How Much Does a Navy SEAL Make?


The estimated salary of an average Navy SEAL with ten years of experience and an E-7 rank makes $54,000 a year, from data within the Department of Defense.

In general, everyone within a certain rank gets paid the same to keep things fair, whether you’re the one to shoot Osama Bin Laden or you’re working on the base.

When starting out as a Seaman Recruit or E-1, Navy Sailors start with $1,514 per month for the first four months and $1,638 per month thereafter.

By the time an enlisted sailor graduates as a Navy SEAL, they will be at least an E-4 Petty Officer Third Class with a monthly wage of $2,139 with four opportunities for a pay raise that could result in a salary of $2,596. From there, you will need to advance in rank to qualify for higher pay.

Since Navy SEAL training is so intense, they receive anywhere from a $10,000 to $12,000 bonus upon entering SEAL training and another $40,000 upon graduation.

As a Navy SEAL moves up in the ranks, their salary can increase tremendously. For example, a Master Chief Petty Officer (E-9) with 40 years of service can make $7,845 a month and Chief Warrant Officer (W-2) with 40 years of service can make $9,731 a month.

For a bit more perspective, Admirals (0-10) in the Navy can be making $15,800 a month and the highest paid SEAL might make around $230,000 a year with a minimum of 20 years of service.

Remember, service members receive various insurance benefits and paid housing which gives Navy SEALs more use out of their salaries. A breakdown of some of these benefits include:

  • $521.40 to $961.80 per month as basic allowance for housing
  • $223.84 to $325.04 per month as basic allowance for sustenance
  • $327.60 to $759.60 per year as a special clothing allowance for enlisted members
  • Retirement pay based on income
  • TRICARE health coverage

Out of all active duty soldiers, Navy SEALs are usually more experienced, holding more skills than most and therefore are often entitled to incentive pay for special missions:

  • $240 for hazardous duty
  • $225 for imminent danger/hostile fire
  • $150 to $225 for parachute/demolition
  • $240 to $340 for diving

Overall, Navy SEALs do an incredibly demanding job that you must be passionate about in order to undertake. While it’s possible to live a comfortable life serving as a Navy SEAL and you can make a decent salary depending on your ranking, there’s a high mortality rate in this job. Corporate businessmen are making upwards of $500,000 a year in comparison with very low job risks. So, it’s clear that you don’t become a Navy SEAL for the money.

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