Best Jobs for Veterans: Salaries and Tips to Get Started

Jobs for Veterans | Salaries and How-to Tips |

Veterans often enter the civilian workforce after leaving the military. Many organizations are eager to hire veterans, and much of your military training will translate well to other jobs. This article will cover how to search for a job as a veteran and the best jobs for military veterans so you can find the next opportunity for you.

How to find jobs as a veteran

Follow these steps to find a job as a veteran:

1. First, begin your veteran job search at the VA

The VA offers several resources to help discharged veterans transition to a civilian career. This includes educational and career counseling as well as support for veteran-owned small businesses. Check out the Veterans’ Employment & Training Service (VETS) website, too. This division of the Department of Labor sponsors several veteran hiring programs.

2. Second, look for opportunities with American Job Centers

American Job Centers is another initiative sponsored by the Department of Labor. These centers can help you find veteran employment and training opportunities and offer guidance and support during your job search.

3. Next, browse local and online job postings

The National Labor Exchange has a website that allows you to search for jobs from veteran-friendly employers. USAJOBS makes it easy to find federal employment opportunities and take advantage of veterans’ preference, a policy that gives veterans an edge in the federal hiring process.

4. Finally, work your connections

Your friends or family members may be able to recommend you for a position or alert you to local job openings that suit your skills and qualifications.

What are common jobs that veterans get hired for?

Many veterans find civilian employment as managers, consultants, public servants, defense contractors or teachers. Jobs for vets can also be found in information technology, construction, law enforcement and healthcare fields. Depending on your MOS (military occupational specialty), you may have training that qualifies you for a job in engineering or another skilled trade.

What are the best jobs for veterans?

Here are popular jobs for veterans:

Information Technology (IT) Manager

National Average Salary: $90,452 per year

Role and Responsibilities: Because the military relies on state-of-the-art computer and communications systems, many service members have the experience that correlates with a job in information technology. To step into a managing role, you will likely need a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. Getting a master’s degree may be worthwhile, too, given the relatively high salaries and job growth in this field.

Police Officer

National Average Salary: $51,411 per year

Role and Responsibilities: Serving as a Police Officer is one of the most natural fits for veterans. The physical training you underwent in the military will translate well, as will your weapons and leadership training. With law enforcement agencies, it’s easier to explain how the skills and experience you acquired in the military will benefit your new employer.

Emergency Dispatcher

National Average Salary: $30,638 per year

Role and Responsibilities: Emergency Dispatchers answer the phone when people call 911. They are responsible for collecting information, providing instructions and assistance to the caller and dispatching the appropriate emergency services. Veterans can be a good fit for this position because they are accustomed to working under pressure and responding calmly to emergency situations.

Operations Manager

National Average Salary: $66,104 per year

Role and Responsibilities: An Operations Manager oversees a company’s operations as a whole, from production to delivery. In this role, you would coordinate the efforts of several departments to ensure that things run smoothly and efficiently. The complex logistics involved in military operations prepare veterans well for this role. Another name for this role might be a General Manager or Operations Director.

Store or Plant Manager

National Average Salary: $101,877 per year

Role and ResponsibilitiesWorking as a store or Plant Manager also requires leadership ability and logistical thinking. Depending on your specific job title, you could be overseeing anything from a manufacturing plant to a retail store or restaurant. Similar positions include Facilities Manager, Production Manager or Business Manager.

Electrical Engineer

National Average Salary: $89,421 per year

Role and Responsibilities: An Electrical Engineer, or Electrician, can install, repair and maintain electrical wiring and equipment. Specialized training is required for these positions. Depending on your MOS, you may have received military training that fulfills the requirement. If not, you can receive training through a technical school or apprenticeship program.

Construction Worker

National Average Salary: $31,190 per year

Role and Responsibilities: Veterans can find several jobs in the field of construction. Most don’t require anything more than a high school diploma, giving you the opportunity to learn on the job. You may even have picked up some skills before or during your military service that will serve you well. As a Construction Worker, you may be assisting a skilled tradesman, or you may be doing general work as a Construction Technician or Construction Inspector.

Automotive, Diesel or Aviation Mechanic

National Average Salary: $41,392 per year

Role and Responsibilities: If you worked on vehicles during your military service, look for a civilian job as an Automotive Technician or Mechanic. Most employers in this field prefer to hire mechanics with formal training, and your military training may fit the bill. Veterans who worked with diesel engines have a particular edge with Military Friendly Employers and can often find work as a bus, truck or fleet mechanic. Veterans with experience servicing planes or helicopters could find employment as an Aviation Mechanic or an Aircraft Mechanic.

Customer Service or Sales Representative

National Average Salary: $54,263 per year

Role and Responsibilities: Veterans can also find a variety of jobs in customer service or sales. Often, these positions come with the opportunity to advance into supervisory roles or earn a salary that increases with your performance. Job titles include Account Executive, Account or Sales Manager, Account Representative, Customer Service Specialist or Customer Care Representative.

Registered Nurse (RN)

National Average Salary: $63,760 per year

Role and Responsibilities: Even if you have no healthcare-related experience from your time in the military, this may be a good field for you. Many programs will have you on the job in two years, especially if you already have some college credit.

Truck Driver

National Average Salary: $59,067 per year

Role and Responsibilities: Some veterans have experience driving large vehicles or even flying planes. In either case, you can find civilian jobs that make use of that experience. For example, you could work as a light delivery truck driver or a long-haul Commercial Truck Driver.

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