Top 15 High-paying Jobs for Veterans

January 19, 2012 |

As veterans return from Iraq and Afghanistan seeking jobs, the big question looms: which jobs are turning out to be the most lucrative for veterans? has done some research on the subject and have come up with some interesting findings, including details on the specific skills veterans have that seem to be serving them well in finding a job. The other major conclusion of the study is that most veterans are having success finding high-paying careers in the technology sector. In the study, looked at a few different aspects, including the jobs vets typically choose, their earnings, the companies that hire them and the skills they most commonly possess as civilian workers.

According to the study, the top 15 most common, well-paid and quickly growing professions veterans choose include:

Job TitleMedian Pay (5-8 YE) [Annual Pay]BLS Growth Projections (2008-2018)
All Veteran Jobs$52,900NA
Management Consultant$87,00024%
Program Manager, IT$91,00017%
Systems Analyst$70,50020%
FBI Agent$77,60017%
Field Service Engineer, Medical Equipment$62,40027%
Systems Engineer (Computer Networking / IT)$67,30023%
Information Technology (IT) Consultant$74,00020%
Intelligence Analyst$69,50017%
Helicopter Pilot$58,60019%
Network Engineer, IT$62,50023%
Project Manager, Construction$66,00017%
Technical Writer$53,40018%
Business Development Manager$72,20012%
Network Administrator, IT$50,00023%
HVAC Service Technician$42,00028%

The top 10 job skills veterans report having are:

Top Skills
Emergency Room (ER)
Computer Security
Microsoft SQL Server
Electronic Troubleshooting
Security Risk Management
Security Policies and Procedures
Cisco Networking
Contractor Management
Program Management says that more data from their research is forthcoming — we’ll update when they have the latest findings. In the meantime, sound off in our comments section below. What do you think about the skills identified in the study? Have they been helpful as you’ve pursued a civilian career? How about the

About Ho Lin

Ho Lin is an editor at His interests include naval history, the New York football Giants, and loud rock music.


  1. Liam says:

    Interseting…I am in the process if getting a second degree in Intelligence Studies…looks like this may work out…so long as the social engineers don't change the expectations for careers in the near future.

  2. Liam says:

    michael….really this is not the place for this kind of tripe

  3. Elijah says:

    Kilroy was here here am i

  4. Michael says:

    Automotive factories with overtime pay out $50 to $60,000 a yr.

  5. Michael says:

    Find something and make it work.

  6. Ronald Kevins says:

    I left in USAF in 1994, making 30K a year and got a job as a GS-11 Computer Specialist. I was promoted through each grade until I reached GS-15. I retired in 2009 via flipping my military years over to Federal Civil Service (FERS). Essentially making every year I had on active during pay out at the GS-15 level in retirement. I made 150K a year, so the scale above looks great, but make sure you have a Master's degree before you finish active duty.

    • Gary says:

      Ditto as long as you an get in….I did the same! They should do a better job of getting these vets in federal positions!!

    • Val says:

      I left the AF (intel analyst) in 1999, took two years off take care of my baby. Went back to work in civilian sector as a secretary – $11 an hour. A year later, I started w/the Federal gov't as a GS-7. Nine years later, I'm a GS-14… and I have no degree. I never even finished my CCAF degree. I worked my way up, jumping jobs and pay grades, within the same agency.

      Veteran's preference is huge – use your benefits, but do NOT apply to jobs you have no possibility of working. It's a huge waste of everyone's time. If you're even remotely qualified, there is no way legally (unless OPM approves a justification) to hire a non-Vet over a Veteran.

      Bottom line – there are MANY variables to getting a good job. Who you know, where you live, veteran's preference, skill sets, jobs available… there is no one size fits all, but the best you can do is Do What You Love, and Are Best At.

      • Guest says:

        You cannot get to a GS14 position without a professional degree from an accredited college. Vets can only get into the high level GS positions if they have the required degrees.

        • Jeff says:

          You can if you go through a government intern program. From this, what you get is someone without a clue without any real experience in charge of others that do. It's a travesty.

        • kelly says:

          Not true. My husband worked for a civilian company when he left active duty. Hasn’t finished his degree but was at a GS-13 position because of his experience as an ethical hacker/cyber security for the air force.

    • William Teller says:

      Kevin, can you help me get on with the government?

    • MANNY says:

      Sure buddy when you have a combat MOS in the USMC there is no time for a Master's.

    • John Ross says:

      so, you made around 2 million and then got that much more in retirement? after just 15 years? and you are probably still working, making maybe even more money than you were in the air force, which also might present you with double retirement… holy shit. You are one smart mother fucker.

    • John Ross says:

      so, you made around 2 million and then got that much more in retirement? after just 15 years? and you are probably still working, making maybe even more money than you were in the air force, which also might present you with double retirement… holy ****. You are one smart mother ****er.

  7. Michael says:

    Don’t forget automotive factories with Overtime you can make $50,000 to $60,000 a yr.

    • Gary says:

      That used to be the case but now they only make about $30 to 40K with over time. It used to be a pretty good place to work but now not so much. It was hard tedious work and still is but without the good pay and benefits. Been there done that.

  8. Ron says:

    Look into the "Hardhats for Vets" program. The IUEC (Elevator Constructors) have started a program that allows returning vets to join the union and begin the apprentice program. After completion, you take the test for Elevator Mechanic. Most mechanics make 75K and above, depending on where you live.

    • Chris says:

      Was a supervisor for one of the big four elevator companies, I have lots of
      friends in the IUEC. That industry was hit terribly hard by the recession and there are very few positions available. I agree it’s a great job, just make sure the companies have the work to keep their workers!

