For veterans preparing to reenter civilian life, there tend to be a number of different adjustments. One of the most important – and also most difficult – tasks that a veteran faces is finding a career that fulfills them and allows them to support themselves and their loved ones. There are a number of employers across the country who recognize the value of veterans and the experience they can bring to any industry, but there are a few fields in particular that are excellent fits for those exiting the nation’s Armed Forces. Here are 3 great career paths that veterans should consider as they begin a new civilian job search.
Veterans who want to work in the skilled trades often find that they can transition into employment much faster with the shorter time requirements for education yet high demand for skilled workers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, welders who have training in the latest technology and skills tend to have very little difficulty finding work. The aging infrastructure throughout the nation also means that these qualified trade specialists are going to continue to be in demand. The median average pay for those who have completed trade school also tends to be higher than average. Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers earned a median wage of $36,300, with the upper 10 percent earning more than $56,130. Tulsa Welding School points out that the hi-tech welder, sheet metal worker, structural iron and steel worker, and commercial divers are especially promising welding career paths in 2014.
Veterans have the capacity to thrive in the various skilled trades because of the work experience they often develop while in the military. Many will have been trained and called upon to fix machinery, troubleshoot problems in the field, and think on their feet. These skills will make it easy for them to succeed in the trade industries. Some might have already worked as welders in the Army, repairing and maintaining equipment in the States and overseas. The CareerCast Veterans Network also notes that many manufacturing jobs like welding have a strong emphasis on hiring veterans and helping them to cultivate the skills needed in the trades.
Training and Development Manager
Training and development managers help organizations by coordinating programs designed to improve employee performance. They will analyze whether employees need training and determine the best way to educate them. They also prepare the training budget and evaluate the effectiveness of training programs. These professionals can find organizations to work with across all industries, from companies and enterprises to hospitals and government agencies, as every company looks for ways to improve the performance of their workforce. Development managers are compensated quite well, as they have an annual median salary of $95,400 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Veterans often can transition easily into a position in this field, provided they hold at least a Bachelor’s degree and a few years of work experience in the field. Their training in the armed forces required them to problem solve, manage difficult situations, and lead groups of people. These types of skills offer considerable value for those interested in becoming training and development managers. CareerCast.com mentions that employers may prefer veterans, as they bring attitude of leadership and work ethic to a company.
Information Technology Specialist
For veterans, the growing IT industry can be the perfect place to begin building a career. Furthermore, it offers a variety of positions for people with different levels of education and work experience. You can work as a computer support specialist, a computer programmer, a software developer or IT manager. For instance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be a 15 percent job growth for IT managers because of the ever-increasing demand for the latest technology. The potential pay in this field is also strong. Managers have a median annual wage of $120,950, which is well above the national average.
According to the CareerCast, veterans tend to fit well in positions related to IT because the military is also increasingly using computer related systems. This gives many veterans hands-on experience with the industry along with training. Veterans also cultivate leadership skills and strong self-discipline, which can help them quickly move into leadership and managerial positions within the industry.
Finding the right job after leaving the military can be a great asset for veterans as they reintegrate into civilian life. Capitalizing on the skills learned in the armed forces can help these vets find the right career, such as one of the three occupations mentioned above. Veterans should speak with mentors, gauge their own skills, and determine which direction would be best for them to take.