Building a career as a military spouse can be difficult because your spouse's job will require you to move frequently or the absence of your spouse will force you to remain at home taking care of children and other family affairs. However, finding a job at the base will give you the opportunity to build a career, too. Below is a description of a few of the careers you can pursue.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2017)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*||Applicable Skills/Traits|
|Childcare Worker||$22,290||7%||Willingness to care for children, patience, ability to discern the needs of a child|
|Writer/Blogger||$61,820 (Writers and Authors)||8% (Writers and Authors)||Desire to write, ability to create engaging content, ability to follow instructions|
|Virtual Assistant||$37,870 (Secretaries and Administrative Assistants)||-5% (Secretaries and Administrative Assistants)||Knowledge of relevant computer software, superior organizational skills, ability to meet deadlines|
|Registered Nurse||$70,000||15%||Ability to interact with people, attention to detail|
|Massage Therapist||$39,990||26%||Interpersonal communication, record keeping|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The careers below take into account the flexibility needed to accommodate military families' regular movement and the commitment an Army wife has to her family as her spouse takes on Army duties on base and in other locations.
Families on base often require child care services, which creates the opportunity to build a career as a care provider for children. A childcare provider takes care of a child and meets their basic needs while their parents are away. Care providers feed the children, give them a bath, dress them, look after them during playtime and assist them with their homework. Since the care providers at times spend more time with the child than the parents do, it is their duty to establish a timetable for the child's activities, schedule some time to introduce new concepts like manners, and monitor the children's growth, watching out for developmental issues. Issues noted are reported to the parents during pick up. Based on the availability of space or a child-friendly facility on the base, an Army wife may offer these services at her home, at the parents' home or at a childcare center. There are no minimal educational requirements for this job; it only takes the passion and interest to interact with children, although some care providers pursue early childhood education certification.
The internet is flooded with blogs and articles written by people regarding their lives and experiences. Although the number of writers and bloggers is large, the audience is larger. The internet has become a platform for anyone with a story to tell but what matters is the content. The life of an Army spouse is not the typical life and people will be interested to read about it. When the content is monetized, the writer is paid as more people click on the link to read it. There are also companies on the internet looking to hire writers to write articles for their websites. This job is flexible and allows an Army wife to earn an income from the comfort of her home.
Just like writing and blogging, this job has also gained popularity courtesy of the internet. A virtual assistant provides technical, administrative and creative assistance to clients virtually, from home. The assistant monitors and creates content for their clients' social media platforms, blogs and websites, besides managing their schedules. The advantage of becoming a virtual assistant is that you can work from any part of the globe, as you move around with your spouse. Job requirements for this role are a strong internet connection, a computer and the specific software your role will require. With these resources, you can access and manage databases, create spreadsheets, prepare appointment schedules and event calendars, and video conference with the clients when needed.
There are colleges and universities near and on base and if you are able to enroll in a nursing training program, you can begin your medical career at the base. A registered nurse provides care for soldiers and their families, providing comfort to those who are ailing and those nursing injuries suffered during battle or training. The nurse educates the patients on health conditions and provides emotional support for them and their families. Administering medication and treatment is also part of the nurse's primary roles. Although registered nurses may experience challenges landing a job at first, getting subsequent jobs after accruing experience at the base gets easier, no matter where your spouse is stationed. On a base, there will often be healthcare issues, which means that an Army wife will find employment anywhere the family moves.
Soldiers returning from battle or training are often looking for ways to help their bodies relax and recuperate faster. This creates the perfect opportunity for a massage therapist to offer her services. Army wives and children on base may also require these services from time to time. A massage improves circulation in the body, relieves fatigue, causes pain to recede and gives the body increased vitality to heal wounds and illnesses. As a massage therapist your career is dependent on the rapport you build with the clients; the better the relationship, the more likely your business will grow.