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Working - Careers and Pay

Differences Between Enlisted and Officer Careers

Enlisted - Enlisted careers vary, but most involve mechanical, transportation, human service or office skills that transfer to the civilian world. All enlisted jobs require a high school diploma. Keep in mind that there is no guarantee service members will receive their first choice for a career, as the Services determine where each individual's skills are needed most at that time.

Officer - Officers are the managers of the Military, acting in leadership roles that require planning, directing operations and making critical decisions. Officer positions also include civilian careers that require advanced degrees, such as law and medicine. Officers have generally completed a four-year college degree or greater before serving.

Career Fields and Profiles

Choosing a career in the Military takes careful consideration. Below, you will find a link that will allow you to start exploring military jobs that fit your skill set and interests. To begin, choose an industry you'd like to learn more about. Then select whether you'd be interested in serving in an enlisted or officer role in that career field. Each page includes that field's typical job titles, required training, daily responsibilities and associated civilian careers.

Click here to utilize the career search tool.

What Does Each Career Earn?

Whether a service member has a family to support or is responsible just for himself or herself, salary in the Military provides a comfortable lifestyle with pay that competes with most civilian careers. Salary in the Military comes 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. While not a guarantee of exact compensation, this compensation estimator should give you an idea of the salary and benefits you can earn as an active-duty service member.

Skills For a Civilian Career

While the Military can be a lifelong career choice, featuring a structure environment of job advancement and both personal and professional success, service can also act as a springboard to a later civilian career. Either way, service members have access to resources to make a successful transition into life after serving.

Working Videos

See a sampling of the types of careers available to service members with highlights from the Military's "Working Videos" page.