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25 Career Options for Veterans

March 1, 2019

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Whether you’re a new veteran transitioning to civilian life or an experienced veteran seeking a career change, there are plenty of excellent employment opportunities available for former military personnel.

Veterans often possess a well-developed, unique set of abilities including organizational and time management skills, strategic thinking, team cooperation, leadership skills and self-discipline—all of which can help you succeed in nearly any industry or profession. But to find a career you’ll enjoy, you should also consider your interests, personality traits and any education or specialty training you received during or before your military career.

To help you get started in your job search, we’ve put together a list of 25 jobs across a variety of professions and industries for you depending on your interests and specializations. Many of these are among the top jobs employers are recruiting veterans for today. For more, check out our list of top-rated workplaces for veterans based on user ratings and reviews.

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Possible jobs for veterans

National Average Salary: $38,470

Primary Duties: Automotive technicians, or mechanics, are responsible for ensuring vehicles are working properly. They perform routine inspections to ensure all parts of a car are working properly and comply with state and federals codes. They also work to locate, address and resolve specific issues related to vehicle operations.

Companies with this position: Walmart, MIDAS, CarMax

National Average Salary: $21.17 per hour

Primary Duties: A personal trainer assists clients and gym members with their fitness goals by preparing customized fitness plans, demonstrating exercises, monitoring workouts and modifying plans as clients’ needs change. They may work on behalf of a gym or work on a self-employed basis. Personal trainers typically work with clients one-on-one or in small groups.

Companies with this position: Anytime Fitness, Gold’s Gym, YMCA

National Average Salary: $24.60 per hour

Primary Duties: An electrician is responsible for installing, maintaining and repairing electrical systems. They also inspect and diagnose electrical issues and repair and replace wiring, electrical fixtures, circuit breakers, transformers, power lines, and other equipment to ensure optimal and safe power usage.

Companies with this position: Tradesmen International, Rogers Electric, Tesla

National Average Salary: $51,326 per year

Primary Duties: Landscape designers are horticultural professionals who design outdoor spaces for commercial, residential and public properties. They draw up concepts, estimate costs and develop landscape designs to meet client needs. They select plants such as flowers, trees and shrubs, and other features, such as water fountains and walking paths to improve the look and feel of outdoor areas.

Companies with this position: Brightview, Pleasant Landscapes, Realty Landscaping

National Average Salary: $52,065 per year

Primary Duties: Police officers protect citizens by enforcing laws to stop and prevent crimes. They respond to calls and complaints, document actions and observations through reports, conduct property searches, mediate disputes, rescue and revive victims and detain and interrogate suspects. They are often assigned patrol specific areas but may also be called to assist in calls in other areas when other officers require backup.

Companies with this position: NYPD, Chicago Police Department, State of Colorado

National Average Salary: $58,480 per year

Primary Duties: Construction technicians are part civil engineer and part construction manager. They work in a variety of constructions environments. Duties may include cost estimating, project management, project scheduling and inspection.

Companies with this position: Tradesmen International, NPL Construction, State of Arizona

National Average Salary: $60,270 per year

Primary Duties: Aviation technicians are responsible for locating, addressing and resolving issues related to airplane mechanics. They perform routine safety checks, diagnose airplane engines and assemblies and ensure aircrafts are up to state and federal code.

Companies with this position: Delta, American Airlines, Air Methods Corporation

National Average Salary: $62,053 per year

Primary Duties: An account manager works to maintain positive relationships with existing clients by ensuring the organization is meeting their needs. They schedule regular calls and on-site meetings, suggest and demo new products and services, prepare strategies and quotes for new purchases, share performance reports and answer client questions or concerns.

Companies with this position: Coca-Cola Refreshments, Discover Financial Services, UnitedHealth Group

National Average Salary: $64,028 per year

Primary Duties: An operations manager is responsible for ensuring a company’s operations are as effective and efficient as possible. They may develop strategies and action plans to improve management, development, production, quality control and customer service procedures. They may also act as a company representative on regulatory concerns, and prepare and train the workforce on the company’s policies and regulations.

Companies with this position: FedEx, The Home Depot, CVS Health

National Average Salary: $64,526 per year

Primary Duties: Sales representatives use persuasion and negotiation skills to sell products and services to prospective and existing customers. They may reach out to new leads through cold calling, perform product demos, prepare quotes, establish relationships with new accounts and maintain communication with existing accounts to drive repeat business.

Companies with this position: AT&T, Cintas, ADT

National Average Salary: $32.79 per hour

Primary Duties: Technical writers prepare procedural documents, instruction manuals, how-to guides and other informational materials. They’re responsible for translating complex information into user-friendly content. Generally, technical writers are also tasked with researching information and editing and fact-checking all work before publishing.

Companies with this position: Leidos, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin

National Average Salary: $67,329 per year

Primary Duties: Financial analysts collect data, create models and monitor economic forecasts to help inform and support a company’s financial decisions. They identify market trends, assist in monthly, annual or quarterly strategic planning and offer advice to senior executives.

