Top Job Industries for Former Marines

Jul 12, 2018

The skills, knowledge, abilities and experience acquired during service with the military are also sought after in the civilian job market. We analyze top industries to which U.S. Marines can leverage their skills and experiences.

Getting a job after retiring from active duty is one of the steps that gets a retired Marine acquainted with life as a civilian. When it comes to employment, your experience and skills can be your ticket in. Below are some top industries in which your Marine skills are advantageous.

Industry Comparison

Industry Name Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)* Applicable Military Skills/Traits
Technology $84,580 (Computer and Information Technology) 13%(Computer and Information Technology) Problem-solving, adaptability to change, ability to think fast, team spirit, technology skills and experience
Law Enforcement $39,550 (Protective Service) 5% (Protective Service) Firearm skills, attention to detail, integrity, discipline and teamwork
Education and Training $48,740 (Education, Training, and Library) 9% (Education, Training, and Library) Mentorship skills, ability to instill success, discipline, and a sense of pride in others
Engineering $79,180 (Architecture and Engineering) 7% (Architecture and Engineering) Technical knowledge and skills
Entrepreneurship N/A 8% (Self-employed) Risk-taking, responsibility, a take-charge attitude, discipline

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Relevance to Military Background

The skills, knowledge and experience gained while serving as a Marine are also useful in various civilian job titles. The discipline, commitment and self-drive emphasized in the military, besides specific job training, is also quite valued in the job market. Although some jobs require additional training, others only require the Marines to apply the skills they already have. The following industries are some of the most popular for former marines seeking jobs.


Tech companies are increasingly seeking to hire veterans in the belief that military training teaches them to be problem solvers, self-starters and are committed to learning and growing, which are the requirements of the tech industry. Vets are also an attractive work group because of their capacity to adapt to changes. Although the military teaches them to adapt to a strict culture, they also learn to think fast in case of a change in strategy, which is a critical skill in the world of constantly shifting technology.

Veterans also have a team spirit and a sense of pride, qualities that are needed in tech companies. Seeing that no project is done in seclusion and most tech work is done in teams, it helps to have someone who already understands how to work with others besides having the required knowledge skills. In this industry, former marines can work as software engineers, information technology specialists, database and network administrators, and cyber security experts.

Law Enforcement

Some Marines may opt for a career in law enforcement as a security guard, criminal investigator, police officer or private investigator. Law enforcement is one of the fields where skills learnt in the military like firearm skills, attention to detail, integrity, discipline and teamwork, among others, are directly applicable.

Veterans can take advantage of the Veterans' Admission program and the G.I Bill benefits to supplement their tuition fee at the police academy. Since a number of persons from the military will be applying to the police academy, retired Marines are likely to train and work with like-minded people, unlike other job roles where you work with civilians who may not fully understand the military background.

Education and Training

Retired Marines make excellent teachers for their familiarity with maintaining order and working to instill success, discipline, and a sense of pride in other people. They also have learned how to train and mentor recruits and trainees throughout their careers. Servicemembers whose last service period was honorable can serve as teachers in public or private schools. This role naturally calls for more education.

The Department of Defense runs the Troops to Teachers (TTT) program to help veterans and active duty servicemembers to steer through the process of receiving certification to start working as teachers in public schools. In the field of education and training, you could work as a kindergarten, elementary, middle school, high school and vocational school teacher, among others.


Engineers in the Marines receive high-level specialized skills during their time in the military. For example, combat engineers are responsible for building and repairing buildings and roads for the Marine Corps in dangerous combat environments. They also use heavy equipment to demolish and clear minefields. Pursuing a career in this same line after retiring is profitable because there is no more training or education necessary, the skills gained are directly applicable in the civilian work environment.

Many of the country's most successful defense and aerospace manufacturing companies like to hire veterans for their superior knowledge, skills and work experience. Some of the engineering roles include working as a mechanical engineer, civil engineer, mechanical drafter, electronics engineer and architectural drafter, among others.


The military teaches responsibility and a take-charge attitude such that some retired Marines will want take charge of the situation themselves and start a business. The business scene is quite desirable because entrepreneurs do not have to start from scratch; they can benefit from existing business models through franchising. The Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative particularly links veterans to available franchising opportunities and offers them discounts on their franchising fees, or for other expenses.

Whether building a business structure or using an existing one, the discipline that a Marine has acquired during service will help to see the business through, until it becomes a viable venture.

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