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Singaporean’s Guide: Sign-on Bonus and Starting Salary of Schemes In The Singapore Armed Forces (Army, Air Force, Navy)

5 min read

source: Highnunchicken

” And if all else fails, you can always sign on.”

Singaporeans frequently joked about signing on as a backup plan for someone’s career.

The option to sign on is readily available for certain industries such as defence and security due to our lack of manpower.

Since National Service (NS) is a statutory requirement for all male Singaporeans, putting that signature onto the sign-on contract can be an immediate way to secure your career.

SAF sign on bonus and starting salary

In this article, we look at the starting salary and sign-on benefits for signing on with the Singapore Armed Forces. Hopefully, it helps Singaporeans make a smarter financial decision for their career (taking the passion out of the equation for this one).


TL;DR – Salary and sign-on benefits with the Singapore Armed Forces

Singapore Army Republic of Singapore Air Force
(RSAF)
 Singapore Navy 
Officers Starting Salary-Officers Starting Salary-Officers Starting Salary-
Officer Cadet$1,990 - $2,420Pilot, Weapon Systems Officer, C3$2,420 - $5,170Officer Cadet$2,420 - $4,890
2nd Lieutenant
(2LT)
$2,140 - $2,890UAV Pilot$2,420 - $6,0602nd Lieutenant
(2LT)
$3,010 - $3,240
Lieutenant
(LTA)
$2,500 - $5,170GBAD$2,420 - $6,060Lieutenant
(LTA)
$3,240 - $5,870
Sign-on Bonus for Army Officer$5,000 - $20,000
(Not Applicable for Award Holders)
Sign-on Bonus for Air Force Officer$10,000
(Not Applicable for Award Holders)
Sign-on Bonus for Navy Officer$20,000
(Not Applicable for Award Holders)
Warrant Officers/Specialists Starting Salary-Warrant Officers/Specialists Starting Salary-Warrant Officers/Specialists Starting Salary-
3rd Sergeant
(3SGT)
$1,590 - $2,610Aircrew Specialist$1,910 - $2,6603rd Sergeant
(NDU Only)
$2,760 - $3,310
--Air Defence Systems Specialist$2,000 - $2,770--
Sign-on Bonus for Warrant Officer/ Specialist$30,000
(Not Applicable for Award Holders)
Sign-on Bonus for Warrant Officer/ Specialist$30,000
(Not Applicable for Award Holders)
Sign-on Bonus for Warrant Officer/ Specialist$30,000
(Not Applicable for Award Holders)
Military Experts Starting Salary- Military Experts Starting Salary- Military Experts Starting Salary-
ME1-1$1,590 - $2,580ME1-1$1,670 - $2,580ME1-1$2,640 - $3,070
ME4-1$3,670 - $5,300ME4-1$4,270 - $5,300ME4-1$2,560 - $5,300
Army Deployment Force
(ADF)
-----
ADF Trooper$1,330 - $2,390----
ADF Specialist$2,060 - $2,610----
Sign-on Bonus for ADF$20,000 - $20,000----

While the sign-on bonus certainly looks attractive, we do know of people who signed on and splurge their lump sum bonus.

Here are some suggestions on how one can better use their lump sum bonus:


 

Salary and benefits of signing on with the Singapore Army

source: www.mindef.gov.sg

Editor’s Note: Putting in some images found on their website here as they are too cool and I can’t help it.

The Singapore Army offers 4 different career progression schemes.

They are:

  • The Officers Scheme
  • The Warrant Officers and Specialists Scheme
  • The Military Experts Scheme
  • The Army Deployment Force

The Officers Scheme with the Singapore Army

A typical Army Officer receives a one-time Sign-On Bonus of $5,000 to $20,000 (Not Applicable for Award Holders).

The average starting salary of an officer depends on their military and academic standings. The nature of their vocation (combat or service) affects their starting salary too.

