Engineering Jobs for Veterans

Dec 01, 2017

Military members may have acquired some of the skills needed to fulfill jobs related to aerospace, marine, nuclear, electronics, or airline engineering. Specific salaries, job growth rates, and military skills will provide more insight for veterans following this career path.

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Listed in the table below are five career ideas for veterans interested in engineering work. Employment seekers will find that all of these qualifying jobs have positive, yet various, job growth projections. Salary rates and military skills also differ and should be considered before making a definite decision on one of these civilian professions.

Career Comparison

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)* Applicable Military Skills/Traits
Marine Engineers $93,350 (marine engineers and naval architects) 12% (marine engineers and naval architects) Interpersonal, problem-solving, communication
Electronics Engineers (except computer) $99,210 4% Concentration, interpersonal, writing
Nuclear Engineers $102,220 4% Detail-oriented, problem-solving, logical thinking, communication, analytical-thinking
Aerospace Engineers $109,650 6% Analytical, business-minded, critical-thinking, problem solving, writing
Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers $127,820 3% Communication, quick reaction time, observational, problem-solving

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Engineering Jobs' Relevance to Military Background

A military background is useful to have when pursuing these careers since many of them require their workers to supply certain engineering systems, products, or devices also used by the armed forces. Former servicemen and women will find that many of the jobs listed mirror skills learned in the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force. Additionally, working with ships and aviation are common in one or more of these occupations. With the proper training, a person with a military background will be able to fulfill one of these positions.

Marine Engineers

Former military members may appreciate the naval familiarity provided by this engineering job. Marine engineers are known for maintaining the internal electrical and steering functions or systems of various types of ships. Some of these vessels include boats, aircraft carriers, and submarines. For the most part, job tasks involve gathering layouts, installing machinery, investigating issues, performing tests, and conducting repairs. Professionals in this field typically conduct their work in-office or at-sea.

Electronics Engineers (except computer)

This specific type of occupation is quite relevant to the professional background of a veteran. For instance, not only do experts in this field work with communication equipment for medical, commercial, or industrial purposes, but they also help develop broadcast components for the military. Such devices may be designed for aviation, flight networks, and sonar systems. Additionally, instruments are invented for use in transportation and computers. While working in an office environment, electronics engineers may be required to develop products, review functional problems, evaluate maintenance, and implement repairs or modifications to systems and software.

Nuclear Engineers

Engineers in this particular career work with systems and devices that emit radiation and nuclear energy. Their job sometimes incorporates working with ships and many other operations housing these power sources, which veterans may find relatable in nature. Some may also work with radioactive treatment used in hospitals. In general, nuclear engineers invent nuclear materials, conduct tests, give instructions on waste management, manage power facilities, and collect information on nuclear incidents. Depending on the industry, these professionals normally work in an office for the federal government, though some may carry out most of their operation inside a nuclear power plant.

Aerospace Engineers

Veterans, and air force members, in particular, could become attracted to working with models, inventions, and technology mainly used in flight, such as satellites, missiles, spacecraft, and aircraft. New developments in these areas are typically used for defense, space exploration, and aviation. Some of these designs may also be used for commercial or military purposes. Overall, aerospace engineers manage project proposals, research design materials, test materials, investigate faulty equipment, and improve prototype.

Airline pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

Air force veterans may find this trade to be the most relatable to a military background. Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers normally have hands-on experience and a license to operate an aircraft. For the most part, they operate an airplane to transport cargo, freight, or passengers. While flying, tasks include following specific routes, using cockpit instruments, monitoring control panels, identifying warning signs, and keeping in contact with air traffic control for safe landing. Pilots are also expected to work in partnership with other crew members to ensure a safe and secure flight.

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