Air Force Technical SergeantE-6 TSgt (Previous)
Technical Sergeant

Air Force Master Sergeant

E-7 Noncommissioned Officer, U.S. Air Force
(Next) E-8 SMSgtAir Force Senior Master Sergeant
Senior Master Sergeant

Air Force Ranks » Master Sergeant RankMSgt PayMSgt Rank History

Rank badge of a Master Sergeant E-7 Master Sergeant - U.S. Air Force Ranks

Air Force Master Sergeant
Air Force E-7 Master Sergeant Air Force Military Ranks
Class Noncommissioned Officer
Abbr. MSgt
Title Sergeant (last name)
Paygrade E-7 (DoD Paygrade)
OR-7 (NATO Code)
Basic Pay $3,625/mo

Master Sergeant (MSgt) is the third Non-Commissioned Officer rank in the United States Air Force. It is just above Technical Sergeant and below Senior Master Sergeant. The promotion to Master Sergeant is known as one of the most significant promotions in the Air Force, and it is the point where an airman enters the senior Non-Commissioned Officer tier. A MSgt's responsibilities start to shift from technical duties towards commanding larger amount of subordinates. It is also the lowest rank one can hold to be eligible to become a First Sergeant, or adviser to a Unite Commander.

The rank insignia for Master Sergeant is the same as the Technical Sergeant's, three silver, downward pointing chevrons outlined in blue with an encircled star at the point with two curved chevrons below the star, but with an upward pointing chevron added over the downward pointing ones. A common, informal nickname for a MSgt is “first shirt” or “the shirt."

Master Sergeant is the 7th rank in the United States Air Force , ranking above Technical Sergeant and directly below Senior Master Sergeant. A master sergeant is a Noncommissioned Officer at DoD paygrade E-7, with a starting monthly pay of $3,625.

How do you become a Master Sergeant?

A Master Sergeant is most often promoted from Technical Sergeant (TSgt), although promotion from lower paygrades may occur with sufficient display of leadership and experience.

Technical sergeants must have a 7 level or above in order to be considered for master sergeant. Most technical sergeants promoted to master sergeant do so within twenty. However, a few outstanding airmen may reach master sergeant in less time. Master sergeants must also demonstrate a keen aptitude for further developing their skills and leadership as well as experience in management and operations.

Technical sergeants must have 24 months in grade before going up against a promotion board for master sergeant.

What is the proper way to address a Master Sergeant?

The correct way to address a Master Sergeant named Mr. Garelick is "Sergeant Garelick", or written as MSgt Garelick. In formal situations, a Master Sergeant should always be addressed by their full rank.

How much does a Master Sergeant earn?

Basic pay for an entry-level Master Sergeant with 2 or less years of experience is $3,624.90 per month.

A Master Sergeant receives an automatic raise to their basic pay every one to two years. Basic pay is only a small percentage of a Master Sergeant's final compensation package.

In addition to a monthly basic pay salary, a Air Force Master Sergeant may be eligible for multiple types of allowances and bonus pay including housing allowance, personal money allowance, and more.

For full details on the Air Force's Master Sergeant compensation and retirement plan, visit the 2024 Air Force Master Sergeant Pay Chart. A full table of the Air Force's current paygrades are available at the Air Force Pay Chart.

Patch of a Master Sergeant Equivalent Ranks to the Air Force's E-7 Master Sergeant

To learn more about the Air Force's rank structure, see our complete list of Air Force ranks.

The Government civilian-employee equivalent of a Master Sergeant is paid under the General Schedule payscale. For more details, see this Air Force rank to GS grade conversion table .

To see a list of military medals and decorations that can be earned by servicemembers in the Air Force and other branches of the military, see our list of military decorations and medals.