Getting out of the military can be a jarring experience for many of our servicemen and women. Returning to civilian life can be hard enough, and while these brave men and women are trying to get their personal lives back in order, they have to worry about something that can be extremely stressful even under the best circumstances: finding a job.
Last year it was reported that there are more than 21 million people living in the United States who have previous military experiences. Veterans have many skills that are highly sought after in the job market, such as leadership and bravery. Of course, these are two of the most obvious, and they don't even scratch the surface of some of these former soldiers' talents.
But what type of jobs are the best jobs for veterans? Where do their skills play best, and just what type of careers can they most likely get themselves into? Some of these gigs are kind of obvious (they run pretty parallel to their military service), but many of them are sort of surprising. Check out the list, and pass the information on to the veterans in your life.
Occupational Therapy Assistant
This is one of the best jobs for veterans who enjoy helping other people — and many of them do by nature. They assist the occupational therapists daily and help their patients get a little bit better by the day. Therapy aides only need to acquire an associate's degree, so this is great for the soldier who doesn't want to spend too much time in school and would rather be out in the world helping others. The median pay is around $50,000 a year.
Physical therapists can expect to see a steady growth in the years to come, as people are always recovering from injuries. This position requires a professional degree, but if they can stand all the schooling, it offers numerous benefits to ex-soldiers. These benefits include job security, location and time flexibility, and the opportunity to open your own practice.
Wind Turbine Technician
Wind turbine technicians aren't just one of the best jobs for veterans, it's one of the best fields for anyone to get into. The field is expected to experience over 100 percent growth in the next decade, and it's a great way to make $50,000 in an entry-level gig. If you like working outside and with your hands — and are comfortable with heights — then this steady job might be in your wheelhouse.
Personal Finance Advisor
Everybody wants more money, obviously, right? So, a tough and decisive leader can help their clients make heaps of extra cash. Once you acquire a bachelor's degree, this job offers plenty of opportunities and significant flexibility — you can literally work in any city. This kind of work is always growing, and the level of compensation it comes with makes it one of the best jobs for veterans.
Getting into healthcare might not be a bad idea if you're a caring former soldier who is willing to sit through some medical classes. Becoming a registered nurse can be an incredibly rewarding career, and it's an ideal position for somebody who loves to interact with people. Any veteran who worked as a medic while deployed might find this career path to be a smooth transition.
Information Security Analyst
Any veteran with national security experience will surely be in high demand as an information security analyst. With all of our data out there, who's better to help protect it than somebody whose been protecting our country all along? I can't think of anybody more hirable -- making it one of the best jobs for veterans with some tech inclinations. This one also pays quite well (up to $90,000 a year), and is experiencing significant growth.
Where will you find a better leader than somebody with military experience? You can guarantee they will come disciplined and focused, making them an ideal candidate to run a sales staff. A veteran will know when to crack the whip and when to ease up on the reigns, uncapping potentially enormous commissions. This is one of the best jobs for veterans who possess the gift of gab.
Emergency Medical Technician
You can see the connection here. Crisis? Tough situations? Split-second calls? This is a perfect place for a veteran to thrive, especially if they're the type that loves the adrenaline. In addition to an exciting and ever-changing day-to-day existence, EMT's get to help people when they need them the most. This is one of the best jobs for veterans who find the thought of being chained to a desk for the next 30 years torturous.
A veteran who knows their way around a computer will always have a steady gig. This is a high paying job for somebody with the right skills, contacts, and experience. Computer programmers aren't required to have any sort of degree, so if you're a computer wiz you're already most of the way there. After getting some experience under their belts, these vets can expect to pull home close to $100,000 a year.
Many departments don't require a college degree to get on the force, and if you're a veteran with a great record and some better recommendations, you could make a great addition to any police department around the country. Some departments also put a preference on hiring new officers with a military background -- making it one of the best jobs for veterans, especially in terms of fitting in and finding a higher purpose.