We posted the enlisted-vs.-civilian pay chart last Friday. One reader noted that doesn’t include officers. So here’s a chart from the same Pentagon report comparing U.S. military officers’ pay to that earned by their civilian counterparts with similar levels of education. The 11th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation notes:
For officers, average RMC [Regular Military Compensation] exceeds wages for civilians with a bachelor’s or graduate-level degree. With RMC of $94,735, average officer earnings correspond to about the 83rd percentile wages for the combined civilian comparison groups. Officer earnings are about 88 percent higher than earnings of civilians with bachelor’s degrees, and 47 percent higher than earnings of those with graduate-level degrees. The career trajectory for officers begins with a steep jump in earnings, from $54,600 in the first year of service, to over $74,000 by the fourth year. Wage growth stabilizes after that, increasing steadily to nearly $118,000 by the 20th year of service. Earnings of comparable civilians also increase over the 20-year period—from about $32,500 to $63,700—but remain lower than officer earnings at each point.