Choosing a career in the army can be a daunting task. One thing to consider is whether or not you want a position that will also prepare you for a civilian career. Listed below are a few of the options available to army members who are interested in jobs that are comparable to civilian occupations.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*||Applicable Military Skills/Traits|
|Paramedic||$32,370||15%||Respond to emergency medical situations|
|Logistic Analyst||$74,170||7%||Track and transport supplies|
|Civil Engineer||$83,540||11%||Design, maintain, and oversee construction of infrastructures|
|Pilot||$105,720||4%||Transport passengers and products|
|Computer and Information Systems Manager||$135,800||12%||Supervise information technology networks|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Army Jobs with Comparable Civilian Jobs
These diverse occupations are all easily transferable to civilian careers, often with very little adjustment. Some of these jobs do require a degree, but there are programs and scholarships available to help veterans achieve this. There are also programs in place to help veterans obtain the necessary licensure for civilian work in certain careers. Employers value the training and experience that service members receive while in the army and are often eager to find employees with a military background. There are also programs, such as the Partnership for Youth Success, that help army veterans find positions with various corporations and institutions.
In the army, paramedics are essential for providing basic and emergency medical treatment when physicians are not immediately available. Paramedics are just as essential beyond the military, where they must work quickly to assess injuries and administer first-aid treatment in emergency situations. In addition to performing medical services, they must also transport patients to medical facilities and report observations and treatment to physicians or nurses. An army paramedic can transition to the same position beyond the military. In fact, the Veteran Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Support Act that passed in 2016 created a transition program to help army paramedics meet state certification and licensure requirements for civilian paramedic and EMT careers.
Logistic analysts in the army are responsible for tracking inventory and transporting supplies efficiently. Outside the military, there are numerous other opportunities for someone able to analyze data on elements such as availability, reliability, and distribution. Logistic analysts work in nearly every industry, directing the allocation of products and proposing strategies to minimize the cost or time required to transport materials. For some positions, only an associate's degree is required, especially when supplemented with a military background.
Military bases require a considerable amount of maintenance and development. Civil engineers help to plan, design, and oversee the construction of military structures such as airfields, bridges, buildings, and water treatment facilities. This job is just as necessary when returning to civilian life, since civil engineers are needed to design, build, and maintain infrastructures such as roads, buildings, and tunnels. Civil engineers also analyze foundations and building materials, and courses are offered to train service members in these skills.
Because the military operates one of the largest fleets of specialized planes in the world, army pilots must first undergo rigorous training to be qualified to fly. This training, along with the resultant experience, makes army pilots especially appealing to commercial airlines, some of which have programs that actively target army pilots. Pilots are responsible for flying and navigating planes, helicopters, and other aircraft, as well as ensuring the overall maintenance of the machines. In addition to operating equipment on the aircraft, pilots transport troops and equipment within the army.
These tasks and skills are easily transferable to work as a civilian pilot, which requires the transport of passengers and cargo. According to the United States Department of Transportation, army pilots may apply for a commercial pilot certificate after they pass a military competency knowledge test and submit required documentation. These documents include official confirmation from the Armed Forces that the candidate holds flight status as a rated military pilot.
Computer and Information Systems Manager
Computer and information systems managers generally work in land- or ship-based communications centers, where they handle the computing and information technology (IT) needs of the military. They are also responsible for communicating on a global scale and directing the operations of computer centers. Because of this, they are well-prepared for a similar civilian career, although the actual title varies by company. Regardless, the position involves the supervision of a company's IT strategies, including the selection and maintenance of the organization's information framework. Army veterans are appealing to employers not only because of their training, but also due to their ability and willingness to always be learning about new technology and finding ways to improve it.