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How Veterans Can Find a Civilian Career: Step by Step Guide Jobs for Veterans

As per the reports published by Navy Federal, each year more than 2,50,000 military men enter the civilian workspace and depending on their prior job responsibilities and educational level, there are a number of job opportunities that the veterans can avail. 

However, finding the right job after serving long in the field, especially in the military, can turn out to be a challenging task not only for the veterans themselves but also for their families. Most of them will not be able to find stable, well-paying or reputable jobs in accordance with their previous experience. 

Let us discover the best jobs for veterans who have to transit from military to civilian space:

jobs for veterans

Veterans-friendly Job Categories

There are a number of civilian-based opportunities available for the veterans that they can avail to pursue their career further. Below are discusses some of the best jobs for veterans:

Business and Finance Management

Both the military and disabled veterans have gained an ample amount of experience in strategic decision making and negotiation skills. They have also been extensively trained to adapt their strategies to the dynamic circumstances and come up with a favorable course of action.

Therefore, these expats are quite well-versed in dealing with all the finance and business operations of the assigned project. For those veterans looking to test their business and financial expertise in the civilian domain, here are mentioned some of the high paying jobs for veterans:

  • Marketing Manager – $136,850
  • Human Resources Manager – $116,720
  • General/Operations Manager – $100,780
  • Financial Advisor – $87,850
  • Accountant Or Auditor – $71,550
  • Property Manager – $58,760
  • Hotel Manager – $54,430
  • Project Manager – $91,329
  • Supply Chain Manager – $62,001

Criminal Justice & Law Enforcement

Veterans are trained with the mindset to protect their homeland from any inside or external intrusions. Hence, this sector provides them with the perfect opportunity to serve their country.

There are a number of law enforcement agencies and criminal courts that need insightful contribution from the veterans. Some of the highlighted jobs with expected salary are as follows:

  • Corrections Officer – $45,180
  • Criminal Investigator – $83,170
  • Parole Or Probation Officer – $54,290
  • Police Officer – $63,150
  • Private Investigator – $50,510
  • Security Guard – $29,680

Education Sector

For veterans, based on their own skills and educational expertise, the education sector serves as the right medium to attain teaching jobs. Since most of the veterans possess prior experience of either mentoring or guiding the subordinates in their respective fields. 

Moreover, the United States also offers a special Troops to Teachers training program for the veterans to help them pave their way into the teaching role after extensive military experience. Some of the stable and highest paying education sector jobs are as follows:

  • Early Childhood Educator – $24,230
  • Kindergarten Teacher – $56,850
  • Elementary School Teacher – $59,670
  • Middle School Teacher – $59,660
  • High School Teacher – $61,660
  • Vocational School Teacher – $54,620
  • Teaching Assistant – $27,920

If someone has good command over languages, they can apply for the position of a language teacher.

Engineering Sector

Engineering-bases jobs can turn out to be one of the suitable ones when it comes to transitioning from military space to the civilian one. Since most of the military personnel work directly or indirectly with sophisticated weaponized equipment, transportation, aeronautical and civil systems, they have attained extensive experience in the field. 

Most of the civilian engineering companies, especially those that indulge in aerospace operations and defense machinery manufacturing, like to hire people from a military background. Here are some of the popular veteran-friendly jobs in the engineering sector:

  • Architectural Drafter – $56,340
  • Civil Engineering Technician – $53,410
  • Civil Engineer – $87,060
  • Electronics Engineer – $105,570
  • Electronics Or Electrical Engineering Technician – $65,260
  • Mechanical Drafter – $57,060
  • Mechanical Engineering Technician – $56,980
  • Mechanical Engineer – $88,430

Healthcare Sector

Healthcare sector is one of the promising fields for military as well as disabled veterans because they have been trained through various first-aid programs. They have been trained well-enough to take care of the wounded soldiers or attend to the sick ones.

