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Five popular jobs for former military members

The US military invests a lot of time and money in training its personnel to become the highest-skilled work force in the world. Service members who return to civilian life have impressive skills that are highly sought after by employers and can easily translate into almost any career. Here are five hot jobs that former military should consider if they want a career that lets them enter with good pay and have room to move up.

Police Officer

The qualities of a great soldier are practically identical to the qualities of a great police officer. That's why police department recruiters across the country are always on the look out for former military personnel ready to transition to civilian life. Both service members and police are called to serve their country and community, and to protect people and their rights. Former military might find a career in law enforcement appealing because there is a huge variety of departments and specialties to explore.

Thanks to the high demand for military veterans, police departments will often offer hiring perks to appeal to top candidates. Some of those include GI Bill benefits, extra points on entrance exams, a waiver of the maximum age limit, retirement perks and more.

Information Technology Specialist

During military service, many jobs require working with the most advanced technology in the world. That hands-on experience can translate into a good position as an IT professional in the civilian world. The US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics is cited as saying "Computer scientists and database administrators are expected to be among the fastest growing occupations through 2014." Aside from high demand for full-time IT positions, an entrepreneurial person could become a certified contractor and enjoy higher pay with a flexible schedule.


Speaking of entrepreneurship, almost one quarter of all US veterans buys or launches a new business after leaving the service, according to SCORE, a not-for-profit partner with the US Small Business Administration. Military life instills discipline in people, and that is a quality that every business owner needs to succeed the first few years of a new venture and grow it into a viable, thriving operation. From starting a business from scratch or buying into a franchise opportunity, there are many ways former military can pursue being entrepreneurs. Visit to learn about opportunities and receive advice for veterans.

Science or Math Teacher

There is a general consensus that students' math and science skills are slipping across the US. Thankfully, military veterans with technology backgrounds are particularly qualified to become top-notch teachers. They have personal experience to draw on in explaining why these skills are important in day-to-day life, and they know how to maintain order and instill a sense of pride in those around them. Being a teacher also has perks such as generous vacation time — including summers off — and the chance to earn extra money through coaching, teaching additional classes or private tutoring.

Civil Service

Civilian public service jobs are perfect for former military who want to continue a career of service to the country. Veterans often receive hiring preference over civilians when applying for federal jobs precisely because they have a proven performance record. Many people who leave the military head for large military/government locations such as Washington, DC, Norfolk, or San Diego because of the community and availability of civil service jobs. Networking can be particularly valuable in finding and applying for these jobs.

These are some of the hottest job fields around, but the list is certainly not all-inclusive. Almost any military job has a civilian counterpart and the skills, training and discipline that come from military service can help veterans leverage their skills into a long-term and fulfilling civilian career.

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