Armed Forces

Paycheck, wage and salary for officers in the Armed Forces. What is an Officer making per year? What is the Pay Raise after years of experience? And find out about Working Conditions, Education and the Job Outlook for the Armed Forces.

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Armed Forces
See our guide to military pay grades for more information about salaries in the military. And don't forget to take our Salary Calculator.

For All Years of Experience*
         Average Monthly       Average Yearly
Officers (0:1-10) $6,485.15 $77,821.81
Warrant Officers (W:1-5)

$4,608.67 $55,303.99
(E: 1-9)
$2,790.21 $33,482.50


                                              By Years of Experience**

  2 years or less    2-8 years     8-14 years  14-20 years   20+ Years
Officers (0:1-10) $56,060.16 $65,946.24 $72,934.99 $80,052.53 $85,784.81

Warrant Officers
$35,013.60 $40,690.44 $48,132.23 $55,114.29 $65,629.24

(E: 1-9)
$20,931.96 $25,500.60 $31,966.99 $34,623.45 $38,183.56


Military Pay Grades:
See our guide to military pay grades

for more information.


Positions the members of the Armed Forces are employed in:


Accounting Chemical Janitor/ Laborer
Air Defense Artillery Combat Engineering Mechanical Maintenance
Air Defense Missile Maintenance Communications Mechanics
Aircraft Maintenance Computer Administrator Military Intelligence 
Aircraft System Maintenance Drivers Military Police
Ammunition Electronic Warfare/Cryptologic Operations Personnel Administrator
Armor Electronics Warfare Intercept Systems Maintenance Petroleum
Audiovisual Engineer Public Affairs
Automatic Data Processing Field Artillery Secretary
Aviation Communications Finance Administrator Supply and Service
Aviation Operations Food Service System Analysis
Ballistic/Land Combat Missile and Light Air Defense Weapons Systems Maintenance Guards  Topographic Engineering
Band Health Care Transportation
Buyer Infantry  


Major job duties:

  • Maintaining a strong national defense.
  • Job duties depend greatly upon position employed in.

Working conditions:

  • Depends greatly upon position and branch of the military employed in.

Education & Training:

In order to join the services, enlisted personnel must sign a legal agreement called an enlistment contract, which usually involves a commitment to 8 years of service.

Depending on the terms of the contract, 2 to 6 years are spent on active duty, and the balance is spent in the National Guard or Reserves.

The enlistment contract obligates the service to provide the agreed-upon job, rating, pay, cash bonuses for enlistment in certain occupations, medical and other benefits, occupational training, and continuing education.

In return, enlisted personnel must serve satisfactorily for the period specified.

Requirements for each service vary, but certain qualifications for enlistment are common to all branches.

In order to enlist, one must be between 17 and 35 years old for active service, be a U.S. citizen or an alien holding permanent resident status, not have a felony record, and possess a birth certificate.

Applicants who are aged 17 must have the consent of a parent or legal guardian before entering the service.

Coast Guard enlisted personnel must enter active duty before their 28th birthday, whereas Marine Corps enlisted personnel must not be over the age of 29.

Applicants must both pass a written examination—the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery—and meet certain minimum physical standards, such as height, weight, vision, and overall health.

All branches of the Armed Forces require high school graduation or its equivalent. In 2004, more than 9 out of 10 recruits were high school graduates

All branches of the Armed Services offer a delayed entry program (DEP) by which an individual can delay entry into active duty for up to 1 year after enlisting.

High school students can enlist during their senior year and enter a service after graduation.

Others choose this program because the job training they desire is not currently available, but will be within the coming year, or because they need time to arrange their personal affairs

Job outlook:


Opportunities should be good for qualified individuals in all branches of the Armed Forces through 2014.

Many military personnel retire with a pension after 20 years of service, while they still are young enough to start a new career.

About 170,000 personnel must be recruited each year to replace those who complete their commitment or retire.

Since the end of the draft in 1973, the military has met its personnel requirements with volunteers.

When the economy is good and civilian employment opportunities generally are more favorable, it is more difficult for all the services to meet their recruitment quotas.

It is also more difficult to meet these goals during times of war, when recruitment goals typically rise. 

America’s strategic position is stronger than it has been in decades.

 Despite reductions in personnel due to the elimination of the threats of the Cold War, the number of active-duty personnel is expected to remain roughly constant through 2014.

 Recent conflicts and the resulting strain on the Armed Forces may lead to an increasing number of active-duty personnel.

The Armed Forces’ current goal is to maintain a sufficient force to fight and win two major regional conflicts at the same time.

 Political events, however, could lead to a significant restructuring with or without an increase in size.

Educational requirements will continue to rise as military jobs become more technical and complex.

High school graduates and applicants with a college background will be sought to fill the ranks of enlisted personnel, while virtually all officers will need at least a bachelor’s degree and, in some cases, an advanced degree as well.

Learn more about US Armed Forces:

US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2006-2007
Department of Defense, Finance and Accounting Services, Military Pay Chart.

*Pay was estimated by averaging all ranks within each group (O = Officer, W=Warrant Officer, E=Enlisted) for all years of experience from
Department of Defense, Finance and Accounting Services, Military Pay Chart.

Pay was estimated by averaging all ranks within each group (O = Officer, W=Warrant Officer, E=Enlisted) for less than 2 years of service, after that in 6 year intervals and finally for 20+ years of service from Department of Defense, Finance and Accounting Services, Military Pay Chart


If you have any questions about the methodology used to create these estimates please contact us and we can provide you with more detailed information.

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