How to Become a Navy Petty Officer

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How to Become a Navy Petty Officer. Petty Officers are the enlisted leadership in the United States Navy. There are several different levels of Petty Officer. As a sailor rises through the rates, they will progress through these levels. Becoming a Petty Officer takes leadership and job skills.

Enlist in the United States Navy. You must speak with a recruiter, take a test and pass a physical exam.

Perform well in your daily tasks. Your chain of command recommends promotions, so show them you know your job and have the skills worthy of the rate of Petty Officer.

Continue to improve your skills with additional schooling and correspondence courses. Petty Officers are both technical experts and leaders.

Score well on the Navy-Wide Advancement Exams. Certain rates must complete and pass performance tests, as well. Doing well on these exams gives you a better chance of promotion into an available billet.

Meet time in grade and service requirements. Petty Officer 3rd Class has a requirement of two years time in service and six months time in rate. Petty Officer 2nd Class is three years time in service and one year time in rate. Petty Officer 1st Class is seven years time in service and three years time in rate.


Volunteering for additional duties and schools improves your skills and grabs the attention of your chain of command. Show them you are willing to go that extra mile.

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