    • chris says:

      When I got out of the army I did the helmets to hardhats program i first tried the millwrights but they weren’t accepting. I then tried the elevator. Union. And they weren’t accepting, I am now a carpenter and am wanting to make a better wage. I also tried the army corps of engineers that s really where I would like to end up. Can you help me or anybody else who is trying to accomplish this goal?

    • chris says:

      When I got out of the army I did the helmets to hardhats program i first tried the millwrights but they weren’t accepting. I then tried the elevator. Union.

    • chris says:

      Then I tried the army corps of engineers. I am now a carpenter I would like to make a better wage. Can you help

    • chris says:

      Then I tried the army corps of engineers. I am now a carpenter I would like to make a better wage

    • Gary says:

      I have read where many make over $100K a year. Dock workers also used to make good money.

  9. Dew says:

    Yes the Masters Degree is the new Bachelors degree this day and age.

    • I agree! I'm a Navy vet with an associates in Criminal Justice in school now for my Bachelors. And even with a bachelors I doubt I'll be able to be a juvenile probation officer like I want. I may have the degree….finally…..but the competition is fierce :(

      • Buzzy says:

        I totally agree. I’m a military spouse but have been working in corporate (civilian) America for the past 8 yrs. Bachelors degrees come a dime a dozen. Most have at least a Masters now. They too are becoming prevalent too. Good to hear this is not the case for GS positions.

  10. Tek says:

    College/University is not as important as experience. Within the IT fields, experience is often not even enough, many employers now require industry certifications such as Microsoft’s MCSE or Cisco’s CCIE.

    The labor fields do not usually want college graduates except at the higher echelons, what they offer are apprenticeships, which once complete as fully trained and qualified is title of journeyman in their field. The military can help get a jump on either path, although more so in the labor or mechanic fields.

    College does function as a multiplier though on pay checks.

    • Duane says:

      Tek, I have my certifications for A+, Net+, MCSA, MCSE and Security+ and I am having a hard time finding a position, though I have very little experience. I am in Central Texas.

  11. Tek says:

    College/University is not as important as experience. Within the IT fields, experience is often not even enough, many employers now require industry certifications such as Microsoft’s MCSE or Cisco’s CCIE. The labor fields do not usually want college graduates except at the higher echelons, what they offer are apprenticeships, which once complete as fully trained and qualified is title of journeyman in their field. The military can help get a jump on either path, although more so in the labor or mechanic fields. College does function as a multiplier though on pay checks.

  12. Tek Trek says:

    Within the IT fields, experience is often not even enough, many employers now require industry certifications such as Microsoft’s MCSE or Cisco’s CCIE. The labor fields do not usually want college graduates except at the higher echelons, what they offer are apprenticeships, which once complete as fully trained and qualified is title of journeyman in their field. The military can help get a jump on either path, although more so in the labor or mechanic fields.

  13. sat says:

    I think the title of this post should be changed to Top 15 High-paying Jobs for Lucky Veterans with 20 plus years and a BS/MS, because most average service member that left the service with 10 or less years has a very slim chance of getting one of those job.

    • Truth says:

      true should be jobs for officers who have connections. Enlisted with 4 yrs enlistment are 4 years behind their peers who went to college or were already in the civilian work force. That list is unrealistic and represents maybe 10% of military personnel that get jobs.

    • brandy says:

      I got out of the Army after 9 years to start my family. I was a generator mechanic and recruiter. I used my GI benefits to get my bachelor (urban studies) and masters (public admin) while I raised my two children. I am in the midwest working as a consultant at over $50 an hour. I work with hospitals and they have tons of openings that they would love to fill with veterans. Take advantage of your military benefits and if you were an NCO dont underestimate the value of your training. Best wishes

      • Frank says:

        Brandy, where in the mid-west? I’m finishing up my Masters in Public Admin now, I live near Chicago… Can you help me out?

    • Ravi says:

      Your Resume has a lot to do with getting hired. You have to write a resume that is tailored to the job description. Use key words found in the job description.

    • Rich says:

      For the most part this is true. Officers getting out stand a better chance of finding work since they have higher education and experience. The average enlisted person is a graduate of HS abd may have one and sometimes two years of college courses. What kind of work does someone who operated a machine gun or mortor get? The govt. says they want to help but do they understand the limitations that some folks have after working in the military for a number of years and then getting let go. Some military jobs have cross over jobs but a lot don't.

    • Azypoop says:

      should have joined the navy or air force and received a free education……………………

    • smith says:

      This is not true at all. I have 4 years in the Air Force as a mechanic that managed safety for my work center. I am leaving 6 April and have a job already lined up making 43K a year as a safety inspector with only an associates pursuing my bachelors.

    • ssgm says:

      I retired in 1995, only with a AS degree- been working in the It field ever since have made as low as 20,000 per year to over 120,00 a year. I retired as a 74d30.

      You just have to build your resume' presnt it present it. Focus on what you can do. Basically all my jobs/interviews have never been technical although with IBm they did make me take a test.

    • Allen says:

      you hit the nail on the head. Vet or no vet if you dont have the education, your in the same category as everyone else.

  14. Hook says:

    They might yank this comment for not being "socially acceptable". Fortunate for you IT folks and BS-MS graduates, good job. I will always stand behind the soldiers who chewed the same sand I did, and guess what, they make up most of the unemployment percentage. Beware of the hype and ask this question: Why are you always reading this stuff about jobs for veterans? Bottom line…the civilian sector does not relate to military experience in leadership, MOS or accomplishments when hiring. They think it's pretty cool though! If you want a hard worker…hire a soldier. But the reality…no BS-MS, or certificate, plus 2-3 years direct job experience and you do not get a call(not from my mouth, but from a recruiter from a prominent U.S. Business/ Company). And now TARP…why am I surprised.

