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Navy Jobs That Transfer to Civilian Jobs

Aug 07, 2017

Many jobs in the Navy teach individuals highly sought-after skills and equip them with the experience necessary to transition into similar careers in civilian life. Find out about some of these options in business, transportation, engineering and more.

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Individuals who have already had a successful career in the Navy have a number of possible career paths to pursue when they return to civilian life. Many careers in the Navy have a close civilian equivalent, allowing individuals to put the skills and knowledge that they learned in the Navy to good use. Below, we will look at five different Navy job that can transition to civilian jobs.

Career Comparison

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)* Applicable Military Skills/Traits
Human Resources Manager $106,910 9% Interviewing, personnel management, supervision
Airline Pilot $127,820 (for all airline pilots, co-pilots and flight engineers) 1% (for all airline pilots, co-pilots and flight engineers) Aircraft operation, safety protocol, emergency response
Civil Engineer $83,540 8% Construction project supervision, surveying, risk analysis
Construction Laborer $33,430 13% Physical stamina and strength, mechanical skills
Registered Nurse $68,450 16% Critical thinking, emergency healthcare response

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Relevance to Military Background

Many Navy careers fall into specific industries. This makes the process of transitioning back into civilian life relatively easy, since individuals who held jobs in the Navy in fields like healthcare, construction, and engineering will likely be able to find similar careers in the civilian world. Also, the training that individuals receive in the Navy provides individuals with a unique skillset that they can apply to any job in the civilian world.

Human Resources Manager

In the Navy, some individuals work as human resources specialists. These professionals are responsible for assisting enlisted officers and sailors as they search for the best career fit, and they help them understand Navy benefits, rights, and training programs. In the civilian world, a human resources specialist may seek employment as a human resources manager at a large company or organization. Because managers often need work experience, Navy veterans will likely be qualified for available positions. They would be able to take all the skills they learned in their previous position, like personnel management, organization, and recruitment, to a new job as a human resources manager.

Airline Pilot

While Navy positions are most commonly associated with the ocean, there are a number of positions involving aviation, like Navy Pilots and Navy Flight Officers. These flight professionals operate different types of aircraft and are responsible for detecting underwater threats or ships from the air. After retiring from the Navy, you can put your flight skills to good use as an airline pilot, where you'd be responsible for operating large aircraft that transport passengers. Although new pilots generally have to start their careers as commercial pilots before advancing to an airline position, the experience you gained in the Navy will allow you to skip over the commercial positions and transfer directly to an airline role.

Civil Engineer

You may have joined the Navy as part of the Navy Civil Engineer Corps. These professionals may work on various construction projects, like building new bridges in combat zones or constructing airfields. If you already had a college degree in engineering before joining the Navy, upon leaving the military you could seek work as a civil engineer in the civilian world. You would likely perform many of the same tasks as you did in the Navy, since civil engineers are responsible for designing and supervising construction projects like airfields and public works projects.

Construction Laborer

There are a variety of different construction jobs available in the Navy, from builder to steelworker to electrician. You may work on specific projects under the supervision of a civil engineer or construction manager. The skills you learn on construction sites in the Navy can easily be transferred to jobs in the civilian world. You could seek employment as a construction laborer. These workers find employment on many different job sites, from homebuilding to road construction. There is opportunity for advancement for laborers who have experience in the field or know how to do specific skills, like welding or concrete.

Registered Nurse

There are many healthcare professionals who are employed by the Navy, nurses being a large number of them. After completing a nursing degree from a college or university, nurses can join the Navy and may work in the field or in Navy medical facilities. Nurses who are ready to leave the Navy could seek employment in a private or public hospital in the civilian world. They could use the leadership skills they learned in the Navy to be especially successful in their new job role as a civilian nurse.

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