The troubles that veterans have translating their military experience over their career into civilian jobs and civilian terms is not a new one, but that makes it no less difficult to figure out for a veteran just after discharge. Most veterans have years of experience under their belts, and are very qualified for a large number of jobs, but can have a hard time making the transition to a civilian career. It’s not uncommon for a veteran to have up to 10 years experience in a certain field but have not degree in it. Many veterans shoulder more responsibility in their military career than any of their degree-bearing civilian counterparts, but have a difficult time applying their skills in the civilian job market.
CareerCast.com, a website that provides detailed career information and job listings has found that most veterans are far more qualified than they realize, and can get very well-paying jobs. Tony Lee, the publisher of CareerCast.com, says that as many as 100 veterans a month send emails to CareerCast looking for help with their job search. While most veterans have no idea how qualified they are for great jobs, most employers also don’t realize just how great of candidates many veterans are. According to Lee, “There’s a real perception among employers that veterans are very difficult to hire,” but the opposite is true; when matched with the correct jobs, veterans are often even more qualified than civilians.
CareerCast has put together a list of what it considers to be the 10 best jobs for veterans to look for. They made this list in an effort to help veterans that are seeking jobs find one that works for them and that they will successfully fill and be able to move up from. CareerCast used the resources and data already at its disposal to compile the list, drawing from their annual best and worst job listing (which ranks 200 jobs on 100 different criteria). CareerCast then evaluated the skills and experience that vets are statistically likely to bring to a job and try to match those skills with in-demand jobs. One thing you’ll notice as you read the list, is that four of the ten jobs have the word “manager” in them. That is because veterans often have leadership experience that dwarfs a fresh civilian college grad.
The first job listed is an Administrative Services Manager. An ASM is much like a Chief Operating Officer on a lower level. An ASM deals heads up the facilities management group, allocates office space, often oversees the mail department, schedules the use of materials, and does many other things related to the facilities. A veteran is often a good fit for this job because veterans bring significant team building experience and oversight qualities. CareerCast considers this job to be a natural fit for most veterans, and has an average annual median salary of $81,080, which makes it definitely sufficient to provide a decent life for a veteran and his or her family.
Job number 2 on the list is Construction Program Manager. CareerCast describes this job as follows: “An improvement in construction prospects around the nation coincides with increased demand for veteran hiring. The construction industry has been near the forefront of that push, recruiting construction program managers from such sources as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the implementation of the Final Rule for companies that accept government contracts will open further opportunities to veterans with disabilities in the construction industry.” A Construction Program Manager is responsible for overseeing workers at a construction site. He or she will read blueprints, order materials, supervise the overall construction and demolition, and is directly responsible for hiring, firing, and training workers as needed. The median annual salary for this job: $82,790, a very respectable living.
The third job on the list is an Emergency Medical Technician (more commonly known as an EMT). While an EMT only has an average annual salary of $31,020, it’s the type of job that most veterans thrive in, and does provide opportunities to advance. Even better, more than half of states offer a Military Skills Waiver Test for certification, so often a veteran does not even need to go through the hoops of certification. EMT jobs are fast-paced, high-pressure jobs, and a veteran’s discipline augments a veteran’s experience and training in regards to healthcare support. See Part 2 for the last seven jobs.