When returning to civilian life, veterans want to increase their odds of success in the workforce. One of the best ways to do that is by choosing a career path and training that best suits their skills and interests. There are some inherent skills that are taught in the military – including discipline and teamwork – that are valuable in civilian work.
In addition, many veterans have learned to work with their hands, and some have obtained mechanical skills, according to the University of Colorado. If you are returning to the civilian workforce here are five careers that can be good for veterans.
Those who work as police, fire and ambulance dispatchers are sometimes referred to as 911 operators or public safety communicators. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual median salary for the positions in 2012 was $36,300 annually. While some dispatcher jobs require state certification, most require only a high school education and on-the-job training. The BLS says the growth in jobs in this sector will be 8% in the coming years, which is on pace with the rest of the job market. Military veterans are trained for high pressure and high risk situations, making them solid candidates for these positions.
According to a white paper published by Tulsa Welding School, only 6% of high school students have expressed an interest in going into the skilled trades like HVAC. This, coupled with the fact that many tradesmen left the industry when the economy sank in 2008, has created a need in this market, making it an excellent opportunity for veterans, especially those with experience working with their hands. The BLS says job growth is estimated to be an impressive 21% between now and 2022, with the median salary being over $41,000. A parallel position, solar panel installer, has even higher expectations, with a 24% growth.
This is a good career path for veterans who have mechanical or technical experience, perhaps having worked on aircraft or other forms of transportation. The BLS states that the median salary for today’s auto technician is $36,610 annually, and while only a high school diploma is needed, most shops want mechanics that are trained and certified. The additional benefit of becoming an automobile technician is the opportunity to ultimately work independently, although the increasing cost of diagnostic tools is making that more difficult.
This sector is expecting some major growth in the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates growth in the construction industry between now and 2022 could reach 25%, creating tremendous opportunities for those completing their service. Although the median income is lower than some skilled trades (The BLS puts it at just over $29,000 annually), as skills and knowledge increases, so likely will your income. Some construction jobs are temporary labor positions, which can make them attractive to veterans who are interested in testing out the field.
This is a very broad category that veterans may find of interest. According to Army Times, veterans are particularly suited for cyber security, do to their experience with high-pressure situations and having a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. Computer and Technology Security may be a solid path for those with technical leanings. Gaming Surveillance offers opportunities for those who may have had security related positions in the service. Personal Security is another growing area of employment.
Home Security System Sales and Home Security Installation are also worth exploring for veterans who want to continue to keep citizens safe. A report from Parks Associates estimates that 5 million broadband households in the United States, about ten percent, have considered a home security system in the past year but have not yet taken the plunge. This may mean that the market is increasing for those in the security industry.
Audrey Clark is a skilled freelance blogger covering a range of topics from careers and finance to travel and leisure, along with everything in-between. When not writing, she’s always on the lookout for her next adventure. Connect with Audrey on Twitter and Google+.