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Navy Missile Technician (MT): Career Details

It is the Navy Missile Technician (Submarines) (MT) that maintains and operates the ballistic missile fire control systems, as well as performs intermediate level and organizational maintenance on ballistic missile weapons systems.

The MT is also charged by the Navy with the maintenance and operation on strategic weapons systems and operation, testing, and repair of associated ship/weapon test subsystem test equipment.

Missile Technicians have been a part of the US Navy since 1953 when the Navy established the Guided Missileman rating. 

In 1961 the rating name was changed to Missile Technician.

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Requirements and Qualifications

To serve as a Missile Technician (MT) in the United States Navy, there are multiple requirements which must be met:

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Missile Technicians incur a six-year active-duty obligation. 

The sailors enlist for four years and concurrently sign an agreement to extend their enlistment for an additional two years.

Training and Career Path

Like all other Navy enlisted personnel, MTs must successfully complete eight weeks of  Navy Recruit Training, at the Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes (RTC Great Lakes).

The training Missile Technicians must complete is much more extensive than that required of most other ratings in the US Navy.

After Boot Camps, MTs spend four weeks of indoctrination in basic submarine systems at Basic Enlisted Submarine School, commonly referred to as BESS in Groton, Connecticut.

While still at Groton, Missile Technicians go on to attend three weeks of training in basic mechanics at the Basic Mechanical Skills School.

MT2(SS) Wood and MTC(SS) Hendrix, instructors at the Trident Training Facility (TTF) in Kings Bay, Georgia, go over the launch control simulator. (Source: U.S. Navy / PHC Chris Desmond)

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Navy Missile Technician A School is five weeks long and located in Kings Bay, Georgia. 

Here, the MT learns basic electronics, electricity, and digital theory.

MT Class “C” School is either in Kings Bay, Georgia, or Bango Washington. 

Twenty-three weeks long, it is here where the MT will train in advanced electronics and electricity, as well as mechanical systems. 

The sailors will also learn how to repair Trident II missiles and launching systems. 

This training entails both group instruction and equipment labs.

Sailors who will be assigned to SSGNs (the SS denotes submarine, the G stands for guided missile, and the N indicates that the submarine is nuclear-powered) must also attend the five-week AWS Replacement course in Kings Bay, Georgia. 

Here, the SSGN-bound MTs further instructed in advanced electronics and electricity, and mechanics. 

The sailors also learn to repair Tomahawk missiles and launching systems. 

MTs enjoy an accelerated advancement to E-4 after successful completion of their training provided they maintain their eligibility for the MT rating.

An MT could undergo as much as forty weeks of training prior to deploying to the fleet.

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What’s Life Like for a Navy Missile Technician (MT)?

Missile Technicians are the sailors responsible for the repair, maintenance, and assembly of the nuclear-capable ballistic missiles aboard submarines. 

The extensive training that they receive enables them to not only do this but also do likewise on the ballistic missile system’s associated advanced electro-mechanical navigation and targeting systems, as well as the system’s related advanced electronics.

SCMT (SS) Wyatt Harris, center, Blue Team assistant navigator aboard the USS Florida (SSBN 728) supervises two Machinist’s Mates as they simulate driving a submarine in the dive simulator.  (Source: U.S. Navy / MC1 Kimber)

On a day-to-day basis, there is no shortage of work for the Missile Technician (MT). 

Their numerous and various duties include:

  • Maintain and operate digital computers.
  • Align, adjust, repair, and test missiles and their related components.
  • Log maintenance and report preparation.
  • Maintain secure control of classified material.
  • Ensure security of and maintain weapons systems components and related material.
  • Maintain ballistic missiles and their related launching systems including hydraulic and high-pressure systems.
  • Repair and test ballistic guidance systems.
  • Stow missiles and related components.
  • Ensure security of submarine missile launch spaces.
  • Operate and maintain the ballistic missile fire control systems and equipment aboard Trident submarines.
  • Maintain, operate, and adjust optical measuring equipment.
  • Repair, test, adjust, align, and calibrate support handling equipment.
  • Maintain operating efficiency of fleet ballistic missile weapons system’s switches, switchboards, electrical distribution panels, voltage regulators, current transformers, controllers, rectifiers, and voltage transformers.

MTs normally work indoors, with the occasional outside duty doing tasks such as missile loading. 

Their duties are both physical and mental in nature, check out the life aboard the USS Wyoming in the Youtube video below:

The most common duty stations for MTs are aboard submarines homeported on the Naval Submarine Bases in Bangor, Washington and Kings Bay, Georgia. 

Navy Missile Technician (MT) Sea/Shore Rotation

I was honestly surprised at the Sea/Shore rotation sailors in the MT rating enjoy.  It is 50/50. 

This is one of the best Sea/Shore rotations of any submarine ratings.

