The United States Army divides its officers into two categories: commissioned and warrant officers. Commissioned officers usually enter the military after earning college degrees or completing an officer training program. Warrant officers are soldiers who get promoted for technical skills. This creates significant diversity among officers, who may perform a variety of functions within the military.
Since there is so much variety among officers, it's impossible to detail specific job duties. Common duties, however, include:
Managing soldiers and lower-ranking officers
Designing projects that meet specific goals
Communicating with high-ranking officers
Following detailed orders from superior officers
Professionals who want to pursue careers with the U.S. Army may want to consider becoming officers so they can qualify for challenging positions with better pay and more responsibilities.
Army Officer Job Education Requirements
The Army requires warrant officers to hold high school degrees or the equivalent. Commissioned officers usually have bachelor's degrees. Since the Army needs officers with diverse skills, applicants may have degrees in practically any subject, such as computer science, communications, or psychology.
Whether they hold college degrees or have experience working as warrant officers, candidates can also become commissioned officers by completing Officer Candidate School. Officer Candidate School is a 12-week program that teaches candidates how to give orders as a unit commander. It also prepares officers for the physical and mental stress commonly experienced during military exercises.
The Army practically has an endless need for officers who can perform their duties well. Obtaining degrees in certain subjects, however, may make a candidate more attractive. The Army currently needs officers with experience in:
Satellite and radar technology
While the Army will hire any qualified person, certain skills can determine where an officer works. Those with foreign language experience, for instance, might work overseas in a country where they can communicate with non-English speaking natives.
Army Officer Job Salary Information
The Army pays officers according to a scale that considers each person's rank and number of years in service. Privates at the lowest rank (E-1) earn $1,531.50 per month ($18,378 annually). A major general (O-7) with over 18 years of military service earns $12,827.10 per month ($153,925.20 annually). All other officers fall somewhere between those two extremes. The Army updates its basic pay chart annually, so officers who join after 2014 can expect to make slightly more.