Highest Paying Military Jobs In The Civilian World

Highest Paying Military Jobs in the Civilian World

August 11, 2021

Leaving active duty to return to civilian life doesn’t mean you have to leave the military altogether.

Plenty of former service members choose to continue their military careers. Whether you want to work in the Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, Army or Air Force, there are many high-paying military jobs that you can pursue after re-entering civilian life.

Let’s dive into what types of careers are out there for military veterans and military personnel, and which pay the best.

What military job pays the most when you transfer to the civilian world?

Working for the U.S. military after becoming a veteran has its perks. Many jobs offer enlistment bonuses with competitive base pay, which is a big draw for enlisted service members who are considering continuing on in the armed forces. 

Enlistment bonuses are much higher for positions that are in-demand. A Satellite Communication Systems Operator-Maintainer can earn a sign-on bonus of $40,000—that’s extra pay in addition to their base pay. 

Here’s a list of some of the high-paying jobs in the military.

Flight instructor

The national average salary for a flight instructor, according to Indeed.com, is $95,114. Flight instructors are commissioned officers who have several years of experience as pilots, and who teach beginning pilots how to fly airplanes or helicopters. Instructors will also teach students about ground and air operations. 

Information security analyst

An information security analyst in the military can earn an average of $93,353 per year. Information security analysts, also known as cybersecurity analysts, typically have a bachelor’s degree or bootcamp training certificate in cybersecurity, like the cybersecurity bootcamp offered at Eleven Fifty Academy.

A cybersecurity analyst for the military will help protect government and military networks against data breaches and other cyber attacks. Information security analysts are highly sought after in the military, and these tech workers can find jobs in almost any branch of the military. 

Army information technology (IT) 

Another tech job that pays well in the military is an Army IT professional, earning an average salary of $69,964. IT professionals for the Army monitor military databases and manage networks and computer systems for the military. IT military members will also take control of installing and maintaining various IT equipment.

What military branch pays the most?

High-paying jobs can be found across all branches of the military—annual salary is paid according to rank, years of experience, and location. For example, a low-ranking, newly enlisted Army private or Air Force airman has a pay grade of E-1 (less than $20,000 per year), whereas the highest-ranking officers in any branch of the military will have a pay grade of O-10, which can earn military members upwards of six figures.

That said, some branches are known to promote faster than others: According to Indeed.com, the Army often promotes military personnel more quickly. A more advanced education will also help you rise the ranks faster; a college degree often helps military members get promoted. 

Here are some of the highest-paying jobs in each branch.


The highest-paying jobs in the Army are information security analysts, also known as cybersecurity analysts. These tech-minded military members can earn upwards of $90,000, depending on education and years of experience.


The best paying jobs in the U.S. Navy are intelligence specialists, earning up to $96,739 per year. Intelligence specialists make recommendations for strategy based on data from various reports. These military members are also known as intelligence analysts, and often deal with highly sensitive material.

Air Force

The top job in the Air Force is in the healthcare sector: Physicians in the Air Force can earn on average $158,997 per year. Air Force physicians are capable of performing almost any treatment you’d receive at a non-military hospital, and they are trained to work in fast-paced environments.

How do I train for a high-paying civilian military job?

Job opportunities are always coming up for civilian military jobs; it’s just a matter of ensuring you get the training and have enough years of experience to rise in the ranks. Depending on the career field that interests you, it might be worth getting more training or education to apply for higher paying jobs.

For example, if you want to work as a cybersecurity analyst, Eleven Fifty Academy offers cybersecurity bootcamps that will train you to be job-ready in a matter of months. Cybersecurity civilian jobs are some of the highest paid military positions out there, making it a great way to earn a competitive salary after leaving active duty.

Learn more about how veterans can get started today. 

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