Combat medic specialists, classified as 68W in the Army's military occupational specialty (MOS) codes, should be able to use their military skills in a similar civilian job listed in the chart below. All of these professions not only share some of the same skills but are also projected to have a growing number of job potential. Former enlisted members wanting to cross over should consider all five options before making a decision.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*||Applicable Military Skills/Traits|
|Medical Assistants||$31,540||29%||Customer service, clerical, active listening, social perceptiveness, monitoring, problem sensitivity, dependability, self-control, analytical, detail oriented, interpersonal|
|Emergency Medical Technicians & Paramedics||$32,670||15%||Customer service, critical thinking, active listening, coordination, problem sensitivity, self control, dependability, stress tolerance, interpersonal, physical strength, problem solving|
|Phlebotomists||$32,710||25%||Customer service, clerical, active listening, social perceptiveness, critical thinking, problem sensitivity, arm-hand steadiness, dependability, stress tolerance, detail oriented, dexterity, hand-eye coordination, physical stamina|
|Medical Secretaries||$33,730||22%||Customer service, clerical, management, active listening, coordination, dependability, self control, decision making, interpersonal, organizational|
|Medical Records & Health Information Technicians||$38,040||13%||Customer service, clerical, active listening, critical thinking, dependability, independence, analytical, detail oriented, interpersonal|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Relevance to Military Background
Former 68W MOS soldiers may be interested in pursuing a similar career outside the Army. Combat medic specialists are known to administer emergency treatment to soldiers injured on the battlefield. Other tasks involve providing primary care to soldiers, teaching other trainees about proper first response techniques, and ensuring a soldier is medically prepared. Job seekers with relevant work experience may be able to relate to one or more of these civilian jobs that require some of the same duties while working in clinics, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals.
In the civilian working world, medical assistants have similar clinical responsibilities like the Army's 68W MOS job. Many are tasked with checking vitals, assisting with tests, giving out prescriptions, gathering blood samples, preparing patients for exams, and cleaning medical rooms. They also carry out administrative job duties like interviewing patients about their medical history and then documenting any information related to personal info or test results. These professionals can be found working under the guidance of a physician. They typically have a post-secondary education prior to getting hired at a hospital or medical office.
Emergency Medical Technicians & Paramedics
Emergency medical technicians and paramedics respond to urgent calls in the same way a 68W MOS soldier does in combat. Oftentimes, this civilian job is very stressful and involves various life-or-death situations. Normally, workers in this field are certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and may need a post-secondary education to qualify. Among many other duties, EMTs and paramedics answer 911 calls, assess injured or sick individuals, perform on-site treatment, document observations, safely transport people to hospitals, and report any pre-hospital treatment to doctors. For the most part, these workers may be assigned to fire departments, hospitals, and other medical facilities.
The job of a phlebotomist is quite similar to the job of a combat medic specialist. Except, phlebotomists don't respond to health emergencies. Instead, they interact with patients who are having blood drawn for transfusion, research, tests, or donations. If part of a mobile blood bank, their work environment can vary each day as they transport their mobile centers to different sites, locations, offices, and home. While there, they talk with patients about the process, draw the person's blood, record their personal information in a database, verify correct labels on samples, and maintain a clean work area. A professional certification is usually required to fulfill the duties required by this civilian job.
Medical secretaries may not provide direct patient care, but like combat medic specialists, these civilian workers prepare individuals for medical consultations, exams, or surgeries. They make sure their patients are scheduled for appointments, billed for services, and documented in medical files. Daily administrative tasks involve operating a phone system, managing medical charts, creating invoices, confirming appointments, and dealing with insurance payments. Medical secretaries are typically found working in an office setting greeting visitors and assisting staff members. Most have a high school education and hands-on training, though others may be certified in the field.
Medical Records & Health Information Technicians
Similar to the 68W MOS Army position, this civilian career focuses on helping and caring for others. However, a technician's job in this industry has more to do with managing, compiling, and processing files in accordance with legal healthcare standards. Overall, these professionals are the organizers of the medical field. Their qualifications typically stem from a post-secondary certification or associate's degree in health information technology. Many technicians work in medical offices where they document health information, secure records, verify data, relay records to physicians, prepare discharge forms, and maintain the confidentiality of patients.