Even if the expats have not received any special medical training, there are a number of allied health courses designed for veterans to serve in the civilian medical domain. Some of the promising jobs under the healthcare sector for veterans are as follows:

  • Cardiovascular Technologist – $57,720
  • Dental Assistant – $40,080
  • Dental Hygienist – $76,220
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonographer – $74,320
  • Emergency Medical Technician – $48,009
  • Licensed Practical Or Vocational Nurse – $47,480
  • Medical Lab Technician – $53,120
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant – $61,510
  • Physical Therapist Assistant – $58,790
  • Radiologic Technologist – $60,510
  • Registered Nurse – $73,300
  • Respiratory Therapist – $61,330
  • Surgical Technologist – $48,300

Telecommunication and Information Technology Sector

The military landscape heavily relies on the advanced telecommunication equipment and advanced computer-based systems to carry out the relevant operations and projects. 

Often military and disabled veterans are taken onboard by companies who belong to the industry of intelligence survey systems, telecommunication equipment and information infrastructure. Some of the promising leads for the veterans in order to contribute to the technological advancements are as follows:

  • Computer Engineer – $92,902
  • Computer Programmer – $86,550
  • Computer Support Technician – $52,270
  • Cybersecurity Specialist – $99,730
  • Database Administrator – $93,750
  • Network Administrator – $83,510
  • Software Developer – $107,510
  • Telecom Technician – $57,910

Have a look at web designer job at Appjobs. 

Skilled Trades Sector

The Skilled Trades sector is among those sectors where veterans are highly welcomed because they are highly skilled at hand work.

Furthermore to assist the expats with their transition into the civilian space, a number of vocational training are offered., especially the Helmets to Hardhats and the United Association’s Veterans in Piping (VIP) programs. Some of the in-demand jobs for veterans long with average salary are discussed below: 

  • Aircraft Mechanic – $64,090
  • Auto Mechanic – $42,090
  • Carpenter – $48,330
  • Commercial Diver – $49,980
  • Diesel Mechanic – $48,500
  • Electrician – $56,180
  • Heavy Equipment Operator – $45,260
  • HVAC Technician – $48,730
  • Industrial Maintenance Technician – $53,590
  • Plumber – $55,160
  • Solar Energy Technician – $44,890
  • Welder – $42,490
  • Wind Energy Technician – $52,910
jobs for veterans

Apart from these aforementioned industrial sectors, other prominent veteran-friendly ones include:

Companies that Hire Veterans

According to Monster’s 2018 Veteran Survey, 94% of the veterans out of the military space are looking out for jobs every year. The veterans are likely to be hired because of their capability and skills development in different domains, be it healthcare, cybersecurity or logistics. 

Though, there still exists a communication gap that does not allow the veterans to mingle easily in the civilian space. However, there are a number of companies that are eager to take onboard a number of veterans due to their distinctive abilities and skills. Some of the feasible companies for the veterans are as follows:

  • Intelligent Waves, LLC – Founded by expats, this company specializes in providing IT and Communication services to various government-sector departments. It hires veterans to help them with civilian workspace transition and makes them highly trained in their respective fields through a rigorous 18-month training program. 
  • CACI – As per the mandate of Veteran Inclusion Program (VIP), CACI, a leading company in Technology and National Security Services, hires veterans and places them in the Veterans Employee Resource Group. They work in conjunction with the Military Spouse Employment Partnership, the military veterans, disabled veterans and spouses are trained to open up a horizon of opportunities for them. 
  • DynCorp International – Highly operational in providing Supply Chain Management, Base Operations and Infrastructure Support services to clients, they acknowledge the military men services. They take onboard ex-military personnel and disabled veterans for civilian roles through sponsored capacity development. 
  • Precision Monitoring to Transform Care – PRISM specializes in the Cybersecurity, Technology and IT services to both public and private sector companies. Their Veteran Performance Management Program believes in the mission of taking onboard veterans, especially the disabled ones, for continual support into civilian workspace transition. 
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection – Being one of the world’s largest law enforcement agencies, CBP provides in keeping track of any Terrorist activities in the United States. Their Veterans Employment Program Manager (VEPM) and the National Frontline Recruitment Command (NFRC)/Special Emphasis Recruitment Program (SERP) focuses on hiring veterans for the field operations at multiple fronts, with a special quote for disabled ones.  

