Compensation Estimator

While not a guarantee of exact compensation, this interactive tool gives you an idea of the salary you can earn as an active-duty service member. To begin, select your options from the drop-down menus below. Then adjust the slider at the bottom of the tool to see how compensation changes over time.

Select Education Level

Select Family Status

Select Advanced Degree

Move slider to adjust annual compensation by year

Year 10

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Years of service

  • High

    • Base Pay

      num

    • Medical Pay

      num

    • Housing Allowance

      num

    • FICA

      6.2% contribution

  • Low

    • Base Pay

      num

    • Medical Pay

      num

    • Housing Allowance

      num

    • FICA

      6.2% contribution

In Year 10:
Captain Ashley McMillan
Captain | Ashley McMillan Marine Corps

Base Pay And Special Pays

Military salaries come from two sources: base pay and special pays. Base pay is the same across all Service branches, and increases are based on rank and time in the Service. The base pay featured here is estimated based on the military average across all Service branches.

Special pays are provided for some service members based on occupational specialty or specific tasks performed. For example, hazardous duty earns an extra $150 per month, while aviation officers earn an additional $125–$840 per month. Service members may earn no more than two special pays simultaneously.

Reserve & Guard Compensation

When serving in the Reserve or Guard, you receive base pay for the time you spend in basic training or active duty (e.g., annual training). You also receive drill pay for your inactive duty time, such as training weekends.

Your pay varies based upon your rank and the type of job you perform. Depending on your type of Service and qualifications, you may also be eligible for a bonus and/or an allowance.

Reserve & Guard Pay Calculator

Some Guard and Reserve branches offer calculators that provide more detailed information about the type of pay you can expect.

Army National Guard: 

See a breakdown of your potential pay according to your pay grade and whether you plan to be enlisted or an officer.

Navy Reserve: 

Toggle the “Full Time/Part Time” tab to see a breakdown of your potential compensation range according to pay grade and years of service.

Air National Guard: 

Use the calculator to see your total potential pay according to pay grade and years of service.

Military Salary & Compensation Facts

  • The housing allowance estimates shown in the compensation estimator are based on an average of allowances in all locations, but the amount varies based on cost of living in specific locations (e.g., it generally costs more to live in a major city than a rural neighborhood). Housing Allowance is also affected by pay grade and number of dependents.
  • Dental insurance in-kind benefit provides 100 percent coverage for Active Duty. There is no limit to the value of dental care service members may receive. Family members may be added at a small additional cost.
  • Medical insurance in-kind benefit provides 100 percent coverage and there is no limit to the value of medical care service members or their families may receive.
  • Medical professional pay is calculated based on several factors including variable special pay and incentive special pay, commonly awarded to medical officers. Talk to a recruiter about your specific case.
  • The Military contributes 6.2% of total compensation to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax and matches contributions, like civilian employers.
  • Overseas housing allowances are paid in U.S. dollars and adjusted periodically to reflect changes in local exchange rates.
  • The compensation estimator does not include special pays, such as foreign language pay, that some service members may receive under certain circumstances.
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