RanksMonthly Gross Starting Salary
CombatService
Officer Cadet Trainee$2,420$1,990
2nd Lieutenant (2LT)$2,660 - $2,890$2,140 - $2,410
Lieutenant (LTA)$2,890 - $5,170$2,500 - $4,830
Captain (CPT)$4,530 - $6,060$3,980 - $5,560
Major (MAJ)$6,000 - $9,000
Lieutenant Colonel (LTC)$9,000 - $12,000
Senior Lieutenant Colonel (SLTC)$12,000 onwards
Colonel (COL)$15,000 onwards
General Level Ranks
(BG, MG, LG)
$20,000 onwards
  • The Typical Singaporean Worker Median Monthly Salary is SGD 4,232 (including employer CPF).
  • For someone signing-on the officer’s scheme, he is likely to attain Singapore worker’s median monthly salary when he reaches the rank of Lieutenant.

The Warrant Officers and Specialists Scheme with the Singapore Army

A typical Army Warrant Officer receives a one-time Sign-On Bonus of $30,000 (Not Applicable for Award Holders).

The average starting salary of a Specialist or Warrant Officer depends on their military and academic standings. The nature of their vocation (combat or service) affects their starting salary too.

They will kick start their journey as a 3rd Sergeant in the Singapore Army.

RanksMonthly Gross Starting Salary
CombatService
3rd Sergeant$2,060 - $2,610$1,590 - $2,370
(Supply and Transport)

The Military Experts Scheme with the Singapore Army

A typical Military Expert does not receive a one-time Sign-On Bonus directly.

The average starting salary of a Military Expert depends on his military and academic standings.

RanksMonthly Gross Starting Salary
GCE O-Level/ NITEC/ Higher NITEC/ A-Level/ Diploma
ME1-1
Military Intelligence Expert$2,020 - $2,580
Military Medical Expert
Military Musician$1,590 - $2,370
Army Engineer$1,970 - $2,400
University Graduates
ME4-1
Military Intelligence Expert$4,220 - $5,170
Military Medical Expert$3,670 - $4,830
Army Engineer$4,270 - $5,300
  • For graduates signing-on the Military Expert scheme, he is likely to attain Singapore worker’s median monthly salary.
  • Military Domain Experts Scheme with the Singapore Armed Forces is given bonus throughout their career.
    The bonus is pegged to their age.
  • At 32 years old, a Military Domain Expert receives up to 12 months’ bonus
  • At 40 years old, a Military Domain Expert receives 8 months’ bonus
  • At 50 years old, a Military Domain Expert receives 8 months’ bonus

The Army Deployment Force (ADF) with the Singapore Army

One will receive a one-time Sign-On Bonus of $20,000 – $30,000 when he signs on with the Army Deployment Force (ADF).

The Army Deployment Force offers two options depending on his qualifications.

RanksMonthly Gross Starting Salary
Below GCE 'O' Levels
ADF Trooper
Combat Trooper$1,640 - $2,390
Service Trooper$1,330 - $2,130
Above GCE 'O' Levels
ADF Specialist
Combat Specialist$2,060 - $2,610
  • Additional monthly allowance of $200 for combat vocations and $100 for supply and transport vocations.

Salary and benefits of signing on with the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) offers 3 different career progression schemes.

They are:

  • The Officers Scheme
  • The Warrant Officers Scheme
  • The Military Experts Scheme

The Enhanced Officers Scheme (EOS) with the RSAF

A typical RSAF Officer receives a one-time Sign-On Bonus of $10,000 (Not Applicable for Award Holders).

The average starting salary of an officer depends on vocations and academic standing.

VocationMonthly Gross Starting Salary
DiplomaA Level/IBDegree
Pilot$2,630 - $3,540$2,420 - $2,890$3,510 - $5,170
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Pilot
(UAV Pilot)
$2,630 - $3,540$2,420 - $2,890$3,650 - $6,060
Weapon Systems Officer WSO
(fighter)
$2,630 - $3,540$2,420 - $2,890$3,510 - $5,170
Air Warefare Officer
Command, Control and Communications
(C3)
$2,630 - $3,540$2,420 - $2,890$3,510 - $5,170
Air Warfare Officer
Ground Based Air Defence
(GBAD)
$2,630 - $3,540$2,420 - $2,890$3,560 - $6,060
  • The average starting salary of an RSAF pilot is $2,630 – $5,170.
  • The average starting salary of an RSAF UAV pilot is $2,630 – $6,060.
  • The average starting salary of an RSAF WSO is $2,630 – $5,170.
  • The average starting salary of an RSAF C3 officer is $2,630 – $5,170.
  • The average starting salary of an RSAF GBAD officer is $2,630 – $6,060.

