Civilian Jobs for Military Intelligence Officers

Mar 13, 2018

Military intelligence officers have broad and lucrative opportunities within the civilian workforce. Skills in coding, foreign languages, and research, along with a proclivity for leadership, are applicable to these jobs.

Military intelligence officers work to collect, interpret, and analyze information about the environment, culture, and tactical movements of enemies. The skills developed in this role are diverse, and those intelligence officers who decide to transition to a civilian career find that their abilities transfer well to a variety of careers.

Career Comparison

Job Title Median Salary, 2016* Job Growth, 2016-2026* Applicable Military Skills/Traits
Information Security Analyst $92,600 28% Monitoring and intelligence skills; encryption and computer security skills
Database Administrator $84,950 11% Coding skills; ability to handle large amounts of information; encryption and computer security skills
Detective $78,120 5% Espionage skills; ability to excel in high pressure situations; military experience
Market Research Analyst $62,560 23% Qualitative and quantitative research skills; ability to analyze large amounts of information
Interpreters and Translators $46,120 18% Language skills; interpersonal skills

Source: *Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Makes These Great Jobs for Military Intelligence Officers

The jobs listed here each utilize some of the varied skills that military intelligence officers hone as service members; these range from coding and espionage to language proficiency and leadership. This role in the military attracts a diverse demographic, a fact reflected in the different jobs on this list. Most of these jobs require a bachelor's degree or higher; this is something that military intelligence officers frequently must already have. The United States Intelligence Community, an organization comprised of the 17 intelligence agencies in the US government, has a stated commitment to hiring veterans whenever possible. Another avenue for job seekers is American Corporate Partners, a nonprofit that helps place veterans in positions at high-profile companies.

Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts are responsible for protecting a company's computer systems and networks. Former military intelligence officers with experience in signals intelligence and electronic warfare may be able to apply their technological skills to this position. Computing and programming knowledge are integral to this career since these professionals test and enhance network security; this includes conducting penetration tests to pinpoint vulnerabilities. This field continues to grow as the number of cyberattacks increases. A bachelor's degree is typically required to become an information security analyst. Degrees in computer science, information assurance, programming, or business administration with a concentration in information systems are the most applicable degree fields.

Database Administrator

Database administrators are responsible for creating and optimizing large scale databases as well as ensuring that only those with proper permission have access to protected information. This career is similar to the work done by military intelligence officers since both handle and deliver sensitive information. While most database administrators are responsible for the general maintenance and security of a database, some have more specific jobs. For example, application database administrators write the complex code that creates a particular database; they need to have an advanced knowledge of coding. A degree in subject matter related to computer science is needed to enter this field, and a master's degree preferred by many employers.


Working as a detective can be a simple transition for military intelligence officers, especially if they want to work for the federal government. Detectives collect evidence for criminal investigations. The work done in these positions is often very like collecting intelligence in the military. The ability to surreptitiously gather information is integral, as are physical and mental fitness in high stress situations, strategic planning skills, and an aptitude for leadership. Federal, local and state governmental organizations are often more inclined to hire veterans, especially since they already have the necessary security clearance. Education requirements for detectives can vary though federal agencies generally require a bachelor's degree.

Market Research Analyst

Precise research is a big part of being a military intelligence officer, and the skill set involved in market research analysis has some similarities. Market research analysts monitor their company's market conditions, evaluate marketing campaigns, and gather data on competitors. A thorough knowledge in investigative methods, including statistics, literature reviews, surveys and interview best practices is necessary. Once the market research analyst has gathered relevant 'intelligence,' they often present it in a digestible way to management to inform decision making, much like the military intelligence officer. A bachelor's degree is required for employment.

Interpreters and Translators

Interpreters work on converting spoken language in real time while translators work on converting written texts. Military intelligence officers may be responsible for translating chatter or talking to citizens in foreign lands; therefore, a civilian career as an interpreter or translator may be readily applicable to their experience. These jobs also require one to be skilled in interpersonal communication and have knowledge about how to interact with other cultures. The work environment for interpreters and translators is diverse, ranging from schools to large companies. Remote work is also available. Although this field does not pay as well as the others listed here, it is growing at a fast pace that will probably only increase with globalization. A bachelor's degrees in a foreign language is preferred, however fluency in the applicable language is really all that matters.

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