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Education & Career Options for Transitioning Military Members

If you’re a military member who’s looking to pursue a new career, deciding which direction to go can be tough.  You’ve likely gained a wide variety of skills while on duty and it may simply be a matter of pursuing the degree that helps you best put them to use. To help get you thinking about what could be the best area of study for you, we’ve compiled a list of some great potential jobs after the military.

Before we delve into specific career information, let’s first take a look at some of the different subject areas that military students are studying. According to a report from Student Veterans of America, for bachelor-level degrees, the following majors were among the most common for military students:

When it comes to the associate-level degrees, military students most frequently studied liberal arts and sciences (33.5%), business (17.8%), homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting (9.7%), health professions (9.3%) and engineering technologies (7.6%).[ii]

What Are Some Careers After the Military that Students can Pursue?

Now that we’ve covered the most common areas of study for military students, let’s examine some job descriptions, salary potential, and growth projections for careers in these fields. Bear in mind that these are just some of the many different potential career paths you could choose to pursue after earning your degree.

Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts execute security measures to protect computer networks and systems against cyber threats.

Typical duties may include:

  • Installing firewalls and data encryption programs to protect sensitive info
  • Preparing reports documenting security breaches
  • Conducting penetration testing to look for system vulnerabilities
  • Developing security standards and best practices

2012 Median Annual Pay: $86,170

Job Outlook, 2012-22: 37% (much faster than average) [iii]

Telecommunications Equipment Installer and Repairer

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers are responsible for setting up and maintaining devices that carry communications signals, access the Internet or connect to phone lines.

Typical duties may include:

  • Setting up or replacing routing and dialing equipment
  • Repairing faulty or damaged equipment
  • Inspecting and servicing wiring and phone jacks
  • Demonstrating and explaining use of equipment to customers

2012 Median Annual Pay: $53, 530

Job Outlook, 2012-22: 4%[iv]


Firefighters are dedicated to controlling fires and responding to medical and other emergencies.

Typical duties may include:

  • Finding and rescuing victims in burning buildings
  • Driving fire trucks and other emergency vehicles
  • Using water hoses, fire extinguishers and pumps to put out fires
  • Treating sick or injured people

2012 Median Annual Pay: $45,250

Job Outlook, 2012-22:7%[v]

Police and Detectives

Police officers are responsible for protecting the public and property, while detectives gather facts and collect evidence of crimes.

Typical duties may include:

  • Responding to emergency and non-emergency calls
  • Enforcing laws and patrolling areas
  • Conducting interviews with witnesses and suspects
  • Securing evidence at crime scenes

2012 Median Annual Pay: $56,980[vi]

Job Outlook, 2012-22:5%

Social Worker

Social workers help people cope with problems in their everyday lives – and in some cases they diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional issues.

Typical duties may include:

  • Helping people adjust to challenges such as divorce, unemployment or illness
  • Developing plans to help improve the well-being of clients
  • Referring people to resources such as food stamp programs and health care
  • Responding to crisis situations such as child or spousal abuse

2012 Median Annual Pay: $44,200

Job Outlook, 2012-22:19% (faster than average) [vii]

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors provide treatment and support to people who suffer from drug addiction, alcoholism, eating disorders and more.

Typical duties may include:

  • Help clients development treatment plans and goals
  • Identify behaviors that interfere with recovery
  • Help people develop skills to recover from their addiction
  • Refer clients to support groups and other resources

2012 Median Annual Pay: $38,520

Job Outlook, 2012-22: 31% (much faster than average) [viii]

Registered Nurse (RN)

RNs provide patient care, educate patients about health conditions, and support patients and family members.

Typical duties may include:

  • Recording medical histories and symptoms
  • Administering medicine and other treatments
  • Operating and monitoring medical equipment
  • Consulting with doctors and other healthcare professionals

2012 Median Annual Pay: $65, 470

Job Outlook, 2012-22: 19% (faster than average)[ix]

EMT or Paramedic

EMTs and paramedics are responsible for acting quickly to care for sick or injured people in emergency medical situations.

Typical duties may include:

  • Responding to 911 calls and performing emergency medical assistance such as CPR
  • Assessing patient conditions and determining treatment
  • Using restraints to keep patients safe while in transport to the hospital
  • Creating patient care reports and relaying observations to hospital staff

2012 Median Annual Pay: $31,020

Job Outlook, 2012-22: 23% (much faster than average) [x]


Click here for more information on military careers, education and benefits. 

[i] studentveterans.org/what-we-do/million-records-project.html#data (Page 47)

[ii] studentveterans.org/what-we-do/million-records-project.html#data (Page 46)









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