Highest-Paying Navy Jobs

The U.S Navy divides jobs into E classifications, from E1 -E9, with E9 being the highest job chain of command and the highest paid. 

Regardless of their classifications, these navy jobs are some of the best in the United States, with some paying as much as $150,000 per year. Each classification has different sets of responsibilities and operations.  

In this article, we will be exploring the highest-paying navy jobs and their accompanying salaries. 

Let’s get started.

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15 Highest Paying Navy Jobs

The following is a list of the highest-paying navy jobs, their specific responsibilities, and earning potential.

1. Pilots

Navy pilots or aviators control the flight of naval aircraft including planes and helicopters from land bases or the navy’s seafaring aircraft carriers. They are responsible for transporting sailors and supplies between bases and conducting reconnaissance missions.

Pilots in the U.S Navy earn a mean annual salary of $96,313 and the more experienced and long-serving plots earn up to $186,000 per year. T

These salaries not only make this job one of the highest-paying navy careers in the U.S. but also one of the best military jobs that transfer to civilian life.

2. Aviation Boatswain’s Mate

The Aviation Boatswain’s Mate ensures smooth and safe launch and recovery operations for naval aircraft both at sea and onshore by carefully directing the movement of all aircraft. As an Aviation Boatswain Mate, you will supervise every turn, tow, and park of the aircraft. 

You can obtain an advanced rating by attending an ‘A’ class for five weeks in Pensacola, Florida, and making a 5-year commitment to remain in the navy. 

The Aviation Boatswain’s Mate is classified under the E-9 Navy rating and the average salary is $76,245 per year. ABs with advanced ratings can make up to $171,000 per year making it one of the highest-paying navy jobs in the United States.

3. Aviation Ordnanceman

Aviation Ordnancemen are weapon specialists tasked with managing all types of ammunition carried in a Navy Aircraft. The job description includes operating, issuing, storing, loading, launching, maintaining, and repairing mechanical and electrical weapons and ordnance systems on aircraft.

Bombs, missiles, guns, torpedoes, and rockets are some of the weapons they manage. They are also skilled in flying helicopters, propeller aircraft, and turbojets which increases their pay.

Aviation Ordnancemen (AO) are classified under the E-8 Naval rating and has a base pay of approximately $52,140 per year with the top-earning and more experienced professionals making as much as $93,145 per year. Aviation Ordnancemen are the second highest earning professionals in the U.S. Navy.  

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4. Machinist Mate

Machinist Mates are responsible for operating and maintaining ship propulsion machinery, auxiliary equipment, and outside machinery. Their roles include aligning piping systems for oil, water, air, and steam, ship repair, general maintenance, and upkeep of essential ship machinery. 

They carry out repairs on ship engines, heating & cooling systems, and steering & hoisting mechanisms.

Navy Machinist Mates in the United States have an average annual income of approximately $54,020 while the top earners make as high as $106,000 per year. 

This salary is about 16% above the national average which makes it one of the highest-paying navy jobs in the U.S.

5. Sonar Technician First Class

Sonar Technicians are divided into two categories; Sonar Technician Surface and Sonar Technician Submarine. They are responsible for operating sonar systems, underwater fire control systems, and supporting equipment on surface ships like frigates, destroyers, and cruisers. They also conduct search and rescue missions and perform underwater surveillance. 

With the use of specialized equipment, they detect, analyze and locate targets of interest. Sonar Technicians have a mean annual salary of $47,396  while the higher-ranking and more experienced professionals earn as much as $77,000 per year. 

As an E-6 Sonar Technician, you may be promoted to E-7 after serving for a minimum of 36 months as an E-6.

6. Air Traffic Controllers

These professionals make use of radar, computers, or visual references to monitor and direct the movement of the aircraft in the skies and ground traffic at airports. 

Air Traffic Controllers are well-trained to read complex navigational and tracking equipment and translate the data into actionable metrics. 

With their knowledge of charting flight paths for naval missions, they can manage multiple aircraft at the same time and make crucial decisions to ensure the aircraft is safe. 

The U.S. Navy Air Traffic Controller has a mean annual salary of $54,260 while the top earners make as high as $92,680 per year.

7. Navy Paralegals

With their extensive military and civilian law knowledge, the U.S. Navy Paralegals provide the legal expertise necessary to conduct military operations worldwide. This includes the law of the sea, the law of armed conflict, environmental law, information operations law, national security law, civil affairs, and more. 

They have the responsibility of preparing paperwork such as wills and subpoenas, conducting investigations, participating in court hearings, and processing appeals. Navy Paralegals have an average annual base salary of $50,400. The top earners make up to  $113,750 per annum.  

8. Intelligence Specialists

Intelligence Specialists are responsible for analyzing information from all forms of intelligence (OSINT, HUMINT, SIGINT, etc.) and interpreting their value for decision-makers. 

They analyze data from maps, charts, and personnel reports and make recommendations for military strategies. Intelligence Specialists present their information compiled through intelligence briefings and maps.

These professionals play a vital role in planning reconnaissance missions and other data-based naval operations. 

Intelligence specialists make an average annual salary of $77,450 with the top earners making an average annual salary of $141,500.

9. Mass Communication Specialist

Mass communication specialists serve as communication advisors to commanders, developing content strategies, creating data stories, and optimizing communication solutions. They present Navy stories to other Navy personnel and the general public. Part of their job description is to speak, write and release stories for print, broadcasts, and other media outlets. 

