The Navy pays sailors comparable to other military branches with wages determined by rank and years of service.
Therefore, Navy SEAL salary is based on the same factors with a few opportunities for bonus pay.
How much can you expect to earn each month serving the military as a Navy SEAL?
Read the article to learn more about how Navy SEAL salaries work and the additional benefits of enlistment.
Related Article – Delta Force Vs. Navy SEALs
Navy SEAL Salary
The U.S. Armed Forces have always been fair and unilateral when it comes to compensation.
All the major branches (Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, etc.) follow the same pay structure.
The U.S. military compensates soldiers based on two primary factors: A) military rank and B) years of service.
The longer you serve, and the higher your Navy rank, the more you can expect to earn each month.
Consequently, your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) has very little, if anything to do with your monthly wage.
Elite special-ops like Navy SEALs do not earn from a different pay scale than the regular Navy.
The only difference is that SEALs usually receive hazardous duty pay which means higher earnings.
SEALs also get rewarded with two substantial pay bonuses once they A) qualify for Navy SEAL training and B) successfully complete the training program.
Here is a general idea as to what you would earn in the U.S. Navy based on military rank:
|Insignia||Pay Grade||Rank||Abbreviation||2021 Minimum Monthly Pay|
|E-4||Petty Officer Third Class||PO3||$2,330.40|
|E-5||Petty Officer Second Class||PO2||$2,541.60|
|E-6||Petty Officer First Class||PO1||$2,774.40|
|E-7||Chief Petty Officer||CPO||$3,207.60|
|E-8||Senior Chief Petty Officer||SCPO||$4,614.60|
|E-9||Master Chief Petty Officer||MCPO||$5,637.00|
|E-9||Command Master Chief Petty Officer||CMDCM||$5,637.00|
|E-9||Master Chief Petty Officer Of The Navy||MCPON||$5,637.00|
Another table which gives you an idea of how much you would earn as an officer in the U.S. Navy:
|Insignia||Pay Grade||Rank||Abbreviation||2021 Minimum Monthly Pay|
|O-2||Lieutenant Junior Grade||LTJG||$3,901.20|
|O-7||Rear Admiral Lower Half||RDML||$9,414.30|
Here are a few examples of what you might earn in the U.S. Navy based on rank and years of service:
- Seamen (E-3) w/ 4 years of service: $2,303
- Petty Officer First Class (E-6) w/ 10 years of service: $3,770
- Senior Chief Petty Officer (E-8) w/ 22 years of service: $5,788
- Lieutenant Junior Grade (O-2) w/ 3 years of service: $5,363
- Lieutenant Commander (O-4) w/ 8 years of service: $6,983
- Rear Admiral (O-8) w/ 20 years of service: $14,730
NOTE: You can get a more detailed look at what you expect to earn in the Navy based on both military rank AND years of service by reading our Navy Ranks And Basic Pay For 2020 article.
Related Article – Navy Special Warfare Operator (SO): Career Details
Additional Pay and Benefits
While the pay is enough for many people to join the military, there are plenty of service members that also value the excellent benefits included with a monthly salary.
The U.S. Navy has an outstanding benefits package that most people joining the military (particularly those fresh out of high school or college) have never enjoyed before through a job:
- Health Insurance
- Dental & Vision Insurance
- Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
- Long Term Care Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Retirement (FERS Account)
- Thrift Savings Plan
- Paid Time Off (PTO)
- Military Leave & Holidays
Additionally, the U.S. Navy has many added perks or programs you can join that are included as part of your service:
- Basic Allowance For Housing (BAH)
- Food Allowance
- Clothing Allowance
- Transportation Subsidies
- Tuition Reimbursement
- Employee Assistance Programs
Finally, Navy SEALs receive several added bonuses for being part of an elite special-ops force:
- Qualifying Pay Bonus
- Training Completion Bonus
- Hazardous Duty Pay
- Imminent Danger Pay
- Dive Pay
- Parachute/Demolition Pay
- Retention Bonuses
While it may seem like at face value Navy SEALs don’t earn more than regular Navy sailors it is actually not true when you factor in all the bonuses.
