What are the Best Jobs in the Navy?

Best Jobs in the Navy

The United States Navy is a highly respected and prestigious branch of the military with a fascinating history. Since the birth of the nation, we’ve had a Navy in place to defend the nation’s oceans and conduct military operations from the sea. 

If you’re thinking about enlisting in the military, then you should know that the Navy offers a wide range of exciting and rewarding career opportunities.

9 Navy Careers You Should Consider 

With so many cool career paths available to you in the Navy, it can be hard to choose which one to follow. To help make your choice a bit easier, we’ve highlighted the nine best Navy jobs below.

1. Aviation Machinist’s Mate (AD) 

Do you like working with your hands? Is the sound of a perfectly tuned engine music to your ears? If so, you may want to become an aviation machinist’s mate.

As a Navy AD, you’ll be troubleshooting, inspecting, servicing, preserving, and repairing some of the most advanced and expensive aircraft on the planet. You’ll be trained to understand these machines’ complex engines, fuel systems, gearboxes, propellers, lubrication systems, exhaust components, and more.

Aviation machinist’s make an average base salary of $63,000. Plus, you can earn bonuses up to $20,000.

Navy ADs have many post-service job opportunities available to them at commercial airlines, airports, and aircraft manufacturers.

2. Navy Diver

Best Jobs in the Navy

Navy divers have a simple motto: “We Dive the World Over.” That means, they go wherever they are needed to perform search and rescue missions and salvage sunken seacraft, whether it’s the icy cold waters of the Arctic Circle, deep in the Atlantic Ocean, or in the warm waters off the coast of California.

They also inspect and repair underwater seacraft such as submarines. Navy divers can earn about $60,000 per year, and are eligible for bonuses up to $20,000.

Post-service, divers are typically qualified to work for commercial shipping companies to repair and service cargo ships and ocean liners. There are also positions for divers on cruise ships. Divers also enjoy post-service careers as SCUBA instructors.

Many divers will use their search and rescue credentials to transition into jobs as firefighters, police officers, or emergency medical technicians.

3. Intelligence Specialist 

Intelligence Specialists in the Navy are responsible for the collection and analysis of data to help inform military strategy. They study maps, charts, websites, weather patterns, and more to make the best recommendations possible. They also plan reconnaissance missions to gather intelligence from behind enemy lines.

Intelligence Specialists compile their data and findings into reports for distribution to military leadership. Intelligence specialists earn an average of $140,000 annually.

After separating from service as an Intelligence Specialist, you’ll have the skills to work in data analysis and security at any large corporation, helping them store and protect their data from cyberattacks.

You may also choose a career in market research, helping companies find out how their customers think and behave, to influence marketing strategy.

You may even have the skills necessary for a job with Interpol.

4. Navy Fighter Pilot 

It’s not just those enlisted in the Air Force who take to the skies.

U.S. Navy fighter pilots deploy immense firepower and perform difficult maneuvers in defense of our nation and allies while flying the F/A-18 Hornet or the F-35C Lightning II.

These aircraft take off and land on massive aircraft carriers posted strategically in open waters. It’s a high-pressure, dangerous job, but if you want the opportunity to operate some of the world’s most advanced aircraft, then this might be the job for you. Fighter pilots also make a good living, earning an average salary of about $149,000 per year.

There are plenty of post-service employment opportunities as well. Commercial airlines regularly recruit military veterans with flight experience.  It’s actually a good time to consider becoming a pilot because they are in demand. Airline companies in American are bracing for a huge shortage or pilots coming over the next decade. This high demand is causing salaries to increase.

Here’s an excellent resource to learn more about becoming a civilian pilot after you’ve separated from the military.

5. Hospital Corpsman 

If you’re interested in a career in health care, but medical school isn’t a possibility, then consider becoming a Hospital Corpsman in the Navy.

As a Hospital Corpsman, you’ll be trained in the latest techniques and technology to provide care and treatment to sailors and Marines after they’ve fallen ill or sustained an injury. You’ll administer vaccines, dress wounds, assist in surgeries, analyze lab samples, assist with imaging, and so much more.

The training you receive will prepare you to continue your medical education after separation, whether you choose radiology, physical therapy, surgery, internal medicine, dentistry, immunology, or any other specialty.

On average, you can expect to make around $68,000 as a Hospital Corpsman, but that depends on rank and experience.