The U.S. Navy mass communication specialists have an average annual salary of $50,807.  The top earners make up to $79,000 annually making the job one of the best-paying navy jobs in the United States.

10. Electronics Technicians

These are professionals tasked with diagnosing and repairing different types of electronic equipment which may include navigation, communication, and tracking hardware. They identify and repair vehicles, ships, aircraft, electrical systems, and devices. They also install new technology and perform routine servicing on old models.

To succeed as an electronics technician in the U.S Navy, you will have to master the use of various tools and techniques to calibrate and tune advanced equipment, including nuclear weapons systems.

The U.S. Navy electronic technicians have an average annual salary of $49,768 with the top earners making up to $79,000 per year.

11. Culinary Specialist

The U.S. Navy Culinary specialists operate and manage Navy messes and dining facilities, providing hospitality and meal services to entire Navy bases and ships.

They are responsible for ensuring the cleanliness and sanitation of food closets, refrigerators, and other culinary equipment. They also come up with menus and perform different roles in planning, preparing, and serving meals. 

Culinary specialists are one of the highest-paying navy jobs with an average annual salary of $41,550. The highest earners make as much as high as $71,000 annually.

12. Financial Analysts

Financial analysts are responsible for maintaining records of Navy finances, which include income from the U.S. Treasury and the military’s expenditures, and preparing reports of financial activities.  They also make recommendations on ways the navy can operate more efficiently.

Financial management analysts in the U.S. Navy have a mean average annual of $89,957 with the highest earners making up to $146,000 per annum.

13. Aviation Maintenance Managers

Navy aviation maintenance managers are tasked with the responsibility of evaluating, performing, and managing the maintenance of aircraft including helicopters, airplanes, propeller aircraft, and turbojets. 

These professionals oversee the repair of an aircraft and ensure the plane is ready for flight, develop task procedures, establish maintenance schedules, and direct the operation of maintenance crews. 

Navy aviation maintenance managers have an average annual salary of $93,950. The more-experienced professionals earn up to $130,350 per year.

14. Fleet Maintenance Managers

Fleet maintenance managers supervise and coordinate the repair and maintenance of the Navy’s airplanes, trucks, ships, and other vehicles. They also establish maintenance schedules, develop work procedures, direct the operation of maintenance crews, assist in fuel operations, and manage machine shops.

This is one of the highest-paying Navy jobs in the U.S. Fleet maintenance managers make an annual average of $73,415 while the highest earners make up to $101,125.

15. Construction Mechanic

Construction mechanics are responsible for keeping the Navy’s fleet of boats, vehicles, and other equipment running with their expertise in engine and mechanical systems. They diagnose and troubleshoot equipment failures, and repair and maintain diesel and gasoline engines including bulldozers cranes, buses, dump trucks, and tactical vehicles. 

A construction mechanic in the U.S. navy earns an annual salary of $35,968 on average with top earners making over $49,000 per year in wages.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Navy Jobs Pay The Most?

The Aviation Boatswain’s Mate has an E-9 Navy rating, making it the highest salary in the Navy. The E-9 starting pay is $5,308.20 per month. The Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (AB) conducts quick and safe launch and recovery functions for a Naval aircraft that is both at sea and onshore.

What Military Jobs Pay The Most?

• 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.

Do Navy Seals Get Paid More?

SEALs generally receive higher pay (even though compensation is based on the same Navy pay scale) because of 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.

How Much Does A 4-Star General Make?

The highest rank in the U.S. Army is a four-star general. As of June 2020, there were 14 Army four-stars, the most at any time since World War II, according to Military. The 2020 four-star general pay is $16,441.80 per month, which does not include amounts for a housing allowance and other benefits.

Is Military Taxed?

In the military, the federal government generally only pays base taxes, and many states waive income taxes. Other military pay things like housing allowances, combat pay, and cost-of-living adjustments may not be taxed.

What Is The Lowest Pay In The Navy?

• O-1. Ensign. $3,477.30 Base Entry-Level Pay.
• O-2. Lieutenant Junior Grade. $4,006.50 Base Entry-Level Pay. 
• O-3. Lieutenant. $4,636.50 Base Entry-Level Pay.
• O-4. Lieutenant Commander. $5,273.70 Base Entry-Level Pay. 
• O-5. Commander. $6,112.20 Base Entry-Level Pay. 
• O-6. Captain. $7,332.00 Base Entry-Level Pay. 
• O-7. Rear Admiral (Lower Half)

Can You Pick A Job In The Navy?

You can choose your job. Your recruiter will have you take a test called the ASVAB, which they will use to determine which jobs you are qualified for. You can select one of the jobs they offer you. Understand that the recruiter has quotas to fill.

What Disqualifies You From Joining The Navy?

If you have been convicted of a felony as an adult or a juvenile for offenses involving violence, domestic violence, illegal drugs, or sexual misconduct, you will be disqualified from serving in the Navy.

What Is The Max Age To Join The Navy?

Age Limits for Enlisting
The oldest you can be to enlist for active duty in each branch is Coast Guard: 31. Marines: 28. Navy: 39.

What Should I Know Before Joining The Navy?

Generally, you must:
• Be a citizen or a resident alien.
• Meet exacting physical, mental, and moral standards.
• Have a high school diploma.
• Have a qualifying score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test.
• Pass a Military Entrance Processing Station medical exam.


The list above highlights some of the highest-paying navy jobs and you can pursue any of these careers as long as you meet the requirements. 

We hope this article has been helpful. Kindly share and leave a comment in the section below. 

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