Veterans with combat experience have many specialized skills, as well as teamwork capabilities, that can lead to good civilian careers. Below are five high paying jobs for combat veterans.
|Job Title||Median Wage (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*||Applicable Military Skills/Traits|
|Wind Turbine Technicians||$52,260||96%||Physical stamina and endurance|
|Operations Research Analysts||$79,200||27%||Critical thinking, ability to use mathematical simulations|
|Personal Financial Advisors||$90,530||15%||Strategic planning abilities, comfort with data|
|Nurse Practitioners||$100,910||36%||Medical or emergency medical experience, desire to help people|
|Sales Managers||$117,960||7%||Proven performance with campaigns, strategy, and decision making|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
High Paying Civilian Careers for Combat Veterans
There are a number of traits veterans are believed to have by many employers: leadership qualities, teamwork abilities, planning and organization, as well as initiative. These qualities may make combat veterans highly valued, allowing them to excel in these high paying careers.
Wind Turbine Technicians
Combat veterans are unlikely to be intimidated by climbing turbine towers and working outdoors. They may find this fast-growing profession well-suited to their skills. The field is experiencing high job growth, so there is an abundance of opportunity.
Wind turbine technicians perform installation and repair of wind turbines. They are also known as windtechs. Not all turbines are on high towers, but many are, and one of the challenges of this career is climbing those towers to perform maintenance. Repair work often requires technical knowledge of electrical and electro-mechanical principles. Postsecondary training is necessary, but a degree is not.
Operations Research Analysts
Mathematically inclined combat veterans may find this an interesting career. Employers in this field tend to value military experience, particularly businesses like defense contracting and hospital suppliers.
Operations research analysts work with mathematical models for decision making. Operations research relies upon using mathematical simulations to find the most efficient and effective course of action, whether it is the planning of a circuit board, a complex delivery route with multiple stops, or a military campaign. This position requires a bachelor's degree.
Personal Financial Advisors
Combat veterans who are sociable and good at explaining numbers and data may do well in this field. Military veterans are often respected in this role, and this can help them to quickly establish rapport with customers and potential clients.
Personal financial advisors provide investment advice to individuals and their families. They provide guidelines and plans on how to invest savings, as well as how to properly organize their finances to reduce debt, and grow their wealth. They help individuals and families plan for retirement, save for college, and reduce their tax liability. A bachelor's degree is required in this field.
This may be a good fit for combat veterans, particularly those who served as medics. Civilian hospitals and clinics often value medical personnel with combat experience, because the battlefield is a more challenging environment than a typical urban environment, and that tends to give veterans a different perspective.
Nurse practitioners have the authority to diagnose and treat illnesses without input from doctors or other health providers, but do consult with them as needed. They are often oriented towards promoting healthy lifestyles and wellness. They are able to order and interpret diagnostic tests, as well as prescribe medication. To become a nurse practitioner it is necessary to be a registered nurse and complete prescribed graduate education.
There is a reason they call a marketing plan a 'campaign,' and those with combat experience may be particularly good at this type of strategic thinking and planning. Private companies often seek out military veterans for their sales teams because they tend to be highly effective and may create outstanding results.
Sales managers direct and oversee sales teams. They may or may not participate in the crafting of the sales message, but they will most certainly convey that message to their staff to ensure that they are using it correctly and to the greatest advantage. These professionals organize and often present training programs to help their teams develop and succeed. Sales managers usually have experience as sales representatives and a bachelor's degree.