Special forces medical sergeants have a unique job that provides them with expertise in both high-level battle tactics and trauma care while engaged in incredibly stressful situations. These skills are transferable to civilian careers in medicine and public service.
|Job Title||Median Salary, 2016*||Job Growth, 2016-2026*||Applicable Military Skills/Traits|
|EMT or Paramedic||$32,670||15%||Ability to stay calm in stressful situations, trauma training, ability to treat patients while in a moving vehicle|
|Physician Assistant||$101,480||37%||Intensive medical training, desire to provide in-depth healthcare, trauma training|
|Registered Nurse||$68,450||15%||Experience with ongoing patient care, ability to be calm in stressful situations, interpersonal skills|
|Medical and Health Services Manager||$96,540||20%||Leadership and strategic planning skills, knowledge of the medical field|
|Hazardous Materials Removal Worker||$40,640||17%||Experience working with dangerous materials, ability to recognize and treat medical problems caused by these materials|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Civilian Jobs for Special Forces Medical Sergeants
Most individuals who become military medics do so because they have an interest in medicine. Special forces medical sergeants are no exception, so civilian careers in medicine are a great choice once they decide to leave the armed forces. However, training as a medic in the military doesn't provide the licenses that allow one to practice medicine in the US. Therefore, advancing in these careers may require a special forces medical sergeant to fulfill certain education and licensure requirements.
EMT or Paramedic
EMTs and paramedics are the first responders of the medical world, caring for patients in emergency situations. A special forces medical sergeant's expertise in caring for trauma patients in the field will be incredibly useful in this position, as will their ability to work quickly under stress and their experience treating patients in moving vehicles. A license is required to work as a EMT or paramedic, and licensing protocols vary by state. While a degree is not usually required, EMTs and paramedics are typically required to complete some postsecondary education.
Physician assistants work with a doctor or surgeon to administer healthcare. They are responsible for everything from suturing wounds post-surgery to overseeing a patient's initial exam at primary care facilities. The amount of autonomy a physician assistant has depends on state laws as well as the particular institution and doctor they work for. Although training as a special forces medical sergeant means one already has some of the needed expertise for becoming a physician assistant, medical practice protocols require a master's degree as well licensure from the state where one works.
Registered nurses work with patients in pre-operation and post-operation situations, during ongoing hospital visits, and with patients during doctor and specialist visits prior to the arrival of a physician assistant, doctor, or surgeon. To be successful in this job one needs to have a thorough understanding of the applicable medical conditions as well as great interpersonal skills and the ability to handle stressful situations calmly. These are all things that being a special forces medical sergeant teaches one to do. In addition to licensure, registered nurses must also obtain either a nursing school diploma, associate's degree or bachelor's degree.
Medical and Health Services Manager
Medical and health services managers work on the administrative aspects necessary for running a health care facility. They are responsible for developing departmental goals, increasing efficiency, preparing budgets, and training new employees, among other duties. A background in and understanding of medicine is crucial to preforming this job well. Former special forces medical sergeants will have relevant logistical experience ordering and dispersing medical supplies and equipment as well as maintaining accurate and up-to-date medical records. To enter this field, a bachelor's degree is necessary, however many employers prefer to hire individuals with a master's degree as well.
Hazardous Materials Removal Worker
During their deployment, special forces medical sergeants may work as part of a team cleaning up, neutralizing, and removing hazardous waste. As a hazardous materials removal worker, they can utilize this experience within the civilian workforce. The individuals who work in this field must be able to calmly handle the stressful job of functioning in close proximity to dangerous chemicals and substances, including asbestos, lead, and radioactive materials. Medical training is helpful within this field as it provides knowledge of the potential dangers of these substances and what to do if poisoning occurs. To enter this field one needs a high school diploma, on-the-job instruction, and training in compliance with OSHA standards.