Related Article – DEVGRU: 7 Things You Didn’t Know About SEAL Team 6
7 Types of Navy SEAL Bonuses
Now that you have a good idea regarding the bonuses you are entitled to earn as a Navy SEAL, let’s examine them in more detail:
1. Navy SEAL Qualifying Bonus: The U.S. Navy offers you an initial bonus just for qualifying for SEAL training.
2. Training Completion Bonus: Navy SEAL training is largely considered the most demanding training on earth. If you manage to survive, you get a handsome financial reward.
3. Hazardous Duty Pay: Pay for non-aircrew members is an additional $150 per month for performing dangerous job duties associated with Navy SEALs.
4. Parachute/Demolition Pay: Parachuting and handling demolitions fall under the extra $150 you earn each month for hazardous duty pay.
5. Dive Pay: SEALs that perform work as divers (every special-op is trained in diving) receive an added bonus of up to $240 per month.
6. Imminent Danger Pay: SEALs earn an additional $225 per month for working outside the country and being linked to imminent danger such as wartime conditions, terrorism, or civil war.
7. Retention Bonus: The U.S. Navy rewards soldiers that return for another tour of service. Your retention bonus varies based on a few factors.
Navy SEAL bonuses can potentially earn you $150 to $615 more a month, which is substantial.
And that doesn’t include initial bonuses for qualifying and passing SEAL training, or retention bonuses.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are some commonly asked questions about Navy SEAL salary:
How much does a Navy SEAL make per year?
The amount of Navy SEAL salary for a year is determined by A) military rank, B) years of service, and C) any applicable pay bonuses.
Navy SEALs at the lowest possible rank (E-3) receive a little over $2,000 per month (not factoring in bonuses).
Therefore, the minimum yearly salary for a Navy SEAL is $24,000 though you’ll likely receive far higher earnings.
Most SEALs are ranked higher and therefore earn better pay.
In fact, the average Navy SEAL earns $54,000 per year.
Some special operatives, particularly those with additional skills and serving in dangerous areas, can earn close to six figures a year.
Why do SEALs get extra pay?
Navy SEALs are the elite division of the U.S. Navy.
Operatives specialize in direct action small-scale warfare, counter-terrorism, combat reconnaissance, and foreign internal defense.
For example, Navy SEALs were responsible for taking down the most wanted man in the world – Osama bin Laden.
Therefore, SEALs get rewarded for serving high risk and dangerous missions.
Specialized training like parachuting and diving also reward SEALs with extra pay for all the training and dangers associated with it.
Keep in mind that Navy SEALs only make up 1% of all Navy personnel (2,450 active-duty operatives).
Consequently, it is not easy to become a SEAL and it only makes sense for operatives to earn more than regular service members of the Navy.
Related Article: 17 Famous Navy SEALs (and 3 Controversial Ones)
What are some other benefits of being a SEAL?
There are a ton of added incentives to joining Navy SEALs.
The most obvious is pay bonuses which range from simply completing training to signing back up for another tour.
SEALs also receive the same benefits as other members of the U.S. Navy.
It includes very good health insurance, life insurance, retirement, paid time off, and holidays.
Some of the programs associated with the military are top-notch like tuition reimbursement.
For example, many people join the military primarily as a means to afford higher education for something they want to do after leaving the military.
Soldiers also get other perks like housing, food, and clothing while serving on a military base.
How much do Navy SEALs make when they retire?
Your retirement pay in the military is based on what you were earning each year prior to leaving.
So, for example, say you were a Navy SEAL making the average yearly salary of $54,000.
Your retirement pay would start at approximately $27,000 per year, yet different factors may influence the final sum.
