If you’re a civilian that’s thinking about joining the US Navy, or is already in the Navy but are unsure of what job to pursue, then you’ve landed on the right page.
Throughout this article, we will discuss the best Navy jobs for civilian life, as well as the best Navy jobs for civilians who haven’t entered the service yet.
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We’ll also briefly discuss the job responsibilities of each, as well as their career earnings potential.
While many of these jobs require certain test scores to get into, most of these jobs are available for both officers and enlisted personnel.
Table of Contents
10 Best Navy Jobs In 2023
#10: Air Traffic Controller
There is no room for error when guiding pilots with hundreds of thousands of passengers on board.
Air Traffic controllers in the Navy work in control towers on Navy bases, expeditionary airfields, and on aircraft carriers.
They are directly responsible for managing the smooth and continuous flow of military air traffic, and it can be a very stressful job at times.
Career Detail: Read More About Navy Air Traffic Controllers here
Luckily, being an air traffic controller in the Navy can offer enormous financial benefits upon retiring from the service.
The United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) offers employment to individuals with previous air traffic control experience, making for a smooth transition from the Fleet to the civilian workforce.
Average civilian salary for air traffic controllers: $83,430
#9: Facilities Maintenance Mechanic
When things break down, Navy rates like Boatswain’s Mate, Enginemen, Electrician’s Mate, and Hull Maintenance Technicians are there to troubleshoot and keep everything operational.
While some may consider these the worst jobs to have in the Navy, the career list is almost endless for these rates.
However, in my opinion, a Facilities Maintenance Mechanic is the best choice because it incorporates a bit of each.
Hourly pay for this line of work ranges from $20 to $24.
Also Thinking About Joining The Air Force? Check Out Our List Of The Top 10 Air Force Jobs For Civilian Life
They can work on HVAC and production equipment of a building to keep it running.
Top companies like Jones Lang LaSalle are looking to hire service members to keep their facilities in working condition.
Average salary for facilities manager: $79,377
#8: Nuclear Engineer
Nuclear jobs are wide open and are almost always one of the most in-demand jobs in the Navy.
It’s a constant need that doesn’t have enough people even in the field to help advance nuclear research.
Nuclear research keeps taking a back seat outside of the military because they don’t have the personnel with the knowledge to handle nuclear-specific jobs.
Not only is it extremely dangerous, but it’s also something that requires an extensive amount of education and training.
Related Article – Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician: Career Details
In addition, you have to score very high on your entrance tests to even be considered for the Navy’s Nuclear program.
As a result, it’s one of the highest-paying jobs the Navy has to offer.
According to Glassdoor, a typical Navy Nuclear engineer’s salary is a whopping $106,847.
This type of pay continues upon completion of your service, with even the lowest-paying nuclear engineer jobs paying $75.5K a year.
Average civilian salary for Nuclear engineer: $93,840
#7: Commercial Diver
Working below the water’s surface is where a Navy Diver thrives.
Aside from salvaging wreckage from ships and subs and providing tactical support in diving missions, Naval Divers take part in many construction projects.
Installing and repairing structures and equipment underwater utilizing tools ranging from drills to welding equipment is the duty of a Commercial Diver.
Common jobs for a Commercial Diver after their service in the Navy include:
- Underwater photography
- Golf ball diver
- Gas, Water, and Sewer pipe repair
- Diving instruction
One of the highest-paying careers for Navy divers after their time in the service is underwater welding.
There are a ton of companies throughout the US that require underwater welding services, so if you like to travel, then this Navy job would be perfect for you.
Average civilian salary for underwater welder: $41,436
#6: Secret Service
Navy Masters-at-arms’ training directly qualifies them for positions in the Secret Service.
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The job entails providing protection to the White House grounds, the residence of the Vice President, the Treasury building, and foreign embassies within Washington, D.C.
What most people don’t realize is, there are 2 separate divisions of the US Secret Service when it comes to protection:
- Special Agents: These are the guys you see in suits protecting the President, Vice President, and other high-ranking officials.
- Uniformed Division (U.D.): These are the guys that you see in police officer-style uniforms protecting the white house grounds.
As a Navy Masters-at-arms, you will almost certainly qualify for the Uniformed division.
After a certain amount of time on the job with a good record, U.D. officers are eligible for specialty units such as:
- Canine Unit
- Emergency Response Team
- Counter-sniper Team
- Motorcade Support
- Crime Scene Search Unit
- Office of Training
- Special Operations Section
Average civilian salary for Secret Service Uniformed Division officers: $86,759
#5: Certified Executive Chef
While some may consider being a cook one of the worst jobs in the Navy, there’s no doubt that they play an essential role in the overall mission.
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Chefs create masterful dishes, but they also instruct, supervise, and coordinate activities of cooks and workers engaged in food preparation.
They have a strong working knowledge of food production techniques, distribution of goods, providing exceptional customer services, and management.
Other major responsibilities of a CEC include:
- Menu planning and pricing
- Resource allocation
- Record keeping
- Ordering supplies
Employees in this occupation benefit from on-the-job experience which is gained as a Culinary Specialist (CS) in the Navy.
Preparing gourmet meals for foreign dignitaries and feeding service members on a ship, submarine, or onshore are both challenging responsibilities.
Average civilian executive chef salary: $65,757
Being in the Navy Nurse Corps can be one of the most rewarding careers in the US Navy.
You have the ability to truly make an impact in people’s lives, and at the same time, improve your own professional and personal life.
It also happens to be one of the best Navy jobs in 2023.
With that said, it can be difficult to figure out the right career move when transitioning to civilian life.
Being a Navy corpsman myself, I have experienced firsthand the difficulties of finding the best job in the civilian workforce without any certifications or a degree.
