Careers for Veterans that Use Military Skills

When the transition from military to civilian life becomes a reality, careers for veterans are brought to the forefront. These veterans typically have years of job experience. But they often still feel overwhelmed by the transition to civilian jobs.

More than half of post-2001 veterans are concerned about their civilian careers. They worry that they will not be able to take their military skills and use them in civilian life.

The Obstacles Vets Worry About

In the job marketplace, the problems veterans face represent a full spectrum of worries. They range from negative stereotypes about the mental health of veterans to the fact that military jobs often don’t translate well into the business world.

Soldiers may actually have a deep and wide range of skills that aren’t reflected in their military job descriptions. That makes getting that first interview very challenging.

But there is hope: here’s a brief overview of careers for veterans that use the types of skills many veterans possess upon returning home.

Careers for Veterans

  1. Green Jobs

The military gives troops the chance to develop skills that actually translate quite well into the “Green” industry, most notably owning a small business. Leadership training, the ability to work as a team member, and the ability to get along with a wide range of people all translate into successful small business ownership.

green jobs veterans

With the expansion of solar panel programs in the country, there are few industries as ripe for development as the green industry. Skilled technical manufacturing workers are needed and veterans often possess these skills. Consequently, all aspects of the green industry are suitable for vets: manufacturing, customer service, and leadership.

One example is a company out of Tehachapi, CA that actively recruits Veterans for renewal energy job training.  Airstreams Renewables trains Veterans for high demand, living wage jobs as communication tower technicians and wind turbine technicians.  They accept students from around the country, accept GI Benefits for tuition and provide some scholarships.

  1. Environmental Health & Safety

The Military is all about risk management. This instills basic safety concepts into almost anyone who serves. The Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) industry requires the same risk-aware mentality so this is a good area for vets to consider a career.

Identifying risks, collecting data, analyzing safety incident reports: these are all skills that are required in the Military as well as in EHS business positions.

  1. IT

Companies like Microsoft and AT&T are investing in training and hiring programs to attract veterans. They are very well aware that many vets make good IT workers. Vets are usually great at conforming to rules and existing within a strong structure. Because of this, many veterans are ideal candidates for IT jobs. Companies know that precision, training, and conformity to a structure are important skills that veterans bring to the table.

careers for veterans

Another common veteran skill set is the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines. In addition, the military trains service members to handle the stress in a positive manner. As a result of these skill sets, this actually makes veterans great hires for many positions in any industry.

Veterans might also have useful security clearances that not only save companies resources but also indicate a high level of trustworthiness.

  1. Counseling/Coaching

With an emphasis on soft skills, the counseling/coaching industry is a natural fit for many vets. In the military, troops become accustomed to adhering to standards of performance and to personnel assessments. This requires insight and good communication skills, which form the basis for a career in counseling.


In conclusion, while these are only a few of the careers for veterans that make the transition to the civilian job marketplace a little easier, there are many many more. Furthermore, with major corporations actively helping vets find suitable jobs, there are some great resources out there.

Click here to get our free Veteran Resume eBook. It is a free guide to writing the resume that gets you hired.

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National Veterans Foundation

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