10 Hot Veteran Jobs In-Demand

March 14, 2013 |

Civilian Jobs

The civilian job market can seem daunting to veterans who are just coming out of the service. What kind of jobs do you want? What kind of jobs are you qualified for?  What jobs are even available? Beaumont Enterprise recently covered a list of twenty jobs that are expected to grow in demand in the near-future according to a recent employer survey. We’ve taken what we think are  ten hot veteran jobs predicted to be in-demand and written short briefs about each one below. The list covers a broad spectrum of skills — there’s something for just about any type of job experience. The next time you settle in for a job search session, remember to check out these types of positions:

1. Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technician – If you’ever wanted to have a hand in developing the sensitive electronics that help run the modern, this is the perfect job to do so. Electrical and electronic engineering technicians assist engineers in designing and developing computers, communications equipment, and just about anything requiring wiring or  silicon. These professionals draft designs, put together prototypes, and test the functionality of new devices.

Average Income: $56,040

2. Electrical and Electronic Engineer – For those who want a more direct hand in the design process of modern electronics, electrical and electronic engineers oversee the process from start to finish. These engineers specialize in motors, radar equipment, communications infrastructure, and sometimes computer hardware. They can work for the government or private firms researching new hardware and working on long-term projects. Aside from knowledge of electronics, they must also use specialized software to create new designs.

Average Income: $87,180

3. Automotive Service Technician and Mechanic – Anyone who loves working with cars and fixing problems should consider becoming a mechanic. Identifying issues, creating solutions, and ultimately fixing a car can be very satisfying. This job requires extensive knowledge about the workings of automobiles and a knack for working with machinery.

Average Income: $35,790

4. Logistician: Anyone who’s spent time in the service knows how important it is for supplies and assets to move efficiently. Logistician’s take an in-depth look at a company’s internal and external shipping methods including their supply chain and how products are moved. This job requires individuals who can understand logistics in a broad capacity, work well with management and business partners, and keep a company’s methods up to date.

Average Income: $70,800

5.  Operations Manager – An executive level position, operations managers handle the daily operation of manufacturing plants, power plants, and other industrial facilities. This job requires knowledge of these types of plants, but more importantly necessitates an individual who can effectively direct others and handle numerous variables. Operations managers don’t just administrate, they must balance budgets and ensure that facilities are maximally productive.

Average Income: $87,550

6. Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officer – Anyone who’s been in the military can at least do two things: pay attention and wait. Security guards are charged with ensuring the security of just about anything from malls to abandoned buildings to large corporate offices. The job is different depending on the location, but ultimately it will always require alertness and authority.

Average Income: $24,380

7. Power Plant Operator – If you’ve ever wanted to have vast amounts of power at your fingertips, becoming a power plant operator is the most effective way to go about it. Power plant operators maintain all the systems of a power plant to make sure that electricity doesn’t stop flowing. The job requires extensive training and recurrent evaluations and retraining as necessary. Working with different types of plants requires different certifications, and advancement requires even more training.

Average Income: $65,360

8. Human Resources Manager – Human resources managers are responsible for coordinating a company’s most valuable asset: its employees. The human resources department serves as a link between employees and managers as well as a hub for handling any issues that may arise within the companies workforce. Human resources managers need to have exceptional interpersonal skills as their job requires frequent interaction with others.

Average Income: $99,180

9. Information Security Analyst - Information is supremely valuable to any company, and protecting it is of the utmost importance. Information security analysts take a hard look at how data is handled within a company, and derive new ways of keeping that data secure. The job requires the ability to adapt to new technologies, attention to detail, and a talent for finding and closing gaps in security.

Average Income: $77,990

10. Construction Laborers and Helpers –  Becoming a construction worker is a great option for anyone who likes to move a lot, lift heavy things, and take part in shaping infrastructure. While most construction jobs do not require formal training, there are a number of licenses that workers can acquire, such as working with asbestos or lead, that will broaden their opportunities.

Average Income: $28,410

About Stephen Bajza


  1. Edward says:

    Pretty good article. One comment, however: I question the salary level for #8, the HR Manager, a title that in a smaller company has few if any direct reports, and in a larger company, with direct reports, would have a Director title at that compensation. The good ones can ascend to VP with a legitimate six-figure income.

    • Joe Loe says:

      It appears to me that now many companies are geting rid of wel paying jobs and employees and hiring off the street workers for OJT who know nothing about what thety are doing and must do the same thing over 5 times before getting it right. If eventually they don't work out, no big deal, just fire them and hire another new worker off the street, a lot of miniorities and workers from India, Pakistan, Saudi, Africa etc. are filling the minimum wage jobs now. I think eventually the companies will find they are loosing a lot due to failures in their product and in having to rebuild it repetitively until they can finally get it to pass inspection and sell it. Many companies and retail stores are already feeling the pinch but most management teams are to stupid to realize what is causing their problems and how to fix it. It is sad news.

