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US Navy Ships Serviceman (SH): Career Details

There is no such thing as an unimportant job in the Navy.

Evidence of that is those that perform the duties of a Navy Ships Serviceman.

It’s a job that is as old as the navy itself and it’s more of a jack of all trades position.

Navy Ship’s Serviceman are the ones that handle retail stores on-board ships, take care of laundry, and perform other important shipboard duties.

They don’t always get the respect they deserve but it would be hard to imagine what any ship would be like without them.

There would be no midnight snacks, no tasty treats, no reading materials or hygienic items and toiletries available for sale.

Related ArticleNavy Personnel Specialist (PS): Career Details

Not to mention, one would hate to think what any ship would start to smell like after a few weeks out to sea without the services that a Navy Ships Serviceman provides.

It’s a great job for those that don’t want the stress that comes with some other Navy positions but still want to travel the world.

This is also one of the few Navy positions that can be filled by those who are not citizens of the USA.

Navy Ships Serviceman Requirements and Qualifications

Ship’s Serviceman also cut hair. Image: Dodlive.mil

Here is what it takes to qualify to start training to become an enlisted US Navy Ships Serviceman:

ASVAB Requirements

  • Minimum combined ASVAB Score of 95 on Verbal Expression and Arithmetic Reasoning

Additional Qualifications

  • Be between the ages of 17 and 34
  • Do not have to be a United States Citizen
  • High School Diploma or GED
  • Must be able to speak clearly and be personable
  • Must have at least average physical strength and have good manual dexterity
  • This position requires a 5-year commitment to the Navy
  • Successful completion of 8 weeks of Navy Basic Recruit Training held at Great Lakes Naval Training Center in North Chicago, Illinois

Training and Career Path to Become a Navy SH

Here is the training that is required in order to proficiently handle the duties that are assigned to a Navy Ships Serviceman.

Navy Technical Training Information

The Class ‘A’ School for this Navy job is held at Naval Air Station Meridian in Meridian, Mississippi.

It is a little over 5-weeks in duration.

During this time the recruit will learn cash handling, cash record-keeping, proper laundry procedures, retail store operations, and how to give military haircuts.

Once Class ‘A’ School is finished there will be a short on the job training period that centers on the exact job that a new Ships Serviceman’s will perform at their first duty assignment.  

Related ArticleNavy Logistics Specialist (LS): Career Details

How Much Are US Navy Ships Serviceman Paid?

All Navy jobs pay is based on rank and time in service.

Most new US Navy Ships Serviceman will start out at the pay grade of Seaman Recruit (E-1) unless they have job applicable skills or training; then they may enter into the navy as a Seaman Apprentice (E-2) or Seaman (E-3). 

Here is the current paytable for Navy enlisted personnel:

InsigniaPay GradeRankAbbreviation2019 Pay (monthly)
N/AE-1Seaman RecruitSR$1,681
E-2Seaman ApprenticeSA$1,884
e-3 navy seamanE-3SeamanSN$1,981
petty officer third classE-4Petty Officer Third ClassPO3$2,195
petty officer second classE-5Petty Officer Second ClassPO2$2,394
petty officer first classE-6Petty Officer First ClassPO1$2,613
chief petty officerE-7Chief Petty OfficerCPO$3,021
senior chief petty officerE-8Senior Chief Petty OfficerSCPO$4,345
master chief petty officerE-9Master Chief Petty OfficerMCPO$5,308
command master chief petty officerE-9Command Master Chief Petty OfficerCMDCM$5,429
master chief petty officer of the navyE-9Master Chief Petty Officer Of The NavyMCPON$5,580

Here are other forms of payment, allowances, and benefits that may add to a Navy Ships Serviceman’s paycheck while they are serving their country.

These include:

  • Housing allowance for those that live off base (BAH)
  • Subsistence allowance (Food – BAS)
  • Temporary duty pay
  • Hazardous duty pay
  • Sea duty pay (Separation pay)
  • 100% paid healthcare
  • Tuition reimbursement

What’s Life Like as a Navy SH?

This is one of the more laid back positions in the US Navy.

There is no constant training for battle or being on alert in times crisis.

But don’t take that as meaning it’s not an important navy Job.

It’s actually a very critical position on a ship as far as the quality of life and ships morale are concerned.

As a matter of fact, a navy Ships Serviceman provides some of the only creature comforts that can be found when Navy personnel are out to sea.

Here are some of the duties that a Navy Ships Serviceman performs:

  • Manages and operates retail and service activities afloat
  • Ordering and receiving inventory for the ship store
  • Maintaining store financial records and accounting systems
  • Logging in of inventory coming in and going out and keeping track of orders that have been placed
  • Managing and operating a ship’s barbershops
  • Serving as a cash collection and depositing agent
  • Stocking, repairing and maintaining ship vending and cash collection machines
  • Managing and operating a ship’s laundry and tailor shops

Here is a video that tells more about what life is like as a Navy Ships Serviceman:

Job Reviews

Here is what a current and former enlisted member had to say about their experiences as a Navy Ships Serviceman on the website Glassdoor.com:

navy sh review navy sh rate feedback

US Navy Ships Serviceman Civilian Career Opportunities

Being a Navy Ship’s Servicemen actually opens up a lot of job opportunities for those that eventually leave the Navy.

These jobs are mainly entry-level or slightly higher level management positions or retail positions.

Related ArticleNavy Boatswain’s Mate (BM): Career Details

Some of the types of positions that being a former Navy Ships Mate qualifies them for include:

  • Being a retail store manager
  • Acting as a purchasing agent
  • Running a barbershop
  • Owning a small business
  • Managing warehouse activities
  • Operating a laundry or dry cleaning service
  • Being a retail accountant
  • Supervising a vending operation
  • Computer data entry

References:

Navy Personnel Command

Navy Cool

Navy Dads

Craig S.
Craig S.
Craig spent many years on active duty service in the Air Force stationed in such places as Okinawa, Japan and SAC Headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. While in the military, he spent time analyzing imagery from a variety of aircraft such as the SR-71. He was also one of the first enlisted members in the Air Force to experience working with near real time satellite imagery. Craig currently resides in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and runs his own business.

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