Navy Personnel Specialists (PS) are the Navy’s customer support representatives for their fellow sailors.
The PS provides their shipmates with both counseling and information to Navy-related occupations, general education and job training opportunities, rights and benefits, and promotion requirements.
The PS also determine travel entitlements and deductions and military pay in addition to maintaining and auditing the pay and personnel records of Navy enlisted personnel.
They also prepare accounting/financial reports related to travel and pay transactions and operate the associated accounting systems.
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Personnel Specialist (PS) became an official Navy rating in 2005 when the Navy merged the Disbursing Clerk (DK) and Personnelman (PN) ratings.
The DK and PN ratings were established in 1948.
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Training And Career Path
What’s Life Like For A Personnel Specialist?
Pay And Benefits
Civilian Career Opportunities
Requirements and Qualifications
To serve as a Personnel Specialist (PS) in the United States Navy, you must meet certain requirements:
- US citizenship is not required.
- Must be between the ages of 18 and 39.
- Must have a high school diploma or equivalent.
- Must not have been convicted for any crime by a civilian court within the previous 36 months.
- Must have an Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) score of VE (Verbal) + MK (Mathematics Knowledge) = 105
Training and Career Path
PSs, like all other Navy enlisted personnel, must successfully complete eight weeks of Navy Recruit Training, at the Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes (RTC Great Lakes).
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The five-week-long Personnel Specialist (PS) Class “A” Technical School is located in Meridian Mississippi.
Through a combination of group and individualized instruction and practical application, future PSs are familiarized with the forms and procedures of naval personnel administration.
What’s Life Like for a Personnel Specialist (PS)?
The Navy subsects the job of a Personnel Specialist into seven different jobs:
- PS (Customer Service Clerk)
- PS (Financial Specialist)
- PS (Financial Specialist Clerk)
- PS (Financial Specialist Supervisor)
- PS (Personnel Clerk)
- PS (Personnel Manager)
- PS (Personnel Supervisor)
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The day-to-day duties of a Personnel Specialist include:
- Maintain Enlisted Service Records as well as correctly enter information.
- Onboard new personnel, transfer personnel, and prepare personnel for Fleet Reserve or retirement.
- Prepare separations (all types).
- Provide shipmates with information related to Navy occupations, rights and benefits, requirements for promotion, and opportunities for general education and job training.
- Interview and counsel Navy personnel on various matters.
- Administer and order advancement examinations.
- Process examination returns.
- Assist sailors and their families during times of personal hardships or special problems.
- Issue military and dependent identification cards.
- Perform travel claim accounting duties.
- Prepare financial reports.
- Maintain accounting and payroll databases for collection of government funds and disbursement.
- Collect money owed to the US Treasury by Navy personnel.
- Maintain and audit shipboard Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
- Act as agent cashiers to pay government funds.
- Write official reports and letters.
- Make recommendations for assignments.
- Provide pay and entitlement information to sailors.
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Personnel Specialists normally work in a clean office environment doing, depending on the assignment, mostly metal and administrative work.
PSs may work with others under close supervision or alone with limited supervision.
While ashore, Personnel Specialists are usually assigned to a Personnel Support Detachment (PSD), while at sea, they are traditionally assigned to the Personnel, Supply, Training or Administrative Departments.
Navy Personnel Specialists (PS) Sea/Shore Rotation
Personnel Specialists enjoy a great Sea/Shore Rotation.
A PS will spend about 75 percent of their time ashore and 25 percent of their time assigned to the fleet.
|Tour||Sea Tour||Shore Tour|
|First Tour||48 Months (4 Years)||36 Months (3 Years)|
|Second Tour||42 Months (3.5 Years)||36 Months (3 Years)|
|Third Tour||42 Months (3.5 Years)||36 Months (3 Years)|
|Fourth Tour||36 Months (3 Years)||36 Months (3 Years)|
|Fifth Tour||36 Months (3 Years)||36 Months (3 Years)|
|Sixth Tour||36 Months (3 Years)||36 Months (3 Years)|
|Seventh Tour||36 Months (3 Years)||36 Months (3 Years)|
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How Much Are Personnel Specialists (PS) Paid?
Like all the other Armed Services, the Navy bases a sailor’s pay on their rank and length of service.
|Insignia||Pay Grade||Rank||Abbreviation||2020 Minimum Monthly Pay|
|E-4||Petty Officer Third Class||PO3||$2,263|
|E-5||Petty Officer Second Class||PO2||$2,468|
|E-6||Petty Officer First Class||PO1||$2,694|
|E-7||Chief Petty Officer||CPO||$3,114|
|E-8||Senior Chief Petty Officer||SCPO||$4,480|
|E-9||Master Chief Petty Officer||MCPO||$5,473|
|E-9||Command Master Chief Petty Officer||CMDCM||$5,473|
|E-9||Master Chief Petty Officer Of The Navy||MCPON||$5,473|
As are all sailors, PSs may be entitled to other forms of compensation including base allowance for housing (BAH), base allowance for subsistence (BAS), sea pay, etc.
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I must admit that I was amazed at the overwhelmingly positive reviews by current and former Personnel Specialists.
I thought that it would be much less so giving the intense customer service aspect of the rating. Such is not the case:
The Department of the Navy’s Credentialing Opportunities Online (COOL) website estimates that there are about 2,300 men and women serving as Personnel Specialists in the Navy today.
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Civilian Career Opportunities
Civilian career opportunities abound for Personnel Specialists exiting or retiring from the Navy. These include:
- File Clerk
- Customer Service Representative
- Billing, Cost, and Rate Clerks
- Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks
- Legal Secretaries
- Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
- Administrative Service Managers
- Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists
- Bank Tellers
- Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks
- Branch/Department Financial Managers
- License Clerks
- General Office Clerks
- Clerical Library Assistants
Opportunities for departing PSs also exist as with the Department of Homeland Security as Import Specialists and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Technicians.
Personnel Specialists are encouraged to take full advantage of the on-the-job (OJT), training opportunities, and educational opportunities offered and afforded them during their naval service.
The United States Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP) also allows PSs to complete several of their civilian apprenticeship requirements while on active duty.
Several national certifications, federal licenses, and state licenses are obtainable by sailors in the Personnel Specialists rating.
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Young people interested in a Naval career should give consideration to the Personnel Specialist rating.
The field is especially a fit for you if you enjoy providing customer service, are people-oriented, good at record-keeping, are detail-oriented, and can clearly communicate your ideas.
Life as a Personnel Specialist in the Navy allows you to serve your country and see the world, but you will also teach you valuable skills to aid you in your career after the Navy.