In Star Trek Online players are able to progress through various ranks with their character(s) for the Federation, Klingon Empire, and Romulan Republic factions. Some rank names are specific depending on which side the player fights for.
Each rank usually consists of ten grades. As the player completes missions and advances through the game they gain skill points which are used to improve their characters skills which directly affect their character, ship and crews performance both in space and on away missions (ground combat). These points are mandatory to progression and whilst a player may reach the grade level for promotion they will not be able to advance until the points have been spent.
At each new Tier, players are allowed access to the next tier of playable vessels. Players also achieve new abilities during their playing career. Some of these abilities are linked to Tier/Rank, however some are not.
 Rank Progression
There are other tier ranking systems in-game: • The duty officer system is currently composed of four ranks, for each commendation category. • The Fleet Advancement System will be composed of five tiers, for the starbase itself, as well as military, science, and engineering.
 Tier 1 - Ensign, Warrior, Civilian and Lieutenant
Tier 1 initial ranks consist of three separate titles (Ensign for Federation, Warrior for Klingon, and Civilian for Romulan), one for each particular faction type and one that is shared (Lieutenant). For the Federation, the player is at the Ensign rank for the initial tutorial however like the Klingon Empire faction they quickly rank up to the level of Lieutenant.
 Tier 2 - Lieutenant Commander and Centurion
Tier 2 is the second tier in the game available to the player. Upon reaching Lieutenant grade 10 players can be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander when they have spent the required amount of skill points. This rank is shared for both the Klingon Empire and the Federation. For the Romulan Republic, the rank is Centurion.
 Tier 3 - Commander and Subcommander
Tier 3 is the third tier in the game available to the player. At this Tier, players are promoted to the rank of Commander when they have spent the required amount of skill points and gained the necessary grades. This rank is shared for both the Klingon Empire and the Federation. For the Romulan Republic, the rank is Subcommander.
 Tier 4 - Captain and Commander
Tier 4 is the fourth tier in the game available to the player. At this Tier, players are promoted to the rank of Captain when they have spent the required amount of skill points and gained the necessary grades. This rank is shared for both the Klingon Empire and the Federation. For the Romulan Republic, the rank is Commander.
- "Captain" also refers to the player character, regardless of in-game rank.
 Tier 5 - Rear Admiral, Lower Half, Brigadier General, and Subadmiral I
Tier 5 is the fifth rank and highest tier in the game and much like the initial starting ranks for both factions, their titles differ. Federation and Romulan players upon reaching Tier 5, assuming they have attained and spent the necessary skill points, will be promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral, Lower Half. Players of the Klingon Empire upon reaching the same feat will receive the rank of Brigadier General. For the Romulan Republic, the rank is Subadmiral I.
 Tier 5 - Rear Admiral, Upper Half, Major General, and Subadmiral II
Since Season 2, players can attain the rank of Rear Admiral, Upper Half for the Federation, Subadmiral II for the Romulan Republic, and Major General for the Klingons, respectively, after spending the necessary skill points. These ranks are still Tier 5, meaning the player will earn a respec token but not access to a new ship tier.
 Tier 5 - Vice Admiral and Lieutenant General
Vice Admiral (for Federation and Romulan players) and Lieutenant General (for Klingon faction players) is currently the highest rank. Upon reaching level 50, Federation players gain access to special Tier 5 ship classes called Retrofits while Klingon players can obtain the Fek'Ihri Kar'Fi class carrier and the B'Rel Bird of Prey Retrofit. Players also receive the Quantum Slipstream Drive ability at this rank. Federation players can also choose to wear the Vice Admiral overcoat in place of the normal uniform top upon reaching this rank. All 3 factions are able to obtain fleet advanced ships such as the: Fleet Assault Cruiser Refit, Fleet Support Cruiser Retrofit, Fleet Negh'Var Heavy Battle Cruiser and the Fleet D'deridex Warbird Battle Cruiser Retrofit.
 Future Ranks
Cryptic has indicated a possible rank cap increase (without increasing level cap beyond 50) with Season 8 which may see the following ranks:
 Admiral and General
Admiral (for Federation players) and General (for Klingon faction players) are suggested ranks that cryptic have said will be introduced into season 8 of Star Trek Online. It is said when a player reaches this rank, they will be able to control up to 5 of the ships they own under their active starships,including the ship the player is flying (the primary ship), however this doesn't count for shuttle-craft or fighters. While using 5 ships at a time, the player will have the ability to allocate their remaining spare bridge officers to the other ships they control. Players will also be able to promote their first officer (under Doff Duty assignments) to the rank of captain. the active ships the player chooses will be able to follow and attack the players targets, as well as targeting opponents on their own. The active ships will also have the ability to have weapons and consoles equipped onto them as well. If a Player joins another player forming a team, the leader will be able to select what ships can be set active from each players list, this is similar to ground teaming. When a team is formed the leader will lose a slot out of their active starship list and the invited player who's joining the team will take its place, the leader gets to choose which starship on their active list is removed from the team so the invited player can join. Upon reaching this rank players will also be granted 2 extra weapon slots (1 forward and 1 aft) to their current active ship they choose to fly, when the player switches ships the 2 extra weapon slots will be removed from the ship they were flying and added to the ship they set active, this is not included on shuttle-craft or fighters.
 Fleet Admiral and Dahar Master
 Bridge Officers
Bridge Officers, although not directly controlled by the player, follow very closely to the same ranking system outlined above for the player. The maximum rank of a Bridge Officer on your starship cannot be on-par or higher than the players current rank. For example, if the player starts a Federation character and completes the tutorial they are given a Federation Light Cruiser starship. This vessel can house three Ensign level officers. When the player gains promotion to Lieutenant Commander they will be able to promote all of their Ensigns to the rank of Lieutenant. However, Bridge Officers cannot be promoted past Commander, even if the player-character is in the Admiral (Federation) or General (Klingon) ranks. However, This may change if the suggested new rank caps are brought into effect, allowing players to promote their first officer (under Doff Duty assignments) to the rank of captain.
For the Klingon Empire, there are two different ranks which players and bridge officers don't use, these are: • Bekk: The lowest Bridge Officer rank • Sergeant: Equivalent of a Lieutenant Commander