The Pay - Military vs Civilian

  1. Just curious, who do you think makes more money a civilian nurse or a military nurse? Try to take in consideration the tax breaks and extras the military gets as well as the possibility of extra hours. If at all possible. If you can say why you think one makes more than the other I would be curious to know that too.
  2. Visit NursePamela profile page

    About NursePamela, BSN

    Joined: Jun '05; Posts: 332; Likes: 70
    from US
    Specialty: 20+ year(s) of experience


  3. by   ZASHAGALKA
    civilian world makes more money but military probably pays more as far as pride and such goes

    why is because you can't make overtime in the military.

  4. by   NursePamela
    Just more in comparison.... Who do you think has more of a raise? For example I think if everyone gets their raise when they are supposed to 20 years from the starting point I believe the military is making more money. 20 years being an O-4 at the min. If this is the case, if, at what point does this occur? I know this is such a variable thing but I am trying to speak in general.
  5. by   prmenrs
    I agree w/Nurse Pamela--If the nurse stays in the service and progresses thru the ranks, she would definitely make more $$ in the long run.
  6. by   ckh23
    Don't forget about a pension after 20 years too.
  7. by   NursePamela
    Thanks. Anybody else have any thoughts?
  8. by   CPT_Jana
    I would recommend you make your own comparison, since you know what nurses make in your area. Military pay scales are available to the public at Go to military pay information and select current rates under the heading of pay rates. You can then select either a MS Word or PDF document that will show you 2005 pay scales. Almost all nurses come on active duty as an O-1 (may be an O-2 if you have significant clinical experience - depends on branch of service). A standard "due-course" officer will be an O-3 after about 4 years of service, an O-4 after about 10, and an O-5 after 14-16 years of service. Keep in mind that these pay scales are strictly pay - you have to go to other parts of the site to see tax-free allowances for housing and subsistence. Housing allowances are based on geographic location and rank.

    In my case, I surpassed my BSN classmates as far as pay is concerned after I had been on active duty for about 4 years.

    Hope that helps to answer your questions!


    Go Army!
  9. by   live4today
    There are many benefits to being a nurse in the military as long you continue to climb the rank structure and not remain stagnant. The pay, the thirty day leave a year, the medical/dental/vision benefits, housing on base, or housing stipend to live off base, able to travel and live in many different places of the world, educational benefits.........military nursing has it all. IMO. If I were young enough, I'd become a military nurse.

    I've worked as a department of the army civilian nurse and made great pay, received good benefits, but surely didn't get thirty days a year pay. I wish.:chuckle
  10. by   CPT_Jana
    Thanks Cheerfuldoer! I forgot to mention those intangibles - pension, healthcare/dental, paid vacation, education, travel. I've taken advantage of all (except the pension - that's another 9 years away!) of them. I guess I've just taken them for granted!
  11. by   NursePamela
    Has anyone been a military nurse for more than 3-4 years and found that their civilian counterpart made more money? Not counting all the extras. Just take home pay. I know there is a big grey area here. One can not look at the pay scale and equate d/t housing allowances and cost of living and the what nots.
  12. by   Princess74
    What about a civilian nurse who works in a naval hospital. Do the naval hospitals pay more than public hospitals. I know there are A LOT of civilians who work in the navy hospital here. Anyone know about the pay rate?
  13. by   NursePamela
    It has been my experience that the GS postions do not pay as much as active duty.
  14. by   NursePamela
    To add to civilians working in military hospitals. It has also been my experience that they do not make as much money as they would in a civilian hospital, but the benefits are good if you get in the "system".