After years of service in the military's infantry or other roles that involve the use of weapons, a weaponry career seems like a natural fit for veterans. Other times, the desire to educate people about weapon use and safety will drive a veteran to take a job such as that of a range safety officer. Below is a description of this career and others that involve the use of weapons.
|Job Title||Average Salary (2017)*||Job Growth (2016-2016)*||Applicable Skills/Traits|
|Range Safety Officer||$42,082 (2018)**||8% (Occupational Health and Safety Specialists)||Interest for weapons, ability to teach and train, good communicator|
|Bodyguard||$64,145 (2018)***||6% (Security Guards)||Experience working with weapons, physical strength, an eye for detail|
|Armed Security Officer||$40,798 (2018)***||6% (Security Guards)||Knowledge of weapons and safety measures, attention to detail, physically fit|
|Firearm Engineer||$91,500 (Mechanical Engineers)||9% (Mechanical Engineers)||Innovative, knowledge of firearms and special computer software, creative, problem-solver|
|Forensic Ballistics Expert||$61,220 (Forensic Science Technicians)||17% (Forensic Science Technicians)||Technical training, attentive, keen, advanced knowledge of firearms|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Glassdoor, ***PayScale
Weaponry Careers for Veterans
The jobs described below are those that require veterans to handle weapons as a part of the job descriptions. They include:
Range Safety Officer
Veterans have had much weapon training in the military and could earn a living teaching others how to handle guns with control and safety as range safety officers. This job is suited to a person who has amassed knowledge and experience working with many kinds of weapons and knows what to do when they malfunction. A range safety officer passes this knowledge to shooters, teaching them the rules for using guns and weapons, how to perform checks to determine the need for repairs and what to do in case of an emergency situation. The officer ensures that gun handlers understand the control and discipline they must have when handling weapons to avoid hurting others.
Bodyguards are the private contractors that organizations and individuals hire as protection for themselves, their property and anything else on their premises. Ex-military persons and those who have worked in law enforcement are preferred for this role because they are handy with weapons and are trained to take note of anomalies that could bring loss and danger to their clients. Although the job description varies from one client to another, a bodyguard keeps an eye out for unwanted persons, monitors the premise using surveillance systems, takes care of valuables and escorts the clients.
Armed Security Officer
An armed security officer is a guard who offers security services to individuals, organizations and property. The officer carries a weapon to work, possibly guarding expensive jewelry, paintings in a museum or exhibition and valuable artifacts. Veterans who worked in combat, surveillance or reconnaissance in the military are well-suited to this job because they are handy with weapons and trained to take note of even the smallest anomalies. This role may not require additional training for veterans.
Engineers come up with new designs, plans and solutions to problems, and so it is with firearm engineers. These engineers use their knowledge of firearms and special computer programs, like AutoCAD and SolidWorks, to develop enhancements for existing firearms, such as their features and their look. They may also design new firearms. Besides having knowledge of firearms, veterans in this career will usually need to have attained a mechanical engineering bachelor's degree.
Forensic Ballistics Expert
Forensic ballistic experts are investigators who conduct their work at a crime scene or in labs where they examine the evidence presented to them by police officers and detectives. The area of specialty for these investigators is firearms. For example, they are called on to determine the trajectory of a bullet or to identify the kind of bullet and firearms used. This information is cross-referenced with the nation's firearm databases. Forensic ballistic experts also work with law enforcement to map out a crime scene and create reports to be used in a courtroom. Veterans are well suited for this job, particularly those who worked with firearms in active duty.