10 Industries that Offer the Best Jobs for Veterans

The above picture shows two people holding up small American Flags watching a parade

As of 2017, there were 18.8 million veterans in the United States.

At any one time, tens of thousands of veterans join civilian employment with many of them doing so for the very first time. Although the transition might be a bit tricky, choosing a job that closely matches your military experience can make your work search easier.

If you've retired from the military recently and are looking for a civilian career that best fits your training and skills, you're probably wondering what the best jobs for veterans are.

In this piece, we've identified 10 industries with amazing career opportunities for veterans, based on their skills and experience.

Here are our top 10 industries offering the best jobs for veterans.

Law Enforcement

This is hardly a surprise as most law enforcement positions are a good fit for veterans of today. Since police and military work have the same organizational structure, law enforcement can be ideal for veterans.

In addition, law enforcement positions are often similar to those of the military. From detectives to dog handlers, many service members already have got much of the training required to work in the police force.

There are already lots of veterans working in law enforcement, so it's easy to find groups of people with shared experiences.

Aerospace

The aerospace industry values the leadership, management, and military experience of veterans. Top aerospace companies hiring veterans include Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrup Grumman.

Veterans find work within the aerospace industry as mechanical and aerospace engineers.

Skilled Trade

Skilled trade jobs in the military include civil engineering construction, HVAC, and plumbing. These have a great demand in the civilian workplace.

But veterans may need to add continuing education or certifications in order to be hired as civilian employees.

Healthcare

Healthcare offers many career options for veterans because it taps into the various skills they acquired in the military. These include the ability to interact with people well and think fast.

Healthcare is a particularly sound option for individuals who worked as medics in the military.

Some leading healthcare jobs for veterans include:

  • Pharmacist
  • Phlebotomist
  • Medical assistant
  • Nurse practitioner
  • LPN

Government

Government jobs are ideal for ex-service members as they basically follow the same organizational structure as the military. In addition, government roles span various departments and agencies--including civilian positions in the army, air force, marine, coast guard, and navy.

Indeed, the government also has positions for individuals interested in the technology and law enforcement industries.

Veterans will also be pleased to hear that their experience in the military can earn then promotions in their specific careers.

And perhaps the best news of all: Veterans and their spouses get preference for all job openings in the government.

Food and Beverage

This industry is another with lots of opportunities, and it attracts many veterans who want to grow and further their profession.

In fact, 19 percent of veterans working in the food and beverage industry are in management--compared with just 10 percent of non-veterans employed in the industry.

Top jobs for veterans in the food and beverage industry include:

  • Dishwasher
  • Server
  • Executive chef
  • Bartender
  • Restaurant manager

Business

The business industry and military work have one key thing in common: the team spirit that spurs members to work towards a common goal. Veterans will realize this when forming their own companies or taking an entry-level position in a big company.

Military friendly companies in this industry also cherish the skills veterans have. From leadership and teamwork to organization and discipline, these skills make veterans perfect for many business careers.

Some of the best jobs for veterans in the business industry include:

  • Administrative assistant
  • Brand ambassador
  • Business analyst
  • Call center representative
  • Pharmaceutical sales representative

Weapons and Security

Many veterans have skills directly associated with the world of weapons and security. This makes them a perfect fit for security firms.

In this industry, veterans serve in roles that vary from intelligence analysts and management consultants to senior leaders and software developers.

Strong leadership and familiarity with weapon use and national security make veterans attractive in this industry.

Technology

Many veterans may not know that they are the perfect fit for tech--the fastest growing industry in the country.

With the recent technology boom across all big cities, employers are looking to recruit the right employees for their companies. And they're not just looking for the next programming wizard--they want team players who can keep time and make the right decisions without supervision.

Contrary to popular opinion, most technology firms aren't that keen on hiring 'rock stars'. Instead, they prefer calm and disciplined people who can get a grip on themselves during stressful times.

It's no surprise then that top companies that hire veterans in this industry include Hewlett Packard, Dell, and Amazon.

For today's veterans, this industry offers a good career that requires a flexible, never-say-die attitude. This is something familiar to soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen.

And considering that most tech jobs offer six-figure salaries, this industry should be a great choice for veterans.

Automotive

The automotive field is rewarding for veterans with experience in fixing different equipment and vehicles in the military.

Even for those without the experience, it can be a good idea to explore opportunities in the automotive industry. This is because roles in this industry rely on the ability to follow directions, work under pressure, and solve problems.