6. Cyber Warfare Technicians

Best Jobs in the Navy

As more and more battles take place in cyberspace, Cyber Warfare Technicians are crucial to our nation’s safety and security.

These professionals protect our networks from enemy cyberattacks, conduct offensive

investigations, break coded messages, and interpret foreign language intelligence. While that is a basic explanation of what they do, the truth is, their roles are so secretive that most of the work they do isn’t made public.

Cyber Warfare Technicians typically an aptitude for math, computer science, coding, and can speak or are willing to learn one or more foreign languages—especially Russian, Arabic, Korean, Spanish, and Mandarin. 

The median pay for a Cyber Warfare Technician is $88,000 per year, and eligible technicians could earn up to $35,000 in bonuses.

After separation from military service, you’ll have the skills and knowledge to work at almost any organization that requires top-level cyber security—including financial institutions, government offices, technology firms, hospitals, universities, airlines, and more. 

7. Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (EOD) 

As an EOD technician you’ll literally be part of the bomb squad. It’ll be your job to locate, disarm, and disable all kinds of explosive devices, whether they are nuclear, chemical, biological, or improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Sometimes you’ll disarm explosives using robotic technology from a remote location. Other times, you’ll be in a highly protective bomb suit dismantling bombs with any number of hands-on tools. EOD technicians often accompany Navy SEALs and Navy Divers on dangerous missions.

EOD Technicians earn a median salary of $65,000 and are eligible for bonuses of up to $37,000.

After separating from service, EOD Technicians can find employment with law enforcement agencies at the local, state, and federal levels.

Large manufacturers of defense technology such as Boeing, L3Harris Technologies, SAIC, and Booz Allen Hamilton also have career opportunities for military personnel who have experience with and knowledge of explosives.

8. Aviation Rescue Swimmers

Best Jobs in the Navy

The job of an aviation rescue swimmer is anything but boring. A rescue swimmer may save civilians during natural disasters, conduct anti-submarine surveillance, or be called to save the crew of a downed aircraft.

The Navy’s rescue swimmers are hands down the most elite emergency response unit in world. When disaster strikes and human lives are on the line, rescue swimmers literally leap from helicopters, swim through raging waters, and face danger head on to save victims who may otherwise perish.

As you can probably imagine the training to become a rescue swimmer is physically and mentally intense. But if you want a job where you are in service to others, then you don’t need to look any further.

Aviation Rescue Swimmers can earn up to $121,000 per year, and enjoy bonuses up to $37,000. 

After transitioning out of the military, Aviation Rescue Swimmers can work as lifeguards, swim instructors, and safety inspectors for commercial seacraft. Some transition to careers as firefighters, police officers, or emergency medical technicians.

9. Steward Cook 

If you’re interested in a career as a cook or a chef, then what better way to learn these skills than by feeding the brave men and women of the U.S. Navy?

As a steward cook, you’ll be responsible for the procurement of ingredients and supplies, menu planning, preparation, sanitation, and distribution of meals to hundreds of sailors at sea. Of course, you’ll be in charge of a large staff to help you complete these tasks.

It’s a lot of work, but the average annual salary for a steward cook is $137,500, with a more than $23,000 bonus.

If you’re not ready for all of that responsibility then you should know that positions under steward cook also pay well. For example, bakers make $109,000 annually and chef assistants make almost $90,000.

After you separate from service, you can easily find work in any restaurant or caterer in America. Or, you can enhance your skills at culinary school and become a professional chef.

You’ll also have the skills to work in food service departments of large institutions such as hospitals, public school, universities, public buildings, and more.

Transitioning from a Navy Career to a Civilian Career 

At Empire Resume, we know that transitioning from a career in the military to a career in the civilian sector comes with many challenges.

We are experts at helping servicemembers make the civilian transition. We specialize in writing military resumes for members of the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Plus, we offer a $25 discount to separating servicemembers!

Additionally, our constantly updated military-to-civilian blog offers the most useful and effective ways to help you with your job search. Contact us today for more information. 

Dr. Phillip Gold is President/CEO of Empire Resume and has vast experience writing resumes for both professionals and servicemembers transitioning from the military into civilian roles. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and was responsible for leading nuclear missile security. Phillip is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and holds a BA in Communications from The Ohio State University, an MS in Instructional Technology, an MBA in Finance, and a PhD in Finance.

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