Navy jobs in Special Operations generally get a higher salary at retirement because of the increased levels of specialized training, skills, and exclusive assignments associated with the job.
Any Navy SEAL is eligible for retirement after serving at least 20 years and getting honorably discharged.
SEALs with 20 years of experience are eligible for 50% of their average base salary.
If you make it to 30 years or more, you can receive up to 75% of your average base pay in yearly increments.
Navy SEAL salary is something that is important to consider not only if you want to join special-ops, but also if you want to secure the highest amount of wages.
SEALs generally receive higher pay (even though compensation is based on the same Navy pay scale) because of added bonuses.
Hazardous Pay, Imminent Danger Pay, and Dive Pay are just a few examples of how you can earn several $100 more each month compared to regular service members of the Navy.
The average Navy SEAL salary is $54,000 per year, and you can earn close to six figures in certain roles and especially dangerous places.
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Nick Anderson has been serving on Active Duty in the U.S. Navy for the last 10 years. He graduated from Saint Leo University with his B.A. in Accounting and is a graduate student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, pursuing an M.B.A. in Finance. Born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama, Nick enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17. During his deployments onboard the USS Fort McHenry, he traveled to 23 countries on four continents, sailing roughly 42,000 nautical miles across 30 seas and five oceans. He currently resides in Meridian, Mississippi.
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Does this salary seem accurate? The average salary for Special Forces Operator at US Navy in the United States is $87,220 per year, which is 95% above the national average.
Do retired Navy Seals get paid? After 20 years of service, Navy SEALS are eligible for 50% of their average base salary for retirement. For each year spent in service between 20 and 30 years, the percentage increases by 2.5% resulting in a 75% benefit for those members completing 30 years of service.How much do Navy SEALs get paid a month? ›
How much does a Navy Seal make? As of Feb 28, 2023, the average monthly pay for a Navy Seal in the United States is $3,640 a month.Do Navy SEALs make 6 figures? ›
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 highest ranking SEAL in the U.S. Navy (there is only one) is a four-star Admiral (O-10), the Navy's highest rank, who earns $15,583 a month.How much do Navy SEAL snipers get paid? ›
According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a Navy SEAL is $53,450. This doesn't seem like much considering that these officers are the core of the United States Navy.What rank runs a SEAL team? ›
A SEAL Team is commanded by a Navy Commander (O-5) and is composed of a HQS element and eight operational 16-man SEAL Platoons.What age do Navy SEALs retire? ›
Drill pay (SELRES) members who have completed 15 or more years of qualifying service and are no longer physically qualified for Navy service also are eligible to receive retired pay at age 60. Note: If otherwise eligible, members may remain in an active status until age 62.What perks do Navy SEALs get? ›
- Starting pay of up to $60,000.
- Bonuses for becoming qualified and for re-enlisting.
- Possible repayment of college loans.
- Extra pay for diving, parachuting and demolitions.
- 30 days vacation per year.
- Medical and dental benefits.
- Retirement after 20 years.
- Tax free pay in combat zones.
How much is a Navy SEAL pension? After 20 years of service, Navy SEALS are eligible for 50% of their average base salary for retirement. For each year spent in service between 20 and 30 years, the percentage increases by 2.5% resulting in a 75% benefit for those members completing 30 years of service.What do SEALs do after they retire? ›
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Height: 5 ft. 10 in.
Active Duty Officers will incur a 4-year Active-Duty obligation from date of graduation from SEAL Qualification Training and redesignation as an 1130, SEAL officer.What is the average age of joining Navy SEALs? ›
Interestingly enough, the average age of navy seals is 30-40 years old, which represents 41% of the population.Do Navy SEALs get rich? ›
Are Navy SEALs rich? Not all career SEALs remain in sufficiently good health to be able to put in their 20 years and get a generous military service retirement. To put SEALs' pay rates in a different perspective: the highest paid SEAL in the service makes around $230,000 a year after a minimum of 20 years of service.What rank was Chris Kyle? ›
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To date, 13 women have been chosen for Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman training, with one completing the course and becoming the Navy's first female Naval Special Warfare operator -- the boat operators who transport Navy SEALs and conduct their own classified missions -- in July 2021.
