10 Top Jobs for Veterans in 2013

March 06, 2013 |


The military provides a broad range of experiences, but no matter what your occupational specialty was, there are always going to be civilian jobs where your experience can be put to good use. CBS News recently compiled a list of ten top jobs for veterans in 2013 which we’ve reiterated for you below. Whether you were an officer, an engineer, or something in between, there are jobs out there that suit your unique work history and personal goals.

1. Software Developer – Software development is one of the most lucrative and in-demand positions around. It requires patience and attention to detail, assets any service member has acquired through long drills and intense adherence to procedure. If you have a knack for playing with code this job is definitely for you, but almost anyone can learn programming a little each day if they get the right books and apply themselves.

Average Salary: $90,530

2. Training and Development Managers – Training and development managers introduce people to a company and ensure they’re taught what they need to know to do their job. They type of individuals who excel at this know how to educate, lead, and foster. Military experience helps because working within a strict system of command and regulation lends an understanding of what information people need to know in order to do their jobs, and good practices for settling them into a new environment and a new way of doing things.

Average Salary: $89,170

3. Industrial and Production Manager –  Industrial and production managers ensure that manufacturing plants keep up with demand, overseeing plant operators, and handling the bureaucratic minutia of managing budgets and analyzing data. The leadership skills an individual can accrue in the military will definitely help with this type of job, as will experience with understanding operation objectives and ensuring they are met.

Average Salary: $87,160

4. Construction Program Manager – If you enjoy overseeing big projects, managing people, and working with heavy equipment, this is the job for you. As a construction program manager, your job will be to oversee the construction of a building from start to finish. Whether it’s collaborating with architects or managing people on-site, your job will require a broad range of skills.

Average Salary: $83,860

5. Ship Engineer – Putting in time as an engineer in the military might set you up for a lucrative career as a ship engineer. No matter what type of hardware you helped build, the experience of working on manufacturing projects will definitely transfer to this civilian career.

Average Salary: $74,540

6. Administrative Service Manager – Supporting an organization can be very satisfying, and administrative service managers ensure that offices have everything they need to operate efficiently. Whether it’s ensuring there are enough supplies to go around or suggesting policy changes, these individuals must be proactive in helping a business run as smoothly as possible.

Average Salary: $77,890

7. Telecommunications Equipment Installer and Repairer – The modern world runs on fiber optic cables and microwaves, and if you’re willing to put the time into the necessary training, you can be part of maintaining these extensive and complex networks. Telecommunications equipment installer and repairers help individuals and groups set up and maintain devices that utilize telephone and internet systems.

Average Salary: $54,290

8. Industrial Engineering Technician – Not everyone has the time, patience, or will to understand complex machinery, and  industrial engineering technicians make it their goal to help them. Whether it’s a dangerous piece of machinery in a factory or a simple device in an office, industrial engineering technicians help install hardware and teach people how to use them.

Average Salary: $48,210

9. Train Engineer and Operator – If you have any experience in operating heavy machinery or large vehicles, why not help run one of the most time-honored transportation systems in the country? Train operators make a decent salary, and require individuals to document issues with their vehicle, run the train efficiently, and perform light maintenance between trips.

Average Salary: $46,100

10. Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver – Desk jobs aren’t for everyone, and if you’d feel more at home living part of your life on the highway then driving heavy trucks could be the perfect job. Truck drivers need to make long trips across the country to complete deliveries, but the job also requires individuals to report incidents along the road to dispatchers, maintain their vehicle, and keep accurate logs of their work.

Average Salary: $37,770

About Stephen Bajza


  1. Robin Marie says:

    Administrative Service Manager, I'm interested in this position, but what steps do I need to take to obtain it??!! Please advise…Thanks for the right-on-time email too!!

    • Rosauro Lindogan says:

      I am interested applying for the position. My many years of military experience as Administrative Manager from 1975 until I retired from the military in 1998. My skills will give the company a very productive and positive results. How can I apply?

      Thank you.


      Mr. Lindogan

  2. You need to have experience in the administrative field…enough to know what basic equipment and software is required and the training necessary to get everyone onboard. That comes with experience and training. You should also have some basic psychological training so you can deal with the myriad of personalities you will encounter.

    • Deborah S Nixon says:

      I have 10 phus years of admin experience mainly in the healthcare field. I would like more information in regards to the position, to include location. I am willing to relocate.

  3. Michael McAleavey says:

    I am a first Sergeant in the ANG with 23 years of service. I have just received my MBA with an emphasis in Healthcare Administration. I have over 12 years of business development and operations experience in healthcare in the civilian market. I am currently looking for companies hiring and have had a hard time finding a job. Any advice?

    • Mike says:

      Have a BS or MS. Look at clinical trial monitoring. Covance. Quintiles and PPD hire without monitoring experience. Plenty of open jobs

      • Ssgt Lamont Dorsey says:

        1Sgt: If you have access to minimum capital, please take a look at wound care for servicing VA patients and the Elderly. If you want to learn more, please email me at dorseylamont@yahoo.com. I am a Viet Nam era Vet. 90650 NCOIC of Hospital Audmin. Services

    • Retired Air Force says:

      I have family working at Cerner, they are a large medical software company that might be a good fit for your degree. The careers section has a link for vererans to use to get their resume into their database. Cerner is a leader in the electonic medical record business, they also provide all software products for hospitals to use in labs, pharm, and personnel. Cerner is based in Kansas City MO but many of their people work on site at client hospitals which results in a lot of time on the road. Just a thought. http://cerner.com/about_cerner/careers/cerner_mil

    • Keith says:

      Mike you may want to look at DowElanco or Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, IN.

  4. Randall niznick says:

    Do you have a 4 year degree? With FM or construction mgt, that is a requirement. If not, look into the company Sodexo, they have FM jobs without a degree requirement. Also, set up a LinkedIn account if you don’t have one.
    UTC(SCW) Randall niznick CHS-III, CDP-I

    • Michael Evans says:

      I have looked enjoy them and I also left a resume with them and have never heard anymore from now it is pretty down sad you give 27 use your life to this country and can’t even get a job oh well

      • Eric N. says:

        Mike, Where are you located and will you relocate?

      • Randall niznick says:

        Not sure of you have a clearance but look up olgoonik, they are in DC and hire lots of Seabees. But u need to be eligible for TS clearance.

  5. Tim R. says:

    If I may advise, any time someone makes a job suggestion, there should be a link that leads to a website that shows what needs to be done in order to obtain said job.

  6. Carol Lalli says:

    How about Psychiatric Nurses. Any need for those?

    • Gilbert Gonzalez says:

      You should look into PTSD Counseling programs that utilize cognitive behavior therapy, there is a growing need throughout america.

    • Mike says:

      Yes. Apply for a CRA job. CRA stands for clinical research associate. Starting salary in 50k range but by end of first year should be close to 70. Within 4 years a 100 k. It is basically a quality assurance. Job. Were. Travel is involved. Industry tends to be favorible to reservists

    • mark says:

      I think the VA hospital in Lexington has one open now..

  7. leanna W says:

    i am interested in a career change. currently have 20yrs active duty experience in the Exec Admin field. now, greatly interested in the IT world of CyberSecurity. any guidance or info is appreciated.

    • Keith says:

      Look at Brightpoint communications in Plainfield, Indiana.

    • Margarette says:

      Look into Security work at places like Northrop Grumman and the like. You may have to relocate. They have courses available, you can use your VA. Good luck!

  8. Major D says:

    Retired Marine combat engineer officer with BA (Philosophy) and MA (International Relations). Was medically retired in Aug 2012 with 15 years. Would like some info on Construction Mngt jobs. I did this a lot when on AD.

  9. leanna W says:

    career change. currently have 20yrs active duty experience in the Exec Admin field. now, greatly interested in the IT world of CyberSecurity. any guidance or info is appreciated.

  10. David says:

    I'm a retired 21 years US Marine Corps SGT/Army National Guard Sgt looking for information in the Training & Development Managers position. Ive worked several years with Education Training & Resources training young men and women in proper social skills, employment, resume writing, and other skills. How can I receive notifications or job related information.

  11. Brianne says:

    While this article provides a good list of some in-demand jobs, I think it is fairly misleading. Coming from HR (specifically Compensation) with experience in the healthcare, finance, and telecommunications industries, I can say that walking into these jobs or these salaries isn't that easy. While military service can translate very well for the job requirements of some of these positions, there are others where some years of on the job experience (outside of the military) will be required before you can start commanding these salaries…

  12. Keith says:

    Hey Mike:
    Look into the Operating Engineer's union in your local area. Well paid, secure, and always a need.

  13. Alex says:

    I have a bachelors degree in Mathematics. I have 8 years experience in military service. Which jobs would I qualify for?

    • Brianne says:

      Alex, what area was your military service in? Did you have any supervisory responsibility? Strictly off your degree, I would recommend looking into corporate finance. You might be surprised at how many different avenues you can take within the finance function. Depending on the relevance of your service to your degree, you may even find a clearer path by combining the two, if possible. You will also find that entry salaries in finance are above average, which of course is a positive.

    • Christy says:

      You might want to consider operations and logistics. We are recruiting ex-military. Check out our jobs at http://www.lutron.com/careers. We are a world leader in our industry.

  14. Nunyuh says:

    Well, so far….military experience and/or veterans preference has added up to bupkiss'……
    I suppose I am somewhat at a disadvantage since I do not posess a piece of paper from a post-secondary institution. However, one would think that making EO1(SCW) in less than 7 years would account for something….??? LOL
    No, I'm really not complaining…..merely being the "devil's advocate" here…. I would venture to guess that there are "skills" I have that would fit like a glove in some arenas……but I have yet to find one. By the same token, I have attempted to obtain a "degree" (utilizing my ACE cards), but with OSA, I have yet to be able to sit through a class (either live or internet based).
    I've done many things thus far……but, have yet to gain a clue about where, what, who, etc the avenue is to translate it into something that an "employer" would want; over/under qualified…….just isn't cutting it anymore.

    • Steve says:

      Dude, it's not what you know…

      …you know the rest. You could be the most qualified person in the world for a particular job, but you'll never get the gig when the boss's son/daughter/wife/gay-lover with no education and no experience wants the income from it.

      it's a free-for-all out there.

      Case in point…the 'PMP'…'Project Managers' have no skills, mostly no talent and hardly ever any pieces of paper from a real college…but they've been tapped by a (friend/father/gay-lover) to go through a rigorous, 6-week online course on how to wave your hands around a problem without really doing anything to solve it.

      It would disgust you to know what I know.

      I tell young people the same thing. Don't put any stock in any employer; they hire and fire capriciously.

      Get your own gig…your own company. It's easy to incorporate online, get an FEID number, register with the feds and start bidding on contracts.

      Don't buy into any employer. Every one of them wants your experience, packaged in a 20-something with no education or common sense so they can pay him peanuts.

      DON'T take a job with some consulting firm that will make you account for a certain percentage of 'billable hours'. When they start asking you to comment on contract requirements about a system you know EVERYTHING about – but won't let you take credit for having asked the questions – and when you see your questions attributed to some Englishman in the front office who doesn't know 'dick', then you know you're being hosed.

      • USN says:

        Wow Steve….most of what you said is EXACTLY how I feel-and see everyday! Except now, laidoff while others are still collecting checks.

  15. Christy says:

    We are looking for construction project managers at ou headquarters in Pennsylvania. Check out our website. http://ch.tbe.taleo.net/CH17/ats/careers/requisit

    We are also looking for someone in our Irvine, California office.

    • Michael Evans says:

      thank you for the information on the project manager job in the 1 in Irvine will try to check it out in the morning

  16. L Smith says:

    I have 29 years of admin plus 3 years of military edxperience as an In/Out processing Clerk. It sems it is hard to find a job in the Dover Delaware area which is where I live and yet I work in Philadelphia which is a 3 hour commute each way for me everyday! I would appreciate any assistance I can receive on this matter. Me and my car thanks you very much!

  17. Donna says:

    Good afternoon,

    It is definitely challenging to secure a job especially
    in this unpredictable economy. Despite this, I am seeking
    full time employment as a LVN (Licensed Vocational
    Nurse). I have 16.5 years of honorable service in the

    I reside in Southern California. However, with the right
    employment opportunity, I am willing to relocate. I offer
    excellent clinical, assessment, and documentation skills
    as a LVN with extensive nursing experience. My professional
    background consists of: case management/utilization review,
    critical care, pediatric medical advice, home health, internal
    medicine, and nurse educator. The military provided a wonderful
    foundation, leadership, and team spirit in my nursing career.
    I am bilingual in Spanish, and I am open towards exoring other
    health related industries. Thank you for your time and consideration.

  18. USN says:

    Is this blog and/or jobs for very recently discharged vets or any vet regardless of dates of service in the U.S. Armed Forces?

  19. isis0081 says:

    Does anyone who works in software development agree that programming can be learned a little each day through self-study with proper books? I'm thinking even with that an employer might want a person to have a degree or certification of some sort.