    • nick says:

      i agree the unemployment numbers are double the national average for vets i read a lot about jobs for vets but like you said without that degree and several yrs ex forget about it. The fed are hiring alot of vets though but the private sector i dont think so.

      • William Teller says:

        As a Vet I couldn't get one interview with a government contractor. I called the VA and they said if a company can prove they have hired VETs then they don't have to interview a VET. Now tell me, who is better prepared a college student fresh out of school that has no work experience or a Veteran.

    • Carl says:

      I'm a recent retiree. I currently have a job, but long term employment may not be an option with this company. I went to a career-fair last night to meet with representatives from different companies. As I sat and talked with them, all of them asked me the same question: "how does your resume/background translate to anything we offer?" I retired as a senior NCO, 24 years active duty. I led Soldiers in both garrison and combat environments. I have experience in human relations, logistics, intelligence, and human health services. I have a BS in public management and a MS in Administration. I also have an active security clearance. As I left the building after giving my resume to numerous representatives, I realized that military experience means very little. It just doesn't translate into the civilian work force. The civilian work force does not care if you've been to combat. There are a very select few jobs in the military that translate into civilian dialogue. If you didn't work in one of those jobs/MOS, you're really behind the power curve when you enter the civilian work force.

    • Charles says:

      Hook, it's all about selling yourself. Contact me at I can help you get a better job that doesn't require grunt work and pays well. (I just started a 80k/yr job with TransOcean that doesn't need IT type background. I only work 6months a year BTW)

      • dway64 says:

        I agree with Charles, it is all about selling yourself as well as how confident you in come across in your abilities. Do not come across that you are desperate or that you need them. You need to leave the interview with them thinking how much they need you. I made a mistake in anger and was dishonorably discharged after 2 years in the brig. I served 16yrs in the military and got out as an E1. My first 3 job interviews I had the companies bidding against each other and I now make over $150,000 a year as a shipping manager in a small company in WV. I have no college degree and the only thing I do have is a GED and military experience. You can achieve your goals if just believe in yourself.

  15. Keisha says:

    Well I did the military and college and I'm still having a hard time finding a job. Yet I think it's because of the state I'm in. I'm in Louisiana with my husband who is in the Army. I left the Navy in 99 and went to college and got my BS in Telecommunication. I then got a job with a temp agency and worked hard enough that I was hired on with the company making $32k filing documents for the financial aid department. I applied for a desktop support position at that company 3 times before I got the job. I had been with the company for 7yrs and knew that I would need something more if I wanted to find a better job where I wasn't doing the work of 3 people and only getting paid as 1 at $52k. I went back to school for my MS in Management with a concentration in Project Management.

    • Keisha says:

      So I now have 8yrs in the IT field and 2 degrees and I left my job to join my husband who is in the Army with 14yrs of service with no degree and thought it would be best if I came out here to Louisiana (Fort Polk) so he could stay in for 5 more yrs and retire instead of him getting out having a hard time finding a job. Well it turns out that I haven't found a job out here in 6 months. My main issues are either I'm over qualified and people don’t want to waste the time hiring me because they feel that I will not stay long and it’s a waste of investment of time and money or my security clearance isn't active since it's been over 10yr since I got out the military and my civilian job didn't require one. You can’t get a clearance with a job that requires it and request it. Out here it seems like it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. I have military and spousal preference and still haven’t gotten a job. So now I may have to go back to IL where I came from or TX since it’s a 3hr drive from Louisiana just to find a job, which defeats the purpose of relocating.

      • clark says:

        I was born and raised there at Fort Polk, great place, great people but here are the hard facts. It is southern Louisiana, They pay thier teachers that are from there around 22K per year starting. The deputy makes around 18K per year. There is not a Battelle, SAIC, ITT, AT&T corporate office there. As for Civil service, I will ask you if your going for the GS9 and up? if so your correct, the locals have those jobs and are not going to give them up. As i tell every person, if you want in to civil service, just get in, i dont care what grade. get in the system and then promote from there. your all correct, the O5 and above do have an upper hand and tend to get the higher grade GS positions when they retire. but then ask yourself, if your the hiring official and need a Director or Deputy commander civilian lead, whom do you hire? This is coming from a retire E8 that started 12 years ago as a GS9 and now set in a GS13 looking at GS14 or going to the SES field.

      • Lawrence Adams says:

        Keisha, did you look into Union Pacific Railroad, or BNSF?

    • Victoria says:

      You can go to a few courses and get certified as an Administrative Assistant

  16. CM2 Copeland says:

    Go SeaBee's

  17. Michael Parker SFC Ret says:

    There are Jobs for those that want to work. May I suggest that regardless of your MOS go to your local DMV and pick up a CDL study guide or maybe troop schools has a program that you could test and get your CDL. That CDL w/ Haz-Mat endorsement opened all kinds of Job opportunities for me.

    • You know, this is the one field I think I'm going to go into. I've driven MRAPS for a while, and was a medic. No one will even let me take someones blood pressure because I don't have "state" credentials, go figure. So forget them all, I'll just drive trucks for a living instead, plus I'll be by myself so I won't have to hear all these Liberal cry babies.

  18. Mrs. Voller says:

    My husband and I are looking forward to retiring in Clarksville, TN near Fort Campbell late next year. He is currently a CSM with almost 30 years. Any prospects he should check out?

    • Michael says:

      Stay on active duty unless he wants to be a truck driver. I am a retired helicopter pilot.

