British Army pay scale

Updated February 21, 2017

The British Army is one of the largest and most formidable military forces left in the Western world. The British Army has a long tradition of volunteer soldiering, and it arguably rivals its American cousins in terms of the quality of people. To attract and keep such good people requires a lot of incentives, attractive payment among them.


The British Army is the ground force military of the United Kingdom. It has a standard annual salary pay scale based on rank and seniority and modified by a set of other factors, paid in pounds sterling.


Officers in the British Army are paid by rank: brigadiers £92,536.56 to £96,287.76, colonels £77,544.84 to £85,267.68, lieutenant colonels £63,927.36 to £74,022.60, majors £45,548.64 to £54,550.56, captains £36,160.08 to £43,002.24, and lieutenants £14,852.28 to £31,188.36.

Warrant officer 1's are paid £36,812.16 to £44,587.80.

Enlisted soldiers are also paid by rank: staff sergeants/warrant officer 2's £31,684.56 to £41,248.80, sergeants £28,622.64 to £35,218.80), corporals £25,181.88 to £31,645.56, privates and lance corporals £16,226.76 to £27,599.28, and new recruits £13,012.80.


A number of factors modify the base rate of pay in the British Army. Specialist pay provides a bonus for serving members of the Army who have skills that are in high demand in the civilian job market, as a means of encouraging them to remain in uniform. There are also financial retention incentives designed to promote the reenlistment of selected skilled and experienced servicemen and officers.


The British Army also offers a pension plan and specialised savings tools, such as the Individual Savings Account (ISA) and Child Trust Fund (CTF).


The British Army continues to maintain a battalion of Gurkhas, soldiers recruited from Nepal. It is often thought that these hardy soldiers are paid less than their British national counterparts. That is not the case. Although for many years Gurkha pay was lower than that of a British national serving in the same army, that was due to a treaty signed with India that structured Gurkha pay (the original Gurkha regiments were divided between the UK and India by this treaty), and not due to discrimination. Today, the Gurkhas receive full regular pay and have been included in the regular military pension scheme since December 1, 2006.

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