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Operations Specialist and Electronics Technician prepare to lower the ensign during evening colors on the flight deck of the USS McCampbell (DDG 85).

Military Pay

Learn about the salaries and military pay grades available in America’s Navy.

When it comes to financial benefits, the Navy amounts to much more than a competitive paycheck. It also gives you significant tax incentives and a retirement income. Of course your pay range will depend upon your rank, the kind of job you perform, and whether or not you serve full-time on Active Duty or part-time in the Navy Reserve. See below for a breakdown of some of the pay ranges.

part time
full time

Enlisted Pay

In the Navy and other branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, pay is dependent upon rank (known as rate for Enlisted personnel in the Navy) and years of service (see the chart below). Promotions depend on performance and years of service, and an Enlisted Sailor has to earn an increase in rate. In general, you will be eligible for advancement from E-1 to E-2 after nine months, from E-2 to E-3 after another nine months and from E-3 to E-4 after a subsequent six months.

This graph shows the monthly salary for each of the Enlisted ranks commonly reached in the first four years of service. This graph is based on the pay scale effective January 1, 2016.

Numbers shown are monthly pretax earnings and do NOT include the value of housing or other allowances or benefits.

Taxes can vary; you will be taxed at the rate of your official state of residence, and some states offer special tax rates to military personnel. Housing and food allowances are not taxed.

In certain circumstances, promotions up to E-3 can come faster. One way to accelerate your Navy career is to get others to join. If you refer friends or other acquaintances to join the Navy, you can be eligible for advancement up to E-3.

Contact a recruiter for more details.

Are you prepared to serve?

Discover what it means to become an Enlisted Sailor in America's Navy.

Officer Pay

Officer salaries are based on rank and years of service. The monthly pay for an Ensign (O-1) upon receiving commission is $2,972.40 plus allowances and benefits. This graph shows the monthly salary for typical Officers based on rank and years of service.

When considering salary, be sure to take into account the value of housing and other allowances – plus outstanding Navy health-care benefits – which adds thousands of dollars to the value of your compensation. In addition, Congress generally authorizes a military pay raise every year to reflect cost-of-living increases.

Are you prepared to lead?

Discover what it means to become a Commissioned Officer in America's Navy.

Reserve Pay

Start with the Navy Reserve Pay Calculator

The paycheck you earn is a key benefit of serving in the Navy Reserve. Find out where your qualifications and experience fall on the Navy Reserve pay scale. Estimate your annual income as a Reservist. Learn about potential monetary bonuses and special pay. Plus, understand the process for advancement.

Drill Pay & Annual Training Pay

As a member of the Navy Reserve, you will:

  • Receive 4 days of base pay for every 2 days of traditional weekend drilling or the equivalent if taking advantage of flexible drilling options
  • Receive full Active Duty pay and allowances for meals and housing during your 2-week Annual Training
  • Be compensated for any additional days you choose to serve

Basic pay and allowances for Navy Reservists are derived from the same pay scale that applies to Active Duty Navy personnel. The amounts are prorated for part-time service and based on your individual pay grade and time in service.

Use the Navy Reserve Pay Calculator in the right column to quickly estimate your Navy Reserve pay.

Note that Enlisted Sailors who have no prior military experience receive slightly reduced pay during their first four months of service.

Download the current Reserve Drill Pay chart now.

Active Duty Pay

Whenever serving in an Active Duty status, members of the Selected Reserve are entitled to the same pay, allowances and benefits as other Active Duty personnel of equivalent rank, time in service and qualifications.

This includes routine Annual Training. This also includes any Reserve service in a Full-Time Support role as well as any time spent on deployment.

Download the current Active Duty Pay chart now.

Monetary Bonuses & Special Pay

Beyond normal pay, there are additional pay incentives that may potentially be available to Reservists. These include:

  • Affiliation bonuses or sign-on bonuses (depending on your background) that you may qualify for
  • Reenlistment/conversion bonuses for qualified Enlisted candidates (with current or prior military experience) who convert to undermanned ratings
  • Special pay for special skills (such as aviators) and special duty (such as hazardous duty) or for serving in high-demand career areas (such as health care)

Contact a Navy Recruiter for details.

Raises & Promotions

Reservists receive all general military increases in pay, such as cost-of-living increases and additional pay increases for years of accumulated service. These increases are paid out at the same percentage as for those serving on Active Duty.

Advancement in the Navy Reserve is based on the same guidelines and principles as those of Active Duty. Promotions are based upon abilities and performance as well as the overall needs of the Navy.

Contact a Navy Recruiter for details.

Note:These calculations represent base pay and do not factor in any potential income from other sources such as sign-on/affiliation bonuses, specialty pay, tuition assistance, etc.


Enlisted Sailors and Officers enjoy generous vacation time (in the Navy it’s called "leave"). You can earn up to 30 paid days' leave each year. If you don’t take all 30 days in one year, you can accumulate up to 60 days to use in the future.

Housing, Meal and Tax Benefits

Many states offer significant tax breaks to Navy personnel. In addition, each servicemember receives a monthly allowance for housing and food – completely tax-free.

What’s more, in the Navy you may qualify for a VA (Veterans Affairs) home loan, which typically offers better interest rates and qualification requirements than you’ll find as a civilian. Find more information at the VA Web site

Learn more about Navy benefits from a Navy Recruiter

Join America's Navy

Learn more about Navy benefits from a Navy Recruiter.