MOS Skill Levels

For an enlisted soldier in the Army, your military records will often identify your MOS using five characters. For example, a Private that just entered the Army as a 25B would be referenced as a 25B10. The first three characters identify the specific MOS (in this case, 25B is an Information Systems Specialist). The fourth character signifies your skill level, which in this case is "1". The last character is often times a zero unless the soldier has a special qualification identifier (SQI), which is used when a soldier possesses a special qualification. An example would be a Drill Sergeant, who would have an SQI of X.

Most MOSs in the Army have skill levels ranging from 1-5. Some MOSs may only start at skill level 3 because they are not entry-level jobs. In some branches, the skill levels for most MOSs may stop at skill level 3 or 4. This is often the case when a branch has a career progressional MOS. For example, many Corps of Engineers MOSs stop at skill level 2 or 3 because those getting promoted to the higher NCO ranks transition into the Engineering Supervisor / Engineering Senior Sergeant MOSs.

The five skill levels are generally described as follows:

Skill Level 1 is an entry-level position requiring the performance of tasks under direct supervision. This skill level consists of all soldiers in the ranks of Private (Paygrade E-1) up to Specialist.

Skill Level 2 is a position requiring the performance of more difficult tasks under general supervision. Soldiers reach skill level 2 when they get promoted to Sergeant (Paygrade E-5). In many instances, a Sergeant will supervise soldiers in Skill Level 1.

Skill Level 3 positions require the performance of still more difficult tasks and involve first line supervision of soldiers in Skill Levels 1 and 2. This skill level is obtained upon getting promoted to Staff Sergeant.

Skill Level 4 positions require detailed knowledge of all tasks associated with a given MOS, normally involving first-line supervision of soldiers in Skill Levels 1, 2, and 3, and managing duties. Skill level 4 is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class.

Skill Level 5 positions perform managerial and supervisory duties requiring broad knowledge of the tasks performed at all subordinate levels for a specified MOS and even related MOSs in order to coordinate and give direction to work activities. Skill level 5 is reached when promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant

Article Last Modified: February 27, 2011