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8 High-Demand Careers for Job Seekers With Military Skills

leave-military-civilian-jobMany former service members struggle to find a civilian career that makes use of their military training and skills once they’re back on home soil. But there are actually a number of high-need careers where military skills are valued and rewarded.The U.S. military is an exceptional training ground for many positions, emphasizing loyalty, integrity, problem-solving, cutting-edge technological skills, communication, diplomacy, and more. Below are a few of the fields where veterans might well have an advantage over other applicants.




1. Law Enforcement

Jobs in law enforcement are a good option for veterans after their career in the military has ended. Law enforcement is a fast-paced career with high stakes; officers are tasked with keeping their communities safe in all kinds of situations — an objective familiar to many former military members. Obtaining a job with the local police force is fairly straightforward, albeit a little time-consuming. Local police departments often require only a high school diploma as far as education goes. Before beginning a career as a police officer, candidates must go through local police academy training, which includes in-class learning as well as field exercises and physical conditioning. Training typically lasts about three months. Candidates looking for employment a little higher up on the totem pole should consider working for law enforcement on a federal level (these jobs typically require a bachelor’s degree).


2. Private Security

Working in law enforcement isn’t for everyone, but those who still want a job protecting the greater community may consider working in private security. In this sector, job roles and requirements vary greatly. The work can range from acting as someone’s personal bodyguard to enforcing physical security for a large business. Because the work roles vary so much, the qualifications for this job can significantly differ, as well. At a minimum, those looking for a job in private security will need to provide references and proof of any prior experience that would help in security work. They will also need to pass a background check and undergo a skills assessment. Candidates must be licensed within the state, as required — and obtain a valid license for carrying a firearm, if that’s part of the job.


3. Teaching

 While in the military, most veterans gain at least some experience in training or mentoring others. If this kind of work is personally fulfilling, there is no reason those skills should go to waste once a veteran seeks a civilian job. To become a teacher, a candidate must complete an undergraduate degree, undertake student teaching, and pass any state-required exams. Once all these requirements are completed, the teacher-to-be applies for teaching certification. Although the process may seem daunting, the U.S. Department of Defense offers veterans access to a program known as Troops to Teachers, which helps guide former military members through the process of becoming a certified school teacher.


4. Personal Training

Those in the military have been trained to keep their bodies not only healthy but in top physical condition. These military skills can translate into lucrative and inspiring work as a personal trainer. Trainers help clients develop and execute a workout plan that can meet their personal needs. This means they may work with clients who have physical limitations, requiring a workout plan that takes those challenges into consideration. Those hoping to work as a personal trainer will need to obtain AED and CPR certifications, as well as training certification. The type will depend on the specialty you choose.


5. Aircraft Maintenance

Aircraft technicians are tasked with maintaining and repairing crafts from planes to helicopters and even blimps — all rely on aircraft techs to keep them in tip-top shape. Aircraft technicians are responsible for diagnosing electrical and mechanical issues, replacing parts, and performing regular maintenance. It is also possible to pursue a specialty as an aircraft tech, such as working specifically on the electrical aspects of aircraft. Veterans who’ve been trained for this work during their military careers have a head start. Others will need to obtain either a repairman’s certification or mechanic’s certification. Also, techs sometimes need to operate heavy machinery, which requires another certification.


6. Nursing

Those who received medical training while serving in the military might think about becoming a nurse or medical technician once they’re back home. Candidates must complete a 1-year nursing program either at a technical school or community college to become a licensed nurse. These programs include both lectures and hands-on training. Those hoping to become a registered nurse also will need an associate degree in nursing.


7. Account Management

The military teaches its recruits how to keep a cool head, solve problems and communicate well with co-workers and others. Anyone who has managed supply lines or navigated complex chains of command in the military is a good candidate for account management – being the main point of contact for large accounts, making sure deadlines are met, communication is punctual, and problems are handled diplomatically. An account manager’s number one job is to make sure clients have positive interactions with your brand to keep the business flowing. Computer skills are helpful in this position. Job seekers in this field need a bachelor’s degree, plus a willingness to take part in on-the-job training.


8. Disaster Preparation

Former military members who thrive in emergency situations should think about a job as a disaster preparation specialist. Many of the best states for veterans are areas prone to disasters like wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods. Disaster preparation specialists help local governments devise and implement plans for emergency situations to make sure that the public’s needs are met in the event of a crisis. A bachelor’s degree is required for this job, as well as coursework and certification in emergency management, which includes classes in terrorism response and emergency preparation.


To Sum It All Up

Finding a job, filling a job: Neither is a walk in the park, especially with veterans returning to the civilian workplace. Fortunately, most former military members already possess plenty of training, skills, and values that help them stand out as job candidates. In the right fields, many employers understand the value of these military attributes and will hire veterans for jobs that capitalize upon these skills — to the benefit of the candidate, the company, and everyone involved.



About the Author: Brad Miller is a Marine Corps veteran who comes from a military family with a long tradition of service. He and his brother created The Military Guide as a “straight shooters handbook” to provide helpful resources to service men and women at every stage of their military careers – from those first timid steps into the recruiter’s office to walking proudly off base with a DD-214 as a newly minted veteran and beyond.

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