Honour. Pride. Pride. These are just some of the things you might think about when you think about military personnel. For some, it’s just a job. Consider someone passionate about military planes. While they don’t care much about the service, they are passionate about engineering these amazing machines. They can only do this by joining the military.
Others are looking for stable work that pays well, offers great benefits, and is stable.
If money is your main motivator for joining the military, then you might be wondering which branch pays the most. This will allow you to prepare to join the branch that pays the most.
It is not an easy task to get into the military. Some branches require you to pass rigorous physical exams, while others require that you have high academic standards. Before making any decisions, it is important to understand what you are getting into.
This article will show you which military branches are the best and how to get in. We’ll also discuss how to best prepare for the entrance test and how to have a long and successful career in these branches.
The U.S. Military Branches
Pay is an important aspect of any branch. However, it’s also crucial to know what you are getting into. Each branch has its mission, goals, and culture.
The United States has five military branches:
- Army – This branch has more than 500,000 soldiers. The U.S. Army, the largest land force in the United States Military, is its main branch. It is responsible for both ground combat operations and the security of strategic locations. In times of crisis, the Army can also support other branches.
- Navy – The navy employs more than 320,000 people. The U.S. Navy’s responsibility is maritime security and power projection. This branch is active in hostile environments all around the globe.
- Air Force – The air force employs more than 300,000 personnel. The U.S. Air Force, which is part of the military’s aerial warfare branch, is responsible for flying the aircraft. They are responsible to operate and maintain all aircraft used by the other branches.
- Marines – The marines employ almost 200,000 people. The U.S. Marine Corps is an amphibious force. This means that they can operate on both land and water. While they support the Army on land, they can also be independent during sea-based operations.
- Coast Guard – The coast guard employs over 50,000 people. The Coast Guard, a branch with multiple missions, falls under the Department of Homeland Security. They are responsible for maritime law enforcement and search and rescue as well as icebreaking and many other tasks.
- National Guard The national guard is made up of over 450,000 people and provides support for civilian authorities during times of crisis. Ironically, this branch of the army is not mentioned in the Constitution.
Each one has its requirements.
Which military branch has the best pay and benefits?
Here is where things get tricky. Because pay grades are uniform across the army, all branches have the same basic pay. Each branch offers higher pay for specific jobs (e.g., aircraft maintenance for the airforce or work on submarines for the navy).
You can also become a military nurse or doctor. These positions pay less than civilian ones, but they also offer different benefits.
The highest-paying jobs are generally those that require more training or danger.
To make more money in the military, you must move up in your grades. These can be separated by service or training. You’ll make more money the higher your grade.
Each branch has its grade and progression paths.
Grades in the U.S. Military
Enlisted soldiers are among the lowest-ranking military personnel. These soldiers make up the largest portion of the force and are paid in the E-1 through E-9 range.
Next up is the rank of commissioned officers. They hold leadership positions in the military and have college diplomas. They can earn O1-E or O3-E depending on their pay grade.
The highest-ranking military personnel is warrant officers. They are highly skilled and have pay grades ranging from W-1 through W-5.
Here’s an example of how the grading system works with enlisted soldiers.
- Private (E-1)
- Private Second Class (E-2)
- Private First Class (E-33)
- Specialist or Corporal (E-4).
- Sergeant (E-5)
- Sergeant First Class (E-6)
- Master Sergeant (E-7) or First Sergeant
- Sergeant Major (E-8)
- Major Command Sergeant (E-9)
This applies to all enlisted soldiers of all branches, whether they are in the army, navy, or marines. While the names may be different, the grades will be the same, and the pay the same if they are compared with their respective branches.
Both warrant and commissioned officers get different pay. They also use a similar grading system, which goes from W-1 through W-5 for warrant officers and O-11 to O-3E in the case of commissioned officers.
Editor’s Note: Some jobs are very specific to one branch. Let’s take, for instance, aircraft mechanics. The average annual salary for aircraft mechanics in the Air Force is $56,098, which is 18% more than the Army median.
Problems in Calculating the Most Profitable Military Branch
The Air Force offers its personnel a Housing Allowance (BAH). This is not offered in other branches. This allowance makes the air force look much more appealing.
The navy offers its personnel a $40,000 signing bonus, depending on their position. This one-time payment is available to those who have enlisted for at least six years.
All these benefits make the military branch the most profitable. It’s not always the one with the highest base salary.
Don’t forget about special pay. These special payments are awarded to personnel who possess specific skills or perform dangerous duties. Air force pilots, for example, receive $125 per month in flight pay on top of their regular salaries.
Additional important special payments include sea pay, hardship pay, and danger payment. These special payments are available to personnel who work in dangerous or difficult conditions.
Last but not least, veteran benefits, even though they are not directly paying, are something to be aware of. All veterans are eligible to receive healthcare, education benefits, and home loans.
When you add all of these benefits and pay, the most profitable military branch would be…
The air force is the best option when you consider all the benefits and types of pay offered by each branch.
However, it is important to first join the military.
How to get into the Military
First, choose the branch that you wish to join. After you have decided which branch you want to join, it is time to find out the requirements.
Also, you must meet the physical requirements for the branch that you wish to join.
The Army, for example, has different physical requirements to the Air Force. For the Army, you must be in the good physical condition and have excellent vision. The Air Force requires that you have 20/20 vision and pass a physical fitness test.
Editor’s note You might have heard horror stories regarding the army’s physical fitness test. These atrocious stories mostly concern the navy seals and not the regular army. It’s not difficult to pass the physical fitness test for the regular army. It’s quite simple.
Talk to a recruiter
After you have done your research and are certain you meet the requirements then contact a recruiter.
The people you will need to help you throughout the process are called recruiters. They will help you fill out paperwork, answer all your questions, and guide you through each step.
Your ASVAB test will be administered by the recruiter.
The ASVAB test is used to determine which military jobs you are eligible for. This test will help you determine which job you have in the military and how much you earn. You must pass it well.
Once you have completed the ASVAB and met with a recruiter you are ready to begin the enlistment process.
To be enlisted, you must first visit MEPS.
MEPS stands for Military Entrance Processing Station. Here you will be subject to your background check and medical evaluations. This is where the army will determine if you are a good match for the job.
If you pass these tests, you will be sworn in as a military member.
Once you have completed your basic training, you will be assigned to your permanent duty station.
Once you have completed your basic training, you will be assigned to your first duty station.
Your first duty station
This is the moment you can start making money. Your rank and job will determine how much you get paid.
Which military branch pays the highest? It all depends on many factors.
The Army and Air Force are generally the highest-paying branches. The Army has the highest base salary, while the Air Force offers greater opportunities for special compensation.
The Air Force may be better suited if you are looking for greater opportunities for special compensation.
No matter what you do, make sure to research the field and speak with a recruiter before making any major decisions. Most importantly, do not join the army for the money.
One, the salary the army pays isn’t that great. A college degree will pay much more than any job. You’ll be working harder than ever before.
Only join the Army if your heart is set on serving your country. You’ll waste your time and the army’s time otherwise.