    • lance says:

      I would suggest commissary management, I know a DIV CSM that moved to Texas and is making good money. This job is still a federal Job, with more retirement in 10 more years. That should , put your husband close to Retirement age. With military, civil service and social security. You wouldn't believe how many jobs are there world wide.interested in commissary positions located on Army, Air Force and Navy installations in Europe and the Far East . They even have a headquarters

  19. seabee50 says:

    What about us who did 20 yrs in construction with the Seabee's and couldn't find a job because I didn't have a licence and also my age was 45 at my retirement. I was lucky to find a job that paid over $10. per hr and now I still have a job but lost just about everything else because I wasn't making as much as I did in the military and only 1 1/2 yrs after retirement I came down with a rare heart diease and had to get a new heart. So now I'm stuck with the job I have because no other job will pay for my health condition. I still say I got something over in Iraq but when I got sick I was already retired.

    • Guest says:

      The military does not prepare the young soldier for civilian life. Most get trained in some kind of votech skills but few take the extra effort to stay on top of their field, learn the applicable industry codes, and get the certifications that state they meet the required standards to practice in their chosen field. A private company in these tough economic times are having to let go of experienced folks because there is not enough work, why would a company go out and hire a vet who is willing to work hard but has not learned how to do the work in compliance with the industrial codes.

    • Kristina says:

      My dad was in vitnam a marine, I was getting out of the navy in 2001 and saw a sign that said if you have type 2 diabeties contact your VA center. It did take a few years maybe 4 or 5 but he ended up getting 100% disability. So even though you are retired go and see your VA center/hospital they may help the more people go to them with illnesses the more they know the after math of the conditions of the war

    • Gary says:

      Your right the military now pays more than many civilian jobs. It wasn't that way when I was in. I believe its because were now in a global economy and many corporations expect their workers to compete with the their foreign counterparts in the pay area at least for the lower level but not on the management levels. Its sad but true

  20. William Teller says:

    I left the Military in 1977 with an MOS of 27E Tow & Dragon Technician. I took my training to coporate america and they told me to come back when I got a degree. Went to work after graduation with a Fortune 500 company. Stayed 11 years and they shut-down. Went to work for government contractor and have been going from job to job. As a Contractor you can work your tail off but if you don't look right, talk right, or some Civil Servant doesn't like like you…. out you go! Has anyone else seen this? Companies aren't Veteran friendly because you may be too honest or speak up when things aren't right.

    • James says:

      Amen to not being Veteran friendly because you may be too honest or speak up when things aren't right. I had a problem with not only the folks I worked with but especially with management. Folks lied on me and instead of management letting me defend myself, they denied me my 6th amendment rights and terminated me. And can't seem to find any attorneys interested in helping me.


  21. Dennis says:

    I’m coming out of 1ID at Knox and am just confused at what the next step is and the right moves to make. Still having a rough time. Suggestions based on a specific paths and realistic would be appreciated

  22. Howard says:

    Wait! I was in for 20 years and retired as a 1SG. While in the Army I earned my MBA and now I am the President of a multi-million dollar staffing company. I make well over $200,000 a year. The Army did not limit me from success. One thing I learned early on in my civilian career is that rank and awards mean nothing to them. What is appealing to the civilian sector is the leadership and team-building skills you bring to them. The civilian world cannot match the leadership skills our military taught us. However, several of you are correct. A degree is very important. I encourage everyone to get a degree. You will be competiting against civilians that are college graduates but they will not have your leadership skills. Earn your degree and you will be very competitive for that position. Education + Experience = Success.

    • Gary says:

      I agree with you 100% Howard!!!

    • anna says:

      Can you advise my husband how to focus on making $200,000. He is 22 years active enlisted and working on his degree. I think writing a resume is scareing hom however!

      • Ann says:

        When building your resume work on words, such as organized, plan, lead, review, promote, develop etc. as these will pin-point your leadership skills to the employer. Take workshops on how to improve your interview skills, (these can be obtained free through agencies such as 'Jobs Plus'). Always submit a customized resume for each job, as the initial screening and tracking by the employer will be looking for keywords or phrases relevant to that paticular job. NEVER use the same resume when applying for jobs as this will lead you on a road to nowhere!!

        • Howard says:

          I agree with Ann. Keywords are very important. Most companies use a software program like Peoplesoft that scan resumes on job boards such as Monster,. These programs scan the hundreds of resumes out there identifying the ones that match the keywords they have placed into the program. Resumes for military cannot have words like 11B or Platoon Sergeant. The civilian world could care less. I personally would recommend Strayer University. They actually work with all military personnel and they help you with financing so you can get your degree. Just look up

      • 366 EMS says:

        i don't think we'll hear from howard again since i asked what his company name is and his direct phone line. Really, do you think someone is making $200k in todays near depression economy?
        good luck

        • Chris says:

          Actually I do! It's very plausable that someone in today's economy could be making upwards of $300K or more. And no, the 1SG is not going to give out his company name and direct line because he would get bombarded by unemployed desperado's like yourselves who think that because they are vet's they have a sense of entitlement. The world owe's you nothing. You will only succeed if you are able to separate yourself from the competition of corporate America.

        • Patrick says:

          I definately believe it. I'm a vet with 6yrs experience seperated as an E4 from the Air Force, working on my college degree & still making over $80k + GI Bill benefits. My take home total exceeds $100k/annually. This is without a degree & only 6yrs experience, I definately believe with 20+yrs experience & MBA he can be making in excess of $200k, is his case typical, no, but he was fortunate to find the position he has.