Some great jobs for veterans in the automotive industry include:

  • Auto mechanic
  • Diesel mechanic
  • Heavy equipment mechanic
  • Automotive parts manager
  • Automotive sales manager

Final Thoughts on the Best Jobs for Veterans

The best jobs for veterans largely depend on their interests, positions held in the military, and experience.

Some veterans opt to go back to school and pursue careers in industries that are very different from the ones they had in the military.

If you're a disabled veteran and are looking to transition into civilian employment, make sure to visit our blog. We've got lots of job opportunities, so browse through our job listings, and post your resume too.

All the best in your job search!

 

Common Interview Questions for Veterans




The above picture is of two men shaking hands. One is a civilian and one is a soldier.

Whether you're a new military veteran or a disabled veteran, you know how intimidating the job hunt can be. Especially, when you consider the intricacies of the interview process.

Not sure how you should go about the job search or worried that you'll flounder during the interview portion? Well, no need to fear! We're here to help by highlighting the most common interview questions for veterans.

Common Interview Questions for Veterans

When it comes to job hunting, the key to success is being as prepared as possible. That's why we've collected the most common questions veterans are asked during job interviews. By studying this list, you can prepare yourself for the occasion and show employers just how valuable you'd be to their organization.

Here are some interview questions you should expect during the process and the potential ways you can answer.

Why Do You Want This Job?

The first thing most civilian employers will want to know is why you're interested in working in their industry. They'll ask this question because they'll want confirmation that you're as passionate about this field of work as you were about the military. It's important that you really only pursue career opportunities that you're passionate about so you don't waste an employer's time (or your own).

There are many options for military veterans when it comes to their post-service life. You can go to school, work in the military in a different capacity, or explore a plethora of career paths. Think about what you want to do before you try to find your career, and outline what interests you in the position in a cover letter.

What is Your Greatest Strength?

This question is a bit of a doozy for anyone being interviewed. It's easy to make the mistake of boasting about great you are and fail to talk about transferable skills for that specific job.

The best way to answer this question is to talk about a specific ability or skill you have that makes you an ideal fit for the position you're interviewing for. From there, cite a few examples of this skill-set in action. If it's a skill you learned in the military, that's perfectly okay as long as you find a way to tie it to the job you're going after.

What is Your Greatest Weakness?

If an employer asks you what your greatest strength is, you should prepare for them to ask you for the opposite as well. Avoid engaging in doublespeak or pretending that a strength of yours is actually a weakness. Instead, talk about a genuine weakness you have, and the ways in which you're working on improving it. Many of the skills you learn in the military are transferable.

Employers aren't looking for a perfect candidate who possesses no flaws. Rather they're looking for self-aware individuals who can recognize their shortcomings and areas of improvement. By speaking to your weaknesses in a humble way, you can show that you're a mature and insightful individual who would make a great addition to the team.

What Skills Can You Bring to This Position?

First and foremost, employers are interested in how transferable your current skill set is to the job you're applying for. And while you may be inclined to think your military experience isn't wholly relevant to a civilian job, the opposite is true. Military veterans are loyal, they're team players who work well under pressure, and they're methodical, process-driven individuals.

Talk about the soft skills and hard skills you picked up in the military when appropriate. Don't let your fear that your job skills aren't transferable cause you to under-sell your talents in an interview.

Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?

This is an extremely common question employers ask during interviews, in fact; it's kind of cliche at this point. They ask it because they want to know what you want for your career trajectory, and if you'd feel content and fulfilled by the role you're interested in. Employers want ambitious employees who are looking to grow within the organization.

Before your interview, think about your answer to this question. Answer questions like, "are you looking to be a manager?" and "do you want to work in this industry long-term?" This is also an excellent time to ask the hiring manager what growth opportunities and long-term growth opportunities they can provide you.

What's Your Ideal Work Environment?

When it comes to hiring, employers aren't only curious about whether or not you can do the work. They also want to know if you're a good cultural fit for their company. They'll ask you this question to determine if your personal work approach matches that of the team you'd be working on.

Expect questions like "what's your style of collaboration?" and "what kind of management you prefer?" By answering these questions, you can help the hiring manager assess if you'd gel well with the company and its overall culture. This is also a great time for you to ask the employer the same questions to get a better understanding as to whether or not you'd like working there as well.

General Interview Tips for Veterans

Knowing how to answer the questions above will help you immensely during the interview process. But it won't be enough to make the interview a positive experience. Here are some other things you should do during your interview to make a positive impression.

Highlight Your Military Experience & Make it Relatable

Your military experience is what sets you apart from other candidates. Use your background to differentiate yourself from other candidates. Just make your military experience relatable and easy to understand so you don't confuse the hiring manager during the interview process.

