Navy Seaman ApprenticeE-2 SA (Previous)
Seaman Apprentice

Navy Seaman

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

Navy Ranks » Seaman RankSN PaySN Rank History

Rank badge of a Seaman E-3 Seaman - U.S. Navy Ranks

Navy Seaman
Navy E-3 Seaman Navy Military Ranks
Class Junior Enlisted
Abbr. SN
Title Depending on rate: Seaman (last name) Fireman (last name) Constructionman (last name) Airman (last name)
Paygrade E-3 (DoD Paygrade)
OR-3 (NATO Code)
Basic Pay $2,378/mo

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 Junior Enlisted at DoD paygrade E-3, with a starting monthly pay of $2,378.

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.

If the sailor entered the Navy as an E-2, then they are all but guaranteed to promote to E-3 after nine months. Only an official record of bad behavior will hamper this.

Alternately, the sailor may have graduated Basic Training and immediately promoted to E-3 based on their initial signing contracts.

What is the proper way to address a Seaman?

The correct way to address a Seaman named Mr. Garelick is "Depending on rate: Seaman Garelick Fireman Garelick Constructionman Garelick Airman Garelick", or written as SN Garelick. In addition to their rank, all Navy junior enlisteds have a rating (job) such as Electronics Technician. 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 2 or less years of experience is $2,377.50 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 clothing allowance, hostile fire pay, food allowance, retirement benefits, and more.

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

Patch of a Seaman Equivalent Ranks to the Navy's E-3 Seaman

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

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

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