          • Gary says:

            What kind of work are you doing to make $80K plus? My son has his BS in engineering and masters in finance and is on the fast track program at his company and has worked there for 3 years and is only making about $60k which isn't much considering all his student loan debt. He is still living at home because of it.

    • Gary says:

      Howard, Do you have any openings at your staffing company??
      What state is your company in? I can send you my resume.

  23. Jericho says:

    I a 7 year vet with a rating of 30+ disability. I live in NV where employment is high. I have been to every job club and still no luck. They are opening a new center for veterans first (CPAC) looking for 300+ Vet Employees. If that’s the I am one vet looking for one position.

    Any help or leads from fellow vets?

    • Matthew Arzu says:

      As a vet with 30+ percent disability, you are eligible for no competition Federal jobs. If you apply for a job with the Federal Government, and you have a strong resume and maybe a degree, you will be selected for employment. Make sure you bring your faith with you to the interview, they will recognize it. I retired from the Navy in 2006 after 20 years of service, I was 10% disable but I was working at DFAS-CL Military Pay. When I jumped to 30%, I got a position as GS-11 from a GS-6 that I got one week after I retired.

      • dennis says:

        Q: I am previous Navy ET2 with diving background. After 8 years I was discharged in 1987 due to surgery error that I am now getting 60% disability after re applying in 2005. I have been self emplyed all years in between. I am in the process of looking for stable work to provide a retirement in my older years.. Presently Im 49. Do you think I would be able to get work through GOVT I havent touched electronics since 87 so I dont know what I could do.. I have been involved as a General Conotractor since 87. Any input?

        • Jerry Arel says:

          Try going to We are always looking for good people with technical skills. Right now we are the system integrators for the Navy's new LCS ship building program in Mobile AL, Take a look and apply.

    • Chris says:

      Where in NV, technical background??

    • Maureen A. Wright says:

      Maybe not what you are looking for, but The Container Store is hiring in Las Vegas. The are openig up a new store in May. They pay better than most retail and only hire about 1% of applicants. They really like the can-do attitude and initiative. Helps if you know someone in the company too. You apply online.

    • Chris says:

      You should get an Engineering Degree in either Electrical, Chemical, Mechanical, and if you really want to make a ton of money go for Petroleum. Petroleum Engineer's are making $1,700/Day in the Baken Oil Reserves up in North Dakota. A Petr Eng can make upwards of $3,000+ a day in the Middle East. You think I am joking, think again. Hard work and dedication is what it's all about. Suck it up, put your big girl panties on, and go to school and get an engineering degree. It's hard work, but worthi it in the end. When you hear about job demands in the news and around the country, they all stem around one acronym called STEM. Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math. Anything outside of that bubble (History, Phsychology, Sociology, etc..) and you can add yourself to the list of million unemployed americans with student loan debt out the rear.

    • Victoria says:

      I am surprised that you couldn't go to dealer school and get a job at one of the casinos as a texas hold'em dealer (they sit) or something like that.

  24. clay says:

    Interesting!! I am 59 year vietnam war era veteran and since I left the Navy in
    1981 I have not been able to find an employer that would take me on for the long haul. I have a 2 year degree in electronic engineering. But apparently not of much use . I have sent out 5,000 + resumes nearly world wide in the last 12 years or so. BAH HUMBUG !!! to this entire process of helping out veterans finding jobs.


  25. AJK says:

    It also depends on what you have your degree in. I retired form the Navy in 2007, have both BS&MS(Human Services), plus a Master's Certificate in Human Resource management. I still couldn't find a job in the HR field because I didn't have the SHRM certification.

  26. Bagdaddy2003 says:

    91S20 making it big(ger) than Life:


    Left Active Duty in 96- finished my degree while acquiring a water and wastewater license working my butt off at the local and industry levels of utility operations- FINISHED MY BACHELORS DEGREE- worked for the State as an Environmental Inspector- got hired on by USEPA HQ as a GS-12/13- FINISHED MY mASTERS DEGREE- LEft for a shorter commute and went down the street to Quantico MCB where I am a 12. Am currently Awaiting the results of 3 interviews for my 13 back. During the past 3 years I have been building up a SDVOSB environmental consulting company. The moral of the story is life is what you make it. If you can’t find a job, its because you have to work harder and adapt better. Improvise-Adapt-Overcome isn’t just for Basic Trainees. It’s for life. THE MISSION OF LIFE CONTINUES…….

  27. Robert says:

    I am a veteran of 27yrs. I found as one of your bloggers wrote. A degree is very important. It is not the end of all. I had to apply to alot of positions with my experience. I live in an area where the jobs are few and far. But persiverance landed a job for me less than 10 minutes from home with the gov't. Don't be discouraged or discruntled by what is said about the economy. Post your resumes, provide good point of contact info. things will turn around for you.
    I live in Maryland.

  28. hardworker says:

    This is bogus. The jobs they have listed are for individuals with higher degrees, ect. I have been going to school and serving my country at the same time, now I am being medically discharged and because of the job i did in the military it only allowed me to go to school part time. Where does that leave me and anyone else in the same situation I am in.

  29. jay says:

    There are so many programs that at the of SIX MONTH you would be making 30-80$/hour. For example Drafters and Designers in engineering technology make over 30$/hr as entry level, welders make 25, carpenters, automechanics, electricians, intrumention techs lmake about the same________All these trades make over 150k per year after 3-5 yrs of experience. Use your heads, Don't waste your time and money. use your heads, don't waste your time and money, schools are making gazillions of dollars off of people with no brains.________Bottom line is how much money you will be making after you finish your program.

