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.
Highest Paying Navy Jobs in the U.S.
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. 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.
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 mean annual salary for pilots in the U.S. Navy is $89,556 and the top-paid, experienced, long-serving pilots enjoy salaries as high as $186,000 a year. These salaries make this profession among the highest-paying navy careers in the U.S.
3. Aviation Ordnancemen
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. 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 regarding 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.
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 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. 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.
7. 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 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
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 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 2021.
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 construction mechanics in the U.S. navy is $35,968 while top earners receive more than $49,000 a 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.