15 Highest Paying Navy Jobs for 2022 (Up to $185K) (2023)

There are many high-paying navy jobs in the United States, with some paying as high as $150,000 a year.

The U.S. Navy divides jobs into E classifications, from E1-E9. Those classified under the E9 job classification enjoy the highest pay as well as the highest chain of command.

This article will focus on the highest-paying navy jobs in the United States. We will include the salaries and the related skills you need to land one of these well-paying jobs.

15 Highest Paying Navy Jobs for 2022 (Up to $185K) (1)

If you’re considering joining the navy and would like to know more about the top paying navy jobs, the list below will help you understand which jobs pay well, specific job responsibilities, and earning potential.

Table of Contents Show Table

1. Pilots

Navy pilots operate aircraft which includes planes and helicopters from land bases or the navy’s seafaring aircraft carriers. Their duties include transporting sailors and supplies between bases as well as conducting reconnaissance missions.

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The mean annual salary for pilots in the U.S. Navy is $96,313 and the top-paid, experienced, long-serving pilots enjoy salaries as high as $186,000 a year.

These salaries not only make this profession among the highest-paying navy careers in the United States but also one of the best military jobs that transfer to civilian life.

2. Aviation boatswain’s mate

The Aviation Boatswain’s Mate conducts safe launch and recovery functions for naval aircrafts both at sea and on-shore. The AB can obtain an advanced rating by attending an ‘A’ class for five weeks in Pensacola, Florida. However, one has to make a 5-year commitment to remain in the navy to obtain the advanced rating.

Classified under E-9 Navy rating, an Aviation Boatswain’s Mate’s average salary is $76,245 per year. Those with advanced ratings can earn as high as $171,000 a year, which makes it one of the highest-paying navy jobs in the United States.

3. Aviation ordnanceman

Aviation Ordnancemen are weapon specialists tasked with the operating, issuing, storing, loading, and launching of all weapons on a naval aircraft.

The weapons they handle include missiles, bombs, guns, torpedoes, and rockets. They can also fly helicopters, propeller aircraft, and turbojets which earn them additional pay.

With a Naval rating of E-8, Aviation Ordnancemen (AO) has a base pay of approximately $52,140 per year while the top earners enjoy salaries as high as $93,145 a year. An E-8 may be promoted to E-9 after serving as an E-8 for at least 36 months.

4. Machinist mate

Machinist Mates work in the engine room operating ship propulsion machinery. Their roles include ship repair, general maintenance, and upkeep of essential ship machinery. They are responsible for doing repairs on ship engines, heating & cooling systems, and steering & hoisting mechanisms.

The average annual pay for a Navy Machinist Mate in the United States is approximately $54,020 while the top earners receive more than $106,000 a year. This figure is approximately 16% above the national average, making this one of the highest-paying navy jobs in the U.S.

5. Sonar technician first class

Sonar Technicians have two branches namely Sonar Technician Surface and Sonar Technician Submarine. They operate and maintain SONAR equipment, perform underwater surveillance, and conduct search and rescue missions.

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The mean annual salary for Sonar Technicians in the Navy is $47,396 with the top earners enjoying annual salaries of more than $77,000 a year. An E-6 Sonar Technician may be promoted to E-7 after serving for at least 36 months as an E-6.

6. Air traffic controllers

Air Traffic Controllers in the U.S. Navy work at bases to direct pilots in their missions. They are trained to read complex navigational & tracking equipment and translate the data into actionable metrics. They are also trained on how to chart flight paths for Naval missions.

The average annual salary for the U.S. Navy Air Traffic Controllers is approximately $54,260 with the top paid professionals getting more than $92,680 a year.

7. Navy paralegals

The U.S. Navy paralegals use their extensive military and civilian law knowledge to assist lawyers in their duties. Their roles include preparing paperwork such as wills and subpoenas, conducting investigations, participating in court hearings, and processing appeals.

The mean annual base salary for Navy paralegals in the U.S. is $50,400 while the top earners enjoy salaries as high as $113,750 a year, which also makes this one of the best-paying navy jobs in the United States.

