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Compensation and Benefits at Commissioned Corps

How much will I earn if I join the Commissioned Corps?
Starting base pay and potential bonuses vary depending on the number of years of training and experience, specialty training received, credentials and certifications, geographic location of duty station, and number of dependents, if any. Base pay increases with promotions and years of service. Tax-free compensation is provided for housing and meals. The following charts show base pay by rank and length of service. Click on the pay calculator to compute your estimated salary.

Am I eligible to receive the same benefits that military members receive?
In the majority of cases, benefits are identical for members of all seven Uniformed Services. The uniformed services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

Are bonuses/extra pay offered for agreeing to work in the Commissioned Corps for a specified amount of time?
Officers in some categories are eligible for special pay bonuses and monthly special pays if they execute a contract to remain on active duty for a designated period of time. For further information, visit the professions page.

What benefits would I receive as a Commissioned Corps officer?
Commissioned Corps benefits are generous:

  • Core Benefits
  • Competitive starting pay that increases with promotions and years of service
  • Health care and dental care at no cost
  • Tax-free housing and meal allowances
  • Thirty days of paid vacation per year-beginning the first year
  • Paid sick leave
  • Paid maternity leave
  • Paid Federal holidays
  • Malpractice insurance coverage
  • A retirement plan with benefits eligibility beginning after 20 years of service
  • Thrift Savings Plan [retirement savings and investment plan similar to a 401(k)]
  • Low-cost life insurance
  • Low-cost health care for your family
  • Additional Benefits
  • The Corps offers you and your family many other benefits that often exceed those found in the private sector or through the civil service, including:
  • Paid moving expenses when you join the Corps and relocation expenses if and when you change jobs
  • Paid expenses for travel related to your job
  • Access to military base lodging, recreational facilities, and space-available flights on military aircraft
  • Shopping privileges at military base grocery and department stores
  • Veterans Affairs benefits, such as survivor and disability benefits, home loans, and burial allowances.

Officers in the Commissioned Corps have opportunities for mobility among government agencies and career advancement in diverse work settings. Officers gain varied experiences and have promotion opportunities. The Commissioned Corps encourages you to expand your knowledge base and grow professionally so that you can effectively deal with the challenges of improving public health. Tuition and long-term training opportunities may be available.

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