    • MStevens says:

      I live in Washington State. After being medically separated in 06. I was lucky enough to get into the VocRehab program. I earned an Associates in architectural engineering ( Drafter / Designer). As I graduated two years latter the housing market crumbled. I graduated with honors and I am still unable to get into the field as an entry level drafter because there are so many more Experianced people out there that are unemployed getting picked up for any position that does open up. Until this economy gets turned around this is expected to continue in this industry. Oh, and starting wage out here is around $18.00 an hour not $30.00.

  30. Larry Rutland says:

    A factor that has not been mentioned is the job location. I'm in middle Tennessee and I can tell you that those $30 to $80 and hour jobs are few and far between. I'm a retired helicopter pilot and $58,000 (to start) is hard to come by anywhere. More like $38,000 to $40,000. Welders would be lucky to get more than about $12 an hour without specialized training.

  31. Bagdaddy2003 says:

    GARY is right. You have to do it all yourself. No one is going to hand it to you. If they do, give me a call because I would like some, too. As for degrees: no one is going to hire you as a doctor with an associates or less degree. It took me 12 years to fininsh my bachelors. Army, wife, 2 kids, with deployments and part-time jobs. If you are a medically discahrged veteran, then you are more than likely receiving 30%+ which is money coming in. Coupled with the GI Bill, there is truly no excuse to finishing a degree, unless you pick the most expensive school possible. Find a way to afford it and make it work. As a formr co-worker use to say: “Put on your big girl panties and suck it up”.

  32. Gary says:

    Logistics skills pay well also. It's important to make finding a job, your JOB! You can't wait until you decide to retire or separate to begin. I began 7 years before I decided to retire from the Army. ACAP isn't enough. You must network and start to think like a civilian, even if you plan on working for the Government. Maximize your benefits that the government owes you. If you don't fight for them or even know what they are, you're hurting yourself. I started out Contracting (Stateside)and worked my way into the GS System at GS-11 and recently accepted a new position as a GS-12. The mistake I see a lot of people make is that they lack the skills on how to job search. When it's time to separate from the service you have to speak with people who have successfully transitioned. A person that is still in can't assist you. You have to be aggressive and flexible, the perfect position isn't always going to come open right where you live.

  33. marlin says:

    also infantry, thanks

  34. Byron says:

    I agree with Jericho. I have a MBA have been retired from the USAF since 1992 and I am a 50% disabled Vet and have been unemployed for the last 16 months. The Federal government is the only one that has access to your DD214, and always asks your date of birth. This is how their HR people say your not qualified. Last time I check this was illegal. I live in Northern VA.

  35. Mel says:

    I am in the process of getting a BS in Informations Systems and Operations Management from George Mason University. The closer I get to completion, the more anxious I feel. Getting a job seems to be all about who you know and networking, rather than 20 years of military experience and a degree.

  36. bowhunter says:

    I don't know how the VA can say that they are hiring VETS. When you look at their job announcements vets come 3rd for consideration. I put in for a job as a mechanic which I have done for over 25 years and never even got a phone call for an interview. Have also put in for various other jobs for the VA and either the job gets cancelled or you don't here anything about it. Even had one where my name was certified and sent to qualifying officail and in less then an hour they had already selected a canidate for the job. I put in all required forms + and am willing to move to almost any state.

  37. Chris, Ssgt, Ret says:

    ….and if you were in a combat MOS in the military, your skills don't cross over to any of that crap listed above directly. It will only cross over to law enforcement fields. Not to mention, if you came back injured from OIF/OEF, or have PTST you will most likely not be able to go into a law enforcement field. We have to go to school, but alot of us have TBI to which makes it even more difficult. Not enough jobs willing to teach you the skills on the job with no experience. Hydrate and press on!

  38. sat says:

    its me or is this post didnt make vets feel better, but rather worst.

  39. Greg says:

    The term "Firemen" is not correct. Try Firefighter! Have respect for both sisters and brothers.

    • Greg it doesn't mean literally. It's internationally accepted that when you are addressing men and women collectively in a group the masculine tense is acceptable. It's not stated to mean that only men are doing this job, or to down play women's contribution to the field. In the Navy we use terms like Fireman, Seaman, Airman, Even though there are men and women in these fields it's just the job title.

  40. Wes says:

    I retired from the AF in 2003 while still working on a BS in Management. I found a position as a medical HIPAA Program Assistant on a government contract. By finishing my degree, working on getting certified, and working well with others I was able to more than double my income and work upward through a series of positions to be in a great situation overseeing Privacy and Security (one of the jobs listed) on a major government development contract. I did have to relocate 3 times in order to take advantage of the opportunity to move upward, but being willing and able to relocate made a big difference. For you job seekers out there, I say “think outside the box” when it comes to leveraging your skills. When I started, I didn’t even know how to spell HIPAA.

  41. andrew says:

    The FBI isn't hiring right now so nice try.

  42. MSG(Ret) says:

    Check with your local benefits advisor and see if there is an employment assistance office available. I learned about this while registering at the VA hospital in Fayetteville, AR. The empoyment assistance officer's job is to help vets find jobs, and he says he always has more employers looking for vets than vets to refer to them.

