The 10 best career paths for veterans after leaving the military

military veteran

Reentering the workforce after serving in the military can be a tough transition for former service members and their families.

Navy Federal reports that more than 250,000 military service members transition into the workforce each year. One of the greatest anxieties for veterans is being able to find stable, well-paying work that honors the skills and experiences they’ve gained while serving in the military.

Christopher Plamp, the CEO of Hire Heroes USA, spoke to Business Insider about how his own experiences looking for work after spending 26 years in the Air Force inspired him to begin working at the organization.

“When service members leave the military, they may have a gap in their skills or might have never even had a civilian job before,” he told Business Insider. “They might have never made a resumé, done a behavioral interview, or made a LinkedIn profile before. Hire Heroes helps them through this process, as well as connecting veterans and military spouses with companies that want to hire retired service members and their families.”

Business Insider also spoke with Clay Stackhouse, the member outreach manager of Navy Federal and a Marine Corps colonel who retired after serving for 25 years.

“The most important thing for me that I’ve learned since retiring from the Marine Corps is that everyone transitions out differently. Every time I meet with veterans who worry about transitioning out, they have their own set of concerns when it comes to finding the right job for them,” he said. “With 8 million veteran and military family members, Navy Federal really makes it our mission to help these people and give them the right resources.”

Navy Federal and Hire Heroes USA teamed up to use their years of expertise to create a list of the 10 best careers for veterans. Navy Federal asked veterans nationwide what they value most in a civilian career, whether it be location, compensation, flexible hours, or working at a mission-driven organization.

We also consulted ZipRecruiter to include the average annual salaries and open roles for each industry.

Here are the 10 best career paths for veterans.

One in four veterans works in government or public administration.

One in four veterans works in government or public administration.

Veterans gain valuable leadership skills while serving in the military, which can often translate to a successful career in government or public administration. With plenty of opportunities for career growth and flexible hours, veterans looking to enter this career path should consider applying for jobs in administration, program analysis, and public affairs.

Average annual salary: $60,573/year

Defense contracting offers competitive salaries and is popular among younger veterans.

Defense contracting offers competitive salaries and is popular among younger veterans.

Defense contracting involves creating materials that will help aid the various sections of national defense. Whether you’re building weaponry or an aircraft, defense contracting work offers competitive salaries and is directly related to the military. Potential jobs in defense contracting could include becoming an analyst, an intelligence specialist, a contract management specialist, or a quality assurance manager.

Average annual salary: $57,624/year

Information technology jobs utilize skills potentially learned in the military and offer competitive compensation.

Information technology jobs utilize skills potentially learned in the military and offer competitive compensation.

Information technology jobs are expanding year after year, so veterans may want to consider joining this career. IT jobs provide competitive salaries and a clear path toward career advancement. Popular career paths in the IT field among veterans include project management, systems engineering, cybersecurity, data analysis, and information security analysis.

Average annual salary: $54,057/year

 

Financial services careers work well for younger vets eager to enter an exciting and lucrative new career.

Financial services careers work well for younger vets eager to enter an exciting and lucrative new career.

Financial services jobs are popular among veterans, with more than one in 10 younger vets placed in a job related to finance. Salaries are competitive, and popular career paths can range anywhere from being a financial advisor to a finance manager or accountant.

Average annual salary: $54,983/year

Education careers are best suited for veterans who believe in mission-based work.

Education careers are best suited for veterans who believe in mission-based work.

For veterans who value mission-based work, a career in education may be the perfect fit. Most careers in education do require a college degree, and 13% of career-holding veterans end up in education-related professions.

Average annual salary: $43,967/year

Law enforcement careers can be comparable to military experience, making it a good career fit for many veterans.

Law enforcement careers can be comparable to military experience, making it a good career fit for many veterans.

One popular career path among many veterans is law enforcement. Skills and experiences learned in the military make veterans a valuable asset to any law enforcement organization. Possible law enforcement careers for retired military members could include becoming a police officer, a crime scene investigator, an emergency dispatcher, or a corrections officer.

Average annual salary: $46,083/year

Retail jobs offer flexible work schedules that may be particularly well suited for veterans aged 45 and older.

Retail jobs offer flexible work schedules that may be particularly well suited for veterans aged 45 and older.

Veterans working in the retail industry can enjoy working on a team as well as the benefits of flexible hours. Veteran employment in retail is most popular among veterans aged 45 and older, and popular career paths include sales, marketing, and warehouse logistics.

Average annual salary: $25,540/year

Manufacturing jobs often don’t require formal education, but they still offer career advancement and competitive pay.

Manufacturing jobs often don't require formal education, but they still offer career advancement and competitive pay.

The manufacturing industry is a viable career path for veterans without college degrees. While the average annual salary for careers in manufacturing as a whole is only $27,199, entry-level maintenance technicians reportedly make an average of $39,111 per year and manufacturing supervisors make an average of $57,666 per year.

Average annual salary: $27,199/year

Transportation or warehousing jobs give vets the opportunity to work with their hands and are well suited to their military experience and skills.

Transportation or warehousing jobs give vets the opportunity to work with their hands and are well suited to their military experience and skills.

For veterans who prefer a more active, physical career path, working in a warehouse could be the right career choice. With the holiday season around the corner, companies with jobs in transportation and warehouses are ramping up their seasonal hiring to deal with large influxes of packages, so there couldn’t be a better time to apply.

Average annual salary: $27,449/year

[“source=businessinsider”]