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Pay and Benefits

Officer pay is based on rank and time in service.

The current NOAA Corps pay chart is available on the Commissioned Personnel Center website:

The figures below are for an Ensign (O-1) with no prior service, as of January 2015.


At Basic Officer Training Class (BOTC) at New London, CT, the monthly pay and allowances are:

Basic Pay: $2,934.30
Basic Allowance for Subsistence:* $   253.38
TOTAL: $3,187.68

Married officers also receive a monthly Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)* while at New London. The amount of BAH varies with duty station location and/or the location of the officer's dependents.

All officers receive an initial $800.00 Uniform Allowance*.

While at BOTC, room is provided at no charge. You must reimburse the government for meals.


Following BOTC, upon reporting to assigned ship, the monthly pay and allowances are:

Basic Pay:$2,934.30
Basic Allowance for Subsistence:* $   253.38
Career Sea Pay: $     70.00
TOTAL: $3,257.68

Single officers not living aboard ship, and married officers receive a monthly Basic Allowance for Housing*. The amount varies based on the ship's homeport. Several examples:

HomeportSingle OfficerMarried Officer
Norfolk, VA$1,329$1,539
Newport, OR$1,011$1,170

*Tax-Free Allowance (not subject to Federal or state income taxes)


Other compensation is available including Diving Pay ($240 per month when diving) and Aviation Career Incentive Pay ($125-$840 per month for aviators/navigators).

Other benefits include:

  • 30 days of paid vacation each year
  • Retirement with pension after 20 years of active duty service
  • Comprehensive medical and dental coverage
  • Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits
  • Military exchange and commissary privileges
  • Option to enroll for the following benefits:
    • $400,000 term life insurance at a cost of $27.00 per month; (lower coverage amounts may be selected, and coverage for spouse and children is also available)
    • Thrift Savings Plan [similar to 401(k) Plan found in private sector]
    • 9/11 GI Bill Education Benefit Program
    • Long Term Care Insurance(various options/premiums)

For more information about pay and benefits, see Pay and Benefits under the Commissioned Personnel Center Section

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