  43. Echo-Six says:

    There are a lot of us Veterans who have been awarded a decent career after Military time. However, most have gained those careers well before this whole recession deal. The trend is most of our Veterans of the most recent generations and conflicts of today, are not having as much luck. The real kick to the ballz is there are a lot of "Veteran Friendly Employers & Programs" that all claim to hire Veterans and of whom are some of the most Veteran friendly. The truth of the matter is this; most of those employers and programs do it for tax incentives for hiring vets. Once those incentives run out, your screwed, and you'll be messed with until fired or you quit. Secondly, most civilian employers don't see our already gained potential and certifications from service. And most find it hard to believe of the experience and management we gain at such an early age within service as well. Thirdly, taken from the last true fact, we will not see the pay and benefits of most people, simply because most civilians see us as grunts or garbage men or security guards, therefore our wages will be less. Now keep in mind, this is mostly a generality. Yes there are Veterans who have been lucky. Unfortunately there are most of us who have yet to find a decent job to make a decent living from. Those ads you see in GI Jobs magazine, I've applied to literally hundreds of these companies and positions. Same with USA jobs and other Gov agencies. Where am I today? Living in crappy Missouri where cost of living is rising, no real job, wondering when it all will end. I am an 8 year active duty Navy Seabee Vet., currently on my 3rd year of reserves still as a Seabee, so I'm over the hump. My reserve pay and conducting funeral honors is my only way of income. Meaning, I make less than minimum wage and live in poverty. I have an Associates in Construction Management, with many skills and assets in both construction and management. Yet, no job. The Veteran community has the highest unemployment rate of the rest of the nations percentage. When does this end?…

    • Chaplain says:

      Hey, Echo-Six, I hope it gets better for you, soon. Construction is at a stand still, nationwide, I think…so with this bad economy in US, the timing sucks for a lot of us. I am glad you are still able to do Reserves…and hope you can get a retirement eventually from that. Meanwhile, keep hanging on. I feel for you, and the rest of us.

  44. Danny says:

    I 'm a retiree with 10% disability. I have worked at Air Products for 5 years. I started out at 50K/yr and am up to 100K/yr all within 5 years. I operate air separation plants. Everyone that I work with except one guy is a veteran and most of us Navy.

  45. Chaplain says:

    That "read more" with website is not part of my comments….

  46. James says:

    Son 6yrs in the CoastGuards in Radar, what jobs are available in
    this field.

    • Ian says:

      Tell him to try applying for a federal position GS-11 as a vessel traffic controller. They are in various ports in the country. I retired as a Chief Radarman in 2002.

    • Patrick says:

      Depends Radar Operator, Radar maintence, EW Analyst. There are a ton of contractor positions & federal positions available. These positions don't dissappear, but with the downsizing of the military, alot are being converted to Federal Jobs & Contract Jobs.

  47. Keveius says:

    What they don't tell you is that the civilian job market are threatened by us so they won't hire vets.

    • Ravi says:

      Not true. Especially if you have a security clearance. There are lots of companies who have government contractson military bases, airports, FAA etc. who are looking for people with security clearances. Of course the right employment agency does make a difference. If you try on your own, you will probably have a tough time. When I retired, I tried for 3 years on my own using etc. Finally I tried an employment agency. I was hired within a month.

  48. 366EMS says:

    howard-what is the name of your company and your direct line?
    You would be doing these vets more of a service if they could trust what they read here.
    Myself, I'm thinking we wont be hearing anymore from howard. just my thoughts..

  49. KStevens says:

    USAF veteran recently retired from FAA ATC. Had several years with OT and made 200K a year. Many young men and women from all services entering FAA and making journeyman within 2 to 5 years. Promotion potential unlimited with hard work and positive attitude. Not a good choice for nervous, undisciplined, or easily distracted. Significant responsibility with this occupation. Expect extremely thorough background check.

  50. Is Fair Fair? says:

    you had better be in the obama demographic if you want a good Goverment Job.

    • JGuignon says:

      We won't have to worry too much about that after November when most of congress is flushed down the toilet and Obama is run out of town on a rail.

  51. Wayne says:

    Electronics Troubleshooter? Top Skills?
    Thats a laugh. I was one of these for 25 years
    and maybe it was a "Top Skill" but it certainly
    didn't pay like one. Nowhere near what it should have.

  52. At Sea says:

    Retired in 2000. Started present job in 2008. Make around 325 a day. 28 on 14 off.
    That’s 8.7 two week vacations a year. Am a 100 ton captain working gulf coast. Taking schools to grow up and become a 500 ton captain. (600-700 a day)
    Started in ’08 at age of 48 as a deckhand. Made more in a year than when E-6 with 21 in.
    Didn’t need school to start. Just a willingness to learn.
    Best kept secret in the states. I have worked for people that didn’t have a G E D. I work with people that live from Florida to Alaska. They fly into New Orleans and rent a car to drive down to Golden Meadow.
    Supply boat companies are begging for deckhands, engineers (licensed or unlicensed) and captains. My company has 56 boats with 8 more keeps laid fm 145′-225′. 8 of these boats are cold stacked because we can’t find enough people to man them. And we are a small company.
    Come on in the water is fine and the companies want you.
    Boats not your thing my nephew says he is checking out sailors to roughnecks program. (It is on the net) Told me he is quoted 65k a year. If you aren’t making good money out here, you just aren’t looking hard enough.

    • John says:

      At sea.. where would I apply for a deck hand position? 8yrs army medically discharged E5 as a bridge crewmember engineer. Currently live in Missouri but MORE then willing to relocate

      • Brandon says:

        I am also interested in finding out some information about this. Did you happen to get a response? Thanks!

