All military branches have their own rank structure, with middle-ranking officers earning salaries in the E4 pay grade. Regardless of the military branch you work in, your E4 base pay remains the same, depending on your years of service.

Read on to learn more about the E4 base pay in 2024, how it is calculated, and bonuses you may qualify for when you join the military.  

What Is E4 Base Pay?

E4 is the fourth enlisted pay grade for military service members. All military personnel within this pay grade are paid the same base rate across all military branches. The U.S. Department of Defense’s military pay chart shows the base pay you can earn for different years of service.

Pay grades range from E1 to E9 for enlisted officers. Privates or recruits start at the E1 pay grade and can work their way up to the E4 military rank through promotions. The basic pay is the primary compensation for military personnel. However, your pay may include other allowances, special pay, and bonuses.

How Is E4 Base Pay Calculated?

Military pay is calculated based on rank and years of service. E4 base pay is calculated on a monthly basis and is then divided between two paychecks. Some branches may also pay monthly instead.

Your take-home pay can vary depending on automatic deductions for taxes, Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) contributions, Savings Deposit Program (SDP), and garnishment. The pay of E4 active-duty members depends on the number of years of service. 

Pay increases as you serve more years and with promotions. Military pay also increases annually to keep up with the changes in the cost of living and to ensure that the military is on par with the wages in the private sector.

E4 Base Pay Rates by Branch

There are six military branches: the Army, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. The E4 base pay rate is the same across all military branches.

Years of ServiceMonthly Base Pay

E4 Base Pay in the Army

E4 base pay in the U.S. Army ranges from $2,633.70 to $3,197.40 per month, depending on years of experience. The military rank for the E4 pay grade is Specialist. The civilian equivalent of this military pay grade is GS-4 in the GS pay scale used by the federal government.

E4 Base Pay in the Air Force

E4 base pay in the Air Force is the same as other military branches. The military rank for the E4 pay grade in the Air Force is Senior Airman or Sergeant. However, your take-home pay will also include bonuses and allowances, such as hazard pay, clothing allowance, Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) or food allowance, and Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for those who don’t live on base.

E4 Base Pay in the Navy

The military rank for the E4 pay grade in the Navy is Petty Officer 3rd Class. The base pay remains the same as other military branches, but the final take-home pay can vary based on your allowances, location, and responsibilities. Some positions may receive special pay if they’re in a location with hostile fire or imminent danger.

E4 Base Pay Comparison and Salary Calculator

If you’d like to understand more about the E4 base pay and your potential earnings, including other benefits, we recommend using an E4 salary calculator. The Regular Military Compensation (RMC) calculator from the DOD allows you to compute your RMC, which includes your basic pay, federal income tax advantage, basic allowance for subsistence, and basic allowance for off-base housing.

You’ll need to provide basic information, such as years of service, tax filing status, and number of dependents, to generate results with this pay calculator. RMC is the basic compensation level that every enlisted member receives and is a good way to see how much you can earn as an E4 service member in every military branch.

Bonuses When You Join

Other than the E4 baes pay and allowances, you may also be eligible for a wide range of bonuses when you enlist. Here’s a list of some of the bonuses you may earn when you join the military:

  • Active Army enlistment bonus of up to $50k
  • Quick ship bonus of up to $15k
  • Job signing bonus of up to $47.5k
  • Army Reserve enlistment bonus of up to $20k
  • Airborne bonus of up to $10k
  • Ranger bonus of up to $20k
  • Civilian acquired skills bonus of up to $45k

Resources to Learn More About E4 Base Pay 

If you’re considering a career in the military, learning more about pay tables will help you keep up with annual military pay raises. Your E4 base pay will continue to increase as the number of years in service increases.

We recommend learning more about military pay on the Department of Defense’s Military Compensation website and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) website. You can also use the Regular Military Compensation (RMC) calculator we’ve listed above to estimate how much you can earn.