5 military jobs that translate to the advanced manufacturing industry

You couldn’t 3D print a better match: veterans with a variety of military experiences make great manufacturers

5 military jobs that translate to the advanced manufacturing industry

(Photo courtesy of the Department of Defense)

By Margaret Clevenger for Get Skills to Work 

The advanced manufacturing industry can’t find enough skilled workers to fill its reportedly hundreds of thousands of open jobs. Whether they know it or not, many veterans are already equipped with the skills required for manufacturing positions when they separate from the armed forces. You couldn’t 3D print a better match: veterans with a variety of military experiences make great manufacturers.

Check out these five military occupations that are a good fit for manufacturing jobs right now. 

1. Military job: Combat engineer

Manufacturing job: Mechanical engineering technician

Average starting salary: $47,000

Combat engineers make great mechanical engineering technicians because they are used to working under pressure and constructing everything from barriers to bridges to complex electrical wiring.

Becoming a mechanical engineering technician requires critical thinking, supervising a team, and precision craftsmanship. All of these are skills learned as a combat engineer. Daily tasks of mechanical engineer technicians in the manufacturing industry include inspecting equipment, monitoring processes, and controlling machines. 

2. Military job: Weapons repairer/technician

Manufacturing job: Maintenance technician

Average starting salary: $50,000

Military weapons repairers and technicians inspect, maintain, and repair weapons on a daily basis, which translates directly to industry-needed skills in troubleshooting, quality control analysis, and deliberate decision-making. Military weapons repairers are used to working under intense conditions and already have a polished skillset useful to a career as a maintenance technician in manufacturing. 

As a civilian maintenance technician, a former weapons repairer would enjoy restoring, adjusting, and maintaining industrial processes daily while getting their hands dirty. Prior service weapons repairers may even be qualified for a Get Skills to Work badge in the Manufacturing Pipeline, helping them translate their military experience more easily to employers.

3. Military job: Logistics planner

Manufacturing job: Logistics analyst 

Average starting salary: $30,000

Logistics planners in the military are familiar with preparing for everything from day-to-day sustainment of their units to deployments and crises around the world. This robust experience makes them great for work as advanced manufacturing logistics analysts.

As civilian logistics analysts in advanced manufacturing, veterans will verify and monitor records, prepare shipments, and provide support by performing an array of duties including assembling loads, making shipping and transportation arrangements, and many others. Logistics analysts are vital to every manufacturing operation and veterans are prepared for the job.

4. Military job: Advanced welder

Manufacturing job: Welder

Average starting salary: $40,000

Welders in the military have skills that are a one-for-one exchange to skills needed in today’s advanced manufacturing industry. Whether a veteran worked with sheet metal structures, shipboard components, or fortifying tunnels and entrances, the welding expertise gained during service can be applied to a variety of materials and objects.

Welders in advanced manufacturing must know how to safely operate equipment, use welding power tools, and work with torches--tasks military welders have been specifically trained to do starting from their qualification training and throughout their entire careers.   

5. Military job: Machinist

Manufacturing job: Advanced manufacturing machinist

Average starting salary: $35,000

The skills military machinists have at their disposal when they transition out of the military are sought after by top manufacturing companies and organizations.

For example, military machinists are familiar with calculating dimensions and tolerances, testing for defects, and applied mathematics. This means that a veteran will need minimum training when transitioning into the civilian sector.

Based on military experience, many veterans and transitioning service members may be eligible for skills badges highlighting their experience on the U.S. Manufacturing Pipeline making it easier to connect with employers and find jobs in manufacturing across the country. LinkedIn is offering transitioning service members free ‘Job Seeker’ upgrades as well to help find work in the civilian sector.

The Get Skills to Work coalition is a movement of companies, educational programs and others with the Manufacturing Institute founded by partners GE, Alcoa, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin to help veterans fill the advanced manufacturing skills gap. Learn more by visiting www.getskillstowork.org