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Aircraft Launch and Recovery Officers

Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

Service Branches

  • Marines logo
  • navy logo

Work Environment

Aircraft launch and recovery officers work outdoors aboard ships while operating and maintaining launch and recovery equipment or holding visual landing aids for incoming aircraft. They are exposed to noise and fumes from jet and helicopter engines.

  • Military Status


  • Median Military Salary This is the median, or the midpoint, of the salary range for this career.


    Military Salary Range Salary varies based on years of service, degree level, special pays, family status and location.

    $23,019 - $236,074


Aircraft launch and recovery officers work on aircraft carriers, where they plan and direct launch and recovery operations. They lead teams in the maintenance of catapults, arresting gear, and associated mechanical, hydraulic, and control systems. These officers and their staffs are responsible for ensuring the safe take off and landing of military aircraft.

Military Training

Officers typically enter the Military after they have completed a four-year college degree; enlisted service members can transition to officer positions through a variety of pathways and earn a degree while serving. Job training for aircraft launch and recovery officers primarily consists of on-the-job learning in various training environments and through receiving advanced civilian/industry certifications and licenses (credentials) which may require additional education training or experience. Like other officers they complete a comprehensive training program covering responsibilities military structure and etiquette traditions and leadership development.

Helpful Attributes

  • Interest in aircraft flight operations
  • Interest in working with hydraulic and mechanical equipment
  • Ability to make quick, decisive judgments

Related Civilian Careers

  • Air Traffic Controllers
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Airfield Operations Specialists