TourSea TourShore Tour
First Tour48 Months (4 Years)36 Months (3 Years)
Second Tour36 Months (3 Years)36 Months (3 Years)
Third Tour30 Months (2.5 Years)30 Months (2.5 Years)
Fourth Tour30 Months (2.5 Years)30 Months (2.5 Years)
Fifth Tour30 Months (2.5 Years)30 Months (2.5 Years)
Sixth Tour30 Months (2.5 Years)30 Months (2.5 Years)
Seventh Tour30 Months (2.5 Years)30 Months (2.5 Years)

How Much Are Missile Technicians (MT) Paid?

Like the other Armed Services, the Navy bases a sailor’s pay on their rank and length of service.

InsigniaPay Grade RankAbbreviation2021 Minimum Monthly Pay
N/AE-1Seaman RecruitSR$1,785.00
E-2Seaman ApprenticeSA$2,000.70
e-3 navy seamanE-3SeamanSN$2,103.90
petty officer third classE-4Petty Officer Third ClassPO3$2,330.40
petty officer second classE-5Petty Officer Second ClassPO2$2,541.60
petty officer first classE-6Petty Officer First ClassPO1$2,774.40
chief petty officerE-7Chief Petty OfficerCPO$3,207.60
senior chief petty officerE-8Senior Chief Petty OfficerSCPO$4,614.60
master chief petty officerE-9Master Chief Petty OfficerMCPO$5,637.00
command master chief petty officerE-9Command Master Chief Petty OfficerCMDCM$5,637.00
master chief petty officer of the navyE-9Master Chief Petty Officer Of The NavyMCPON$5,637.00

As are all sailors, MTs may be entitled to other forms of compensation including base allowance for housing (BAH), base allowance for subsistence (BAS), sea pay, submarine pay, etc.

As of the date of this article, monthly submarine pay is currently from $75.00 to $425.00 per month. 

MTs, as do all submariners, receive sea pay in addition to their submarine pay.

Navy Submarine Duty Incentive Pay – 2020

Pay GradeUnder 2 YearsOver 2 YearsOver 3 YearsOver 4 YearsOver 6 YearsOver 8 Years

Additionally, there are various bonus opportunities available to MTs. 

For example, sometimes the Navy offers a shipping bonus for MTs that leave for Boot Camp between specific dates.   

There is also a Student Loan Repayment Program that Missile Technicians are eligible for.

MTs and fellow submariners enjoy a swim call while at sea. (Source: US Navy / MT2(SS) Lawing)


Job Reviews

Reviews from current and former MTs on are varied with many pointing out the arduous life onboard a submarine such as long hours and deployment woes. 

However, they are surprisingly positive pointing out such positives as great pay and benefits, as well as training and experience: and former MTs on shared similar sentiments:

MT3(SS) Austin Brossaurd, a Missile Technician aboard the USS Kentucky (SSBN-737) is certainly happy with his choice of the MT rating.

“The job is very rewarding, especially because it’s so important to the mission of the ship.  It always keeps you on your toes, which I appreciate. Being able to say I do something that not everyone gets to do is a rewarding feeling for me. Submariners are an elite bunch that I’m proud to be a part of.”

The Department of the Navy’s Credentialing Opportunities Online (COOL) website estimates that only about 450 sailors serve in the elite Missile Technician rating in today’s Navy.

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Civilian Career Opportunities

Civilian career opportunities for former MTs are plentiful and include such jobs as:

  • Electrical and Electronics Installers
  • Electric-Mechanical Technicians
  • Electrical and Electronic Equipment Assemblers
  • Electrical and Electronics Repairers
  • Electronics Engineers
  • Ordnance Handling Experts
  • Explosive Workers
  • Blasters
  • Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers

In addition, MTs should take advantage of their security clearance in their job search after leaving the Navy.

Sailors in the Missile Technician rating are encouraged to take full advantage of the on-the-job (OJT), training opportunities, and educational opportunities offered and afforded them during their naval service.

The United States Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP) also allows MTs to complete several of their civilian apprenticeship requirements while on active duty.

Several national certifications, federal licenses, and state licenses are obtainable by sailors in the Missile Technician rating.

MT2(SS) Eychner paints the side of the USS Florida (SSGN 728) pierside in Diego Gardia. (Source: U.S. Navy / MCSNJohnson)

If you are considering the US Navy, are confident that you can handle life aboard a submarine and associated long hours, have a good memory, and able to do detailed work, the Missile Technician rating might be your ticket to an exciting career in the Navy’s “Silent Service.”

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Find A Navy Recruiter

Official Navy Careers Page

Navy Personnel Command Missile Technician (MT) Overview

Navy COOL Summary For Missile Technician (MT)

Navy COOL Missile Technician (MT) Rating Card

MT3 (SS) Broussard Article – The Advocate

Navy Missile Technician (MT) Reviews –

Navy Missile Technician (MT) Reviews –

Travis R.
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