Top 5 Careers For Veterans

The unemployment rate for veterans who served in active duty in the U.S. hovered at 9 percent in 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A major obstacle in securing employment is understanding how to translate your skills from your time in the military to the workplace. Fortunately there are numerous fields that need highly skilled veterans in leadership to hands-on engineering to fill job vacancies. Here are the top five careers for veterans to get started on your employment journey.

Operations Manager

Veterans who help manage and organize everything from inventory on base to activities to deployment should look into operations management. The field is expected to grow upwards of five percent between 2010 to 2020 with an additional 81,600 jobs to be filled. Veterans develop a take-charge attitude to manage anything from a warehouse to facility to make sure everything runs smoothly. Although operations management is growing across the country, military-heavy states like Texas and Michigan are seeing growth in the field.

Salaries can vary depending on the company and region, but GIJobs estimates an average national salary of $90,700.

Law Enforcement

Consider a career in law enforcement whether you helped regulate law and order on a military base or deployment, or simply feel at ease in a uniform with a mission to protect. There are other advantages to consider. Veterans are typically physically fit with training in good decision-making abilities and a respect for the chain of command making it a seamless transition to the police force.

Many police forces specifically look for veterans to hire. The San Jose Police Department in California is just one such unit with over 50 specialized assignments.

Most police officers can expect an annual salary of less than $52,162 with room to grow.


Look into building a career as a mechanic if you’re a returning soldier working on helicopters, jeeps, military vehicles and motorcycles. Machine-minded veterans with knowledge of motorcycle parts and beyond are already at an advantage. They have the hands-on experience working on vehicles enduring intense conditions from weather to combat. The transition to a garage may offer a welcome reprieve from the elements, but still with the skill and focus acquired in the military.

The average salary of a mechanic can vary, but motorcycle mechanics can expect to earn $30,000 when they start out.

Training & Development Manager

Solving problems under intense pressure and thinking fast on your feet are all skills that translate from the front line to management. This field is idea for veterans with a background in leading a team or training others whether with weapons, office procedures, or running a base. Veterans can lean on their skills to help train and develop employees for both small businesses and corporations alike.

Electrical Engineer

Military personnel who spent their time researching navigation systems and creating and testing electrical systems could transition into the field of electrical engineering. Electrical engineers need to pay close attention to detail, which is a skill most veterans already have after years of focused trainingand work. An aptitude for math and willingness to learn and grow are also helpful to land a job in this field.

Annual median salaries are around $73,000 with work in engineering firms, government agencies or with local utility companies.

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