Find out how much you can qualify for.

Hospital Corpsman

A Navy medical laboratory technician exams blood samples and inputs data in a laboratory environment

More Information

Responsibilities

Hospital Corpsmen (HM) assist health care professionals in providing medical care to Navy personnel and their families. They may function as clinical or specialty technicians, medical administrative personnel and healthcare providers at medical treatment facilities. Specifically, Hospital Corpsmen may be called upon to:

  • Perform emergency medical treatment on SEALs, Seabees, Marines and other military personnel injured in the field, as well as on Sailors aboard ships or aircraft
  • Perform emergency dental treatment as well as construct dental crowns and bridges, process dental X-rays and operate X-ray equipment
  • Serve as an operating room technician for general and specialized surgery
  • Help administer a wide range of preventive care and medications, including immunizations and intravenous fluids
  • Conduct physical examinations and assisting in the treatment of diseases and injuries
  • Supervise sanitation and safety conditions in the workplace
  • Maintain patient treatment records, conduct research and perform clinical tests
  • Assist Navy Physicians and Nurses in a variety of medical fields, including, but not limited to: radiology, physical therapy, phlebotomy, dental, surgery, family medicine, pathology, women’s health and more

Work Environment

As a Hospital Corpsman, you have the most diverse range of work environments available in the Navy. Your job will likely take you all over the world—and far out of your comfort zone. As a Hospital Corpsman, you could be assigned to a Navy medical treatment facility, like an on-base hospital or clinic. You could also work on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean or a submarine in the depths of the sea. Wherever you’re assigned, you’ll work alongside other medical professionals to be trained as a skilled first responder, whether your skills are needed bedside or in the field.

Training & Advancement

Upon completion of the initial 7-9 week training at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes (known as Boot Camp), you’ll report for specialized training including:

Hospital Corps “A” School (19 weeks) in San Antonio, Texas for training on basic principles and techniques of patient care and first aid procedures.

Field Medical Service School at Camp Lejeune, NC, or Pendleton, CA for specialized training on medical services relating to Seabees and Marine Corps units if you apply and assignments are available.

After you complete your training, you’ll be assigned to a Navy medical treatment facility or an operational Navy or Fleet Marine Force unit. HMs may also go on to receive assignments to ships, submarines or overseas posts.

Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive and based on performance.

Advanced Training

Advanced technical training, or “C” school, is optional and available to those who qualify after “A” School training is completed. HMs may enroll in advanced training for over 20 different credentials and specializations including:

Post-Service Opportunities

There’s no better way to begin a successful career in health care than by serving in the medical support division of America’s Navy. Specialized training received and work experience gained in the course of service can lead to valuable credentialing and occupational opportunities in related fields in the civilian world, such as Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Home Health Aide, Anesthesiologist Assistant and more.

Education Opportunities

Beyond offering access to professional credentials and certifications, Navy technical and operational training in the medical field can translate to credit hours toward a bachelor’s or associate degree through the American Council on Education.

You may also continue your education through undergraduate degree opportunities like the Navy College Program and Tuition Assistance and the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Qualifications & Requirements

A high-school diploma or equivalent is required to become an Enlisted Sailor and a Hospital Corpsman. Those seeking a position as a Hospital Corpsman must be U.S. citizens.

A sincere interest in health care and science is extremely important for this role. You should have good communication, writing and arithmetic skills, be competent with tools and equipment. Important personal traits for this role include the ability to work well with others as part of a team, as well as dependability, trustworthiness and resourcefulness.

In addition to good physical stamina, Hospital Corpsmen should also have normal color perception, vision correctable to 20/20, and good use of your hands. You must meet eligibility requirements for a security clearance. Please note that any illegal involvement with drugs may be disqualifying.

General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you've served before or whether you've never served before.

Part-Time Opportunities

Serving part-time as a Navy Reserve Sailor, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. During monthly drilling, Hospital Corpsmen in the Navy Reserve typically work at a location close to their homes.

For annual training, you may serve anywhere in the world, including locations in the U.S., at bases overseas, or in areas where humanitarian needs are great.

Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Navy Reserve Sailors.

Most of what you do in the Navy Reserve is considered training. The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent of that.

Hospital Corpsmen in the Navy Reserve serve in an Enlisted role. Before receiving the ongoing professional training that comes with the job, initial training requirements must be met.

For current or former military Enlisted servicemembers, prior experience satisfies the initial Recruit Training requirement, so you will not need to go through Boot Camp again.

For those without prior military experience, you will need to meet the initial Recruit Training requirement by attending Boot Camp for 7-9 weeks in Great Lakes, IL. This training course will prepare you for service in the Navy Reserve and count as your first Annual Training.