Avoid Jargon

Every job has jargon, and the military is no exception. But jargon can easily derail a conversation and make your interview manager feel disconnected and left out. You should always assume that your hiring manager doesn't know any military jargon.

By speaking in easy terms everyone can understand, you can make yourself seem easygoing and relatable, which are two traits hiring managers look for in new hires.

Final Thoughts on Common Interview Questions for Military Veterans

Transitioning from the military to civilian life is challenging. Especially when it comes to landing a new job. By studying the veteran interview questions outlined in this article, you can set yourself up for success during your job interview and score a job you truly love.

Have you recently left the military? Are you in need of a job? Browse a list of open jobs!

10 Things No One Tells You About Leaving the Military



Each year an estimated 230,000- 245,000 service members are leaving the military. These men and women then face the difficult task of entering the civilian working force.

We are here to help make that transition smooth and less stressful. Everyone prepares you for the leaving process.

What about after you leave? We've created a list of the ten things no one tells you about transitioning into your new life.

1. Start Prepping Early

Start prepping for your exit early to ease the transition. This could include getting your degree.

You can also begin laying the groundwork for your own business. You can get a side gig doing something that interests you.

By preparing for the military to civilian transition, getting overwhelmed is less likely. You will take a large transition and turn it into a series of smaller steps.

2. A Culture Shift is Coming

You have lived and worked in an honor-based culture. The needs of the whole are greater than those of the individual.

This is not the case in civilian life. You will find people are more concerned about themselves than the whole.

Conflicts

Your training has taught you to react decisively and to act fast. You have a "command voice" that is second nature to use.

While life-saving on the battlefield, you'll ruffle feathers in an office discussion. This is tough, as you may react without realizing or trying.

Practice developing communication skills for civilian life. Don't let a small conflict escalate into a full-blown battle.

Cursing

Civilian office jobs do not include cursing. While soldiers grow accustomed to cursing on a regular basis, you'll need to learn to filter.

Consider where you are planning to work, and adjust your language. You may get away with cursing in an auto shop, but not at an accounting firm.

3. What Do You Want?

Knowing yourself, and what you want, is key to your success. This advice comes from the military strategy expert Sun Tzu.

Before you start your job search make a few lists. What are you good at? What do you like to do? How do you add value? What is your advantage over the competition?

Knowing what you want and don't want will help you narrow your search. You won't waste time on something that isn't going to work for you.

4. Networking is Important Now

People want to hire veterans. You need to get out there and let them know you want a job.

Start by using your social media connections. Try putting on a suit and attend a career fair.

The goal is to get in front of as many people as possible. You want to get outside of your community and find people to branch out to.

Use this as an opportunity to learn. Even if you don't get the job, you are building skills.

5. Learn to Sell Your Skills

One of the civilian skills you'll need to learn is selling yourself. Don't depend on your actions or achievements to sell you.

Don't think of it as bragging. You need to let potential employers know what your specific skills are.

An employer is going to look at those skills and know how they benefit their job opening. It is your job to show them how you add value to the position.

6. Patience is a Virtue

Transitioning to civilian life is a long process. Do not get discouraged if things do not go right or fast.

Your first job may not be your destiny, and that's ok. Look at it as a learning process and not a roadblock.

It can also take time to find your first job. It is normal to apply to many different positions before landing one.

7. There is Going to be Paperwork

Your days of paperwork are not done when you leave the military. Prepare to fill out job applications, resumes, tax forms, and medical forms.

Make more than one copy of everything. Once you are out, you will still need the DD214 form.

If you apply for a VA loan they will ask for a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. Your future employer may ask for this form too.

If you decide to work for the government they definitely ask for it. If you have these forms ready you won't get delayed in your plans because of paperwork.

8. Save Money

As we covered, it can take time to find the right position. You are going to need money to pay bills during this time.

Plan for rent and utilities for a few months while you get everything in order. You will also need to prepare for changes in budgeting. Things like taxable income and medical insurance are going to need consideration.

9. Your Family is Adjusting Too

You may be the one leaving the navy, but your family is adjusting too. They are happy to have you home but have grown used to your military schedule.

Try to remember that adjusting to civilian life includes adjusting to family life. Use tip number 6, and try to use patience while your family adjusts to the new routine.

10. You Might Take a Step Back After Leaving The Military

This has two meanings, first take a step back and decompress. You are making a major change in your life and it is important to mentally deal with that.

Once you've done this, you are ready to start your job search. This is where your second step back comes in.

Your civilian peers have gotten jobs and developed skills while you were in the military. Your skills are competitive, but you may need to start lower than you expected.

