From aerospace to cyber defense, military veterans have the education and experience to tackle scientific, engineering, and technical challenges. Below are advanced technology careers for veterans.
|Job Title||Median Wage (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*||Applicable Military Skills/Traits|
|Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians||$60,270||5%||Experience with aircraft diagnostics and repairs|
|Information Security Analysts||$92,600||28%||Cyber defense planning and execution|
|Nuclear Engineers||$102,220||4%||Management of programs in highly technical areas, from lasers to nuclear weapons|
|Aerospace Engineers||$109,650||6%||Conception and development of new projects in aeronautics|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||$135,800||12%||Analysis of IT needs and execution with security considerations|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Civilian Technology Careers for Veterans
Education is one thing, training and experience quite another. Veterans with engineering and technical experience have a reputation for advanced specialized training that may allow them to excel as leaders in their careers.
Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians
Aircraft mechanics and avionics technicians require both formal education and experience, often on specific aircraft. Military veterans who held jobs in which they worked on aircraft engines or technology may find good career opportunities.
Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians are responsible for inspection, testing, and repair of aircraft systems. Aircraft mechanics repair systems like wings and electrical systems, testing and replacing parts as needed. Avionics technicians use a variety of electronic equipment to test instrumentation and control systems. Aircraft mechanics usually attend vocational training and certification through FAA-certified programs. Avionics technicians need an associate's degree and may hold an Aircraft Electronics Technician (AET) certification.
Information Security Analysts
Information security is often a top concern in military environments. Veterans who served in computer and information security jobs may stand out from other candidates due to their specialized advanced training and experience.
Information security analysts' primary responsibility is to prevent cyber attacks and security breaches. They plan, recommend, and implement security programs and procedures to maintain robust systems. They also perform periodic testing of systems using a variety of techniques, including performing attacks against their own systems to detect flaws and weak points. A bachelor's degree is required in a field related to computer science; experience is preferred.
Military veterans with experience similar to Air Force physicist/nuclear engineer officers are likely to excel in this field. They may have experience in a number of specialized fields, such as electro-optics, lasers, computer hardware, and nuclear weapons technology.
Nuclear engineers research and develop nuclear weapons systems. But they also work with nuclear sciences in the fields of power generation as well as medical radiation for health treatments and diagnostics. Nuclear engineers may be able to enter their field with a bachelor's degree, but some programs may require high levels of education or even a Ph.D. Certification as a professional engineer (PE) can be obtained through testing and appropriate experience.
Military veterans have experience designing and working with aircraft and space vehicles used in extreme environments and conditions. Veterans with experience in engineering, particilarly aerospace engineering, may be highly sought after in the civilian workforce.
Aerospace engineers design aircraft, including helicopters, as well as rockets and spacecraft. They may also oversee the development of prototypes and the manufacturing and testing of these systems. In some cases they perform basic research on components and materials used in aircraft and other devices. A bachelor's degree is required for this career.
Computer and Information Systems Managers
Experienced veterans are likely to find many opportunities in this career, as hands-on experience is one of the critical factors in advancement. Veterans who served in positions involved with information technology may find many career opportunities.
Computer and information systems managers are responsible for the planning and implementation of the information architecture and systems for business, government, and other institutions. They work with other senior management to determine goals and challenges. They implement systems to ensure functionality and security of data and processes. A bachelor's degree may be adequate to enter this field, although graduate degrees may be required for higher levels. Experience is necessary to advance, with directors sometimes requiring a minimum of 15 years of related experience.