Companies with this position: CBRE, Wells-Fargo, Bank of America

National Average Salary: $67,816 per year

Primary Duties: A criminal investigator is someone who gathers evidence and interviews witnesses to identify suspects and solve crimes. They may be responsible for visiting crime scenes, obtaining search warrants, collecting forensic evidence, analyzing lab findings, preparing reports, sharing information with other law enforcement departments and testifying in court.

Companies with this position: FBI, State of Louisiana, State of Arizona

National Average Salary: $68,656 per year

Primary Duties: A quality assurance engineer (also called a QA engineer) works to ensure product quality by tracking and overseeing development from start to finish. They regularly perform tests and provide feedback at each phase of the development process to prevent errors in the finished product. Quality assurance engineers may work in technology, manufacturing, consumer goods and more.

Companies with this position: GE Corporate, Siemens AG, Apple

National Average Salary: $34.10 per hour

Primary Duties: A registered nurse is responsible for treating patients, providing emotional support for patients and families, educating patients on care plans and explaining medical conditions. They perform diagnostic tests, administer medication and IVs and document all treatments. Nurses may work in hospitals, clinics, private practices or provide in-home care.

Companies with this position: CoreMedical Group, Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente

National Average Salary: $71,414 per year

Primary Duties: A truck driver (also called a CDL driver) is responsible for transporting goods from one location to another, such as from a distribution center to a retail store. They must perform truck inspections before and after trips to ensure safe transportation, load and unload cargo from the trailer or truck bed, maintain logs and communicate with dispatch centers before, during and after cargo delivery.

Companies with this position: Walmart, PepsiCo, ProDrivers

National Average Salary: $71,904 per year

Primary Duties: Sales managers develop and implement sales strategies to help their company meet revenue goals. They’re responsible for setting objectives, monitoring team progress and communicating performance to senior executives. They coach and supervise sales staff and may also assist in hiring and training new sales employees.

Companies with this position: Oracle, AutoNation, Vivint Solar

National Average Salary: $77,700 per year

Primary Duties: A human resources manager (also called an HR manager) is responsible for recruiting, staffing, company policy development and training, employee counseling and new employee onboarding. They may plan employee events, enroll employees in insurance and benefits programs and manage a team of junior HR professionals, such as human resources specialists and recruiters.

Companies with this position: Walmart, Lowe’s, Cintas

National Average Salary: $81,769 per year

Primary Duties: A supply chain manager is someone who oversees a company’s supply chain, logistics and operations to ensure efficiency. They review supply chain strategies to identify areas of improvement and prepare plans to improve productivity. Supply chain managers may also be responsible for communicating with vendors and distributors to maintain positive business relationships.

Companies with this position: Amazon.com, Deloitte, Accenture

National Average Salary: $81,952 per year

Primary Duties: Mechanical engineers are responsible for planning and designing complex machines such as electric generators, gas and steam turbines, internal combustion engines and air-conditioning systems. Mechanical engineers also manage machine installation, maintenance, repair and replacement.

Companies with this position: Honeywell, Boeing, Wyzant

National Average Salary: $81,963 per year

Primary Duties: An information security analyst protects a company’s networks, data and computer systems against attacks by cybercriminals. These technology professionals install data encryption software, update systems, monitor for breaches, study the latest threats and educate other employees on best security practices.

Companies with this position: Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon

National Average Salary: $87,159 per year

Primary Duties: A project manager is responsible for determining project feasibility, preparing a budget, documenting a strategy and leading a project to completion. They oversee project timelines, facilitate communication between team members or departments, provide progress reports to senior stakeholders and ensure each project is finished according to its scope and schedule.

Companies with this position: Verizon, HP, Dell

National Average Salary: $94,864 per year

Primary Duties: A database administrator (also called a DBA) is someone who plans, builds and oversees the performance of a company’s databases. Generally, these IT professionals are also responsible for performing routine maintenance and upgrades to ensure databases are functioning optimally, and protecting them against cyber attacks and data leaks by installing appropriate software and monitoring activities.

Companies with this position: Robert Half Technology, Diverse Lynx, IBM

National Average Salary: $107,843 per year

Primary Duties: Software engineers design, build, test, maintain and upgrade software systems. They perform analyses to determine project feasibility and prepare flowcharts, diagrams and other informational material to guide the design and development process. A software engineer may work in computer systems or application development.

Companies with this position: Amazon.com, IBM, Microsoft

National Average Salary: $108,517

Primary Duties: A network security engineer is an IT professional who protects a company’s network systems by installing detection and firewall software, performing cybersecurity upgrades, performing systems tests to identify and patch hardware and software vulnerabilities. If they encounter a cyber attack, network security engineers must work to find and correct the problem as quickly as possible to minimize data loss and property damage.

Companies with this position: Northrop Grumman, Cisco, Booz Allen Hamilton

This is just a sampling of possible jobs for veterans, but there are many additional career opportunities available to you depending on your personal strengths, interests and aspirations. Because all of these jobs require a varying amount of education and training, it’s important to consider whether you have the right qualifications or if you’ll need additional schooling before you begin your new career.

By taking time to evaluate your interests and future goals before you choose your career path, and taking time to research employers and their company culture, you can ensure your next job will be fulfilling and enjoyable.

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