Best Jobs for Veterans in 2020-2021

Though there are plenty of opportunities available that can be acquired by the veterans to continue serving their country in the civilian domain, some of the best jobs for veterans in 2020-21 are as follows:

Engineer

Job Category: Construction Industry, Software Management, Machinery Designing, Aeronautical Operations, Equipment Development & Communication Systems.

An engineer is expected to design and solve a technical problem in the area he/she has expertise.  

Expected Salary (per month): $130k plus

Essential Skills: Technical and Problem-Solving Skills, Interpersonal and Team Working Skills, Creative Skills & Commercial Awareness.

Friendly to Disabled: Yes

Police Officer Jobs for Veterans

IT Manager

Job Category: Technical Services, Information Systems & Network Administration

An IT Manager is expected to handle all the information technology-related tasks. 

Expected Salary (per month): $135k plus

Essential Skills: Communication & Negotiation Skills, Technical Skills & Organizational and Project Management Skills. 

Friendly to Disabled: Yes

Information Technology Management Jobs for Veterans

Police Officer

Job Category: National Security Services

A Police Officer helps in maintaining the discipline and is highly trained in Weapons handling.  

Expected Salary (per month): $60k plus

Essential Skills: Responsible, Assertive, Mature & Thoughtful. 

Friendly to Disabled: No

Police Officer Jobs for Veterans

Project Manager

Job Category: Business Management, Construction Projects, IT/Telecommunication Industry

A project manager is expected to handle the time, scope, cost and quality aspects of an assigned project.

Expected Salary (per month): $100k plus

Essential Skills: Communication & Negotiation Skills, Leadership Qualities & Time & Risk Management. 

Friendly to Disabled: Yes

Project Management Jobs for Veterans

Truck Driver/CDL Driver

Job Category: Logistics & Transportation

A Truck or CDL driver is expected to help with the logistics and transportations of goods/services.  

Expected Salary (per month): $40k plus

Essential Skills: Loading Experience, License Ownership & Scheduling Skills.

Friendly to Disabled: No

Check Van Driver Jobs for Veterans

Tips to Conduct an Effective Veterans Job Search

While transitioning into the civilian space, most of the veterans often find it challenging to find the right job and yearn for positions that can serve them in both personal and professional capacity. In order to succeed in the civilian workspace and acquire a stable job, there are a number of tips and tricks that veteran can follow:

Get Organized 

In order to begin with transition into the civilian workstation, the first and foremost trick is to become organized. Sort out and organize all the educational records, testimonials, certificates and experience letters all in one foldr. Also, do not forget to convert these files into digital versions and take out hard copies as well.

If you are facing any trouble in finding the relevant documents or have lost during the military service, get them replaced at earliest through Veteran Affairs online application, VONAPP

Seek Assistance

Though military veterans are used to the assistance provided to them during their active military days, the perks often cease out in the civilian domain. However, there are a number of opportunities available in order to restore the confidence and prepare for the challenges to be encountered. 

Some of the resources that help out the veterans in their smooth transition are as follows:

Start Searching

In order to secure a high-paying and stable job while transitioning from military space into the civilian one, determining the field of choice and interest is the first place is crucial. There are countless resources available online as well as offline that help the veterans find the most suitable opportunities for themselves. 

Some of the popular and resourceful job boards, websites and handbooks which offer jobs for veterans, discuss credentials, take a career counselling session and find about expected salary are as follows:

Determine the In-command Skills

Articulating the military skills in accordance with the civilian job requirements is one of the key potentials to obtain a job that suits them the most. It allows to highlight the skills and capabilities which can be of high value to the companies. 

Translating the military skills into the civilian ones can be easily carried out through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Military to Civilian Occupation Translator. Some of the essential skills that are highly in demand on behalf of the veterans are as follows:

  • Time Management Skills
  • Leaderships Skills
  • Team-oriented Approach
  • Technical Skills
  • Organizational Development & Planning Skills
  • Interpersonal, Communication & Negotiation Skills
  • Project Management Skills
  • Property Management Skills
  • Basic Medical Training 

Identify the Potential

Not all of the military expats are lucky to have achieved ample skills and capacity development based training. Hence, it is essential for the veterans to judge themselves on the basis of their skill and competency. 

