Navy Undesignated Seaman

Navy Undesignated Seaman (SN): Career Details

The Navy Undesignated Seaman (SN) position is part of the Seaman Professional Apprenticeship Career Track (PACT) training.

It is an enlisted program that allows individuals to gain on-the-job Seaman apprenticeship training.

This is a great option for those who have a desire to be in a specific Navy rating (skill specialty) but the rating is full or unavailable when they enlist.

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Qualifications and Training

This apprentice career path still requires individuals to go through recruit training and general Navy recruiting tests.

Qualifications for the Seaman rating include the ability to: get along with others (including team-work), speak clearly, be resourceful, have good memory, good manual dexterity and ability to perform repetitive tasks.

After meeting the qualifications and attending recruit training, enlistees will attend a three-week Seamanship Common Core course.

Both the recruit training and Common Core course will be at Great Lakes, IL.

This course covers basic theory in shipboard surface operations and evolutions.

After completing the three-week course, Seaman will be sent to wherever they are needed by the Navy to complete shipboard duties.

Seaman have the option to attend Navy schools to learn about the rating they are currently working in or seeking to towards.

They may attend Navy schools to learn about general damage control, preventative maintenance of special equipment, shipboard fire-fighting and special tool use.

Required training includes recruit training, Common Core Course and E-Learning courses.

Throughout the program chain of command may require additional training or education courses.

Other courses such as college courses or additional E-Learning courses are voluntary.

 Related ArticlePros and Cons Of Joining The Navy

To be successful in the PACT training, it is recommended that individuals seek out mentors in different officer and Command positions in addition to using all of the resources available to advance progression towards rating placement.

Navy Undesignated Seaman (SN)
Seaman Apprentice receiving instructions. Working with supervisors and commanders is an important piece of PACT. Image: Wikimedia

What are the Job Duties of a Navy Undesignated Seaman (SN)?

Navy Seaman will be required to complete temporary duty in food services divisions or department cleaning for 90-120 days.

These individuals complete different watch and lookout activities.

They complete standing underway engineering watches and standing security watches while in port and under way.

Individuals can be tasked with repairing, maintaining and stowing equipment in preparation for underway operations.

They will participate in any naval ceremonies.

Seaman operate sound-powered telephone systems and work in non-engineering divisions of the ship or station.

Individuals will work as a team member in damage control, emergency and security alert.

Seaman will assist in transferring supplies from ship to ship at sea, (underway replenishment).

Some of their tasks can tedious such as painting or needle gunning (chipping paint).

They often have long hours as a PACT Seaman.

One of the most important tasks Seaman will complete is working with different qualified individuals to complete job training and gain experience.

Even though individuals in this potion are not in a rating they are still enlisted and will receive the same benefits other individuals in the Navy receive.


Seaman will receive pay depending on the rank and years of service.

They also receive pay depending on if they are at sea or not.

The Navy pay table can be found below.

InsigniaPay Grade RankAbbreviation2023 Minimum Monthly Pay
N/AE-1 +4 monthsSeaman RecruitSR$1,917.60
E-2Seaman ApprenticeSA$2,149.20
e-3 navy seamanE-3SeamanSN$2,259.90
petty officer third classE-4Petty Officer Third ClassPO3$2,503.50
petty officer second classE-5Petty Officer Second ClassPO2$2,730.30
petty officer first classE-6Petty Officer First ClassPO1$2,980.50
chief petty officerE-7Chief Petty OfficerCPO$3,445.80
senior chief petty officerE-8Senior Chief Petty OfficerSCPO$4,957.20
master chief petty officerE-9Master Chief Petty OfficerMCPO$6,055.50
command master chief petty officerE-9Command Master Chief Petty OfficerCMDCM$6,055.50
master chief petty officer of the navyE-9Master Chief Petty Officer Of The NavyMCPON$6,055.50


When individuals enlist into this position with no previous experience or education they will enlist as an E-1 Seaman Recruit.

After nine months of successful naval service, they will advance to E-2 Seaman Apprentice.

With an additional nine months of successful naval service, they will advance to E-3 Seaman.

Career Path

When Navy recruits pick a rating that is the desired program that individuals want to follow it is called striking. 

Training for the rating an individual is striking begins at the first duty station with on-the-job training.

Individuals can also be assigned to Class A technical school to learn requirements for their desired rating.

The Navy Ratings for the Seaman PACT program include:





Navy Seaman (SN)
Navy Seaman measure ribbon prior to the Recruit Training Graduation. Image:

Job Reviews

This career path is ideal for someone who is unsure of where they want to go in the Navy and for someone who knows where they want to go, but a position may not be readily available.

Generally whatever the reasoning is behind choosing the PACT plan for Undesignated Seaman, individuals are happy that they did.

Most reviews include positive aspects about the ability to advance and how productive the program can be.

The benefits and support that families receive are a positive aspect from previous Seaman.

Individuals comment on the long hours and being away from home.

People in this position state that it is what you make of it.

If you put in the effort, you will get results, but if you do not, you will not like it.

A few reviews from previous Seaman are below.

Image: Indeed

Civilian Career Opportunities

This position is meant to be an entry-level position that allows for training into other ratings.

Because individuals can go into navigation, electronics, ordnance or administration the positions below relate to basic skills learned in the Seaman position while individuals are striking other positions.

Opportunities include:

  • Security
  • Food Services
  • Marine Operations
  • Captain (Civilian Tug boat, barges)
  • Tankerman
  • Vessel Painter

The positions above will change in pay depending on the location and company you work for. The pay will generally be comparable to what someone would earn as a Seaman.

As individuals begin training into ratings they will develop other skills that can relate to civilian positions.

 Related Article: 10 Best Jobs In The Navy For Civilian Life


Navy Undesignated Seaman (SN) are part of the Professional Apprenticeship Career Track (PACT).

They join the Navy as Seaman without a designated career path.

While serving they complete training and get hands-on experience towards the rating they choose.

Undesignated Seaman are required to complete recruit training and Common Core course prior to placement.

These individuals will be placed wherever they are needed by the Navy.

People who have held this position previously, state that they are happy with joining as undesignated because it gave them the time and experience to choose a rating versus going straight into something they did not like.

The civilian career opportunities that are available after the Navy depend on the rating that an individual ends up working towards.


Navy Seaman (SN) PACT

Surface/Seaman PACT

Nicholas A.
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