Elite special-ops like Navy SEALs do not earn from a different pay scale than the regular Navy. The only difference is that SEALs usually receive hazardous duty pay which means higher earnings. SEALs also get rewarded with two substantial pay bonuses once they A) qualify for Navy SEAL training and B)How much does a Navy SEAL Master Chief get paid? ›
Including the most common pay allowances, the average total compensation for a Master Chief Petty Officer may range from $27,143.55 to $135,010.35 per year as of 2023.How much does a Delta Force operator get paid? ›
Delta Force P.I pays an average salary of $107,720 and salaries range from a low of $94,766 to a high of $122,070.How much do Delta Force soldiers make? ›
$66,018. The estimated total pay for a Space Shuttle Door Gunner Delta Force at US Army is $66,018 per year. This number represents the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model and based on salaries collected from our users. The estimated base pay is $50,632 per year.Has a Navy SEAL ever been captured? ›
The SEAL Legacy has been developed and fostered for the more than 50-year history of the United States Navy SEAL Teams. NO SEAL has ever been captured and NO SEAL has ever been left behind on the field of battle, dead or alive.How many guys are in a SEAL platoon? ›
The basic operational SEAL unit is the platoon, numbering approximately 16 men, which may be divided into smaller squads and fire teams as needed. Several platoons plus headquarters and other elements make up a SEAL team; each team is assigned to a specific area of the world and may have a specialized skill set.How many squads are in a SEAL platoon? ›
A platoon consists of 16 SEALs and may divide into 2 squads or 4 elements. All SEAL platoon personnel are dive, parachute, and demolitions qualified.What is the oldest age to be a SEAL? ›
What are the age limitations for being commissioned as a Navy officer assigned to SEAL training? Applicants must be at least 19 years of age and commissioned before their 42nd birthday at time of commissioning.Who is the youngest person to become a SEAL? ›
Scott Helvenston was born in 1965 in Ocala, Florida and raised in Leesburg, Florida. In 1982, he received special permission to join the U.S. Navy and, at 17, he became the youngest Navy SEAL in U.S. history.Who is the oldest Active-Duty Navy SEAL? ›
|Admiral Eric Thor Olson|
|Born||January 24, 1952 Tacoma, Washington|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1973–2011|
Navy SEALs are free to tell family and friends their occupation. The Navy even offers "engagements" in which SEALs talk to high school athletic teams about physical fitness and mental toughness.
Notoriously Brutal Training
SEALS have a high risk of mortality and must be equipped to complete nearly impossible missions. Over the course of one year, you will be subjected to physically punishing activities, extreme temperatures, mental fatigue and sleep deprivation.
Military units are prohibited from drinking alcohol during combat deployments. Edward Gallagher walked out of court a free man due to time served despite being convicted for posing in a picture next to the body of the dead prisoner.How much is a 20 year pension from the Navy? ›
If you retired as an enlisted service member with 20 years of service, you could receive an average military pay of $30,000 to 35,000 per year while a service member who retired as a typical officer could receive an average of $60,000 to $70,000 per year.How long are SEALs Active-Duty? ›
Active Duty Obligation
Active Duty Officers will incur a 4-year Active-Duty obligation from date of graduation from SEAL Qualification Training and redesignation as an 1130, SEAL officer. The balance of service, sufficient to complete 8 years of total obligated service, may be served in a Ready Reserve status.