8. Intelligence specialists

Intelligence specialists are tasked with critical roles such as analyzing data from maps, charts & personnel reports and making recommendations for military strategies. They play a vital role in planning reconnaissance missions and other data-based naval operations.

The mean annual salary for intelligence specialists in the United States Navy is $77,450 while the top paid experts’ salaries are as high as $141,500 per year.

9. Mass communication specialist

Mass communication specialists working with the navy are responsible for presenting Navy stories to other Navy personnel and the general public. Their roles include speaking, writing, and releasing stories for print, broadcast, and other media outlets.

The mean annual salary for mass communication specialists in the Navy is $50,807 with the top earners enjoying more than $79,000 in annual wages. These salaries make mass communication specialists one of the best-paying navy jobs in the United States.

10. Electronics technicians

Electronics technicians in the Navy are tasked with identifying and repairing vehicles, ships, aircraft, electrical systems, and devices. The devices they repair may include navigation, communication, and tracking hardware.

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To be a successful electronics technician in the navy, you will need to master how to use various tools and techniques to calibrate and tune advanced equipment, including nuclear weapons systems.

The mean annual salary for the U.S. Navy electronic technicians is $49,768 while the top earners enjoy more than $79,000 a year in wages.

Here is a short video about Electronics Technicians in the U.S. Navy. Video courtesy: America’s Navy.

11. Culinary specialist

Culinary specialists in the navy maintain the sanitation and cleanliness of food closets, refrigerators, and other culinary equipment. They also help develop menus and perform different roles in planning, preparing, and serving meals.

This is one of the highest-paying navy jobs with an average annual salary of $41,550 per year. The highest-paid culinary specialists in the U.S. Navy earn annual salaries of as high as $71,000 a year.

Culinary specialists have a Naval rating of E-7 and can be promoted to E-8 Food Preparation or E-8 Sanitation after working as an E-7 culinary specialist for at least 36 months.

12. Financial analysts

Financial analysts working with the U.S. Navy maintain records of Navy finances, which includes income from the U.S. Treasury and the military’s expenditures. They also prepare reports of financial activities and can make recommendations on ways the navy can operate more efficiently.

The mean annual salary for financial management analysts in the Navy is $89,957 while the highest earners enjoy annual salaries as high as $146,000.

13. Aviation maintenance managers

Navy aviation maintenance managers supervise and coordinate the repair and maintenance of the military’s aircraft, including helicopters, airplanes, propeller aircraft, and turbojets. They also establish maintenance schedules, develop task procedures, and direct the operation of maintenance crews.

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The mean annual salary for Navy aviation maintenance managers is $93,950 with the top earners enjoying more than $130,350 per year in wages.

14. Fleet maintenance managers

Unlike aviation maintenance managers who focus primarily on aircraft, fleet maintenance managers supervise and coordinate both the repair and maintenance of the Navy’s airplanes, trucks, ships, and other vehicles. They are also responsible for establishing maintenance schedules, developing task procedures, and directing the operations of maintenance crews.

The mean annual salary for fleet maintenance managers in the navy is $73,415. The top earners get as high as $101,125 per year in salaries, which makes this one of the highest-paying navy jobs in the United States in 2022.

15. Construction mechanic

Construction mechanics in the navy maintain and repair building equipment, which includes bulldozers cranes, buses, dump trucks, and tactical vehicles. They install and repair hydraulic, steering, fuelling, and electrical systems in these vehicles.

The mean annual salary for a construction mechanic in the U.S. navy is $35,968 while top earners receive more than $49,000 a year in wages.

Final thoughts…

There are a lot more top-paying jobs in the Navy. However, we have chosen to highlight just fifteen of the best-paying careers you might want to consider. Keep in mind that annual bonuses can make a big difference, which could explain disparities you may notice.

Here’s a resourceful video by Nicky MGTV.


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Navy Federal Salary
Annual SalaryMonthly Pay
Top Earners$123,000$10,250
75th Percentile$81,500$6,791
25th Percentile$32,000$2,666

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Does the Navy pay well? ›

How much does U.S. Navy pay? U.S. Navy pays its employees an average of $73,069 a year. Salaries at U.S. Navy range from an average of $38,172 to $136,874 a year.