  2. Anthony says:

    I'am sorry you guys are not in the rhealm of the real job market, until the politics stop in Washington there will be no real jobs, wishing doesn't cut it, Iam living in the reality, your slarys that you propose are not what is being paid at present. unless you're walking out of the military with a 4yr degree an 3 to 5yrs of experience in the field other wise they want to start you at entry level.

    • rockstone says:

      You are SO correct!! 30+ yrs in food service, 2 yr degree in FSMGMT, and applied for FS inspector position in Mpls. They wanted 4 yr degree and fluent in Spanish, one of two Chinese dialects, Somalian, Vietnamese or Laotian just to qualify. Am over 50 and don't speak any of them. Lots of $8-10 an hour part time jobs though, tell that to the POTUS. And Home Depot, good friend who just retired only got part time, 0400-0800 5 days a week!!!

      • TOM says:

        I'm feeling you Rock – at least your friend got a JOB at Home Depot – I tried a few years ago to get one of those where you carry the stuff outside to the cars – had an interview with an ex-Navy hiring manager – thought I was in – NOPE!

      • Warren says:

        You can check out AARP.com since you're now over 50. They have a list of companies that are "senior" friendly, even though you're in a younger age bracket. As to being a veteran, if you highlight your strengths of focus, understanding business structure and dedication to your job, that will give you an edge. I wish you God's speed

    • robo says:

      Amen brother

  3. jsub says:

    Anyone who’s been in the military can at least do two things: pay attention and wait. . . ..

    That made me lol!

    • TOM says:

      AMEN – me too and shake my head in disgust.

    • medicman615 says:

      Those are not very marketable skills. An infant demonstrates those skills! Even to be a competent security guard, you need far more skills than those

    • cathy says:

      I was a dental technician and decided that when I got out of the military that I was fully trained to get a job as a house cleaner! I could sterilize some utensils and clean counter tops like nobody's business LOL!

  4. Mark says:

    Anyone with a military background can get any you’re of DOD contacting gig making over 70k to start with serious benefits. Especially with experience in S1, S2, S3, S4 or serious leadership billets,. Bust your tail like you’re still in the military and you’ll be a golden child over night collecting bonuses and pay raises at every chance.

    • Lol says:

      And none of that is gonna happen anytime soon. Oh unless the hiring freeze is off and the budget is straight and not to foget the furlough that is going on.. So other than those few minor setbacks a Cush Gov job is readily available to us who are retiring soon…..

      • Frank says:

        This is refering to a government contractor position no GS. I am a contracting company, they are still hiring, and because our contract is so well managed government furloughs will have minimal, if any, impact on my job

    • TOM says:

      Not really, I have a buddy I was stationed with and know for 30 years – he's retired 22 yrs E-7, has his own contracting company in DC area – can't get a thing! He has a TS/SCI and still no contracts – I did the contracting gig in IRAQ – but lost the gig because the company lost the contract (I didnt know it was up for bid) and 3 months later I was home a week before Christmas 2007, unemployed, owing taxes!!!!

      So Mark – if you have something please share to retired Navy vet – Ill let my buddy know in DC as well.

  5. TOM says:

    They left off that we are VERY trainable – so we can do most jobs – just give us some OJT and Ill do my PQS/JQR's to get a higher paycheck!

  6. jeremy says:

    I'm not sure that those of you that are well seasoned will benefit from this, but the vets that tried the military and did not stick in for the long haul should look into big oil. I left the military with 10 years and Exxon picked me up fairly quickly. Houston TX is the home of big oil along with several other vacation spots for oil in the Gulf Coast.

  7. Michael says:

    A retired Navy CPO and living in Las Vegas, casino security is a very popular vocation for both military and law enforcement veterans. I currently am completing a gaming education now using my VRAP benefits. Looking forward to either dealer or gaming surveillance.

  8. retired sailor says:

    Transitioning military? Be prepared, or you'll be sorry…as a retired E-6 (avionics tech USN) I get the "too long since you turned a wrench" remark from hiring managers (I took overseas physical security contract for a year because of the mortage fiasco, returned and finsihed a BS in electronics engineering technology late 2012). Now I get the above remark, or some seem convinced I'm too focused on making mangement to be an effective technician. MBA may be on the horizon, but still may be a "paper tiger" with a large gap in employement history, "dumbing down" my resume or pursuing insurance/auto or other sales of "we'll train you" flavor may turn out to be some of my last resorts. I could always go dig my own grave with the VA, ha

    • twr says:

      If you were senior enlisted and trying to get a technical job, purge everything having to do leadership out of your resume. Replace things like LPO or platoon sergeant with "senior technician" or "what-ever-it-was-that-i-did III". I took a break from being an IC1 to fly helicopters in the army. Now I am a civilian working as an electronics specialist. Seven year hiatus from anything close to technical and I was working with two weeks left of leave. Dumbing down is right; if your not applying to be the boss, don't write about how great you were as the boss. Likewise, your prospective boss is picking the resumes he wants HR to call, and isnt going to pick people that could prematurely replace him.

  9. Da MAJ says:

    STANDBY FOR REALITY CHECK – Field grade Army Signal officer, combat experience, Bronze Star, 2 technical masters degrees, Telecommunications and Cybersecurity, 20+ years of high-level technical, consultative sales experience for IBM, ATT, Verizon.. laid off before the election.. I can't even get a call back from Home Depot. When people would ask me why Im doing another Masters, I would say so I never have to beg for a job once I get laid off.. boy was I wrong.. The education thing, and the VETERAN status get you NOTHING in this economy, sequestration, and the impending health crisis on companies. The answer is NOT to check employment boards and send out resumes. you have to know people. time for me to call in favors. I spoke with a technical recruiter for a fortune 50 firm today, and he stated the he and his peer both have 100 positions each to fill, and they are averaging OVER 2,000 internet applications along for EACH position. Drive on troopers, never give up the fight ! Maybe when N. Korea kicks our ass we'll all get called back to do what we do best… fight like hell and send the checks back home !!!

    • Tammie says:

      This is so true. My husband retired after serving 20 years in the Navy and he is still looking for a job almost 2 years later. He received 80% disability and was told to apply for government jobs because he would have a better shot at getting a job because of his disability. Nothing. He is currently working a job that pays $10 that has nothing to do with his background in the military. So good luck finding a good job..

      • Gary says:

        In addition to that the federal job application process is such a joke that it takes an act of congress, and jumping through all of the hoops and to gather all of the forms & documents in triplicate just to apply. Then you never get a call back or any notice of whether your application has been recieved. And being disabled doesn't help a damn things; you get considered and that's it!

    • Joe Loe says:

      So Many companies with decent jobs get so many resumes that they can not possibly read, much less, evaluate which ones are actually the best for the jjobs they have, It is like pot luck. You have to smoe how get their attention. Maybe printing in blue or green type or putting an applicable picture of something on the first page. I just don't know, Just geetting thier attention is the first thing, the critical thing. ???

    • jobless & concerned says:

      Good Comments Da MAJ,
      I can identify with you—education is just a square filler and means less everyday as meaningless degrees are pumped out endlessly. The VA thing is just a company political point to feel good about. I will continue to pour resumes into a seemingly black hole until someone stumbles upon my resume using the grammar and spelling method for weeding out talent. :) or some other pointless tool for picking talent. Most likely I will find a job when I stumble upon a friend I can use to network my way into their organisation.

  10. wilson says:

    I know how you all feel. I have been looking for a career job for the past 2years. Frustrated and overwhelmed at times pondering why i was having so much difficulty even getting a call to meet for a interview. I stayed persistent with over 300 resumes out for career positions i finally got a call from a union welding apprenticeship program. Thought i would never do anything but my job in the military(corpsman). Turns out the pay and benefits are amazing and once i started the welding gig i recieved at least 20 callbacks. Figures it would happen that way ut im a union welder now that will make 70k in a few years. Maybe your next job isnt what your mos was just stay persistent and get tgose resumes out their. Dont get down everything will work itself out.

    • Andrea says:

      My son was in the Army and fought in Iraq during 2003. He has a two year degree from a community college and received a full certification in welding from a very reputable welding school. He know works for local, small welding company making $10.00 an hour as a skilled laborer. It certainly isn't great.

      • wilson says:

        I cant speak for every welding position and im sorry to here his only making 10.00 an hour. Maybe its based off location or maybe its just his job. I reside in pittsburgh pa and i am affiliated with the steamfitter union here. There pay and benefits are amazing. He should look into a gig like that. Our wages are posted on the union website. Ua449.com. Tell him to keep looking as long as you have your certs he should be making more tgen that

      • Debra says:

        I agree my son is the same Army 2003 in Iraq and is one class away from his 2 year degree but completed 2 certifications in automotive technology. Was a diesel mechanic for the Govt and is making $7.50 a hour from a reputable company here in MO as a technician plus what ever sales commission he can make, it definitely is not great for taking care of a family.

  11. Retired CPO says:

    FYI use your Post 911 or VocRehab educational benefits and get that degree in the highly needed field of Psychology (LPC), there is a desperate need for counselors for our returning veterans. Very soon there will be more than the VA can handle and LPC's can have their pivate practice or contract through the VA and fellow veterans can open up and relate to other veterans. Very rewarding and beneficial.

    • VAPhenix says:

      That is a great option, but ppl need jobs now and that requires a Masters….cutting education soon….

  12. Maureen says:

    Female trying to get Civilian job at Ft. Sam Houston, a veteran with a BA had to go to a vocational quote on quote college just to get back in medical field. Currently working as a front office receptionist for a surgical group, work is awesome however pay is not good. Any suggestions anyone?

    • Maria Array says:

      Just be greatful that you have a job.

    • MAJ Oster says:

      Try to apply to a PA program, they now have surgical PAs, that assist the surgeon and also open/close patients on front/back end of surguries pay is about $150K plus.

  13. Robert says:

    Retired as an Army CSM and was hired to manage a small company outside of my comfort zone. My advice widen your search don't just focus on what you did in the military. Networking is the absolutely the key

  14. Chris Turner says:

    The first key is having a great résumé…have somebody do your resume who knows how to translate your military experience into civilian words…recruiting teams or hr reps don’t understand what a squad leader or platoon Sargent or petty officer is. The culture is totally different and they honestly don’t like military jargon on résumés. I got a general discharge in 2010 from the army that I’m not to proud of but I had to come to come to the realization that I’m not owed anything. Employers don’t owe me to give me a job they have the right to higher who they feel is the best fit for their company. You can’t slap a bunch of military experience on an application or resume and expect them to just give you a job. Be flexible and don’t be too military . Good luck

    • JTF says:

      Civilians love to throw that in your face, "DON"T BE TO MILITARY" especially women you work with or get promoted over.

      • Dan says:

        As a vet and now someone who hires he is exactly right. I don’t want to read a resume with 60 acroyms. I prefer hiring military but if the average joe can’t understand your resume then you are wasting your time.

  15. doug says:

    get up-dated Back in the early 80's working as a laborer I was making $11.22 – $15.00 per hour union wages with benefits. The jobs you are referring to must be non-union. Next posting go to the labor department and the national unions and get your facts. what person in their right mind will leave the military for a job that pays half of what they are already making. don't post it if it is below $35,000/year. this jobs posting was a waist of the readers time .

  16. JEvins says:

    Has anyone tried USAA? They have positions posted on their "careers" page for either an "inside Auto Adjuster" or "Inside Property Adjuster", where you attend a 5-6 week paid training program. Not sure what the pay is or if their actually hiring at the moment, but have seen a couple of these for the San Antonio and Tampa areas. Good luck to all.

  17. Juanita Lopez says:

    I became a vet back in 1977. Didn't know about civil service jobs tl I moved to New Mexico from California in 1983. I am a GS12 now. I had some good bosses that were willing to train and help me along the way. Don't give up. There is a job, a boss and some co-workers who can help you on your way.
    If there are no jobs where you live then move to where there is one.

  18. Hiring Guy says:

    During the last 20 plus years I have been the senior hiring official for hiring many GS workers from the GS-04 to GS-14 levels. None of these jobs required the employee to be a proficient writer. But poorly written resumes/applications kept the majority of the applicants from even being interviewed. People in positions to hire other people are generally busy and they don’t want to spend a lot of time on the hiring process. Most generally use some type of screening process to quickly eliminate a large majority of the applicants referred to them by HR. In my case, I use the quality of the written resume/application to make an initial judgment—if it is poorly written with typos and grammatical errors, it tells me that 1. The applicant can’t write, and 2. The applicant is either too lazy or doesn’t care enough about the job to put forth the time and effort to produce a quality resume. Here is how I typically go through the hiring process. On average, HR sends me about a dozen qualified resumes for an open position. The last thing I want to do is interview a dozen people for one job. I also don’t particularly want to spend a lot of time analyzing 12 resumes. So the first thing I do is skim over each resume with my red pen in hand. I mark any misspellings, grammatical errors, typos, etc. After I get through all the resumes, I am left with three piles: those with zero red markings (typically two or three), those with 1-4 markings (typically about six) and those with five or more markings (typically about three). Then I take a hard look at the two or three with zero markings to see if there is anything that stands out as a reason why I wouldn’t want to interview those applicants (normally I don’t find anything). Then, I look through the pile that has 1-4 markings to see if there are any that jump out and make me want to add them to the interview pile. Normally one or two from this pile will make the cut. This leaves me with three to five people to interview which is manageable. The bottom line—if an applicant’s resume had five or more errors, they didn’t even get a second look. If it had 1-4 errors, it was immediately put in the “do not interview” pile and had to stick out in some other way to make the interview pile. If you can’t write, consult with someone who can—ask them to review and critique your resume. But even if you have a perfect resume, these days many companies require you to provide written answers to specific questions, either in on-line or written applications. Sometimes these applications must be filled out while you are at the work place (and you can’t “phone a friend”). If you can’t write, invest some time and effort in improving your skills—it can’t hurt, no matter what type of job you are pursuing.

  19. Joe says:

    I think more veterans should consider forestry as a career, but I don't meet many young vets in this career. I mean you walk through the woods alone every day, away from the world, but I'm just an old infantry guy…

    • Chris says:

      I agree, that would be a nice get away job but they dont pay well at all. I would love a job in the Forestry profession but $14.00 an hour just isnt cutting it (pun intended).

  20. jobless & concerned says:

    Hiring Guy,
    Your method sounds good for someone entering the business of writing for a living–e.g. a professor. However, the skills or responsibilities and successes of each individual are not being assessed. Demonstrated performance is indicative of future performance. Sadly no discussion is made as to how you got the cut of 12 resumes. Did HR take the first 12, the last 12, the 12 that mad them feel good or the twelve that job description verbiage was most accurately cut and pasted into the resume. What about cover letters any use in posting them or were they dismissed as fodder.

    It is scary that I might have missed something in the multitude of resumes that I have posted. I have never even been called on one of these jobs and I have years of experience in leadership, both as an NCO and an Officer. I have an MBA and even technical skills. The only calls I get are Insurance and Subcontractor calls for interviews—to them I am a piece of meat from which they can make their prime, subcontractor cut.

    The advice out there is endless as it regards resumes, cover letters and interviews. The whole thing is tiring and the reason grammatical and spelling mistakes occur.

    Think about that…
    Jobless and Concerned

  21. Tonio says:

    Veteran seeking job. No degree, no current job… NO DICE! The military’s down-sizing, the civilian job-market is shrinking, the economy is collapsing, education is becoming more unusable than ever, and we owe more money than we can EVER pay back. This is the end of the world as we know it. Gone are the days of America the great. Unless we grow a pair, and declare war on them commy-Chinese who have been stealing our wealth and selling us garbage for dollars on the penny! But NO, Americans are too soft, and wimpy to fight a real military, we can’t even beat a bunch of rag-tag poor and hungry insurgents. We probably would have most of our, “war-fighters” scrambling to find the biggest white piece of cloth they could find. Thanks to the mothers of America who keep protecting our young men from being MEN! Now they want women in the infantry too. If we don’t go kill some friggin China-men and get our dawg-gone money back (I mean “liberate” the Chinese people) then we’ll have to use that Army Infantry Division in Colorado against the American people like the government has intended due to civil unrest. America with no money, means disaster!!! I don’t have any problem with Chinese people, just their damn country!

  22. j c says:

    On the subject of veterans being employed at the VA; It seems, in my experience that "they" hire people they know. Friends, relatives, associates even husbands and wives. But how many of them are also veterans ?
    I thought there was a requirement to hire a certain percentage of veterans before civilians. I am so sick and tired of being qualified for a VA job and being passed over for someone's "sister" or "boyfriend".
    I have updated my resume', phoned, and made visits to HR regularly. I am very patient and persistant. Do any of you have suggestions for me ? I am open to anything. I want to be employed somewhere where I can make a diffenence. I can not think of anything better than helping my fellow veterans.
    Thanks ( . . . for letting me vent guys )

    • mike says:

      Can't tell you. I've been trying for 12 years to get on at the local VA. Have always been "overlooked". Went back to school to finish my degree finally, and when I went through the school for a SCEP position, HR told me to get a records review and get a disability rating so they could "maybe do something for me". Didn't know that program had a requirement for having a disability, and haven't found it anywhere in the literature- but they've got 3 or 4 youngsters there that just look at you dumbfounded and appalled that you would even consider something like that. I know several people that work for the VA, too, and all to no avail.

  23. Evonne says:

    Hi Dan,
    I am still in Active in Nat'l Guard; however, am looking for full time logistical position…just completed the new 40hr. GCSS-A overview course. Is Noble Supply in the OKC, OK area?

  24. Donna says:

    In response to “Slim”, please explain what ACAP and VRE.

    Thank you.