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Marine Corps Boot Camp Pay

Recruits from Bravo Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, hold up their money valuable bags during receiving at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

In This Article:

Marine Corps Boot Camp pay is set according to the Department of Defense Military Pay Chart. No matter if you’re enlisting in the US Navy, Army, or Marine Corps, recruits across all branches of service are paid the same. 

Marine Corps recruits earn pay as an E-1 with less than 4 months of service during Recruit Training. Many will graduate boot camp as an E-2, but while training as a recruit, everyone is paid the same.

In 2022, Marine Corps Boot Camp pay is $1,833.30 per month, or an annual salary of $21,999.60. The Marine Corps pays via direct deposit on the 1st and 15th of each month unless that day falls on a weekend or a holiday. Recruit training is 13 weeks in duration — so you can expect to be paid around $5,400 during boot camp, plus meals and housing.

(updated for 2022)

How Much Do You Get Paid During Marine Boot Camp?

Marine Corps Boot Camp pay doesn’t seem like much. At $21,999 per year, that comes out to about $11 per hour — but that’s a 40-hour work week. Considering you’ll be training sometimes 14 hours a day, that hourly rate is much lower. But you should take into account the benefits the military offers. 

  • Free health insurance
  • Free dental care
  • Very inexpensive food
  • Free rent—you get to stay in a squad bay with your newest friends and drill instructors!

Considering that the average renter in the United States pays $1,326 per month, your pay as a Marine recruit is actually quite good. Add in basic healthcare and dental services — and you’d be looking at nearly $1,600 in expenses just to live on your own as a civilian.

There’s also the fact that you won’t have a chance to spend that money. Many recruits graduate boot camp with close to $5,000. That’s a decent chunk of change for an 18-year-old to have saved up.

Once you graduate boot camp, you may have attained the rank of Private First Class or even Lance Corporal.

marine corps boot camp pay for 2022
U.S. Marines with Hotel Company wait for instruction from their Senior Drill Instructor after concluding a motivational run at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, on March 11, 2021. Marines experience a motivational run the day prior to their graduation in order to build comradery and celebrate their accomplishment of successfully finishing recruit training. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Sarah Ralph)

Marine Corps Enlisted Pay Rates

After you have four months in service, your pay rate will increase. While Marine Corps Boot Camp Pay is the same for every recruit, not every recruit graduates with the same rank. Coming out of recruit training, most of you will be paid the following rates:

Pay GradeRankMonthly PayAnnual Salary
E-1Private$1,833.30$21,999.60
E-2Private First Class$2,054.70$24,656.40
E-3Lance Corporal$2,160.60$25,927.20

We mention these pay rates because a lot of recruits will graduate as a Private First Class, and a few honor graduates will become Lance Corporals straight out of boot camp! If you’re the honor graduate, you’ll be making almost $4,000 extra during your first year of enlistment. If you add that to the $5,000 you save while in boot camp, that’s a considerable amount of savings.

Fleet Marine Force Pay

When you graduate from recruit training, you will be making more money than base Marine Corps Boot Camp Pay. And when you’re on deployment, you may get hazard pay and basic allowance for subsistence (BAS) which increases your monthly pay rate. 

Married Marines also get a basic allowance for housing (BAH) so that they can provide a home or apartment for their families close to the base. There is also base housing that is provided for married Marines. However, we should note that the additional pay should not be seen as an incentive to get married — although you will probably see this happen.

BAH is calculated using the cost of living near your base, usually around $2000-$3000 per month. You can calculate your duty station BAH using the DoD basic allowance for housing calculator

Entitlements like BAH and BAS are non-taxable pay, but you’ll still have to pay taxes on your basic income, calculated by your home state of residence. 

It seems strange that the government taxes its own money, but that’s how it works. 

Thrift Savings Plan

The military also offers a Thrift Savings Plan which is basically a retirement account. I highly suggest that you put a portion of your income in there and don’t touch it! You’ll be able to roll it into a civilian retirement plan when you leave the Marine Corps. You can begin when you’re only making Marine Boot Camp Pay, and continue throughout your military career.

Trust me, you won’t be thinking about saving money when you’re focused on getting through a strenuous hike or the Crucible. But when you hit your 30s or you have a family — you may regret it.

My advice is to put 10% of your pay into the TSP and don’t ever touch it. You’ll hear a lot about this from your chain of command. And many of you won’t do it. But I’m telling you right now it is worth it. You won’t miss the money because it comes out of your pay before you see it, and it adds up over time. After four years and a couple of deployments, you could have five figures in savings.

After four years of enlistment, I saved up more than $40,000. And I had free college to look forward to. Not many 22-year-old kids have that kind of money and benefits. Plus I went to college for free and made an additional $1,500 a month from the GI Bill Stipend while going to school.

The pay may not seem like much, but when you consider the benefits of military service — it can be a great career.

There are also tax professionals on base you can speak to about saving money.

Direct Deposit Bank Account

You’ll set up a Pacific Marine Bank account when you go to boot camp, and your Marine Corps Boot Camp pay will be deposited twice a month in your account. After boot camp, you can use a bank of your choice. 

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