How much do U.S. Navy get paid monthly? ›

How much does US Navy - Military in the United States pay? The average US Navy salary ranges from approximately $18,554 per year for Airman to $135,919 per year for Commander. The average US Navy monthly salary ranges from approximately $1,208 per month for Corporal to $10,416 per month for Senior Medical Officer.

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Paid Time Off (FT employees)
Sick daysSet
General PTO-
Total PTO after 5 years40

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It's relatively hard to qualify for Navy Federal membership. You're only eligible if you are active military member, veteran, employee or retiree of the Department of Defense, or family member of someone in one of those groups. Late fee. The credit union charges a $29 late payment fee.

How much does an E-4 in the Navy make? ›

Basic pay chart and raises
Years of Service
2 more rows

How much is submarine pay in the Navy? ›

The average salary for a Nuclear Submarine Officer is $86,271 per year in United States, which is 30% lower than the average US Navy salary of $124,431 per year for this job.

What is E-4 base pay? ›

Rank<2 Years Experience8 Years Experience
Private First Class(E3)$27,118.80$30,571.20
Specialist or Corporal (E4)$30,042.00$36,471.60
Sergeant (E5)$32,763.60$43,902.00
Staff Sergeant (E6)$35,766.00$48,506.40
2 more rows

What is the hardest job to get in the Navy? ›

Navy Special Warfare

Pre-screening, selection and then training to become a Navy SEAL are among the most comprehensive and difficult in the military. The washout rate at the Navy's Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training course is also high.

What position in the military pays the best? ›

Highest-paying Military Career Jobs
  • Aircraft Launch and Recovery Officers. ...
  • Armored Assault Vehicle Officers. ...
  • Artillery and Missile Officers. ...
  • Command and Control Center Officers. ...
  • Infantry Officers. ...
  • Special Forces Officers. ...
  • Military Officer Special and Tactical Operations Leaders. ...
  • Medical, Pharmacy, and Dental Services.

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The naval nuclear program is widely acknowledged as having the most demanding academic program in the U.S. military.

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How much does a Navy make? As of Feb 20, 2023, the average hourly pay for the Navy jobs category in the United States is $29.85 an hour.

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Usually, you'll sign up for four years of active duty and four years inactive. After you've completed your active duty time, you can either extend your contract or re-enlist if you want to continue serving. Officers make up a much smaller part of the workforce.

Who pays more Navy or air force? ›

Conclusion. Which military branch pays the most? The United States Air Force, Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Space Force are all equal in terms of basic pay. The basic military pay you earn is determined by military rank and years of service.

How much does a Navy SEAL make? ›

Salary Ranges for Navy Seals

The salaries of Navy Seals in the US range from $15,929 to $424,998 , with a median salary of $76,394 . The middle 57% of Navy Seals makes between $76,394 and $192,310, with the top 86% making $424,998.

How much does a Navy E3 make a month? ›

A Seaman is a junior enlisted in the United States Navy at DoD paygrade E-3. A Seaman receives a monthly basic pay salary starting at $2,161 per month, with raises up to $2,436 per month once they have served for over 3 years.

How much does an E-3 make in the Navy a month? ›

Basic Pay – Enlisted Effective January 1, 2023
Cumulative Years of Service (Note 1)
Pay Grade2 or lessOver 8
E-1 (Notes 4 & 5)1,917.601,917.60
6 more rows
Jan 6, 2023

Which branch gets deployed first? ›

The Marine Corps is often first on the ground in combat situations.

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Which branch gets deployed the most? Soldiers on active duty in the Army deploy more than any other branch, with the possible exception of the Navy (although most Navy deployments are on ships at sea). How often you deploy depends on whether the U.S. is involved in any ongoing conflicts.

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The Army is known as the largest military branch. Therefore, they are more likely to be present in a lot of combat operations. Because of this, Army infantry will see a lot of combat.

