Jobs for Ex-Military Mechanics

Feb 21, 2018

Military mechanics may find that a lot of their active duty work experience transfers into the civilian workforce rather handily. Military veterans may find careers in engineering, repair work, and as technicians.

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Military mechanics have skills, training, and experience that goes far beyond the typical classroom experience. Many of these skills are needed in the civilian workforce. Below are possible careers for military mechanic veterans.

Career Comparison

Job Title Median Wage (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)* Applicable Military Skills/Traits
Industrial Machinery Mechanics, Machinery Maintenance Workers, and Millwrights $49,100 7% Military standards for quality and safety enforcement, as well as knowledge of pneumatics and hydraulic systems
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics $38,470 6% Experience on vehicles including hydraulics and pneumatics
Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics $45,170 9% Repair and maintenance experience with a variety of diesel vehicles
Mechanical Engineers $84,190 9% Ability to read blueprints, process analysis and improvement
Mechanical Engineering Technicians $54,480 5% Experience with diagnostics, schematics, and blueprints

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Civilian Jobs for Military Mechanic Veterans

Military mechanics learn to read schematics and blueprints, as well as perform maintenance and repairs on a wide variety of vehicles and machinery. They have been trained to analyze problems and find solutions in challenging situations. Their military work experience may allow them to stand out from other candidates.

Industrial Machinery Mechanics, Machinery Maintenance Workers, and Millwrights

Skills with pneumatics and hydraulic systems may be useful for industrial machinery mechanics. They handle equipment which is often highly customized to the specific purpose and environment so experience with blueprints and schematics gives military mechanics an edge.

Industrial machinery mechanics and machinery maintenance workers keep factories running. They perform routine maintenance on machinery as well as needed repairs such as those in assembly-line belts, factory equipment, or other machinery. Millwrights assemble, disassemble and move machinery throughout the factory or on construction sites. This position requires a high school diploma.

Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics

Military mechanics have experience on vehicles which are used in tough circumstances. While combat situations are obviously hard on vehicles, even those used in training and transportation also take a beating. The ability to diagnose and analyze the situation in order to solve problems sets military mechanics apart.

Automotive service technicians and mechanics ensure that vehicles are in good condition. Automotive systems include engines, electronics, pneumatics, and mechanical systems. This career requires postsecondary certifications, which military mechanics may be able to acquire during active duty.

Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics

Military mechanics with experience on diesel equipment will stand out in this field. It is one thing to have experience repairing an urban bus, and quite another to maintain and repair military transport trucks and all of the heavy-duty vehicles used in combat and military operations.

Diesel service technicians and mechanics work on diesel engines. Diesel engines may be used for passenger vehicles, but they are more common in large trucks, buses, trains, and yachts. Diesel mechanics may also work on a variety of diesel-powered motors and machinery for agriculture. Military experience is a suitable qualification for this position and no other training may be necessary.

Mechanical Engineers

Hands-on experience working as a mechanic can be invaluable to a career as a mechanical engineer. But, former-military mechanics may find that experience interpreting blueprints and schematics can also be important.

Mechanical engineers require a college education, a bachelor's degree at minimum. They design and build machines and mechanical systems. They also test mechanical devices to find ways to improve them. They may work in the fields of automotive, aerospace, industrial manufacturing, construction, infrastructure, or many other areas where mechanical devices are prominent.

Mechanical Engineering Technicians

This could be a great position for veterans with mechanical experience. Their work with testing and diagnostic equipment, use of schematics, and adherence to military standards could make them well-suited to this position. Much of the work military mechanics do can be directly applicable to this job.

Mechanical engineering technicians assist mechanical engineers in developing or improving mechanical devices and machinery. They test, diagnose, repair, and assemble mechanical devices as well as build prototypes for testing. This career requires an associate's degree.

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