High Paying Jobs for Navy Veterans

Aug 22, 2019

Leadership and technical training may be the hallmarks of the Navy officer experience. Veterans will find a host of high-paying opportunities. We'll examine a number of choices with salaries greater than $37,040, the 2016 median annual wage of all occupations as determined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career Comparison

Job Title Median Wage (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)* Applicable Military Skills/Traits
Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists $92,460 12% Experience with weather and oceanographic predictions
Nuclear Engineers $102,220 4% Work experience on nuclear-powered submarine or aircraft carrier
Top Executives $103,950 8% Leadership role as ship or submarine officer
Aerospace Engineers $109,650 6% Experience as a Navy fighter or test pilot
Computer and Information Systems Managers $135,800 12% Experience working with advanced computer systems and networks

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

High-Paying Civilian Careers for Navy Veterans

Navy veterans have had the opportunity to work with an amazing array of technology in interesting fields, from submarine command to fighter jets and nuclear engineering. This experience and leadership training is likely to help Navy veterans earn high salaries in the civilian workforce.

Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists

Ships and aircraft are vulnerable to weather conditions, thus the naval positions in meteorology and oceanography are critical. This is excellent experience for a career in the civilian workforce as either a researcher or in any position analyzing weather and climate trends.

Atmospheric scientists study weather and climate. They measure air and water temperature, humidity, and wind, among other aspects of weather. They build computer-simulated models with this data to make predictions about the weather and storms in order to enhance and protect human lives, shipping, crops, and infrastructure. A bachelor's degree in meteorology or a related field is required; a Ph.D. may be necessary for research or advancement.

Nuclear Engineering

The Navy is unusual in this field because of its use of nuclear power in running submarines and aircraft carriers. Those with experience in nuclear operations are likely to find many opportunities, especially in nuclear power and research.

Nuclear engineers conduct research into the use of radioactive materials for a variety of purposes. These may be medical treatment or diagnosis with nuclear medicine and radiation imagery. Nuclear reactions are also used for power generation. Engineers develop new products and systems for nuclear materials and processes, as well as new techniques to make this technology safer and more productive. A bachelor's degree is necessary and experience is highly valued.

Top Executives

Navy officers are widely respected for their leadership skills. Submarine and aircraft carrier officers are admired in particular. Navy officer experience may be an excellent foundation for a future career as a business executive in a variety of roles.

Top executives are the senior management who set the larger goals, policies, and overall direction of companies and organizations. These positions may include chief executive officer (CEO), chief operating officer (COO), and others. In government the position of mayor or governor would be similar. Must-have traits are leadership, executive, and planning skills. This position requires experience and a bachelor's degree at minimum.

Aerospace Engineers

Navy pilots are among the best in the world, flying advanced planes and landing them at sea. This is a demanding role that requires extensive technical as well as practical education. Their experience is greatly respected in the aerospace industry and may lead to opportunities and advancement.

Aerospace engineers design all types of craft that fly. These may be fighter jets or commercial aircraft, rockets for launching satellites, or the satellites themselves. They are also involved with missile flight technology. Computer-model simulations and physical prototypes are also designed in order to test new materials and designs. This career requires a bachelor's degree.

Computer and Information Systems Managers

Some positions in the Navy require working with computers and networks in highly secure and challenging environments. This may be seen as good experience for management positions in business and government computer systems and networks.

In the civilian world these positions are often referred to as information technology (IT) officers. They are responsible for the planning, development, and employment of information systems within organizations. These include computers, networks, databases, and personnel. They work with other senior management to establish company goals and ensure that the information technology systems are up to the task. This position requires a bachelor's degree and extensive on-the-job experience.

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