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Academy pay question

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becampbell

Lurker
Messages
10
I have a class date for March 2020. I'm wondering exactly how much I should be making while at the academy and everywhere I've looked, I've seen pretty varying answers. The TOL states that I'll make $24k annual while at the academy but I got that letter in 2018 and there was a pay rate update earlier this year, and I'm not sure if that's with Per Diem or without. Anyone able to help me with this conundrum? Thanks in advance.
 

denver0739

Trusted Contributor
Messages
220
The actual salary will be on your FOL. Your pay at the academy is not including per diem. It is separate.
 

bomber996

Active Member
Messages
48
I'm at the Academy now. While here I'm making $11.80/hr. I'll gross somewhere over $900 (you can do that math easily), and I'm netting just under $600 after TSP contributions, Health Insurance, etc... Payday is every other Tuesday. Also, and this sounds weird but they explain it to you. You are taxed as a Washington DC resident, not OK or your home state.

Keep in mind you will also have your housing payed for. The FAA allocates $67/day now for housing per-diem and will pay that directly to the housing provider of your choice from their list. You will also receive $38.60/day in Meals and Incidentals per-diem (tax-free), payed out every month.

A classmate of mine did the math and when you include all per-diem it's somewhere in the $80k/year range. Pay based off of your paystub is nearly unlivable, but when you include the per-diem, it's not bad. You won't be living like a king (or a CPC), but you wont be eating Top Ramen everyday either.
 

32andBelow

Forum Sage
Messages
609
I'm at the Academy now. While here I'm making $11.80/hr. I'll gross somewhere over $900 (you can do that math easily), and I'm netting just under $600 after TSP contributions, Health Insurance, etc... Payday is every other Tuesday. Also, and this sounds weird but they explain it to you. You are taxed as a Washington DC resident, not OK or your home state.

Keep in mind you will also have your housing payed for. The FAA allocates $67/day now for housing per-diem and will pay that directly to the housing provider of your choice from their list. You will also receive $38.60/day in Meals and Incidentals per-diem (tax-free), payed out every month.

A classmate of mine did the math and when you include all per-diem it's somewhere in the $80k/year range. Pay based off of your paystub is nearly unlivable, but when you include the per-diem, it's not bad. You won't be living like a king (or a CPC), but you wont be eating Top Ramen everyday either.
It’s not 80k if you aren’t getting to pocket the extra housing anymore.
 

tunwno

Trusted Contributor
FAA
Messages
430
Facility
Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center
I'm at the Academy now. While here I'm making $11.80/hr. I'll gross somewhere over $900 (you can do that math easily), and I'm netting just under $600 after TSP contributions, Health Insurance, etc... Payday is every other Tuesday. Also, and this sounds weird but they explain it to you. You are taxed as a Washington DC resident, not OK or your home state.

Keep in mind you will also have your housing payed for. The FAA allocates $67/day now for housing per-diem and will pay that directly to the housing provider of your choice from their list. You will also receive $38.60/day in Meals and Incidentals per-diem (tax-free), payed out every month.

A classmate of mine did the math and when you include all per-diem it's somewhere in the $80k/year range. Pay based off of your paystub is nearly unlivable, but when you include the per-diem, it's not bad. You won't be living like a king (or a CPC), but you wont be eating Top Ramen everyday either.
I’ll like to see the break down of how they got $80k. After taxes and a max contribution, it’s just under $30k.
 
Messages
24
It’s closer to $60k/year gross including housing per diem.
$105.60/day in Per Diem x 365 Days = $38,544
11.80/hour x 40 hours x 52 weeks = $24,544
$38,544 + $24,544 = $63,088.
Again, that’s Gross pay before benefits, Uncle Sam, and that housing per diem going straight to the provider. That’s really too bad they took that away from people. I left OKC with a few grand saved up.
 

StealthChain

Trusted Contributor
Messages
381
Currently at the academy....since multiple people have given numbers I'll leave that alone. The biggest thing that people have a hard time with, especially if you're coming from a lower paying job as a civilian, is that you don't get any money for about 3 weeks after you're here. You should definitely keep this in mind as some people leave their jobs a few weeks before their class date and may burn through any savings that way. When you get here you'll want to buy food and other small things to be comfortable, so plan ahead for that in order to not be scraping pennies until your first check comes through.
 

becampbell

Lurker
Messages
10
I'm at the Academy now. While here I'm making $11.80/hr. I'll gross somewhere over $900 (you can do that math easily), and I'm netting just under $600 after TSP contributions, Health Insurance, etc... Payday is every other Tuesday. Also, and this sounds weird but they explain it to you. You are taxed as a Washington DC resident, not OK or your home state.

Keep in mind you will also have your housing payed for. The FAA allocates $67/day now for housing per-diem and will pay that directly to the housing provider of your choice from their list. You will also receive $38.60/day in Meals and Incidentals per-diem (tax-free), payed out every month.

A classmate of mine did the math and when you include all per-diem it's somewhere in the $80k/year range. Pay based off of your paystub is nearly unlivable, but when you include the per-diem, it's not bad. You won't be living like a king (or a CPC), but you wont be eating Top Ramen everyday either.
ok thanks for the info, but what about when you get the monthly per-diem? what does a check roughly come out to then? I'm trying to figure out if I will be making enough to keep the stuff I'm leaving behind in storage or if I need to try to find a different option for the stuff.
 

bomber996

Active Member
Messages
48
ok thanks for the info, but what about when you get the monthly per-diem? what does a check roughly come out to then? I'm trying to figure out if I will be making enough to keep the stuff I'm leaving behind in storage or if I need to try to find a different option for the stuff.
$38.60 * 30 = $1158

It’s closer to $60k/year gross including housing per diem.
$105.60/day in Per Diem x 365 Days = $38,544
11.80/hour x 40 hours x 52 weeks = $24,544
$38,544 + $24,544 = $63,088.
I can't argue with that math.

What I quoted above was Gross and Net with zero tax deductions, 5% contributed to TSP in a pre-tax "401k like" contribution, ~$50 for health insurance, and ~$15 for dental and vision insurance. That's my situation, obviously yours may change depending on what you decide to contribute to TSP, your individual tax situation, and what you elect for benefits.
 

arturoh3

Member
Messages
22
Around $600 per check plus your per diem around $1150. Like someone said, keep in mind your first check will be about 3 weeks after you start. And your first per diem check will be about 5 weeks after your start date.
 

Itsallgucci

Trusted Contributor
I ♥ pointSixtyFive
Messages
311
We got our travel voucher 15 days after our start date (it was around a grand)
 

Dpacheco

Trusted Contributor
Messages
230
You make almost one hundred dollars a day in per diem. You're not struggling down there unless youre mc hammer
$39/day. Housing goes straight to the facilities now. The setup allows you to save some money if you manage right, but its not a financial windfall lol
 

GulfBravoPapa

Forum Sage
Messages
888
$39/day. Housing goes straight to the facilities now. The setup allows you to save some money if you manage right, but its not a financial windfall lol
The point was that your housing is completely paid for. You're getting $39/day for food PLUS the $11.60 or whatever per hour. PLUS the FAA is either paying your milage and plane ticket... It's more than adequate compensation for what is essentially going to school. Save you $39/day and eat ramen if you're that concerned about it.
 

Dpacheco

Trusted Contributor
Messages
230
The point was that your housing is completely paid for. You're getting $39/day for food PLUS the $11.60 or whatever per hour. PLUS the FAA is either paying your milage and plane ticket... It's more than adequate compensation for what is essentially going to school. Save you $39/day and eat ramen if you're that concerned about it.
We are arguing the same point and I am not concerned. Just an observation. Not all academy students are going there without leaving expenses behind with their family so to assume you could just save all that extra money is a bit unrealistic. But we must improvise, adapt and overcome. Amarite?! :cool:
 

StealthChain

Trusted Contributor
Messages
381
Yea, to be honest coming out here with a family and the expenses you already have, living on $11.60/hr even with per diem doesn't leave a whole lot of space to save money.

For a single person, sure it does. If you have a family though, expect to live a little tighter than usual unless you have a savings you can/are willing to dip into.
 
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