Military contracting, particularly in technology and weapons systems, is huge business. There are many opportunities in this field for veterans to excel given their experience, security clearance, and cultural fit. Below are a number of careers in military technology where vets may excel.
|Job Title||Median Wage (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*||Applicable Military Skills/Traits|
|Aerospace Engineers||$109,650||6%||Leadership, team player, systematic planning and organization|
|Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians||$68,020||7%||Ability to follow directions, take initiative, and specialized training|
|Information Security Analysts||$92,600||28%||Team leader, ability to work under pressure, systematic planning and organization|
|Computer Hardware Engineers||$115,080||5%||Self-direction, educated, ability to take initiative|
|Electro-mechanical Technicians||$55,610||4%||Ability to follow directions, emphasis on safety, good work habits|
Source: *U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics
Civilian Careers in the Field of Military Technology
Veterans may find opportunities with military contractors who value their leadership and social traits almost as much as their technical experience and abilities. These careers are a sampling of the many possible choices for veterans in the field of military technology.
Civilian military contractors recognize that the leadership and organizational skills that veterans bring to their projects are valuable traits. In addition, veterans who have used aircraft and other aerospace systems in actual combat or wargames have valuable first-hand experience and insight into design and execution of aircraft and other systems.
Aerospace engineers design aircraft, as well as satellites, missiles and rockets. They also build prototypes for testing, and modify existing systems. Aerospace engineers focus primarily on planes, while their counterparts within the same industry are referred to as aeronautic engineers and build space vehicles. A bachelor's degree is required.
Aerospace Engineering Operations Technicians
Military experience working as a technician with aircraft, avionics, or computer networks is a good start to a career as an aerospace technician. Military veterans may have an advantage due to their security clearance status, safety training, and training with volatile and hazardous substances.
This career opens the door into the aerospace industry but only requires an associate's degree. Aerospace engineering operations technicians assist engineers. They maintain the testing equipment and perform tests and diagnoses on parts, materials, and prototypes as needed. Increasingly, a lot of the early design planning is modeled on computers, and technicians run these simulations.
Information Security Analysts
The military technology industry takes network and computer security seriously. For this reason, they appreciate the training and experience that military veterans with cybersecurity experience bring to the task.
These are the cyber warriors of the computer world. For the military contracting industry network and computer security are vital. Information security analysts, design and test systems to insure they are invulnerable to attack. They actually design war games against their own systems, which is known as penetration testing, in order to detect issues before they become larger problems. They also deploy software that can identify potential threats; they may take security measures with physical systems as well. This career requires a bachelor's degree and experience.
Computer Hardware Engineers
Veterans with experience in research or working with computer technology may find this a good career path. Military technology relies on sensors and computer systems which need to withstand extreme conditions. Veterans with first-hand experience of conditions found in combat situations may be good candidates.
Computer hardware engineers design, test, and build the components that go into networks and computers. They may focus on materials, specific parts and systems, and how those parts perform under the stress of vibration, heat, cold, and radiation. Their parts and systems must stand up to battlefield conditions. This adds an entirely new level of challenge and requires testing under rigorous conditions. Computer hardware engineers need a bachelor's degree.
Military technology contractors may seek out veterans with experience in this field. Experience diagnosing and repairing electro-mechanical systems can give veterans an advantage over other job seekers.
Electro-mechanical technicians work on unmanned vehicles, also known as drones, as well as robotics and automated equipment. They also work on thermal sensors, electric motors and mechanical devices that use electricity. They work alongside engineers to test and build new systems and equipment. This career requires an associate's degree.