10 Highest Paid Military Branch in 2023 (2023)

10 Highest Paid Military Branch in 2023 (1)

Honor. Pride. Sense of obligation. These are only some matters that come to mind while thinking about contributors of the American Army. But for some humans, it’s a process like every other.Getting into the military isn’t an easy feat, and that’s why training is important. Some branches have grueling bodily tests, and others have excessive academic requirements, which is why it’s so important to know what you’re entering earlier before deciding.

This trend of increased pay and benefits rings especially true for many branches of the military around the world. Yes, there are some entries into this list from the American military, but the top ten features unexpected branches from all over the globe, from powerful and prestigious to smaller and then to the unexpected.

If you are a veteran, actively serving, or a recruit, do you think your branch of service made the cut? If you have an unending interest in joining the military but want to get paid what you’re worth, here are the world’s 10 highest-paid military branches.

What Military Branch Pays the Most?

The Australian Defence Force is the military branch that pays the most. It offers a base pay of approximately $30,000 US dollars.

This highest paying military branch pays the best. It offers allowances and benefits (including housing and uniforms allowances) that make the end resulting pay nearly double that figure for entry-level recruits.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is the military organization responsible for the defense of the Commonwealth of Australia and its national interests.

TheRoyal Australian Navy (RAN), Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and several “tri-service” un are all part of the ADF.

The Different Military Branches

While pay is critical, it’s important to understand what are you getting into with every branch. They all have extraordinary missions, desires, and cultures.

There are 5 army branches inside the United States:

  • Army: This is the biggest branch, with over 500,000 soldiers. The Army is the primary land pressure of the Military. It’s accountable for floor fight operations as well as securing strategic locations. The Army additionally offers to assist other branches throughout times of want.
  • Navy: The army has over 320,000 personnel. The Navy is accountable for maritime protection and power projection. This department operates all over the world, in some of the maximum antagonistic environments imaginable.
  • Air Force: The air force has over three hundred,000 energetic personnel. The Air Force is the aerial war branch of the navy. They are chargeable for working and preserving all aircraft used by the opposite branches.
  • Marines: The marines have nearly 2 hundred,000 employees. The Marine Corps are known as an amphibious pressure, which means they can function on land and water. They offer to assist the Army during land operations, however, also can function independently throughout sea-based totally missions.
  • Coast Guard: The coast shield has over 50,000 lively personnel. The Coast Guard is a multi-missioned department that falls below the Department of Homeland Security. They are liable for maritime regulation enforcement, seek and rescue, ice-breaking, and lots greater.
  • National Guard: The national guard has over 450,000 employees and supplies support to civilian authorities in need. Ironically, that is the best army department stated in the Constitution.

All of them have exclusive requirements for entrance.

What are the various grades inside the military?

The Military operates on a device of grades. The better your grade, the higher your pay. There is a similar separation between the enlisted soldier, commissioned officer, and warrant officer.

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Enlisted infantrymen are the bottom-ranking contributors to the navy. They make up the bulk of the force and their pay grades vary from E-1 to E-9.

Commissioned officers are the subsequent step up. They have a college degree, and they maintain management positions within the military. Their pay grades vary from O1-E to O3-E.

Warrant officials are the highest-ranking individuals in the army. They have specialized competencies, and their pay grades vary from W-1 to W-five.

Here is how the grading machine works for enlisted infantrymen:

  • Private (E-1)
  • Private Second Class (E-2)
  • Private First Class (E-three)
  • Specialist or Corporal (E-four)
  • Sergeant (E-five)
  • Sergeant First Class (E-6)
  • Master Sergeant or First Sergeant (E-7)
  • Sergeant Major (E-eight)
  • Command Sergeant Major (E-9)

This works for all enlisted squaddies in all branches—be it the navy, navy, or marines. Although the names could be exclusive, the grades and pay can be identical in case you compare them with their respective branches.

The higher your grade, the better your pay.

What Military Branch Pays the Most Starting Salary?

Salary across the US military is paid according to rank. The US Military branch pays the most starting salary as an enlisted service member in their first six months earning about $20, 000 per year.

