Transitioning to a civilian career from being a navy electrician's mate (EM) offers ample opportunity to work in the trades. Particularly, any jobs that require knowledge about wiring and machinery repairs could be good fits that don't require one to undergo much training after leaving the armed forces.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*||Applicable Military Skills/Traits|
|Electrician||$52,720||9%||Experience installing, maintaining, and repairing lights and other electrical appliances|
|Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technician||$62,190||2%||Skills with electrical wiring, computers and other electronics; experience working on electrical gadgets|
|Line Installer and Repairer||$62,650||8%||Comfort with heights; experience with all aspects of the wiring process, including maintenance and repairs|
|Industrial Machinery Mechanics||$50,040||7%||Troubleshooting skills; experience dealing with large-scale machinery and industrial equipment|
|Elevator Installer and Repairer||$78,890||12%||Experience working on ship's elevator system; comfortable with heights and tight spaces|
Source: *Bureau of Labor Statistics
Great Civilian Jobs for a Navy Electrician's Mate
Being an EM involves learning the ins and outs of maintaining and fixing the variety of electrical and mechanical systems found on a navy vessel, which sets one up to succeed in a variety of trades. The EM designation further helps advance one in the trades by making various certifications available. The following careers may be of interest to EM veterans.
Becoming an electrician in the civilian workforce is a logical choice for veterans who have received the extensive electrical training of an EM. Electricians are responsible for creating, maintaining, and repairing the systems and appliances that supply electricity to various locations, such as businesses and homes. The job requires one to work both indoors and outdoors, sometimes in variable conditions, and involves hard manual labor. Most electricians study the craft in technical school or through an apprenticeship; however, many EMs will have the necessary knowledge and licenses to jump into this career without undergoing more training. Which licenses these individuals need depends on the state where they will be working.
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technician
Electrical and electronics engineering technicians work with engineers to design and create electronic equipment such as cell phones, computers, medical monitoring devices, and navigational instruments. The experience that EMs have working with the appliances, switchboards, and other apparatuses on their ships positions them well for this career. To enter this field, one typically needs an associate's degree. These programs cover programming languages, chemistry, physics, logical processors, and circuitry.
Line Installer and Repairer
The experience that EMs have with wiring systems, from laying wires to maintenance and repairs, provides them with the necessary skills to begin a career as a line installer and repairer. The two sub disciplines in this industry are electrical power-line installers, who set up and maintain the electric grid, and telecommunications line installers, who are responsible for the landline communication grid. This work is physically demanding and often takes place outdoors. Individuals in this field must also sometimes climb utility poles, so they need to be physically fit and comfortable working while balancing high above the ground. A high school diploma is the only requirement needed to enter this field, although prior experience like the training one receives as an EM is preferred. Once hired, many line installers and repairers complete an apprenticeship, which can last for up to 3 years.
Industrial Machinery Mechanic
Industrial machinery mechanics work to correct problems in large-scale industrial machinery before it causes a problem. This preventative type of troubleshooting is similar to some aspects of an EM's job, which requires that they maintain various machines that are integral to the functioning of the navy vessel where they are stationed. Machines that industrial machinery mechanics work on include automotive assembly lines and robotic welding arms. Since a lot of industrial manufacturing is now automated, jobs in this field utilize many computer analysis techniques. Vibration analysis is also used to figure out what the problem might be. A high school degree is all that's needed to enter this field, and one should expect at least one year of on-the-job training.
Elevator Installer and Repairer
While deployed, EMs are responsible for taking care of the elevator system on their navy vessel. Once they enter the civilian workforce, finding a job as an elevator installer and repairer can therefore be a logical choice. These jobs require a thorough understanding of elevator mechanics and wiring, along with a high level of physical fitness. Individuals in this field need to be comfortable with heights and tight crawl spaces. The installation, maintenance, and repairs of moving walkways and escalators are also included in this job title. Training for this career usually takes place in an apprenticeship, which often involves 144 hour of technical training and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job experience.