The U.S. Marine Corps has some of the most elite and effective active-duty military members in the world. While being a Marine is a bonus on its own, there are several financial benefits that come with this job.

While you’re completing basic training, your rank will be E-1 (Recruit), during which you’ll be paid approximately $1,700 a month.  After completing 4 months of basic training, you will graduate and start receiving pay at the level of E-2.  

Twice a month, you’ll receive a regular salary for serving in the Marine Corps, as well as other guaranteed benefits. Marine Corps compensation depends on your pay grade (e.g., E-2, W-2, O-3, etc), not your job title. Read on to learn more about how much you can get when you enlist.

Basic Pay for Marines

The primary component of military compensation is basic pay. As a Marine, your basic pay will depend on your rank and years of service. Basic pay rates are calculated monthly and are subject to taxes. The monthly pay is then split in half and is distributed twice a month, typically on the 1st and the 15th.  If the 1st or 15th falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, you’ll be paid the weekday before that date.

The average salary ranges from $2,017/month for an enlisted Private to $18,492/month for a General. You must meet the age, education, and other qualification requirements to become a member of the United States Marine Corps. You must also pass the aptitude and physical fitness tests to qualify.  

You’re eligible to receive basic pay and benefits once you enter boot camp. Some of the benefits you may receive include:

  • Life insurance
  • Military housing allowance or on-base housing free of charge
  • Food allowance
  • Retirement plans
  • Education benefits
  • Medical care  

Salary by Rank

Marine salary depends on your rank and length of service. Some promotions and pay depend on specific education or job training. You can also get promotions based on your job performance. Marine Corps members also receive an annual pay raise.  

If you’re joining the Marine Corps with special skills or higher education, you may be able to start at a higher pay grade or receive bonuses for specific skills. You may also be able to join as an officer if you already have a college education.

Here’s a sample Marine Corps pay chart for enlisted service members. You can find the full monthly basic pay table for enlisted members and commissioned officers on the Federal Pay website.

Years in Service


Officers in the Marine Corps receive higher compensation in addition to a wide range of benefits. Here’s a sample Marine Salary pay chart for commissioned officers.

Years in Service


Benefits and Bonuses

The advantages of becoming a Marine include a guaranteed salary and financial security. The Corps supports each Marine through a wide range of professional and personal resources. Here’s a look at some of the benefits and bonuses that may be a part of your Marine compensation.

Benefits for Marines

Other than the basic pay, your Marine Corps salary may also include a wide range of benefits and payments based on where you’re stationed and your duties:

  • Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)
  • Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS)
  • Tuition assistance through the Post-9/11 GI Bill or Montgomery GI Bill
  • Veterans Group Life Insurance Benefits (VGLI) - after you’re honorably discharged
  • Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
  • Retirement pension - after you’ve served long enough and are honorably discharged
  • Healthcare through Tricare
  • Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

Other special incentives include:

  • Overseas Housing Allowance
  • Family Separation Allowance
  • Proficiency Pay
  • Hazardous Duty Pay
  • Sea Pay
  • Flight Pay

Bonuses for Marines

The Marine Corps has an Enlistment Incentive Program (EIP) that provides a number of bonuses and enlistment incentives to entry-level applicants. The program supports the recruiting efforts and helps the Corps acquire and retain talent.

  • Cyber and Crypto Operations- $15,000
  • Electronic Maintenance- $15,000
  • Shipping Bonus- $10,000
  • Plus 2 Years Targeted Investment Bonus- $15,000

Factors That Impact Marine's Salary

Marine Corps salary depends on your rank and years of service. For example, an enlisted Private (E-1) will get a basic pay of $2,017 in 2024, while a Major (O-4) with over ten years of experience will receive a basic pay of $8,684/month.

Your basic pay is the primary compensation, but you’ll also receive a number of tax-free allowances and special pay. Your pay increases at the start of each year automatically to help you keep up with the increase in cost of living. The increase in Marine salary is determined by the change in the Employment Cost Index (ECI). The pay increase helps keep up with the increase in private-sector wages in the country.

How To Increase Your Salary as a Marine

If you want to increase your Marine salary, here are a few things you can do:

  • The Marine Corps offers a number of special incentives for serving in unusual or dangerous circumstances, such as hazardous duty pay, sea pay, flight pay, and proficiency pay. Earning these special incentives can increase your earnings.
  • You may increase your rank from Corporal to Sergeant by competing in the Marine Corps Composite Score competition and meeting the basic eligibility requirements for the higher rank.
  • Your pay will increase as you serve more years. Once you serve at least two years in the Marine Corps, your salary will increase for any additional years you work.

Stay Updated on Your Salary as a Marine

There are a number of jobs and duty assignments available in the Marine Corps, and if you’re interested in joining, we recommend spending some time learning more about military pay charts. You may also be able to receive an enlistment bonus when you join the United States Marine Corps.

You can learn more about your current earnings, tax withholding, allotments, and deductions from your Leave and Earning Statement (LES). The Military Compensation website of the Department of Defense (DOD) is a good resource for learning more about changes in military pay ranges.