Applying to jobs is competitive, use this as a challenge to work harder and smarter. It is possible to be a top leader at a company, be willing to put in the work to get there.

Leaving the Military

Getting out of the military presents a whole new set of challenges as you adjust to civilian life. By preparing early and knowing yourself you will have the advantage when you are out.

Know yourself and what you are good at. This will focus your job search and save you time and energy.

Save money so you have time to patiently search for the right position. Don't try to rush into something that isn't right.

Don't hesitate to ask for assistance. Start building your network by contacting us.

Transferable Skills: 9 Military Skills to Put on a Resume


The above picture is of two people, one a soldier holding a clipboard and the non-soldier pointing to the paper on the clipboard.

Transitioning from military duty to civilian life is no walk in the park. But, you don't have to make it more complicated than it already is, especially when it comes to job hunting.

You may not think your military skills are transferable, and if that's the case, think again. You're more qualified for civilian jobs than you think, you just have to know which military skills to put on a resume.

It's not like you can talk about everything you did in the military in detail. However, there are certain ways to present your skills without giving up confidential information and in a way that employers can appreciate.

Here are 9 on the top military skills to put on your resume.

1. Problem-Solving

There's always a problem that needs solving when you're on a mission and when you're on base. Regardless of if you were part of the infantry or the technical support working behind the scenes, chances are, you had big problems to solve every day.

Talk about this on your resume. Mention that you're a solutions-oriented professional with the ability to recognize problems and fix them. Don't be shy about saying you're a self-starter when it comes to problem-solving, either.

2. Collaboration

While it's good to take on a problem on your own, employers also like to know that you're able to collaborate. Teamwork is crucial in any business, and as you know, it can be a matter of life or death in the military.

Clearly, you know a thing or two about collaboration so make sure you talk about it! This is something more and more employers are looking for these days.

3. Leadership

Another skill that's good to have is leadership. The military definitely makes a leader out of you. Even if you weren't a high-ranking member, you still learned a thing or two about how to lead others and hold yourself.

It's something any team could use more of. Leadership is what encourages collaboration and makes problems easier to take on. Employers want to know that their departments are in good hands from the top down. Having leaders at every level of the business ensures them of that.

Don't be afraid to talk about your leadership skills in an interview, either. Do it in terms of your leadership approach and what this skill means to you. This will help you avoid going into the grey area of confidential information.

4. Innovation and Efficiency

Sometimes, using problem-solving and leadership skills results in innovation. Maybe you noticed there was a more efficient way to do part of your job in the military. Maybe it was your ideas that improved the work and/or working conditions of your team.

If so, you have to put these skills on your resume. The more innovative you are, the more attractive you are to an employer. This skill is promising because it means you'll hit the ground running ready to improve all aspects of the business wherever you end up.

5. Flexibility

There's no more effective way to learn how to adapt than to join the military. Things change all the time, and as your experience in the military grows, your ability to be flexible does, too.

Put this on your resume as well. Flexibility tells employers you're able to roll with the punches and have a can-do attitude. It's more valuable than you think.

6. Organization and Planning

The next skill to put on your resume is organization and planning. Some people assume these are traits everyone has, but that's not exactly true. It's good to tell employers you possess these skills.

When you do so, you're saying you have an eye for detail and that mistakes aren't a habit of yours. Although no one is perfect, it's good for a potential employer to know they can count on you to stay on track and do your job well.

7. Consulting

Here's something to think about: all the times that different teams and individuals collaborated in the military, did you speak up? Were your ideas the ones that agreed upon and implemented?

If so, you have a knack for consulting. Put this on your resume, too.

This shows you have the ability to look at a situation from all angles. Instead of acting on a whim or doing what you've always done, you know how to choose the best course of action. This is beneficial for the future company you'll work for and for all its clients.

8. Technical Skills

Don't forget to write down any technical skills you learned in the military. Maybe your job had something to do with engineering or computer programming. Maybe you know how to crunch numbers or stretch resources.

This is valuable, too! But, an employer won't know about your ability to do such things unless you write them down. Don't go into too many specifics, but don't undersell yourself, either.

9. Job-Related Specifics

The final skills worth putting on your resume are any job-related skills you're at liberty to talk about. These are different from technical skills because they also include any hands-on abilities or soft skills.

Maybe you worked with others, which taught you how to negotiate and/or mediate. Did you have a role that was your sole responsibility, which shows you're able to work autonomously and do a good job?

These are a few examples of what your role in the military gave you to take into civilian life. Think long and hard about everything you learned and how you can present it to a job hunter.