The US military officer pay is much higher as newly commissioned officers earn over $38, 000 annually. The figures here are base-pay. A military officer in the US branch also enjoys allowances for housing, food, uniforms, and job-specific bonuses.

What is the Best Military Branch?

The best military branch across the globe is the U.S. Marine Corps. With a 4.2 star rating, the Marine corps is the top-rated military service branch based on career reviews on Glassdoor.

Basically, the US Army offers the same federal benefits as all other branches. Military service members pride themselves in being soldiers in the best military branch in the world.

Related Article: Highest Paid Military in the World | Best 10 Countries

10 Highest Paid Military Branch in 2023

#10. Royal Air Force (UK)

One of the most historically prestigious branches of military service in the world also pays to match the reputation.

The qualifications for joining do not come easy, but if you can hack the standard, you can get around 28,000$ in the US in base pay as a recruit and not have to find yourself amid the dangers found at the front lines.

You would also have the distinct honor of being among the decorated history of the RAF both within England and internationally.

This is the least Highest Paid Military Branch on this list.

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#9. Japanese Self-Defense Forces

While the base pay is not at the top of the list, your number one draw is the lump sum payment that comes upon retirement from the Japanese Self-Defense Forces.

Yes, you would be taxed on the payment, but after years of service, who would not want a chunk of change that often comes in at more than $100,000 US?

If you want a bit of a retirement parachute from your years of hard work- then you should already look at what you can do to join the JSDF.

#8. United States Marine Corps

Yes, the base pay if you join the USMC is the same as in other US military branches. But the difference comes in with the risks and opportunities for payment (and advancement) that you will have access to once you pass the grueling basic training for new recruits.

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Possible additional pay comes in from deployment, parachute jumps, and repeated tours of duty.

The branch also offers very generous benefits including housing allowances and 30 days of PTO.

This is another Highest-Paid Military Branch in the world.

#7. German Army

If you join the German army, you are probably looking toward the benefits that come along with it. Yes, the base pay is decent, but the massive infrastructure and social programs are the true draws.

Among the best aspects of the German Army’s pay and benefits program is its generous pension program that comes along with being a citizen of Germany and ensures a safe and dignified retirement.

#6. French Foreign Legion

If you seek a bit of a more international experience while getting paid properly for your efforts, then the French Foreign Legion is a fit for you.

While initial base pay might be relatively low, the appeal jumps massively when you consider the huge pay bumps if you serve on an overseas deployment with the French Foreign Legion (upwards of $4,000 US a month).

If seeing the world is in the cards for your career, then this is the branch to join and pad your wallet.

They are among the highest-paid military branch.

#5. United States Air Force

While the initial base pay, if you join the USAF, it is identical across every United States branch. The pay is around $20,000 per year.

This relatively low pay is made up for by a myriad of benefits, including housing allowances, educational grants, and deployment pay.

This rings true for every branch of the US military, but the specialized nature of the USAF allows for the most extensive room for growth in terms of compensation.

Put on top of this that you can retire in 20 years and this is definitely a route to go that will keep you further out of harm’s way than in other branches.

It is among the highest-paid military branch.

#4. Royal New Zealand Air Force

If you can get past the strict standards, then this might be one of the ‘cushiest’ military gigs you can land anywhere in the world.

The base pay range is quite high, around $34,000 US a year, and does offer benefits including childcare, paid leave, and educational grants.

Additionally, you get to spend your career zipping around the scenic vistas of New Zealand. So, if you can manage it, fly into a role in the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

#3. British Army

The British Army has one of the most established and comprehensive systems of compensation and benefits that one can join into.

Base pay for a recruit into the army is around $28,000 USD per year. But also includes a myriad of benefits including pay for hazardous conditions and a progressive pay scale.

This is only possible if you can hack the stringent requirements needed to advance through the ranks of being a soldier for the Queen of England.

It is one of the highest paid military branch.

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#2. Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)

This umbrella body of the Canadian military offers outstanding base pay for new recruits no matter which area you join.