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Winner: Navy Federal

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How often do you get vacation in the Navy? ›

In the Navy, you'll have the chance to travel, even when not embarked on a ship. With 30 paid vacation days each year, you can use this time to relax, visit your family or venture to new places.

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Merchandise Discount

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Looking at the list, it is clear what the most compensated occupation in the government is: Medical Officer.

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High Paying Federal Government Jobs
  • Public Policy Manager. Salary range: $60,000-$141,000 per year. ...
  • Public Affairs Director. Salary range: $51,000-$135,500 per year. ...
  • Medicaid Business Analyst. ...
  • Government Contracts Manager. ...
  • Economic Development Manager. ...
  • Government Relations Director. ...
  • Senior Policy Advisor. ...
  • Federal Agent.

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Federal employees on the general schedule range from GS-1 to GS-15. GS grade levels specify a fixed compensation range for a particular position, in particular geographic localities, within the federal government.

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The highest-paid military job is a general or admiral.

Generals and admirals average approximately $197,000 regardless of the branch of the military. These high-paying salaries are quite plush compared to the roughly $20,000 a year that a private earns.

What is the lowest paying federal job? ›

Lowest Paid 100 Federal Occupations in 2016
RankOccupation TitleLowest Paid Individual
1Sales Store Clerk$16,153
2Miscellaneous Food Preparer and Server$25,336
3Agricultural Commodity Aid$22,419
4Miscellaneous Personal Services$26,734
96 more rows

Do federal jobs pay better? ›

Some of the most significant advantages of working for the federal government include job security, high compensation increases, more vacation and holidays, good health benefits, and generous retirement benefits.

Do government jobs pay good? ›

Government jobs tend to be stable and offer excellent benefits. Unfortunately, salary and earnings are often capped for government workers regardless of how well you perform.

What is the number 1 highest paying job? ›

Highest-Paying Careers
RankOccupationTypical Education
1Obstetricians and GynecologistsDoctoral or professional degree
1Ophthalmologists, Except PediatricDoctoral or professional degree
1Oral and Maxillofacial SurgeonsDoctoral or professional degree
8 more rows

What's the easiest government job to get? ›

Fortunately, there are a variety of state and federal government jobs you can apply for regardless of if you have a college degree or not.
Government jobs that don't require a degree
  1. Lifeguard. ...
  2. Library assistant. ...
  3. Data entry clerk. ...
  4. Court reporter. ...
  5. Administrative assistant. ...
  6. Postal clerk. ...
  7. Census taker (enumerator)
Mar 12, 2020

How much does a CIA agent make? ›

Salary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics includes CIA officers along with all law enforcement officers in its pay estimates for police officers and sheriffs. According to the BLS, these individuals earn a median annual salary of $64,610.

What is level 15 salary? ›

Here we attached pay level 15 to 18 of pay matrix table
LevelPay Level-15 (182200-224100)Pay Level-16 (205400-224400)
6 more rows

What is pay scale level 15? ›

What is pay matrix level 15? The first pay scale structure in HAG Scale with starting basic salary of Rs. 1,82,200. The annual increment stages are in the pay structure is 15.

What is Grade 7 salary in us? ›

Starting salary for a GS-7 employee is $38,503.00 per year at Step 1, with a maximum possible base pay of $50,050.00 per year at Step 10. The hourly base pay of a Step 1 GS-7 employee is $18.45 per hour1.

What is the highest paid Navy SEAL? ›

FAQs About U.S. Navy SEALS
  • What is the highest pay for U.S. Navy SEALS? Our data indicates that the highest pay for an U.S. Navy SEAL is $192k / year.
  • What is the lowest pay for U.S. Navy SEALS? Our data indicates that the lowest pay for an U.S. Navy SEAL is $40k / year.
  • How can U.S. Navy SEALS increase their salary?

What branch offers the most benefits? ›

The Marines, Coast Guard, and Space Force are the branches of the military that have the best benefits. They also are the branches of the military that have the best pay. Nearly all branches of the military pay new recruits relatively the same pay ranges and benefits plans.


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