The Enhanced Warrant Officers Scheme (EWOS) with the RSAF

A typical RSAF Warrant Officer receives a one-time Sign-On Bonus of $30,000 (Not Applicable for Award Holders).

The average starting salary of a Specialist or Warrant Officer depends on their military and academic standings. The nature of their vocation (combat or service) affects their starting salary too.

Their average starting salary depends on their vocation and academic qualifications.

VocationMonthly Gross Starting Salary
NITECHigher NITECDiploma
Aircrew Specialist
(ACS)
$1,910 - $2,220$2,140 - $2,460$2,350 - $2,660
Air Defence Systems Specialist
(ADSS)
$2,000 - $2,330$2,240 - $2,580$2,430 - $2,770

The Military Domain Experts Scheme (MDES) with the RSAF

A typical Military Expert does not receive a one-time Sign-On Bonus directly.

The average starting salary of a Military Domain Expert depends on his military and academic standings.

VocationMonthly Gross Starting Salary
NITECHigher NITECDiplomaA Level/ IBDegree
Air Force Engineer
(AFE)
--$2,400 - $2,930$2,200 - $2,410$4,270 - $5,300
Air Force Engineer - Maintanence
(AFE (M))
$1,760 - $1,970$2,000 - $2,210$2,200 - $2,400--
Air Force Engineer - Flight Engineer
(AFE (FE))
--$2,200 - $2,400--
Air Operations and Systems Expert
(AOSX)
$1,760 - $1,970$2,000 - $2,210$2,200 - $2,400--
Air IMINT (Imagery Intelligence) Expert
(AIRIX)
$1,870 - $2,130$2,100 - $2,370$2,310 - $2,580--
Air Force Engineer - Supply Chain
(AFE(SC))
$1,670 - $1,870$1,870 - $2,070$2,160 - $2,370--
  • For graduates signing-on the Military Expert scheme, he is likely to attain Singapore worker’s median monthly salary.
  • Military Domain Experts Scheme with the Singapore Armed Forces is given bonus throughout their career.
    The bonus is pegged to their age.
  • At 32 years old, a Military Domain Expert receives up to 12 months’ bonus
  • At 40 years old, a Military Domain Expert receives 8 months’ bonus
  • At 50 years old, a Military Domain Expert receives 8 months’ bonus

Salary and benefits of signing on with the Republic of Singapore Navy

The Republic of Singapore Navy offers 6 different career progression schemes.

They are:

  • The Naval Officers Scheme
  • The Naval Warfare System Engineers Scheme
  • The Naval Warfare System Experts Scheme
  • The Naval Divers Scheme
  • The Military Medical Experts (Underwater) Scheme
  • The Naval Chefs Scheme

The Naval Officer scheme with the Singapore Navy

A typical Naval Officer receives a one-time Sign-On Bonus of $20,000 (Not Applicable for Award Holders).

The average starting salary of an officer depends on vocations and academic standing.

RankMonthly Gross Starting Salary
DiplomaA-LevelDegree
Officer Cadet
(OCT)
$2,640$2,420$3,650 - $4,890
2nd Lieutenant
(2LT)
$3,010$3,240-
Lieutenant$3,240$3,440$4,570 - $5,520
  • Some other additional allowances on top of your starting salary are Ship Board Allowance, Submarine Allowance and Diving Allowance.
  • Ship Board allowance ranges from $350 to $450.
  • Submarine allowance ranges from $750 to $850.
  • The diving allowance is from $700 to $1,000.

The Naval Warfare System Engineers scheme with the Singapore Navy

A typical Naval Warfare System Engineers does not receive one-time Sign-on Bonus directly.

