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Navy Seaman ApprenticeE-2 SA (Previous)
Seaman Apprentice

Navy Seaman

E-3 Seaman, U.S. Navy
(Next) E-4 PO3Navy Petty Officer Third Class
Petty Officer Third Class
Navy Seaman
Navy Seaman
Navy E-3 Seaman

Class Seaman
Abbr. SN
Title Seaman (last name)
Paygrade E-3 (DoD Paygrade)
OR-3 (NATO Code)
Salary $1729.80/mo

What is a Seaman?

Seaman, previously known as Seaman First Class, is the third rank in the United States Seaman Apprentice and below Petty Officer Third Class. Several title and rank variations exist for sailors working in different specialties, though all share the same pay and rank grade.

  • Seaman is the title assigned to general-duty deck and administrative sailors, who wear a triple white striped insignia.
  • Fireman is the title assigned to sailors working in the engineering and hull departments, who wear a triple red striped insignia.
  • Hospitalman, or Hospital Corpsman, is the title assigned to sailors specializing in the medical and hospital departments. This is the only rank available to hospital corpsmen, who wear triple white striped insignia.
  • Constructionman is the title assigned to sailors specializing in the naval construction battalion, or Seabees. They wear triple blue-striped insignia.
  • Airman is the title assigned to sailors specializing in aviation, who wear triple green striped insignia.
Sailors at this grade do not wear their stripe insignia on their working uniforms, although they are permitted to wear a silver collar device signifying their rank.

Sailors who wish to advance to rank E-3, Petty Officer Third Class, must submit a promotion request every six months - however, competition for advancement is very large, and only the most able seamen will receive promotions.

Seaman is the 3rd rank in the United States Navy, ranking above Seaman Apprentice and directly below Petty Officer Third Class. A seaman is a Seaman at DoD paygrade E-3, with a starting monthly pay of $1729.80.

How do you become a Seaman?

A Seaman is most often promoted from Seaman Apprentice (SA), although promotion from lower paygrades may occur with sufficient display of leadership and experience.

What is the proper way to address a Seaman?

The correct way to address a Seaman named Mr. Gutierrez is "Seaman Gutierrez", or written as SN Gutierrez. In addition to their rank, all Navy seamans have a rating (job) such as Fire Controlman. This job is included in their full rank title. In formal situations, a Seaman should always be addressed by their full rank.

How much does a Seaman earn?

Basic pay for an entry-level Seaman with no years of experience is $1,729.80 per month. A Seaman receives an automatic raise to their basic pay every one to two years.

Basic pay is only a small percentage of a Seaman's final compensation package. In addition to a monthly basic pay salary, a Navy Seaman may be eligible for multiple types of allowances and bonus pay including housing allowance, education allowance, and more.

For full details on the Navy's Seaman compensation and retirement plan, visit the 2016 Navy Seaman Pay Chart. A full table of the Navy's current paygrades are available at the Navy Pay Chart.

The Government civilian-employee equivalent of a Seaman is paid under the General Schedule payscale. For more details, learn more about the General Schedule payscale.

Equivalent Ranks

Air Force Airman First Class - Equivalent to Seaman
Air Force
Airman First Class
Army Private First Class - Equivalent to Seaman
Private First Class
Coast Guard Seaman - Equivalent to Seaman
Coast Guard
Marine Corps Lance Corporal - Equivalent to Seaman
Marine Corps
Lance Corporal
Navy Seaman - Equivalent to Seaman