4 top career fields for transitioning veterans

Whether you’re planning to retire or leaving the military after a few years, make sure you find a job that works for you

4 top career fields for transitioning veterans

U.S. Army Cpl. Michael Tacker provides security while other members of the Kapisa-Parwan Provincial Reconstruction Team assess a bridge over the Panjshir River in Mahmood Rahqi, Afghanistan, Sept. 9, 2009. Tacker is an infantryman assigned to the team. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Teddy Wade/DoD)

By Military1 Staff

Separating from the military is a complicated process and has many moving parts, with checklists to complete, meetings to attend and classes to take. And this is all so you can leave the military—but what about when you get out?

While the civilian world operates very differently from the public sector, there are a few similarities, and those similarities are what you need to capitalize on when looking for post-military.

1. Management

All companies need management, from fast food restaurants to Fortune 500 companies, and we guarantee most of their other managers can’t think as quick on their feet as someone who had to make decisions in a war zone. The military’s rank structure and leadership dependence at all levels works in your favor—use your experiences to illustrate what makes you a capable manager and leader, because those are characteristics that cross career fields.

Often, management jobs will waive educational requirements for relevant experience, which certainly includes military service.

2. Education

Again, this is where the military’s dependence on top-down leadership comes in handy. If you’ve spent any length of time at all serving in the armed forces, you’ve been in charge of someone, and have probably been a mentor. Teaching requires that same dedication to those you’re charged with educating; they depend on you to look out for their best interest and teach them to prepare for what lies ahead.

Nearly all teaching jobs will require higher education, but you can find out how to make the transition through the Department of Defense-funded program, Troops to Teachers.

3. Public service

Sometimes called the “obvious” follow-up job to the military due to its similar rank structure, a career as a police officer does offer a familiar setting for those just transitioning. Aside from law enforcement, public service jobs also include firefighters, paramedics, EMS and other security positions. Depending on the type of school or certification required, the Post-9/11 G.I Bill could pay for some or all the required fees.

For information on public sector positions, contact the organization in the area you plan to live once you transition and ask them about veteran preference and upcoming job fairs.

4. Government jobs

It may seem counterintuitive to leave the military only to apply for a government job, but with your veteran status, you may have preferential hiring points that put you ahead of the curve. In addition, prior service members often already have security clearance, eliminating a step for the hiring manager. Government and federal jobs are also known to have great benefits, a big plus after leaving the safety net of the military and it’s many allowances.

For up-to-date job openings, visit USAJobs.gov.