The average starting salary of a Specialist or Warrant Officer depends on their military and academic standings. The nature of their vocation (combat or service) affects their starting salary too.

Their average starting salary depends on their vocation and academic qualifications.

RankMonthly Gross Starting Salary
DiplomaA-LevelDegree
ME4 Trainee$2,400$2,200$4,270 - $5,300
ME4
(Apprentice)
$2,560$2,410$4,270 - $5,300
ME4--$4,270 - $5,300
  • Military Domain Experts Scheme with the Singapore Armed Forces is given bonus throughout their career.
    The bonus is pegged to their age.
  • At 32 years old, a Military Domain Expert receives up to 12 months’ bonus
  • At 40 years old, a Military Domain Expert receives 8 months’ bonus
  • At 50 years old, a Military Domain Expert receives 8 months’ bonus

The Naval Warfare System Experts scheme with the Singapore Navy

A typical Naval Warfare System Expert does not receive a one-time Sign-On Bonus directly.

The average starting salary of a Military Domain Expert depends on his military and academic standings.

RankMonthly Gross Starting Salary
NITECHigher NITECDiploma
ME1 Trainee$1,830$2,070$2,270
ME1$2,640$2,880$3,070
  • Military Domain Experts Scheme with the Singapore Armed Forces is given bonus throughout their career.
    The bonus is pegged to their age.
  • At 32 years old, a Military Domain Expert receives up to 12 months’ bonus
  • At 40 years old, a Military Domain Expert receives 8 months’ bonus
  • At 50 years old, a Military Domain Expert receives 8 months’ bonus

The Naval Divers scheme with the Singapore Navy

One can choose to sign on as an Officer or embark on the Warrant Officer/ Specialist career path.

The average starting salary of a Naval Diver Officer depends on his military and academic standings.

RankMonthly Gross Starting Salary
DiplomaA-LevelDegree
Officer Cadet
(OCT)
$2,630$2,420$3,650 - $4,890
2nd Lieutenant/ Lieutenant$3,590$3,360$4,920 - $5,870

The average starting salary of a Naval Diver Warrant Officer/ Specialist depends on his military and academic standings.

RankMonthly Gross Starting Salary
O Level and aboveNITECHigher NITECA-LevelDiploma
Recruit$1,790$1,910$2,140$2,140$2,350
3rd Sergeant$2,760$2,870$3,110$3,110$3,310
  • A typical Naval Diver Warrant Officer/Specialist receives a one-time Sign-On Bonus of $30,000 (Not Applicable for Award Holders).

The Naval Military Medical Experts (Underwater) scheme with the Singapore Navy

A typical Naval Military Medical Expert does not receive a one-time Sign-On Bonus directly.

The average starting salary of a Military Domain Expert depends on his military and academic standings.

RankMonthly Gross Starting Salary
NITECHigher NITECDiploma
ME1 Trainee$1,830$2,070$2,270
ME1$2,640$2,880$3,070
  • Military Domain Experts Scheme with the Singapore Armed Forces is given bonus throughout their career.
    The bonus is pegged to their age.
  • At 32 years old, a Military Domain Expert receives up to 12 months’ bonus
  • At 40 years old, a Military Domain Expert receives 8 months’ bonus
  • At 50 years old, a Military Domain Expert receives 8 months’ bonus

The Naval Chefs scheme with the Singapore Navy

A typical Naval Chef does not receive a one-time Sign-On Bonus directly.

The average starting salary of a Military Domain Expert depends on his military and academic standings.

RankMonthly Gross Starting Salary
NITECHigher NITECDiploma
ME1 Trainee$1,830$2,070$2,270
ME1$2,640$2,880$3,070
  • Military Domain Experts Scheme with the Singapore Armed Forces is given bonus throughout their career.
    The bonus is pegged to their age.
  • At 32 years old, a Military Domain Expert receives up to 12 months’ bonus
  • At 40 years old, a Military Domain Expert receives 8 months’ bonus
  • At 50 years old, a Military Domain Expert receives 8 months’ bonus

 


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