degree. Candidates in the pre-final year of their engineering course who have an aggregated score of 60 per cent in the first six semesters can apply for this scheme. Also, only unmarried candidates between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four are qualified for this scheme. The final selection takes place on the basis of a personal interview.

Essential skills to become a navy officer

Here are some skills necessary for a navy officer:

  • Leadership skills: Navy officers primarily instruct and command junior personnel, plan and execute missions and make decisions to handle critical situations. All these job functions require excellent leadership skills.

  • Teamwork: A successful navy officer is a good team player who works in a team to achieve common goals.

  • Critical thinking: It is important for navy officers to have rational and clear thinking to find solutions in challenging situations.

  • Effective communication: Navy officers require strong verbal and written communication skills to present and deliver the same instructions across teams and through various mediums.

  • Mental and physical toughness: Spending most of the time sailing in waters and living in harsh conditions can be challenging. This requires the officer to be mentally and physically strong.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Salary figures reflect data listed on the quoted websites at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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