Warrant Officer: Salary Info, Duties and Requirements

Sep 17, 2019

Warrant officers are armed forces personnel who provide technical expertise for military equipment and combat operations. These positions come with several benefits, though military careers are expected to have little or no growth in the coming years.

Essential Information

Warrant officers are ranked military members who serve as technical experts, combat leaders and instructors in their field. A high school diploma or GED are the only education requirements, but warrant officers generally must have a military rank of SPC/E-4 and must pass the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery test with a score of at least 110. Becoming a warrant officer is an excellent career for those interested in pursuing leadership positions in the military.

Required Education High school diploma or GED
Other Requirements Military rank of SPC/E-4 or higher, except Army Aviator Warrant Officer; U.S. citizenship; Age between 18 and 46; Pass the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery test with a score of at least 110
Projected Job Growth Little to no change for all military careers through 2028*
Median Monthly Salary (2018) Based on rank and service length*, $47,277 (for warrant officers)**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,

Warrant Officer Salary Info

The U.S. Department of Defense, the monthly wages for warrant officers as of March 2019 ranged from $3,116.40 for grade W-1 officers with less than two years of experience to $7,812.60 for grade W-5 officers with more than 20 years of experience ( Along with monthly earnings, warrant officers receive free or tax-free housing and food, dental and medical care and a month of paid leave. In addition, military personnel who choose to participate in an education benefit plan, such as the Montgomery GI Bill Program, receive financial support when they pursue education. After serving for 20 years, military personnel can begin to receive retirement benefits.

Job Duties

Warrant officers work in all branches of the armed services except the Air Force. A warrant officer's main focus is to serve as a technical expert. They are leaders in combat and provide guidance and instruction in the technical field. Specific duties include operating and maintaining military equipment, such as aircraft or marine vessels, and integrating technology into the combat operations. Along with teaching military personnel about new and integrated technologies, officers also serve as mentors to soldiers and provide them with developmental guidance and counseling.

Educational Requirements

The warrant officer position isn't entry-level, and prospective officers generally have a military rank of SPC/E-4 or higher. Army Aviator Warrant Officer is the only position that does not require previous military experience. Candidates must be a U.S. citizen, usually between the age of 18 and 46, have a high school diploma or GED certificate and meet height and weight standards for active duty along with a multitude of other medical and physical standards. The application process also includes passing the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery test with a General Technical score of at least 110. More specific requirements vary depending on the branch of service.

Training Process

Candidates approved by the specific military branch's secretary begin the training process by attending Warrant Officer Candidate School at Fort Rucker, Alabama, or other military education and training institutes. Prospective warrant officers also train in a technical specialty of their choice, such as Special Forces or military intelligence. After graduating, students are promoted to the warrant officer position at W-1 status, the lowest rank among warrant officers. After two years of service, officers may then earn promotion to chief warrant officer rank at grade W-2 and seek promotion to grades W-3 through W-5 sequentially every six years. Promotion to these higher-paying ranks depends of factors such as performance, fitness and scores on written and physical exams. The best way to begin the process is to contact the Warrant Officer Recruiting Team.

Warrant officers usually have years of military experience, rising to these positions over time. Requirements are extensive and include a high school diploma. These positions also have a wide salary range depending on rank and years of experience.

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