Top Industries for Veterans
Many of today’s companies are attracted to the unique blend of discipline, skills and experience military veterans bring to the table, and are even taking active steps to help them make the switch from military life to the corporate world.
We’ve researched some of the top companies and industries for veterans and compiled them here to help you make the transition to civilian employment. The Job Market Research Tool can also provide you with helpful information on who’s hiring and what qualifications you’ll need for popular career paths. Note these veteran-friendly industries are listed in no particular order.
This industry involves the management and administration of government agencies, services and resources, along with public policy writing. Common jobs in this industry include a Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) inspector, city manager, social-work agency manager, labor-relations specialist, and many more. Top employers include the federal government, state governments, local municipalities and nonprofit organizations.
The manufacturing industry involves the making of products, ranging from toys to chemicals to high-tech devices. But we’re not talking about the low-skill factory jobs of your grandfather’s time — today’s manufacturing jobs often require strong math and communication skills, an understanding of precision manufacturing equipment, and specialized industry expertise. Jobs can range from entry-level assembly-line specialist to plant manager to product-development engineer.
Construction and Building Trades
This industry encompasses skilled building trades such as ironwork/metal fabrication, electricians, roofing, plumbing/pipefitting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), and carpentry. Related job categories include Computer-Aided Design/Drafting (CAD), land surveying and construction-site management.
Training for building trades like plumbers and carpenters is often completed through apprenticeships, while other trades like electrical work, metal fabrication, CAD and HVAC usually require completion of vocational degree programs. Many people in the building trades are self-employed or work on a contract basis , while others work for construction companies and architectural firms. Construction-site managers and general contractors are senior-level positions that usually require licensure (varies by state and municipality) and advanced training.
The healthcare industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing job sectors in the United States, and it offers many job opportunities for veterans. Doctors and nurses are just the tip of the iceberg, too — there are postings for X-ray and ultrasound techs, home-health aides, nursing assistants, physical therapists and other rehabilitation specialists, mental health counselors, medical records administrators, pharmacists and pharmacy assistants, healthcare executives, medical secretaries, and many more.
You can train for these positions via a variety of vocational programs as well as undergraduate and graduate degrees. If you served as a medic or as part of a medical unit in the military, some of your experience and training can transfer to civilian training programs and jobs. Employers include hospital systems, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, health insurance companies, and outpatient facilities.
Retailers provide a variety of career paths in categories from sales and merchandising to management. You might start out as a salesperson or store manager, and eventually move your way up to regional sales manager, product buyer, or even executive-level positions like division manager and business-development director. Required training ranges from high-school diploma all the way up to an MBA, depending on specialty and job responsibilities.
Management is a broad industry covering many options such as business consulting, project management, entrepreneurship, business analysis and strategic management. Management professionals can be responsible for managing people, data, or things, and jobs exist at all levels — from entry-level foodservice managers to chief operating officers of major corporations
This vast industry encompasses telecommunications, consulting, database development and administration, systems analysis, network administration, help desk support, project management, security, design, and development.
Many veterans successfully find employment in the private defense industry. These companies provide products and services under government contract to the U.S. Department of Defense and other agencies. The nature of these companies’ business requires their employees to understand the inner workings of the U.S. military, making them an ideal fit for veterans.
This broad industry includes railroads, airports and ground transportation such as trucks, cargo and hazardous-materials handling. Since many veterans were responsible for transporting personnel and materiel as part of their military duties, your military experience can serve you well in this industry.
Accounting, Finance and Insurance
This industry encompasses areas such as risk management/compliance, accounts payable/receivable, credit, audit, analysis and research, fraud investigation and research/reporting. Other jobs include insurance adjusters and insurance sales representatives.
Security, law enforcement and protective services
This is another industry where you can directly apply your military experience in areas like corrections, retail loss prevention, customs and immigration, intelligence/analysis, cybersecurity, and security screening. Employers range from local law enforcement agencies to private security companies to federal government agencies.
This discipline is as important in civilian life as it is in the military, and helps keep companies of all sizes running smoothly. Jobs can include basic clerical support, reception, executive support, file/records management, paralegal support, and office management. These positions are available across all types or organizations and industries, so you can pick and choose the work environment that appeals to you most.
Banking and real estate
This industry is vast, and touches nearly every aspect of life — after all, we all need money and a place to live! Job options in this industry include credit managers, loan officers, tellers, personal bankers, mortgage brokers, real estate agents or appraisers, property managers, bank branch managers, underwriters and title officers.