Everyone wants to do their part to better the world, even those who have already done so much by serving in the armed forces. There are many jobs available for an environmentally conscious veteran, whether you're looking for a job with optimal growth opportunities, most positive environmental impact, or something that speaks best to your skills and interests. Join us as we examine some of the best jobs for green-friendly veterans, and see how your career can make a positive impact on our planet.
|Job Title||Median Salary*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*||Level of Education Needed||Applicable Military Skills/Traits|
|Farmer||$66,360 (for farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers)||7% (for farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers)||High school diploma or equivalent||Physical labor, working outdoors|
|Wind Turbine Technician||$52,260||96%||Technical certificate||Troubleshooting, maintenance of complex machinery|
|Urban/Regional Planner||$70,020||13%||Master's degree||Critical thinking and planning, communication|
|Solar Photovoltaic Installer||$39,240||105%||High school diploma or equivalent||Physical labor, electrical engineering|
|Conservation Scientist||$61,810||7%||Bachelor's degree||Working outdoors, land management|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Green Jobs for Veterans
In each of the following jobs, a veteran will find a position that works with a military skill-set, with many different options for physicality of labor, required level of education, and more. A veteran looking to work within the conservation sphere should be able to find an interesting and fulfilling job regardless of their place in life and education.
Perhaps an unsurprising career choice, but one that there will always be demand for. For an environmentally conscious veteran, a career in agriculture offers many attractive prospects that speak to skills and conditions they may have learned in the service. Farming work is hard but fulfilling outdoor labor, good for a vet that likes to work with their hands. Farming is an especially attractive choice to someone suffering from PTSD, who may prefer to work in a more open-air environment. A career as a farmer also won't require any additional education, so a vet looking to jump into their new job won't have to worry about a lot of distractions beforehand.
Wind Turbine Technician
The hunt for alternative energy sources is on the rise, and a vet looking to do their part in helping the environment would be hard-pressed to find a job with more growth opportunities than working in wind power. A wind turbine technician installs, maintains, and repairs wind turbines, so any engineering or troubleshooting skills gained during the service will be a boon for a vet working with turbines. Wind power is a career that's currently exploding in possibilities, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting a 96% increase in the number of jobs available between 2016 and 2026.
For a veteran looking for a career less about physical labor and more about working with others, urban planning is a good, environmentally conscious fit. An urban planner works with others to plan, guide, and direct the flow of communities, whether it be housing concerns, zoning requirements, transportation needs, or anything else. Urban planning requires someone who can think critically, formulate a plan, and communicate their ideas to others, so a veteran would be a great pick. Out of all the careers listed, the urban planner is the one that would require the most education in addition to military service, but it's also the career that pays the best out of all of them.
Solar Photovoltaic Installer
Like a wind turbine technician, a solar installer is a technical job with a tremendous opportunity for job growth. A solar photovoltaic installer also deals with green energy, in this case solar power, and installing solar panels on buildings is a great chance for a vet to continue working with their hands while they make a difference in the environment. The average salary for a solar voltaic installer is lower than the rest of the careers on this list, but nothing else can touch it in job growth opportunities, meaning that a vet who starts a career as a solar installer today has tremendous potential in the future.
A career in conservation science is a great fit for a veteran who prefers the great outdoors. Conservation scientists can work for government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency to maintain places like national parks and forests, or work in places like zoos, schools and universities, and more. Veterans are well-suited to a career in conservation management, with military-taught skills such as the ability to work independently and solve problems as they arise. Conservation science is a well-paying career with enough job growth potential to be perfect for a veteran who likes to get into the thick of things, solve problems, and maintain standards.