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|PST Event||Minimum Standards||Competitive Standards|
|500-yard swim||12:30||8 minutes|
In practice, although an enlisted sailor normally begins at the lowest rank, by the time he graduates from the SEAL program, he'll be at least an E-4, Petty Officer Third Class.What is the weight limit to be a Navy SEAL? ›
Specialists clarify that guys can weigh a maximum of 141 pounds at exactly 60 inches, 191 pounds at exactly 70 inches, and 211 pounds at exactly 74 inches. Maritime institute weight prerequisites are diverse for females.What disqualifies you from being a SEAL? ›
(1) Chronic obstructive or restrictive pulmonary disease, active tuberculosis, reactive airway disease or asthma after age 13, sarcoidosis, and spontaneous pneumothorax are disqualifying.
Applicants must be from 17 to 28 years old. Waivers for men ages 29 and 30 are available for highly qualified candidates. Men with prior enlisted service as SEALs who are seeking to become SEAL Officers can request waivers to age 33.
Can I be a Navy SEAL if I have tattoos? New regulations allow for unlimited tattoos on the legs, arms, neck, and even on the hands and behind the ears. The only places on the body that are off limits are the head, face, and scalp. Tattoos on the torso are also allowed, but they must not be visible underneath whites.Is it harder to be a Marine or Navy SEAL? ›
Although the Marines are highly respected and considered one of the most elite fighting forces, the Navy SEALs training is far more rigorous and demanding than that of the Marines.What percentage of Navy SEALs make it? ›
SEAL basic training has earned a grueling reputation, in part because of a notoriously high failure rate. Nearly 70% of enlisted SEALs fail, mostly by hell week. But Naval Academy officers have an 89% success rate, mainly because they go through years of training and evaluation before they arrive.Is being a Navy SEAL hard? ›
The Navy seal training program is one of the most difficult human conditioning and military training tests in the world. During this program, students overcome obstacles designed to test their stamina, teamwork, and leadership. For every 1,000 people who start Navy Seal training, only around 200 to 250 succeed.How much does a special warfare operator get paid? ›
Average U.S. Army Special Forces Operator yearly pay in the United States is approximately $51,507, which is 15% above the national average.How much do Devgru operators make? ›
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Navy: Special Warfare Operator
Special Warfare Operators (SEAL) (SO) perform a multitude of duties in support of special operations missions and operate on, under and from the sea, in the air and on land.
Meet the minimum Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) score: GS+MC+EI=170 or VE+MK+MC+CS=220 or VE+AR=110 MC=50. Be 28 years of age or younger. Pass a physical examination required for divers. Be a U.S. citizen and eligible for security clearance.What is the highest paid Operator? ›
- Crane Operator. Salary range: $39,000-$64,000 per year. ...
- Yard Manager. Salary range: $35,500-$60,000 per year. ...
- Winch Truck Driver. Salary range: $50,500-$57,500 per year. ...
- Backhoe Operator. ...
- Rigger. ...
- Motor Grader Operator. ...
- Construction Equipment Operator. ...
- Equipment Operator.
$65,380. The estimated total pay for a Space Shuttle Door Gunner Delta Force at US Army is $65,380 per year. This number represents the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model and based on salaries collected from our users. The estimated base pay is $50,207 per year.How much do Tier 1 SEALs make? ›
Their weekly paychecks. The estimated salary for a Navy SEAL -- with over a dozen years of experience and an E-7 pay grade -- is about $54,000, according to an estimate based on data from the Department of Defense.Do Navy SEALs pay taxes? ›
30 days vacation per year. Medical and dental benefits. Retirement after 20 years. Tax free pay in combat zones.How tall are Navy SEALs? ›
Height: 5 ft. 10 in.
Active Duty Officers will incur a 4-year Active-Duty obligation from date of graduation from SEAL Qualification Training and redesignation as an 1130, SEAL officer. The balance of service, sufficient to complete 8 years of total obligated service, may be served in a Ready Reserve status.How old is the average Navy SEAL? ›
Navy Seal Age Breakdown
This chart breaks down the ages of navy seal employees. Interestingly enough, the average age of navy seals is 30-40 years old, which represents 41% of the population.