There are many career paths available to a veteran, so why would somebody choose to become a teacher? Not only is a job teaching personally fulfilling, and the ability to educate and enrich lives of others vital to our society, but time on duty will have given veterans many skills that are essential in the world of education. If you're looking for a career in teaching, we've compiled a list of five potential jobs a veteran would excel at.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*||Level of Education Needed||Applicable Military Skills/Traits|
|Elementary School Teacher||$55,800||7%||Bachelor's degree||Patience, steady level of energy, wide range of knowledge|
|Athletic Coach||$31,460 (for Coaches and Scouts)||13% (for Coaches and Scouts)||Bachelor's degree||Physical fitness, communication skills|
|Special Education Teacher||$57,910||8%||Bachelor's degree||Patience, ability to work with disabilities|
|Career/Technical Education Teacher||$54,020||4%||Bachelor's degree||Technical knowledge|
|Health Educator||$53,070||14%||Bachelor's degree, certification||Communication skills, health and fitness knowledge|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Teaching Jobs for Veterans
Teaching different subjects at different levels naturally requires different sets of skills, whether it is patience for younger learners, technical knowledge, or excellent communications skills. The careers listed here are varied, but skills learned in the armed forces will be a boon in any of them, and should help a veteran stand out from the pack.
Elementary School Teacher
After parents, elementary teachers are among the first people to have the chance to instill an interest in education in young minds. A career as an elementary school teacher requires patience and a tireless energy, both qualities that time in the service imparts on its veterans. Elementary school teachers' lessons aren't specialized like teachers in higher education courses, so a wide range of knowledge -- from English, to math, to history, and much more -- is critical. A veteran with a sense of community would fit in well helping young minds grow.
Of course, physical fitness is vital while in the service, and a veteran can continue conditioning their body while teaching the value of physical fitness to others as a school coach. As all veterans will have been held up to physical fitness standards regardless of their position while on duty, a job as a school coach should be attainable for just about anyone out of the service. It's important for a coach to have the ability to lead and communicate, so veterans who were in leadership positions will have the skills it takes to succeed in this position. Especially in high school, coaches are occasionally expected to also teach another subject, so additional knowledge of health or English could be a boon to getting employment.
Special Education Teacher
Special education can be a frustrating job, but it can also be uniquely fulfilling, and it's likely that a veteran would have a skill set well-suited for special education. A special education teacher deals with those who are physically or mentally delayed, from children up to adults, so it takes a high level of patience to succeed in this position. Special education teachers must modify curriculum depending on the needs of the students, so a veteran with strong critical thinking and planning skills will have an advantage. Changing lesson plans depending on physical, mental, and cognitive disabilities can be exhausting, and a teacher's physical and mental conditioning should be high -- but the satisfaction gained from being able to help students learn and succeed can be powerful.
Career/Technical Education Teacher
For many, time in the service is a chance to learn a technical trade, like engineering or computer science. A veteran could use this knowledge to teach others the same things in a career as a career and technical education teacher. Career and technical education teachers, also called vocational teachers, can operate at many different grade levels, from middle school up to a college setting, so there is an option for a veteran regardless of what ages they wish to teach, and how in-depth they are able to explain their trade. Unlike other teaching jobs on this list, a vocational teacher isn't expected to teach a broad range of subjects, so a vet with less far-reaching expertise and more focus on one technical or vocational area would be a perfect fit.
Of course, not all teaching jobs have to focus on a classroom setting. Health educators can be like coaches, in some ways, but focus on the lifestyle choices, whether it's promoting good health habits or pointing out bad ones. Instead of students coming to the educator, many health educators go to students, speaking at places like conferences or meetings, so a veteran who prefers changing settings occasionally will be a good fit for this career. Like the case with coaches, a veteran has already spent their time in the military keeping fit and healthy, so they have knowledge into the best practices for staying well that they can impart to others. While other teachers may focus on children, a health educator might find themselves working with the elderly, helping to keep people healthy as they get older.