15 Highest Paying Navy Jobs in the United States in 2023

There are many high-paying navy jobs in the United States, with some paying as much 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.

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.

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.

The average income for pilots in the U.S. Navy is $99,053 and the top-paid, experienced, long-serving pilots enjoy salaries as high as $183,000 per 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 aircraft both at sea and onshore.

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 the E-9 Navy rating, an Aviation Boatswain’s Mate’s average salary is $72,233 per year. Those with advanced ratings can earn as high as $129k per 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 Ordnanceman (AO) earn an average income of $53,672 per year while the top earners enjoy salaries as high as $131,000 per 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 pay for a Navy Machinist Mate in the United States is $56,122 while the top earners receive more than $129,000 per 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.

The average salary for Sonar Technicians in the Navy is $52,223 with the top earners enjoying salaries of up to $87,000 per 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 salary for the U.S. Navy Air Traffic Controllers is $67,489 with the top-paid professionals gettingĀ  $168,000 per 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 average salary for Navy paralegals in the U.S. is $68,437 while the top earners enjoy salaries as high as $76,649 per 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 average salary for intelligence specialists in the United States Navy is $45,756 while the top-paid experts’ salaries are as high as $112,000 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 average salary for mass communication specialists in the Navy is $50,195 with the top earners enjoying as much as $64,000 per year. 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.

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 average salary for the U.S. Navy electronic technicians is $60,951 while the top earners enjoy as much asĀ  $77,000 per 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 salary of $55,029 per year. The highest-paid culinary specialists in the U.S. Navy earn $136,000 per 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 include 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 average salary for financial management analysts in the Navy is $79,291 while the highest earners pocket as high as $108,256.

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.

The estimated base salary for Navy aviation maintenance managers is $87,694 with the top earners enjoying more than $118,000 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 average salary for fleet maintenance managers in the Navy is $98,400 per year. The top earners get as high as $113,700 per year in salaries, which makes this one of the highest-paying navy jobs in the United States.

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, fueling, and electrical systems in these vehicles.

The estimated base salary for a construction mechanic in the U.S. Navy is $53,994 while top earners receive more than $69k per year in wages.


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.

For those who do these naval jobs, they are well worth the high salaries. Because these jobs require special skills, are important, and serve the country. Military Challenge Coins are a great gift to thank these Navy professionals for their service to the cause of the United States Navy. Challenge coins are a symbol of honor and affirmation. Gifting them Military Challenge Coins will motivate them to work even harder. These military coins are also worthy of permanent commemoration and collection.

Here’s a resourceful video by Nicky MGTV.

John Rowells

I am a passionate writer and career enthusiast. I share valuable insights and advice on navigating the world of careers. Join me on this journey of self-discovery and professional development as we unlock your full potential and achieve fulfilling work lives. Let's connect and achieve your career goals together.

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