Exclusively written for VeteransBreakfastClub.org
By: Regina Jaliyah
Entering the labor force isn’t always easy for veterans. Once they leave the service, they face new challenges. The good news is that many careers offer a similarly challenging environment, opportunities for advancement, and a sense of belonging and support. Regina Jaliyah has compiled four top careers for post-military veterans.
The United States military has a long history of providing America’s best and brightest with the training they need to succeed in the civilian world. Military veterans have the skills, training, and dedication employers seek. More than 8 million veterans are working in the civilian labor force, representing a participation rate of 46.8 percent.
Entering the labor force isn’t always easy for veterans. Once they leave the service, they face new challenges—from finding a job that fits their skillset to learning how to navigate a civilian workplace. The good news is that many careers offer a similarly challenging environment, opportunities for advancement, and a sense of belonging and support. In this article, we’ve compiled four top careers for post-military veterans:
1. Supply chain managers
Military logisticians are famous for their ability to organize within the military supply chain. Such examples include the efficient and cost-effective delivery of aircraft, supplies, artillery, and vehicles. After leaving the military, veterans will find that their leadership skills and ability to work in a team are valuable assets for supply chain companies. Supply chain managers oversee the flow of goods and services, including inventory, transportation, and warehousing. They ensure that parts or products arrive on time at their final destination.
Given the skills alignment and opportunities for growth that this career can bring to veterans, organizations like the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals provide them with discounted fees to enroll in professional certification programs. Supply chain managers typically have a base salary of $120,000, making it a lucrative position for those who have finished their service in the military.
2. Computer forensic investigators
Computer forensic investigators use their technical and investigative skills to solve digital crimes. This can include everything from cybercrimes like identity theft to traditional crimes like embezzlement perpetrated using technology. This is an excellent career for military veterans, who are trained to have a strong sense of discipline, are accustomed to working under pressure, and have a solid understanding of intricate and advanced cybersecurity technologies.
This job requires a wide range of skills, such as communication, analysis, and technical knowledge—all skills that veterans can bring to the table. This is why Homeland Security Investigations is recruiting wounded vets to become computer forensic analysts in order to assist in child exploitation cases. Because of their skill many veterans are becoming involved in the criminal justice system. These opportunities have become much more accessible due to the education system. Today veterans can take an online degree in criminal justice to gain the social science perspectives they need for a forensics career, or any career path related to the criminal justice system. With the right qualifications and experience, computer forensic investigators can earn as much as $150,000 and are in demand in government institutions and multinational corporations.
3. Air traffic controller
While many careers will suit a veteran’s skillset, some have direct civilian counterparts for those serving in the armed forces, such as an air traffic controller. They work in various capacities, from airports to military bases and even private companies specializing in air traffic control. This career is perfect for air force veterans who want to be on the ground but still have a vital role in the aviation industry.
To incentivize veterans to pursue this option after service, the Department of Defense offers credentialing programs to forego unnecessary retraining and help service members transfer their military skills to the civilian workforce. As an air traffic controller, a veteran can earn up to $120,000 a year, an amount that is significantly higher than the national average.
4. Human resources manager
A career in human resources can be an excellent choice for a post-military veteran looking to transition into the civilian workforce. Many veterans have experience with leadership and teamwork—highly transferable skills that make them a great fit for human resources management positions. Veterans also tend to be highly disciplined and motivated, which are essential traits for anyone who wants to manage an entire company’s workforce.
Human resources managers help companies attract and retain top talent, manage employee benefits and training programs and conduct performance reviews. They ensure the company complies with employment laws and cares for employees’ growth and development. Post-military veterans can find a lucrative career in this field, which offers competitive compensation that starts at $110,000 per year.
Veterans have unique stories and perspectives to offer as employees in civilian organizations and businesses. With their strong sense of ethics and impeccable integrity, they can find growth and fulfillment in these civilian careers after their military service.