Table of Contents
- What Are Good Jobs For Military Veterans?
- 1. Health Care Provider
- 2. Manufacturing Technician
- 3. Information Technology Professional
- 4. Business Administrator or Manager
- 5. Human Services Representative
- 6. Skilled Tradesman
- 7. Engineer
- 8. Financial Advisor
- 9. Sales Managers
- Top Paying Jobs For Veterans Without A Degree
- Top Paying Jobs For Veterans With A Degree
- Companies That Hire Veterans
The military produces highly proficient and educated, professionals, which is why so many diverse employers clamor for military veterans. There are several opportunities to succeed in a civilian career after a military career ends, both for vets with or without college degrees. Naturally, the best post-military jobs are those that blend your experience with what you’re passionate about. However, it also is good to know what the best civilian jobs are based on other external factors. Here’s what we found.
What Are Good Jobs For Military Veterans?
Based on several factors, here are some of the best jobs overall for veterans entering civilian life:
1. Health Care Provider
Just like being a service member, being a health care worker is one of the most selfless professions you can join after a military career. Doctors, nurses, and other related professionals work long hours to improve the lives of their patients much like some of the conditions military vets endured while they were on active duty.
The United States’ population is aging, and the Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented labor shortages in healthcare, which means the need for health care workers is skyrocketing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that the country will need more than half a million more nurses by 2022, which means there is ample opportunity for vets looking for a fulfilling, stable career. Registered nurses earn around $65,000 in salary, but nurses who specialize have the potential to earn well over $100,000 in some cases.
2. Manufacturing Technician
Though many people interpret this job title as a fancy way of saying “factory workers,” this career actually requires quite a bit of skill and knowledge — which is why the job is so lucrative. Modern manufacturing techs work with complex robotics, electronics, and wireless systems to make sure production runs as smoothly as possible.
Though salaries for beginning manufacturing techs may be low, after a few years of experience, most techs see significant raises and promotions. Plus, by going back to school while working, techs can earn degrees that make them more qualified for managerial and executive positions, which promise even better benefits.
3. Information Technology Professional
The military is one of the biggest proponents of technological advancement, which means that most veterans leave military service with a healthy amount of IT experience. IT is a diverse field, with some professionals writing software and others maintaining established systems.
Plus, the field continues to grow exponentially, meaning there will be plenty of job openings for interested vets. Yearly earnings for IT workers can extend into the six-figure range, and most starter salaries hover around $70,000.
4. Business Administrator or Manager
The armed services trains personnel to have discipline and structure, which means it produces highly efficient, dedicated, and organized workers. All of these qualities are crucial to leaders in every industry, including business.
Companies all over the country are looking for administrators, managers, and directors who can lead teams of employees to success, and military personnel make excellent candidates. Salaries for administrators are high, starting at around $70,000 and reaching well into the six figures.
5. Human Services Representative
Businesses must function as a cohesive unit, and it is the job of the human services department to ensure every individual understands his or her role in the team. HR representatives hire and fire employees, develop and enforce policies, and work hard to keep the company happy and healthy as a whole. A starting salary for an HR representative is around $60,000, while experienced HR workers earn closer to $90,000 and into the six figures.
6. Skilled Tradesman
Skilled tradesmen are becoming scarce as younger generations flock to universities to earn experience for careers in the office. Ultimately, that means tradesmen are able to charge more for their services which most of the American public can’t complete themselves. There are all sorts of trades that require dedicated laborers, creating opportunities for vets such as:
- Construction Workers
- Heavy Equipment Operators
- HVAC technicians
- Auto and Truck Mechanics
- Metal Fabricators
- Pipefitters and Steamfitters
The salary of a tradesman depends on multiple variables, including the trade, location, and even season, but laborers can expect to earn at least $50,000 every year. More highly specialized tradespeople can sometimes earn six figures or more.
Military vets are especially adept at navigating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, There is a vast world of engineering, which offers more than 35 different degrees to address the world’s myriad problems. Some of the most popular types of engineering are:
Some of the other jobs on this list, including manufacturing technician, IT specialist, and tradesman, are excellent stepping stones toward a particular engineering career. Experienced engineers almost always earn six-figure incomes, and the starting salary for many engineers is upwards of $80,000.
8. Financial Advisor
These advisors help individuals, families, and even businesses or large organizations with a wide range of financial planning. Some advisors specialize in debt management, long-term investing and planning. The projected growth in these types of jobs is expected to be about 8% annually with a median income of about $90,000 annually.
9. Sales Managers
Sales managers lead other sales professionals in meeting organizational goals including training personnel and monitoring sales growth. This requires strong leadership skills which is often a core skill veterans have learned over time in the military.
Sales managers can come from a wide range of functional backgrounds, but employers often prefer those with a bachelor’s degree that demonstrates their military skillsets.
Median pay can be quite high and is often based on performance. Depending on a number of factors, this can range from $100,000 and up.
Top Paying Jobs For Veterans Without A Degree
Based on several factors, such as projected job growth, pay, job stability, and others, here’s a list of some of the best paying jobs for military veterans that don’t require a college degree. Some will require other types of skills you can acquire through trade schools or that transfer well from your military experience.
Use this list as a starting point, and combine it with your own set of skills and the type of work you’d like to do.
- Heavy Truck/Trailer Driver
- Correctional Officer
- Operations Manager
- Power Plant Operators
- Computer Support Specialists
- Armed Guard Driver/Courier
- Refinery Operators
- Police Officer
- Diesel Engine Mechanic
- Automotive Technician
- Aircraft Technician
Top Paying Jobs For Veterans With A Degree
Vets with college degrees, especially advanced degrees, are coveted in the workforce because they also possess a high degree of practical experience. This often puts them in a hiring sweet spot.
There are many options to choose from if this describes you. Here are some career opportunities to consider.
- Civil/Electrical Engineering
- Software Developer
- IT Project Manager
- Information Security Analyst
- Human Resources/Personnel Management
- Social Services/Mental Health
- Logistics and Supply Chain
- Air Traffic Controller
- Aviation/Aerospace Program Manager
- Real Estate Brokers
- Public Administration Management
Companies That Hire Veterans
There are hundreds of companies nationwide that make a specific point of hiring veterans.
An online job search should produce several results that will help target your job search and give you a leg up in getting hired.
You can also visit veteran-specific job boards to find out if your dream companies are hiring. For each of the job posting sites, set up a profile with your skills. Then sign up to receive daily or weekly updates on new job listings by companies you want to work for.
LinkedIn is also another good source for networking and seeking out veteran preferential job leads.