A Non-Commissioned Officer is a military rank referring to an officer who has not been promoted to hold high office. NCOs are still leaders, though, the primary ones for most military personnel. They are responsible for executing missions and for providing adequate and specialized training to their subordinates.

NCOs command privates, corporals, and sergeants rank under them. They are trained for combat as well as management and function as a link between enlisted soldiers and commissioned officers. They provide guidance and advice, first and foremost, to junior officers.

The duties of NCOs are varied, and the perks are many. Although they only make 11% more than the average national salary, with a median annual income of around $45,978, they get schooling and training opportunities, with a chance to earn bonuses as well.

What Does a Non-Commissioned Officer Do

There are certain skills that many non-commissioned officers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, good judgment and observation skills.

Learn more about what a Non-Commissioned Officer does

How To Become a Non-Commissioned Officer

If you're interested in becoming a non-commissioned officer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 43.6% of non-commissioned officers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 6.4% of non-commissioned officers have master's degrees. Even though most non-commissioned officers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Non-Commissioned Officer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Non-Commissioned Officer

Non-Commissioned Officers in America make an average salary of $104,839 per year or $50 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $142,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $77,000 per year.
Average Non-Commissioned Officer Salary
$104,839 Yearly
$50.40 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?


Non-Commissioned Officer Education

Non-Commissioned Officer Majors

24.9 %

Non-Commissioned Officer Degrees


43.6 %


33.1 %

High School Diploma

11.8 %

Top Skills For a Non-Commissioned Officer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 17.8% of non-commissioned officers listed procedures on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and good judgment are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Non-Commissioned Officer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Non-Commissioned Officer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Non-Commissioned Officer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Non-Commissioned Officer Demographics

Non-Commissioned Officer Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among non-commissioned officers, 16.4% of them are women, while 83.6% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among non-commissioned officers is White, which makes up 60.1% of all non-commissioned officers.

  • The most common foreign language among non-commissioned officers is Spanish at 53.1%.

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Best States For a Non-Commissioned Officer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a non-commissioned officer. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, Virginia, Washington, and California. Non-commissioned officers make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $145,696. Whereas in Virginia and Washington, they would average $136,199 and $135,570, respectively. While non-commissioned officers would only make an average of $133,864 in California, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Virginia

Total Non-Commissioned Officer Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
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2. North Dakota

Total Non-Commissioned Officer Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
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3. Washington

Total Non-Commissioned Officer Jobs:
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Full List Of Best States For Non-Commissioned Officers

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Top Non-Commissioned Officer Employers

Most Common Employers For Non-Commissioned Officer

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1US Air Conditioning Distributors$117,722$56.601,654
2Oregon Army National Guard$117,456$56.4713
3Ohio National Financial Services$117,126$56.3137
5NBC Holdings$116,813$56.166
6Air National Guard$116,755$56.1311
7Missouri National Guard$116,526$56.0213
8Texas National Title$116,243$55.8919
9USAF Police Alumni Association$111,496$53.60740
10Iowa National Guard$111,150$53.4416

Non-Commissioned Officer Videos

Becoming a Non-Commissioned Officer FAQs

Commissioned vs. Non-Commissioned Officer

A commissioned officer is an officer of the military who has received rank and commission in the armed services, while a non-commissioned officer is an officer in the military that has not yet earned commission or rank.

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