29% of U.S. veterans report their military service as being very useful in equipping them with the skills and experience needed for civilian careers post-military, while 29% say it was fairly useful, Pew Research Center reports. For the 250,000 plus military service members that transition into the workforce every year, finding stable, well-paying employment is one of their biggest concerns. However, by working to translate existing skills, and develop ones, it’s more than possible for veterans to land lucrative and fulfilling civilian jobs.
Support for veterans
Finding a new career path isn’t the only challenge awaiting service members in civilian life. Housing, in particular, is another pressing issue. Fortunately, by working with a reputable VA loan provider, veterans and military families can easily secure affordable home loans. Partially backed or guaranteed by the Department of Veteran Affairs, VA loans come with low interest rates, limited closing costs, and require no down payment. And, when it comes to finding work, veterans can start by contacting their local transition office for a free career assessment. The assessment looks at military experience and skills and suggests ways these strengths can be successfully applied to a civilian job. Moreover, the Army’s COOL (Crediting Opportunities Online) program goes further to help veterans translate their military skills, licenses, and certifications into high-demand, industry-recognized qualifications.
Popular career paths
One in four veterans work in government or public administration with jobs that pay an average annual salary of $45,647. The valuable leadership skills typically gained during service often translate into successful careers in these sectors — namely program analysis, public affairs, and administration. Alternatively, veterans with a keen interest in mission-based work may prefer a career in education. However, a college degree is usually a prerequisite for this field (which pays an average salary of $41,515 a year). Around 13% of degree-holding veterans on average enter education-related professions.
No degree needed
For veterans without degrees, the manufacturing industry offers promising opportunities. For example, entry-level maintenance technicians earn nearly $40,000 a year while that goes up to $58,129 a year for manufacturing supervisors. Additionally, maintenance workers typically go through an initial year of on-the-job training in lieu of a college degree.
Veterans have plenty of career paths open to them after leaving the military. By taking advantage of available support and strengthening their skills, veterans can secure a fulfilling and lucrative role.