Jobs in the Military that Transfer to Civilian Life

Jan 19, 2020

Individuals interested in joining the military and then continuing their career as a civilian have a few very different career options. Learn the job duties and education requirements for a few of these jobs, and get civilian salary and job growth statistics.

Career Options in the Military that Transfer to Civilian Life

There are many careers that you could pursue in the various branches of the military that could transfer easily into civilian life. While being a soldier or sailor may immediately come to mind as the most obvious type of military career, the military employs and trains individuals for a wide variety of professional jobs in healthcare, engineering, design, and other fields. Below, we will explore five different military jobs that could be transitioned into civilian life.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Translator/Interpreter $49,930 19%
Nurse Anesthetist $167,950 17%
Multimedia Artist and Animator $72,520 4%
Civil Engineer $86,640 6%
Emergency Management Director $74,420 5%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Military Jobs that Transfer to Civilian Life


In the U.S. Army, you could find employment as an interpreter and translator. These professionals are responsible for training soldiers in foreign languages, providing oral interpretation between local populations and military personnel, and handling written translation services. After a career in the military, you could become a civilian interpreter and translator, which would involve performing many of the same tasks and duties. Becoming one of these professionals would initially involve joining the Army with the proper language qualifications. For those who don't already know multiple languages, the Army offers foreign language programs through its Defense Language Institute.

Nurse Anesthetist

Nurse anesthetists are a type of advanced nurse that is responsible for administering anesthesia to patients before and during surgical procedures. These professionals are employed by the Army and work in military healthcare facilities. After a military career, you could likely find work in a private or public hospital as a nurse anesthetist. To become a nurse anesthetist, you need a master's degree in a nursing anesthesia and proper certification. To join the army as a nurse anesthetist, you must be between the ages of 21 and 42 years old.

Multimedia Artist and Animator

In the army, multimedia illustrators are employed to create images and artwork that can be used in commercials, publications, animations and posters. They may use computer programs to create digital graphics and designs, or they may use more traditional drawing methods. After a career in the military, an individual could easily transfer the skills they learned to a civilian career as a multimedia artist or animator. Those who join the military directly after high school would receive communications and/or design training while enlisted. Other individuals may choose to get a bachelor's degree in graphic arts, fine art, animation or another relevant subject.

Civil Engineer

Students who have obtained a bachelor's degree in a type of engineering may be interested in joining the U.S. Air Force as a civil engineer. These professionals make sure that various structures, like bridges and buildings, are maintained and ready to withstand combat. They may also draft and design new structures all around the world. After leaving the military, civil engineers can likely find work in the civilian world building bridges, airports, dams, and roads.

Emergency Management Director

After graduating high school or earning your GED, you could pursue a career as an Emergency Management specialist in the U.S. Air Force. These professionals are trained to respond to various disasters, from biological to nuclear to radiological. They develop response plans in preparation for disasters and lead teams during emergency operations. If you decide to leave the Air Force, you could find a job as an emergency management director, which is a professional who performs many of the same tasks as a specialist. Because emergency management directors typically need multiple years of work experience to find employment, a career in the Air Force would allow an individual to gain that experience.

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