  53. Brian says:

    I truly was a lucky 82nd trooper. I was medically discharged out of Division in Jan '00 after a parachute malfunction in Aug '98, now the 1st year SUX bad cuz I didn't realize I was going to be out cuz I received my acceptance orders to Warrant Officer School & had done nothing to prepare. We lost EVERYTHING (2 cars, house & credit) at the time civilians were flourishing! I went into the Army '93 saw combat in Somalia & went to some great military schools which it eventually helped me land a Construction Project Management with an international glass company that gave me huge opportunities like live in the San Fran area, travel everywhere, housing paid, 50k SUV, eating 5-star & w/ a salary of 60k plus 3% bonus a year. The last accomplishment I got be apart of was finalizing the glazing design & construction drawings of the World Trade Center Buildings. I felt it was my little part to help America heal & to know that people will be safer (cuz of design & technology). I had self taught myself AutoCAD & there went a great career for 4 years until I got sick & no longer work. Basically take what you learn in the military & civilian life & go after what you really want to do!

  54. Tony says:

    I was 25 when I obtained my permanent residency card. I joined the Marines in 1990 and obtained my GED before getting out. I kept my nose clean 4 years aw an 0351 Dragon-Tow gunner. I applied for the California Highway Patrol and 17 years later I am stilln happy and ridding a brand new Kawasaki 1400 enforcement motorcycle. GO LAW ENFORCEMENT. Lots of military personnel.

  55. Tony says:

    and on an average year with overtime included I take home 120K.
    and still 13 years to go.

  56. ziauddin says:

    hi,i am 20years old i finish hi school every kind of job i accept,jast have a high salary ,English,Urd. pashto&Dari i know

  57. ziauddin says:

    me from Afghanistan,do you have any job in Afghanistan.i am waiting

  58. Stephen says:

    I have served eight years in the Active army. With 44 months of combat. I have two years of college for electronic technology and Cisco networking. The military has given me plenty of experince from Team Leader, FOB Courage's NCOIC, Orderly room NCOIC, working with CID transporting prisoners, and much more. Yet I can not find a job in Buffalo, NY that is looking for my skill sets. I was even going to settle for Walmart or Home Depot, but the words from the phone calls or interviews is I'm to qualified to be a regular worker and when a management postion opens up they will call me.

  59. Stephen says:

    I have served eight years in the Active army. With 44 months of combat. I have two years of college for electronic technology and Cisco networking. The military has given me plenty of experince from Team Leader

  60. joey says:

    hi everyone, i’m currently an airfraimer in the navy finishing up my 4th year of navy term. i’m looking for a federal job when my term ends. i’m currently and E-4 with air warfare pin, plane captain qual, 120 CDI and 310 CDI. i’m trying to get an idea of the needs out there for aviation wise within the federal area. thank you for your tips and time.

  61. joel says:

    Hi I just got out of the army 3weeks ago as a generator mechanic, I want to go to school but I’d rather get a good paying job. Just looking for a little guidance for what I should do

    • JJK says:


      If you know generators that opens up stationary engineering, PLC, electrician, building maintenance, power plant, and other related fields. I recommend the job for sure…school is great but look at your end game and the steps to get there. If you apprentice or start with a company with jobs you want eventually, work there and take advantage of school slowly while building a reputation as a good worker there and take advantage of any tuition assistance they have too.

      If its between school and working and you know it'll always be dead end jobs unless you hit up school to finish a program…go all in and finish that program asap! You should definitely try to stay out of debt as much as possible though…as Mark Cuban says, to start a business with a loan is the dumbest thing a business owner can do.

      Make yourself some income asap and do school while saving for your future, retirement, and emergencies.

  62. JJK says:

    After 6 years in service and 6 years out…best advice is this…look out for #1 first, and that is you and your immediate family. Civilian jobs don't care about you and many states have work/fire at will laws so don't be surprised if whoever hires you doesn't give a pay raise or promote you even if you deserve it. Politics are worse in the civilian sector because they don't look at credentials as seriously and sometimes who you know for a long time makes the big difference…so bosses are out to help their friends and not you. Whatever field you served in, make sure you write a targeted resume first and have all the skills and requirements for that job in your bullet points of what you've done on the job or in your education or volunteer work. Never stop doing interviews and networking because it's who you know when you are looking…not what you know…many states are over 7% unemployment, meaning you are competing with at least 150 people per job. Set yourself ahead by getting to know the hiring managers or more about the company before you apply and make catchy cover letters or butter up the human resources department before you apply so they know you. Finally, if you go into a program like school, union, or some other training…finish what you start so the time you put in is worth the sacrifice you made. You might be able to start other ventures but you can't refund your time, so don't waste it not finishing a career pursuit.

  63. EDITH says:


  64. kbar says:

    bring your attitude and family to north central florida. semper fi

  65. Ace I left the 82D in 87, went back, left in 90 and have done lots of cool stuff since then. The 82nd years were the best of my life. I have since retired US Army, worked in the Massachusetts prison system and am about to grab my MBA. Get some shades brother, our futures are pretty bright.
    Keep ur feet & knees together.

  66. jesse says:

    Hey how's it going ace. I am currently a E-5 infantryman stationed at fort Bragg and am planning on getting out next year and I was wondering what you did to get into the california prison system because i am from california and am looking at my options.

  67. daniel says:

    im 11b from 10th mountan E-5 currently in afganistan just woundering how hard it was to get in and what schooling do you need. im interested in this kind of work just need a little info. i appreciate all the help

  68. tina says:

    Hey what part of north Florida? I retired in 2005. I do have a BS in Health Administrion but I have been applying to hospitals and insurance companies. I have been with the health department for almost 5 years as a senior clerk. I put in resumes and applications. Please tell me where are the decent Fl. jobs?

  69. Noel says:

    I can attest to that. I got out of the Army with a masters degree in Public Administration and still cannot find a job. I chalk it up to applying to the wrong places but now i'm about to go back for my doctorate while I continue looking.

  70. dav8267 says:

    an 11B2P is an Airborne Infantryman with the Rank of Sergeant.