Find Military Pay Rates

Do you need to find military pay rates?  Well, this article will help you learn where to find the pay rates and will also help you interpret the chart itself. This chart tends to change almost - if not every - year as the pay rates are adjusted by the government.

First, you will need to get your hands on an up-to-date pay chart.  It's easy to find one online, but you can also pick one up at a recruiter's office. If you do go to the recruiter's office, keep in mind that they'll try to pressure you into joining.  Unless you want to sit through the sales pitch, it's probably best to use the internet.  A good pay chart can be found on and it's in an easy-to-read format.

Now that you have successfully found a military pay chart, you need to find the different rates and to whom they apply.  

The one that provided is already broken down into four separate categories as are printed military versions:

  • Enlisted, which is applicable if you are enlisted or intend to join as an enlisted person.
  • Officer, for those who are already officers and those in or thinking of joining ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) and wondering what they would earn in the military.
  • Enlisted Reserve and Guard Drill, for the enlisted reservists who are conducting drill - the one weekend a month, two weeks a year of training.  This category is handy for those in or considering joining the Reserve or National Guard.
  • Officer Reserve and Guard Military Drill, for the officers that are also doing their drill time. This category applies to those who are officers in the Reserves or National Guard.

Each chart is broken down into a grid that can be daunting at first. After you know how to look at these charts, though, they really are quite simple.

In the left column you can find the Pay Grade - the highest is at the top and the chart goes down in rank as you read down the page.  Along the top row you will see the Years of Service; each row below shows the corresponding pay for each rank.

It is important to keep in mind that the each branch has different variables that factor into pay, including: Hazard Pay, Sea Pay, and others.  Since these are considered regular payroll they are usually taxed.  However, "allowances" such as your Cost of Living Allowance (this rate varies by rank, marital status and zip code) and your Housing Allowance are not usually taxed.


Share this article!

Follow us!

Find more helpful articles: