The United States military works with many different companies to source and develop a range of products, services, and solutions. Defense contractors are often companies that design and create products specifically for the military, including weaponry, vehicles, vessels, and aircraft. They also include companies that make military-specific (mil-spec) materials, components, and products that are designed for the demands of defense applications. Over the last two decades, military needs increasingly shifted into a digital realm, thus military contractors have become more diverse in the roles they serve. Software, communications, computer engineering, and technical support providers are now frequently contracted with the military to provide products, services, training, and more.


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What Are Military Contractors?

Military contractors are private companies and individuals who contract with the military to develop and deliver products or services. Military contractors include manufacturers that create mil-spec materials and parts. They can also include professionals who provide technical services, maintenance, consulting, and who fulfill a broad range of roles to aid defense activity. A defense contractor may sometimes be referred to as a security contractor, or in the case of a company or organization, a private military company (PMC). PMCs, in particular, will specialize in the training of troops or serving in security capacities for private companies and individuals operating in high-risk situations or hostile regions.

What Is A Defense Contractor Salary? 

A US Department of Defense contractor’s salary range is very broad. On average, a DOD contractor’s salary is between $93,671 and $233,482. The top 86 percent of military contractors make as much as $517,263. Many different variables affect defense contractor salary rates, including the specific role, individual experience, and contract program. For example, army contractors working as security specialists will make an average of $45,629 – $50,005 annually, an army contractor working as a technician will make between $11 and $33 hourly, while a program manager will make between $74,459 and $81,709 annually. Working for a company that serves as a defense contractor will also yield a broad range of salaries that are set by the contracted company.

Who Are The Top Defense Contractors?

Defense contractors play an increasingly important role in military programs, especially in the United States. The top defense contractors of 2020 were Lockheed Martin Corp., Raytheon Technologies Corp., General Dynamics Corp., Boeing, and Northrop Grumman Corp. Every year, the U.S. DoD awards defense contacts to these companies that amount to tens of billions of dollars. Most of these and other leading defense contractors make the vast majority of their revenue from military contracts. Because of this high and consistent flow of revenue, companies like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and General Dynamics are considered some of the best defense contractors to work for when one is seeking a career in the defense and national security industries. Working with small defense contractors is also an option for people who wish to apply their skills to mil-spec development while also working for a private organization or one that fulfills defense orders as just one portion of their business.

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