A quad-zero corpsman may only be looking at a job as a nursing assistant straight out of an enlistment.
A nursing assistant performs the most basic of patient care:
- Following directions under nursing staff
- Transporting patients
- Assisting in daily living activities such as feeding, bathing, grooming, or changing linens
Even the most specialized corpsman (Search and Rescue or Field Med Tech) won’t be able to apply for a certified nursing assistant job without certifications.
What I have started to notice, fortunately, is that some major universities are attempting to resolve this by implementing corpsmen in BSN programs.
BSN programs provide students with the opportunity to become registered Nurses.
For instance, at my alma mater, the University of South Florida, the College of Nursing created the Veteran to bachelor’s program or V-CARE for service members who wish to pursue a career in nursing.
The program recognizes the rigorous training received during time in rate by shortening the time required to complete a BSN.
Average civilian salary for a Nurse: $69,626
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#3: Administrative Services Manager
Yeomen are the administrative and office support professionals for the US Navy.
Some of their job responsibilities include:
- Preparing correspondences and reports
- Maintaining files
- Handling telephone communications
- Keeping paperwork in orderly fashion
They are basically the Navy’s version of secretaries.
These types of duties and responsibilities correlate to an Administrative Services Manager in the civilian workforce.
An Administrative Services Manager’s job consists of planning and coordinating administrative services of an organization to ensure reports are accurate and efficient, creating deadlines for the department, hiring and terminating administrative personnel, and overseeing procedures and policies to improve operations.
Most employees in this field obtain their education in a vocational school, through on-the-job training, or an associate degree.
Average civilian salary for administrative services manager: $56,744
#2: Commercial Pilot
A Navy Pilot commonly chooses a career as a Commercial Pilot — as you would expect — to navigate fixed-winged aircraft or helicopters.
Becoming a Navy Pilot isn’t exactly what one would call “easy.”
In order to earn your wings, you need to:
- Have a college degree (STEM fields are a plus)
- Become an officer in the Navy
- Pass the Aviation Selection Test Battery
- Take (and pass) various physical, psychological, and background tests
- Undergo introductory flight screening
- Undergo primary flight training
It can take as much as 2 years from having no experience to becoming a fully qualified Naval Aviator.
With that said, it’s one of the most fun (and in-demand) jobs in the Navy in 2023.
After your service in the Navy is up, there are literally thousands of job opportunities awaiting you.
Nearly every US airline is hiring pilots directly out of the Navy, and in most cases, you will receive preferential treatment.
Of course, not all Navy pilots fly your typical airplanes.
The US Navy employs a wide variety of helicopters, including the V-22 Osprey, H-60 Seahawk, and CH-53E Super Stallion.
Upon completion of your service, there is an abundance of career opportunities available for Navy Helicopter pilots.
Some of them include Emergency Medical Service Helicopter Pilots who evacuate injured persons, or Agricultural Pilots who fly over farmlands at low altitudes to spray fertilizers and pesticides over fields.
Average civilian commercial pilot salary: $78,198
#1: Information Security Analyst
The Information Technology rating, or IT, operate and maintain global satellite telecommunications in the Fleet.
An occupation best suited for an IT professional is an Information Security Analyst who is involved in:
- The protection of computer networking
- Implementation of firewalls
- Data encryption
- Performing risk assessments
They ensure that proper security measures are in place to safeguard vital digital infrastructure.
Related Article – Navy Information Systems Technician (IT): Career Details
Information Security Analysts may also respond to immediate threats, such as viruses and security breaches.
An information technology rating is also one of the most in-demand jobs in the Navy for 2023.
It’s also one of the most highly paid, with an average annual salary of $75,984.
Of course, this kind of pay translates directly into the civilian world as well.
Average civilian Information Security salary: $90,095
Frequently Asked Questions
What jobs are in high demand in the Navy?
While the needs of the Navy change on a yearly basis, jobs in the crypto (CTN), health (Nurse), information systems (ITS), and nuclear fields (NUC) tend to be in the highest demand, and paying enlistment bonuses in 2023.
Can you pick your job in the Navy?
You do have the ability to choose your job in the Navy. With that said, you have to qualify for the job to actually be guaranteed it. See a complete list of jobs in the Navy here.
What is the pay like in the Navy?
Like the other branches, Navy pay is dictated by the length of service and your rank. A typical Navy sailor with 2 years of service can expect to make around $2,632 per month, plus benefits. See the ranks and pay for the Navy here.
How many jobs are there in the Navy?
The US Navy offers a wide assortment of jobs. With over 70 career fields available, there is certainly no shortage of jobs to choose from. See a complete list of jobs in the Navy here.
As daunting or exciting the transition from military to civilian life may be for a sailor, where there’s a will, there’s a way to achieve the best possible career for your rating.
On the flip side, if you haven’t even enlisted in the US Navy yet, you should definitely consider one of these jobs.
Related Article: Which Branch Of The Military Should I Join? 7 Things To Consider
They are by far the best jobs in the Navy and ultimately can lead to a very fulfilling and rewarding career as a civilian.
Here are a few resources to help get you started on your journey:
Already In The Navy?
www.oNETonline.org – A helpful website for those having difficulties translating their rate into the civilian sector.
You can simply type in your job title and a list of results will appear of similar occupations.
Not only that, but the site contains the skills, tasks, salary information, and job listings to help veterans learn about possible career options.
https://www.whatcareerisrightforme.com/ – A website that will help you discover new careers based on a personalized quiz.
It will help you find the highest-paying and fastest-growing careers for 2023.
Thinking About Joining The Navy?
OMK Navy FAQ: https://www.operationmilitarykids.org/navy/
Find a recruiter: https://www.cnrc.navy.mil/
Chat with a Navy recruiter: https://www.navy.com/lets-talk/chat
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