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As a recruit, you earn approximately upwards of $30,000 US and that pay can range up higher.

The only reason this branch of the military isn’t in our number one spot is because of a slight lack of total benefits (although with health care and allowances, you won’t exactly be lacking if you join ranks into the CAF) when compared to our top spot.

It is one of the second highest-paid military branches.

#1. Australian Defence Force

This branch from down under boasts close to the highest dollar amount on earth. But it truly takes the top slot as the benefits and allowance pay shoot it past other global military branches.

In addition, with a base pay of approximately $30,000 US dollars, the ADF also offers allowances and benefits (including housing and uniforms allowances) that make the end resulting pay nearly double that figure for entry-level recruits.

For overall pay and benefits, you simply can do no better than the ADF.

This is the highest-paid military branch.

FAQs on the Highest Paid Military Branches

What Military Branch Pays the Most?

The Australian Defence Force is the military branch that pays the most. It offers a base pay of approximately $30,000 US dollars.

What Military Branch Pays the Most Starting Salary?

The US Military branch pays the most starting salary, as enlisted service members in their first six months earn about $20, 000 per year.

What is the Best Military Branch?

The best military branch across the globe is the U.S Marine Corps. With a 4.2 star rating, the Marine corps is the top-rated military service branch based on career reviews on Glassdoor.

What are the 10 Highest Paid Military Branches in 2023?

These are the 10 highest paid military branches in 2023:
10) Royal Air Force (UK)
9) Japanese Self-Defense Forces
8) United States Marine Corp
7) German Army
6) French Foreign Legion
5) United States Air Force
4) Royal New Zealand Air Force
3) British Army
2) Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)
1) Australian Defence Force

In Conclusion

There you go, 10 of the highest-paid military branches in the world. If you’re a citizen of one of these countries and are currently looking around for work that won’t bore you but will also pad that pesky bank account of yours, joining ranks is the best way.

We want to know which branch you would like to join the most and why. Do you want to take the money and base pay or do you prefer a better benefits package?

Do you want the prestige of a branch like the United States Marine Corp., or would you prefer a quiet career in a branch that is less involved on a global scale like the Royal New Zealand Air Force?

Would you prefer the sheer power of the most powerful branch in the world- the US Navy? Are there any branches that you think got snubbed from our top ten? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.




Will military get a pay raise in 2023? ›

The largest military pay raise in decades is coming in 2023 for active-duty troops as part of the annual defense authorization bill approved by Congress this month. Under the plan, active-duty troops and drilling Guard and reserve members will receive a 4.6% pay raise, the largest bump in 20 years.

Which military branch is the highest paid? ›

Navy. The Navy is responsible for protecting U.S. interests at sea. The Navy handles operations on and under the sea, in the air and on the ground.

What is the lowest paying military branch? ›

E-1: $20,340. E-1 is the lowest enlisted rank in the US military: Airman Basic (Air Force), Private (Army/Marine Corps), Seaman Recruit (Navy). Service members usually hold this rank through basic training, and automatically promote to the next rank after six months of service.

What is the hardest military branch to rank up? ›

There's a great argument that the Marine Corps has the hardest military training of anyone, and here's why. Of course, when you reach the top, you can find them becoming SEALs or a part of the Marine Raider Regiment (MRR), but the training of any Marine is some of the hardest military training in the world.

What will the 2024 military pay raise be? ›

Service members and Defense Department civilian employees would receive a 5.2-percent increase in basic pay, under the Biden administration's proposed $842 billion 2024 defense-spending bill. The proposal also contains provisions that address quality-of-life issues.

How much is E7 retirement pay with 20 years? ›

What is the retirement pay for an E7 with 20 years? As of 2022 the pay calculation projection an E7 retiring with exactly 20 years of service would receive $27,827 per year. It's important to note the present value of almost $800,000 for a 40 year old receiving this pension indefinitely.

Which branch has the best benefits? ›

The Marines, Coast Guard, and Space Force are the branches of the military that have the best benefits. They also are the branches of the military that have the best pay. Nearly all branches of the military pay new recruits relatively the same pay ranges and benefits plans.

