Armed service members transitioning to civilian work may find several clerical professions to be of interest. Most consist of duties in administration and record-keeping, and these positions had similar median salaries in 2016. Reviewing the table below will help job seekers discover how a military background can lend useful skills for these professions.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2014-2024)*||Applicable Military Skills/Traits|
|Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks||$31,180||-2%||Communication, customer/personal service, math and critical-thinking skills|
|Secretaries and Administrative Assistants (except legal, medical, and executive)||$34,820||3%||Management, customer/personal service, writing, organization and interpersonal skills|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technicians||$38,040||15%||Customer/personal service, interpersonal, technical, analytical, critical-thinking and writing skills; detail-oriented nature|
|Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks||$38,390||-8%||Customer/personal service, math, critical-thinking and economics/accounting skills; detail-oriented nature|
|Human Resources Assistants (except payroll and timekeeping)||$39,020||-4%||Management, customer/personal service, organizational, interpersonal, communication, critical thinking and writing skills|
Source: *US Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Clerical Jobs with Relevance to Military Background
Expertise in math, organization, and management gained through the military will be useful in a civilian clerical job, since many positions rely on these attributes. While some jobs involve a lot of computer knowledge, other jobs demand interpersonal skills with patients, clients, and customers. The technical and teamwork skills gained through the military will also help former active duty service members fulfill these requirements. Positions can be found in a variety of work environments, from warehouses to administration offices.
Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks
Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks are coordinated, detail-oriented, and critical thinkers. Former military service members will be able to showcase these particular skills as an employee in this profession. These clerks, who usually work in a warehouse or manufacturing factory, typically make a median salary of $31,180 per year. Their job entails tasks and duties such as receiving shipments, inspecting packages, packing boxes, labeling content, recording data material, managing inventory, and dispatching orders. Additionally, workers in this occupation, also called shippers, may be responsible for verifying process orders and fixing issues concerning damaged or lost goods.
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
Veterans who are interested in pursuing a clerical job that makes over $34,000 a year may want to apply to this field of work. A secretary or administrative assistant is expected to be very organized and have strong interpersonal skills -- two attributes that military members may have acquired while in service. Relevant positions exist can be found in schools and private businesses. While writing and customer service are a major part of the job, secretaries are also required to manage a phone system, file paperwork, enter information in databases, arrange important documents, handle payments, relay messages, and set up appointments or meetings. Aspiring secretaries and administrative assistants should be prepared to work with computer programs, fax machines, and various electronic software.
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
Available jobs as a medical record and health information technician are expected to grow by 15% between 2014 to 2024. Prospective veteran employees who display interpersonal, technical, and analytic skills may relate to this type of work, though they'll likely need to earn a certificate or 2-year degree in health information technology to supplement their skills. Technicians typically work in various medical environments such as hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and physician offices. Professionals are hired to maintain a patient's healthcare records, process medical reports into a computer database, review pertinent documents, and secure a person's information according to certain regulations. The job currently offers a median salary around $38,000.
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks
The median salary for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks is $38,390, which may appeal to recent armed service members looking to pursue this type of civilian work. This trade mainly handles money-related job tasks and duties. Clerks are responsible for receiving, calculating, and recording financial transactions for professional organizations or businesses. With the help of various computer programs, most workers enter information from purchases and income into a spreadsheet, survey accuracy of numbers, maintain balance statements, and compose updated reports regarding financial changes. Veterans who are detail-oriented and have strong math and critical-thinking skills from their time in the military, as well as familiarity with computers, would fit well in this career. Some postsecondary coursework in accounting may be needed.
Human Resources Assistants
Post-military workers may find some interest working as a human resource assistant who doesn't deal with payroll and timekeeping. Instead, they would have to be equipped to handle certain documents that detail information about employees. This may be in accordance to work performance, absences, job training, job history, earnings and termination. Skills related to communication and organization will also be helpful in other duties that involve posting job vacancies, arranging resumes, and discussing employment information with employees. Professionals in this field typically work under the guidance of a human resource manager, so teamwork skills gained through the military would come in handy. These assistants earned a median salary of $39,020 as of 2016.