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 Pulmonologists

Pulmonologists are specially-trained physicians who manage diseases of the respiratory system, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, tuberculosis, and emphysema. These physicians examine patients, diagnose respiratory diseases, and recommend treatment, including therapy and medication. They oversee the care of patients requiring intubation and mechanical ventilation.

  • Average Salary:$114,244
  • Most Common Education: Post-doctoral training

Military Anesthesiologists

Anesthesiologists determine which anesthetics to use (e.g., local, regional, general), considering factors such as the patient’s condition and the operation or procedure to be performed. They coordinate with surgeons and keep records of the patient’s condition.

  • Average Salary:$113,899
  • Most Common Education: Post-doctoral training

Military Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physicians

Physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians examine, diagnose, and treat patients suffering from physical trauma and/or impairments, including those that occurred during combat. They perform sophisticated tests, such as nerve conduction studies, to determine the extent of disability. These physicians provide a wide variety of treatment to patients, including heat and cold therapy, infrared and ultraviolet radiation, and the use of prosthetics.  

  • Average Salary:$113,557
  • Most Common Education: Doctoral degree

Military Ophthalmologists

Ophthalmologists examine, diagnose, and treat diseases, injuries, or abnormalities of the eye. They assess visual and refractive status, measure intraocular pressure, and examine the physical structure of the eye. They prescribe and administer treatments including the use of corrective appliances, and various ocular and systemic medications. They also perform surgery to treat disease and correct visual deficiencies, including laser surgery.

  • Average Salary:$113,557
  • Most Common Education: Post-doctoral training

Military Surgeons

Surgeons examine, diagnose, and treat disease and injuries by applying non-invasive, minimally-invasive, and invasive surgical methods. They determine and direct procedures for preoperative and postoperative care, including medication, diet restrictions, and wound care. They coordinate care with anesthesiologists before, during, and after surgical procedures. Additionally, surgeons in the Military may perform operations and other emergency procedures in combat situations.

  • Average Salary:$113,527
  • Most Common Education: Not available

Military Podiatrists

Podiatrists perform examinations to determine physiological and physical abnormalities of the foot, ankle, and surrounding structures. They order or perform tests, including x-rays, to determine cause of injury or disease. They provide surgical and non-surgical treatment for podiatric disorders. If the foot or ankle is fractured, the podiatrist will immobilize the area using braces, casts, or sprints. In the Military, these medical professionals may address injuries and diseases related to combat.

  • Average Salary:$113,428
  • Most Common Education: Post-doctoral training

Military Gastroenterologists

Physicians and surgeons who specialize in gastroenterology diagnose and treat diseases of the digestive tract. Gastroenterologists examine patients and make diagnoses with the help of medical tests such as endoscopy, colonoscopy, ultrasound, and biopsy. They prescribe treatment protocols that may include medication, dietary changes, and surgery. Most gastroenterologists in the Military work in military hospitals or clinics.

  • Average Salary:$113,394
  • Most Common Education: Post-doctoral training

Military Urologists

Urologists diagnose and treat conditions in many organs including the kidneys, adrenal glands, ureters, bladder, urethra, and the male reproductive organs. They frequently treat disorders through surgical means, but also administer antibiotics, drugs, and compresses. Urologists also supervise other medical staff in the preoperative, operative, and postoperative care of patients.  

  • Average Salary:$113,394
  • Most Common Education: Doctoral degree

Military Field Physicians and Surgeons

Field physicians and surgeons conduct medical examinations and treatments related to specific environmental conditions (e.g., diving and sea operations, flight operations). They may also provide emergency care for injured and wounded soldiers. These physicians and surgeons may be required to live and work in combat environments.

  • Average Salary:$113,394
  • Most Common Education: Not available

Military Cardiologists

Cardiologists are specialists who diagnose and treat diseases such as coronary artery disease, congenital heart defects, heart failure, and disease of the heart valve. These physicians often rely on medical tests such as electrocardiograms and cardiac catheterizations to diagnose the specific ailment. They prescribe treatments including therapy, medication, and surgery. In the Military, cardiologists work in military clinics or hospitals.

  • Average Salary:$113,394
  • Most Common Education: Not available