There are a number of vocational training and skill enhancement programs designed for the veterans to help them acquire career opportunities. Some of the resourceful education programs are as follows: 

Draft a Resume

One you have achieved the essential vocational training in the desired field of interest, the not-to-be-left-out task is to draft a strong resume. Use the civilian language to convey to the recruiter about the skills, achievements and overall career experience. 

Multiple resources are now available through online mediums to craft and draft a resume. Some of the popular resume builders among veterans include:

Keep on Networking

Last but not the least, it is essential to connect with the right kind of people to provide the leads that can help transition into the civil world. There are countless unsaid and unheard opportunities that are only spread through referrals. 

Join the career fairs, make resumes on online job portals as well as send out cold emails just to expand your network and get hold of the opportunities. Most importantly, find yourself a mentor and receive suggestions regarding successful job placement. 

Preparing for an Interview and Tips for Veterans

Reentering the civilian career domain after an extensive military service means that going through the whole job hunt process. This whole process is a continuous loop of submitting applications, sending out CVs and Cover Letters as well as appearing before an interview committee. 

While entering the civil workspace, there are a number of cliched and non-cliched queries to be answered. The tip is to go prepared and be mentally present for any challenging question. 

Sample interview Questions

Some of the common interview questions asked from the military veterans by the interview panel are as follows:

Question: Describe your ideal workspace.

Answer: I’d like to be a part of a work environment where teamwork is the ultimate key to success. Surrounded by colleagues & subordinates while backing up each other was the first and foremost lesson during my military training. During my military service, I had been privileged to have served in the leadership position and have managed to build a team where everyone was welcomed to put forward a suggestion. I’d like to utilize my prior experience in designing the team on the same values given the chance.

Question: What is your most significant accomplishment to-date during your military service?

Answer: While working as Mechanical Design Engineer in the Engineering Corp, I had the opportunity to lead a team who successfully designed 15+ FDA compliant RF sealant. 

Question: Do you like to accept abrupt changes or would like to work in a continuous flow?

Answer: Changes are inevitable part of life and the sooner we accept them, the better position we are in to lead in both personal and professional endeavors. Though following the schedule should be the ultimate priority, however, any abrupt requirements should be welcomed whole heartedly through adaptive strategies. 

jobs for veterans

Interview Tips

Let us discover the traits of the veterans who successfully ace the interviews and join their dream organizations:

  • Be Relevant – Make a habit to provide information that is relevant and necessary for making a lasting impression. Also, if possible, relate the answer to real-life experience with focus on your skills and achievements.
  • Be Positive – Maintain a positive tone while giving the answer to the interview panel. Also, while mentioning the previous workspace or colleagues, discuss them in a positive voicetone.
  • Be Confident – Even if you feel you are lacking in certain aspects, maintain a confident pose nonetheless. Assure them of the values that will be added to the organization through applying skills and capabilities in the appropriate manner.

FAQs

Who is the largest employer of veterans?

The United States Postal Service (USPS) tops the charts for more than 230 years as the largest employer of the veterans, followed by the Department of Defense. 

What state is best for veterans?

The state of Virginia is the best state for veterans. It is also the home to the United States’ Department of Defense. It has the best ranking in terms of healthcare facilities provided to the veterans and has released funds over $3.5 million in response to the veteran disability claims. 

What are the best cities for veterans to live?

For veterans, the best cities to live and work in include Chesapeake, Arlington, Virginia Beach, Wichita and Fort Worth. 

What jobs are good for veterans with PTSD?

The best jobs for veterans with PTSD include Animal Trainers, Accountant & Auditors, Writers & Authors, Software Developers, Librarians and Market Research Analysis.

Summary

Though transitioning into the civilian space after extensive military service is challenging and overwhelming. There are multiple opportunities, however, available that allow the veterans to acquire the skills, proper training and peer support. A veteran just needs to be prepared beforehand and accept the transition process, only then he/she can successfully land a job in the civilian marketspace and lead a successful life!

Anya Prevallet-Kinstle is a Project Manager at Appjobs. She is a graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute and specializes in research and content strategizing.

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