Highest-Paying Military Careers

These top-paying jobs in the Military require specialized training in addition to service commitments.

A Navy service member working on a computer in an operatons room

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Military Dental Laboratory Technicians

Dental laboratory technicians construct and repair dentures and other dental appliances including crowns, bridges, partial dentures, pre- and post-oral and maxillofacial surgical devices, and orthodontic appliances in a laboratory. Although dental technicians seldom work directly with patients, they provide a valued healthcare service by working with dentists to improve patient health and appearance.

  • Average Salary:$158,901
  • Most Common Education: High school

Military Pharmacists

Pharmacists dispense medication, consult with patients on proper usage and side effects, and carry out medication regimens with the utmost accuracy and integrity. They also advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosage, interactions, and side effects of medications. They need to be knowledgeable about the drugs they dispense and pay great attention to detail to fulfill the important role they play in patient care.

  • Average Salary:$137,992
  • Most Common Education: First professional degree

Military Physicists

Physicists analyze and test physical properties of materials, including matter affecting living organisms, and apply results of experiments to the solution of problems. They engage in continuous development and modification to improve performance and suitability of products and production processes.

  • Average Salary:$130,580
  • Most Common Education: Doctoral degree

Military Music Composers and Arrangers

Music composers and arrangers write and transcribe musical scores. They adapt music into customized musical arrangements and create original music for various musical ensembles. Knowledge of music theory, transpositions, capabilities of instruments, and the ability to arrange and compose music using industry standard software are mandatory.

  • Average Salary:$126,026
  • Most Common Education: Not available

Military Chemists

Chemists conduct and advise on research having military and/or medical application, such as protection of personnel from chemical, biological, and radiological agents; development, handling, and use of improved petroleum and synthetic fuels and lubricants; and, purification and control of atmosphere, as on nuclear submarines. Chemists also perform experiments, devise instrumentation and techniques to record and collect test results, correlate and analyze data compiled in research, and brief results.

  • Average Salary:$124,495
  • Most Common Education: Bachelor's degree

Military Professors and Instructors

The work of a professor and instructor is multi-faceted. Professors and instructors are tasked with the design and delivery of instruction in the classroom. They spend their time teaching, conducting research, and supporting their students in a variety of academic and vocational subjects related to their military occupations. Some specialize by functional area, such as military-specific/tactical.

  • Average Salary:$124,193
  • Most Common Education: Doctoral degree

Military Training Specialists

Training specialists plan, conduct, and administer programs that train and continually improve the knowledge, skills, and abilities of military personnel. Training programs may be conducted in a classroom, in a laboratory, in the field, or online. Some specialize by functional area, such as military-specific/tactical.

  • Average Salary:$124,193
  • Most Common Education: Bachelor's degree

Military Industrial Engineers

Industrial engineers manage research to determine the most effective ways for the Military to use its people and equipment. They conduct studies and oversee projects to optimize the use of time, money, materials, energy, and other resources. These professionals create engineering processes to improve the efficiency and productivity of military operations.  They also apply analysis and assessment methods to problems related to strategic planning, acquisitions, and mission support.

  • Average Salary:$123,300
  • Most Common Education: Bachelor's degree

Military Social Workers

Social workers apply knowledge and professional social work practices to provide effective mental health services to military personnel and their families. They are responsible for performing social work functions including clinical counseling, consultation, critical event debriefings, and substance abuse interventions. They assess needs for social and psychological support in individuals, families, and groups, and they provide evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of psychological disorders. They provide consultation to leading officials and they promote social work research, training, and internship programs.

  • Average Salary:$120,752
  • Most Common Education: Bachelor's degree

Military Pathologists

Military pathologists primarily work in military laboratories. These specialists conduct tests on tissue, cells, and bodily fluids to diagnose disease. They direct other medical officers and technicians in performing such anatomical pathological examinations as biopsies and necropsies involving preparation of tissue for microscopic analysis. They conduct laboratory tests and examinations of blood, organs, and body tissues to determine etiology, nature, and development of diseases and disease processes.  

  • Average Salary:$119,876
  • Most Common Education: Post-doctoral training