Navy CTR assembles an antenna

Navy Cryptologic Technician Collections (CTR): Career Info for 2023

There are approximately 3,500 sailors in the position of Navy Cryptologic Technician-Collections (CTR).

Cryptological Technicians are a Naval community with many branches, and the Collections branch is just one of these divisions.  

The Cryptological career field deals with highly classified information, and the branches are compartmentalized and unable to share resources for enhanced security. 

Navy CTRs are responsible for monitoring communications and operating advanced and sophisticated technology to collect classified intelligence information.

This position supports the U.S. military’s need to gather intelligence. 

Related ArticleNavy Cryptologic Technician Technical (CTT): Career Details

Navy CTR Requirements and Qualifications

Navy CTR Live Fire Exercise

The Cryptological career field is very competitive. To be a Navy CTR, candidates should have a high school diploma or the equivalent.

Also, being a United States citizen is essential.

Furthermore, a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmentalized Information security clearance is necessary.

Candidates should work well on a team, and possess good speaking, listening, and writing skills.

Ideal candidates handle detailed work well and have an aptitude for technology and mathematics.

To qualify as a candidate, the combined score of Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, and Paragraph Comprehension should be 164 or better. Alternatively, a score of Mathematics Knowledge and Paragraph Comprehension that adds up to 110 or better will also qualify you. 

Training and Career Path

After the successful completion of boot camp, candidates attend Class A technical school in Pensacola, Florida.

This training is approximately 18 weeks long.

Class A training consists of a mix of group instruction and lab work in computer fundamentals, security procedures, and signals theory. 

Navy CTR may find their commanding officer asking for additional training, especially Microsoft software-related courses.

Although, many sailors seek out mentors and take advantage of the many classes and E-learning opportunities the Navy has available to further their career.

This field offers professional credentials and certificates that translate into the civilian world after the Navy.

Also, the training itself is applicable to credit hours towards a degree through the American Council of Education.

These degree-earning credits are essential for building an educational base that is marketable after the Navy.

Related ArticleNavy Jobs List: A List Of All 89 Ratings In The US Navy For 2023

Working Conditions for a Navy CTR

Navy CTRs are needed all around the world.

Therefore, you will find CTRs overseas and state-side as well as on aircraft, submarines, ships, and attached to Special Warfare Units.

The work is often in an office or lab, but sometimes the work is completed in a maintenance shop or a highly secure environment.

Usually, Navy CTRs are part of a team, although it is not unusual to work independently with very little oversight.

The daily working environment is clean and orderly.

Sea/Shore Rotation

Navy CTR during 9/11 ceremony

A Navy CTR can expect a sea/shore rotation of 36/36, which means 36 months are spent at sea and the subsequent 36 months are onshore.

However, the second and third shore tours are 48 months in length at all pay levels.

Also, because of limited Sea Duty coded billets, E8 and E9 will now follow the 36/36 rotation.

Related ArticleList Of Navy Bases In The US

Navy CTR Pay and Benefits

The Navy offers the same benefits for all enlisted members.

These benefits include low-cost health coverage as well as long-term care, dental, and vision, to name a few.

The Navy pays based on rank and time in service.

Not shown in the base pay chart below are the generous allowances paid to those authorized to live off-base. 

Sailors authorized to live off base receive a Basic Housing Allowance (BAH) commiserate with their rank and family status, along with an allowance for groceries or dining out. 

InsigniaPay Grade RankAbbreviation2023 Minimum Monthly Pay
N/AE-1 +4 monthsSeaman RecruitSR$1,917.60
E-2Seaman ApprenticeSA$2,149.20
e-3 navy seamanE-3SeamanSN$2,259.90
petty officer third classE-4Petty Officer Third ClassPO3$2,503.50
petty officer second classE-5Petty Officer Second ClassPO2$2,730.30
petty officer first classE-6Petty Officer First ClassPO1$2,980.50
chief petty officerE-7Chief Petty OfficerCPO$3,445.80
senior chief petty officerE-8Senior Chief Petty OfficerSCPO$4,957.20
master chief petty officerE-9Master Chief Petty OfficerMCPO$6,055.50
command master chief petty officerE-9Command Master Chief Petty OfficerCMDCM$6,055.50
master chief petty officer of the navyE-9Master Chief Petty Officer Of The NavyMCPON$6,055.50

Job Details

A Navy CTR is an expert in intercepting signals.

This expertise means the CTR will both analyze and report signals using highly specialized equipment.

Also, the Navy CTR identifies signals of interest to help locate worldwide threats.

Furthermore, those in this field provide tactical support regarding intelligence and information warfare support to all units.

Finally, the Navy CTR controls and safeguards classified material and systems for the Navy.

Job Reviews

The overall reviews on Indeed and Glassdoor show a general high satisfaction with this career.

Some of the negative remarks revolve around conflicts with superiors, last-minute changes, and long working hours away from home.

However, training opportunities were noted as being of value for Navy CTR as were promotion opportunities. 

Navy CTN Review Glassdoor

Navy CTR Review Indeed

Navy CTR Review Indeed

Related ArticleNavy Cryptologic Technician Networks (CTN): Career Details

Navy CTR Civilian Career Opportunities

There are several civilian occupations available for those who reenter the civilian world. Some of these positions are highly competitive and have a below-average growth outlook.

The jobs with very little expected growth include computer operators, computer programmers, and intelligence analysts.

However, several opportunities show tremendous potential.

Database Administrators

The median salary of a database administrator is $112,120.

You will need a bachelor’s degree to qualify for this position, so it is ideal to position yourself toward earning this degree with the multiple opportunities available in the service.

This position is growing at 8%, which is faster than average.

In this position, you could expect to handle database performance and modify the software to improve that performance.

Also, you will be responsible for security measures for informational systems.

Information Security Analysts

An Information Security Analyst can expect to earn $112,000 as a median income, but top earners can make up to $174,540.

An ideal candidate for this position has a bachelor’s degree and up to five years of work experience.

This position is growing at 32%, which is exceptionally high.

In this position, you can expect to upgrade and monitor security measures that protect networks and information.

Information Technology Systems Managers

Systems Managers are responsible for planning and managing information technology projects.

Information Technology Project Managers can expect a wage of $164,070.

The growth in this field is expected at 15%, which is higher than average.

A bachelor’s degree is necessary for this position.


The position of Navy Cryptologic Technician-Collection (CTR) is involved in dealing with classified information and the collection of intelligence that supports the protection of our nation.

A candidate must complete boot camp, have the appropriate score on the ASVAB test, and have an aptitude for the field.

Also, an appropriate security clearance is vital due to the sensitive materials Navy CTRs handle.

Candidates will attend technical school in Florida after boot camp before moving to their assigned duty stations.

With only a couple of exceptions, the sea and shore rotation are 36/36.

Working conditions for a Navy CTR are considered clean, and the work is often done in an office or other secure location.

The pay and benefits are what is standard for others with the same rank and years in the Navy.

Reviews of current Navy CTRs show significant job satisfaction while in the Navy.

Also, civilian opportunities after the Navy are promising.


Nicholas A.
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2 Replies to “Navy Cryptologic Technician Collections (CTR): Career Info for 2023

  1. Great article with good information.
    Many times in the text,… CTR’s are referred to as; CRT’s !
    All references to “CRT / CRT’s” should be changed to; “CTR / CTR’s”

    Steve Morris
    ex CTR1(AC) – 1964-1972

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