Financial officers in the Army have many of the same responsibilities as a civilian accounting manager. They supervise a staff of finance clerks, approve payments and issue financial reports. To become an Army officer, candidates must have a bachelor's degree, but it is not necessary to have a degree in accounting or business to become a financial officer. How much you earn as a financial officer depends on your rank and how many years you have been in the Army. The U.S. Department of Defense issues a pay table annually that sets the amounts for basic pay, allowances and special payments.
Monthly Basic Pay: Grades O-1 Through O-3
The U.S. Department of Defense assigns a pay grade of O-1 to second lieutenants, O-2 to first lieutenants and O-3 to captains. Most officers start their Army careers as second lieutenants and, as of 2013, basic pay of $2,876.40 per month. After two years in the Army, pay increased to $2,994. The maximum pay for the rank, $3,619.20, was reached after three years of service. Minimum pay for a first lieutenant was $3,314.10 per month for the first two years, increasing to $3,774.30 after two years. With three years in the Army, an O-2 earned $4,347, and with four years, pay was $4,493.70. Maximum pay for the rank was $4,586.40, reached at six years of service. Starting pay for a captain was $3,835.50, increasing to $4,347.90 at two years, $4,692 at three years and $5,116.50 at four years. Thereafter, pay increased every two years until the maximum for the rank, $6,240, was achieved after 14 years in the Army.
Monthly Basic Pay: Grades O-4 Through O-6
In the Army, majors have a pay grade of O-4, lieutenant colonels have an O-5 pay grade and colonels are an O-6. Minimum pay for a major was $4,362.30 per month in 2013. With two years of service, they earned $5,049.90, increasing to $5,386.80 after three years and $5,461.80 after four years. Maximum monthly basic pay for majors was $7,283.70, but they did not achieve this level until they had served 18 years. A lieutenant colonel with less than two years in the military earned $5,055.90 per month. This increased to $5,695.50 for the second year, $6,089.70 for the third year and $6,164.10 for years five and six. Maximum pay for a lieutenant colonel was $8,589.80, reached after 22 years of military service. A colonel earned at least $6,064.80 during the first two years, increasing to $6,663 at the two-year mark and $7,100.10 at the three-year mark. Maximum pay was $10,526.70, but this was not reached until the colonel had served 28 years.
Special Pay Rates for Certain Officers
Officers who previously had served for more than four years as an enlisted soldier or warrant officer can qualify for a higher basic pay. The higher rate applied only to the ranks of captain or below. For second lieutenants who qualified, monthly basic pay at six years was $3,864.60, as of 2013, and the maximum pay for the rank was $4,493.70. The higher rate for first lieutenants became effective after reaching eight years of service, when basic pay increased to $4,732.50. Maximum pay for first lieutenants with the higher rate was $5,311.20 after serving a total of 14 years. Captains who qualified began receiving the higher rate of $6,332.10 after 14 years of service, with the maximum of $6,659.40 achieved after 18 years.
Food and Housing Allowances
The Army provides housing and food allowances to defray the cost of civilian quarters. As of 2013, housing allowances for a second lieutenant ranged between $660.90 and $1,034.10 per month. A first lieutenant received between $770.40 and $1,118.70, and a captain received between $972 and $1,239.90. Majors received between $1,212 and $1,394.10, lieutenant colonels from $1,308.30 to $1,581.60 and colonels received from $1,358.70 to $1,640.70. Food allowances were based on how many people were in the officer's family, but ranged from $242.60 to $1,100 per month.