What branch travels the most? ›

If you want to travel, every branch of the service has overseas locations and the Navy is probably the most traveled branch of service. Other branches have permanent bases overseas in places like Europe, Japan, and Korea.

What is the best military branch to go to? ›

The Army is perfect for those that are looking to experience new places and travel the world, as t he Army has bases all over the world. In addition to world travel, the Army has a great amount of job opportunities and career advancement for those looking to build a successful military career.

What is the safest military branch? ›

The primary mission of the Coast Guard is to protect domestic waterways. What is the safest military branch? The Space Force is the safest military branch in terms of man-to-man combat and machine-to-machine accidents.

What branch ranks the fastest? ›

Among officers, however, Air Force promotes faster than Army and Marine Corps peers through 20 years' service, and even surpasses Navy's pace over a typical 24-year officer career, service promotion data show.

What is the easiest military branch? ›

The Air Force is reported to be the “easiest” branch when it comes to physical challenges and difficulties. Next to the Coast Guard, Air Force members are among the least likely to see combat.

What military branch goes in first in a war? ›

The Marine Corps is often first on the ground in combat situations.

Do soldiers pay taxes? ›

While all pays are taxable, most allowances are tax-exempt. The primary allowances for most individuals are BAS and BAH, which are tax-exempt. Conus COLA is one allowance that is taxable.

What military branch accepts felons? ›

It's possible to join the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Space Force, or Coast Guard with a felony conviction. With that said, it is an uphill battle. In general, the six branches of the military are looking for candidates with a “sound moral character“. Often, a felony is looked at as a failure to meet that standard.

What is the pay raise for the Navy in 2023? ›

The FY 2023 budget supports the quality of life for our Sailors and their families with a 4.6% pay raise - aligning with the Employment Cost Index (ECI).

Will the military pay more? ›

The raise is based on the federal Employment Cost Index, which tracks wages and salaries of private sector workers annually. Figures used in the recent calculation of the index point to a 5.2% pay raise for troops in January 2024, which would be the largest since a 6.9% average military pay increase in 2002.

What is the GS increase for 2023? ›

The 2023 GS pay scale incorporates a 2023 federal pay raise with an overall average of 4.6% with a General Schedule (GS) base pay increase of 4.1% and a 2023 GS locality pay increase of 0.5% for a total 2023 pay raise of 4.6% for federal employees. FedSmith, Inc. FedSmith, Inc.

Can you live off military retirement? ›

Can You Live Off Military Retirement Pay? The short answer is, yes, absolutely. But it takes a lot of planning to make this work. A good friend of mine, Doug Nordman, wrote the book, The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Early Retirement, and founded the website, The Military Guide.

How many years can an E7 serve? ›

Navy High Year of Tenure
RankTotal Years Active-Duty ServiceTotal Years Reserve Service
E516 years20 years
E622 years22 years
E724 years24 years
E826 years26 years
4 more rows
Mar 10, 2023

Is E7 a high rank? ›

Sergeant First Class (SFC) is the seventh enlisted rank (E-7) in the U.S. Army, ranking above staff sergeant (E-6) and below master sergeant and first sergeant (E-8), and is the first non-commissioned officer rank designated as a senior non-commissioned officer (SNCO).

Which branch has the best uniforms? ›

Number one on the list of best military uniforms is the Marine Corps dress blues. The Marine dress blue uniform includes a long dark blue coat with a stand collar. The collar includes red trim and gold buttons. Also, Marines wear a white belt with the dress coat.

What military branch has the best quality of life? ›

Rod Powers was a retired Air Force First Sergeant with 22 years of active duty service. The Air Force has the reputation of having the best quality of life programs (dormitories, family housing, on-base shopping and services, and recreation) of all the military service branches.

What branch has the most flight time? ›

The Marines are averaging between 14 to 16 hours a month per pilot, while the Air Force is averaging just a little above nine to 10 hours per pilot per month, according to testimony Wednesday from Gen. Glenn M. Walters, the Marine Corps assistant commandant, and Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen.