Find Your New Job with These Military Skills to Put on a Resume

Ready to find your new civilian job with the help of these military skills to put on a resume? Great - now all you have to do is actually write one!

We can help. Whether it's been years since you've created a resume or you've never done this before, you've come to the right place. Click here to discover all the ways we can support your job hunting process as a new civilian.

Your Guide to How to Transition from Military to Civilian Work

The above is a picture of two people shaking hands with an American flag in the back ground

Your Guide to How to Transition from Military to Civilian Work



Self-knowledge is one of the most important qualities you need when transitioning from military to civilian work.

Do you have an understanding of who you are and what your strengths and weaknesses are? This will help you as you search for the right job.

In this article, we are going to go over some tips that will help the transition go smoothly.

Do you want to understand how to transition from military to civilian life better? Keep reading to find out.

Transition From Military to Civilian Job

We are going to cover a few things to think about when looking for a civilian job. Take a look!

Strengths

What are your strengths? Take time, sit down and think about what your skill set is. Think about what you did well in your military experience and before the military. These are the skills you performed well at.

Typical strengths one might see from working in the military are as follows: meeting deadlines, following directions, operating under pressure, staying highly disciplined, working well with others, and keeping a strong work ethic.

These are things you might not think anything of, but they are what make you unique. Do not take them lightly.

Think About Your Interests

No matter what your duties were in the military, sit down and write down a list of things you like to do. Highlight the ones you particularly enjoy and are good at.

Include work-related and military items as well as weekend activities and hobbies.

List 5 activities and interests that motivate and energize you.

This will give you direction when deciding what career path to pursue or if you want to further your education by gaining a trade.

Research Civilian Careers

Once you have a better understanding of what your interests and strengths are, take some time to match careers that align with them. One of the worst things you can do is to choose a job or career that is not fulfilling or satisfying to you.

Make sure it lines up with what you enjoy and are good at.

The more time you spend here trying to find something that matches what you are good at and what you like, the more successful you will be in the long run.

Don't rush into something.

Talk to employers and employees. Find out what jobs people enjoy and what companies are good to work for.

Do your research and don't rush into anything. You want to make sure you find a job that will be a good fit.

Do You Want to Go Back to School or College?

After your research, you may decide that the career that interests you the most requires more training or education. Do you have the ability to delay entering the workforce?

Can you go back for extra schooling or do you need to work right away?

Think about this before making a decision. You may find a college or degree program that suits your interests and needs. Find something that will enable you with a skill so when you graduate, you can enter the workforce.

Specific colleges set up internships and work placements for you. Think about choosing one of those programs because they set you up for success.

For veterans, there is a bill that helps with education. Honorably discharged vets can get some help. Look into this before signing up for school or deciding you cannot afford it.

Create a Resume of Your Accomplishments and Skills

Employers are going to want to see a complete history of your accomplishments and skills.

They want to see what you earned and what you are skilled at. Be detailed and explain what you did that resulted in a positive outcome whether that was safely transporting people or being a great leader.

Accomplishments are unique, and they show how you helped contribute to the company or organization's overall success. Focus on these when you are building your profile.

These aren't job duties or responsibilities but how you went above and beyond in your line of work.

This will make your profile pop out!

Research Employers

Knowing about a company and understanding their values and mission is essential when job hunting. You also want to understand their corporate culture, benefits, and hiring decisions. Make sure you do your research before applying.

Did you know that some companies are more vet-friendly than others? Research and find out if the company you are interested in working for is one of them.

Crossover

The great thing with civilian and military jobs are there is plenty of crossovers.

When you are looking to build your CV or resume, focus on the crossover skills you gained in your previous military job.

Your new boss or potential boss will be keen to see how the talents and skills you had will apply well to the new position you are seeking.

A fighter pilot could serve as a commercial airline pilot or anyone with experience as a communications specialist might be interested in working for a radio station or newspaper. An officer could be a leadership coach. The ideas are endless.

Match up the skill set you have from your military experience and don't settle.

Think outside the box.

Create a resume that highlights these things.

Final Thoughts

Some of what you have learned in the military will transfer to your new job and some will not. Be aware of this. There is a different communication style, and you need to understand that. Adjust your style accordingly to the job.

In this article, we went through some of the critical factors to consider when you transition from military to civilian jobs.

You want to make sure that you do your research before applying for a job. Make sure you know that the company or work culture is a good fit for you. Assess what your interests and skills are. Highlight them on your resume.

If returning to school is something that interests you, go for it! There may be financial aid for you. Research all your options and then make a decision.

If you want more help about next steps, read this article we wrote about jobs for veterans!