Which military branch is popular? ›

U.S. military force numbers 2021, by service branch and reserve component. The U.S. Army had the highest number of active duty personnel in 2021, with 482,416 troops.

What is the easiest boot camp? ›

Many would say the Air Force. However, it is not exactly a leisurely vacation. Here are highlights of the 'least physically demanding' basic training: Daily PT, with a final test requiring least 50 sit ups, 45 push ups and 1.5 mile run in 11:57 or less.

Which military branch has the most jobs? ›

The Army is the largest branch of the U.S. military and as such has the biggest selection of jobs. Each military occupational specialty (MOS) has its own required ASVAB score and some have additional qualification factors.

Will BAH rates increase in 2023? ›

Basic Allowance for Housing rates will increase an average of 12.1 percent when the new rates take effect on January 1, 2023. An estimated $26.8 billion will be paid to approximately one million Service members.

What is the projected military budget for 2023? ›

In his proposed budget, the President requested $772 billion for DoD in fiscal year 2023. That amount is about 1.5 percent less (after removing the effects of inflation) than the amount appropriated for 2022.

How much will the GS pay scale increase in 2023? ›

2023 GS rate: $67,227 (after 4.1% across-the-board increase). 2023 locality rate: $78,319 ($67,227x 1.1650).

What is the largest BAH increase? ›

For 2023, that means troops out-of-pocket expenses for housing range from $82 to $184 per month. The BAH increases follow the Pentagon's announcement that Basic Allowance for Subsistence, which pays for service members' meals, will rise 11.2 percent in 2023—the largest year-over-year increase since 2002.

What is the new military pay raise? ›

Setting a 5.2% raise is even higher than the raise set for the fiscal year 2023 which was already the largest one in a decade at 4.6%. As a benchmark, in 2022, a 6.9% increase was put into place. The United States continues to work to overcome the effects of elevated inflation Americans have faced in recent years.

Does military pay increase when you have a child? ›

Yes, but not in the way you're hoping. That BAH bump comes only once, when the service member gets married or, if they don't marry, when they have more than 50% custody of their first child. After that, the rate does not change per child or per dependent -- it's a one-time thing.

Is GS 12 a high position? ›

The GS-1 through GS-7 range generally marks entry-level positions, while mid-level positions are in the GS-8 to GS-12 range and top-level positions (senior managers, high-level technical specialists, or physicians) are in the GS-13 to GS-15 range.

Will GS 15 get pay raise in 2023? ›

In Washington, DC, the 2023 pay raise is 4.86%. For GS 15 managers in steps 7-10, their pay is subject to a maximum of $183,500. Federal employees in the San Jose-San Francisco locality pay area will receive a pay raise of 5.13% in January.

What is the pay for 2023 GS 6? ›

Starting salary for a GS-6 employee is $36,070.00 per year at Step 1, with a maximum possible base pay of $46,888.00 per year at Step 10. The hourly base pay of a Step 1 GS-6 employee is $17.28 per hour1.

What branch has the biggest budget? ›

In the fiscal year of 2023, the U.S. Navy will spend about 58.48 billion U.S. dollars on military personnel, which is about 25 percent of its total budget plan. The U.S. Army will spend about 69.07 billion U.S. dollars on military personnel in that same fiscal year.

How much does China spend on military? ›

China's defense budget grew by 7.1% last year to 1.45 trillion yuan, faster than the 6.8% increase in 2021 and 6.6% climb in 2020, according to official data. In 2019, China's defense spending rose by 7.5% to 1.19 trillion yuan.

How much is Russia's military budget? ›

Russia's official 2022 military budget is expected to be 4.7 trillion rubles ($75bn), or higher, and about $84bn for 2023, 40% more than initial military budget announced in 2021. Between 2022–2025, Russia plans to spend in total $600bn on defence and security.

How much is a $2,500 raise? ›

If an employee's current annual salary is $50,000, and he earns a $2,500 raise, then the annual salary will increase to $52,500.


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