In January 2020, veteran unemployment reached a historic low, at 3.1 percent overall, down from 3.4 percent in 2019. This is a 20 year low, falling from its highest rate of 9.9 percent in 2011.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, this is the 17th month that the veteran unemployment rate was lower than the non-veteran unemployment rate, a historic feat in itself.
Many veterans are unaware of how advantageous their military careers and skills can look on a resume for a civilian job. However, the reality is veterans have the skills and work experience that make them a highly competitive candidate for many jobs in the private sector, especially in technical, security, healthcare, and management positions. According to Navy Federal, more than 250,000 military veterans transition to careers in the civilian sector each year.
A study conducted by Navy Federal and Hire Heroes USA ranked healthcare as the best career path for veterans. This career path is not only lucrative, it utilizes many of the skills obtained during military service. Jobs in this field range from nursing, to administration, to logistics, to data and records, to management and operations.
One out of four veterans ends up working in public administration or some aspect of the government after they transition out of the military. This field includes public affairs and administration, as well as program and project analysis. The leadership skills honed by veterans makes this field an easy and welcome transition for vets, and the opportunities for growth are usually plentiful.
A career in the defense field allows veterans to continue their work in service of defense of our country, and the jobs here a likely fit for many transitioning out of the military, with options for careers in intelligence, analysis, quality assurance, and contracts.
Information technology jobs are becoming much more plentiful and are usually quite lucrative, and lend themselves well to the skills of many previous military service members. Cybersecurity, data analysis, engineering, and data security are in high demand.
The financial services field is another great option for veterans, with competitive salaries and a wide range of positions available.
Law enforcement careers make for a natural transition for many military veterans and is a popular choice for those leaving the military, as it utilizes many similar skills and training.
Other popular fields for transitioning veterans include jobs in education, manufacturing, retail and transportation.
Below is a list of the top jobs (in no particular order) that are hiring veterans in 2020:
Operations Manager / Management Consultant
Job Description: Although specific job duties vary by position and company, operations managers usually manage the overall operations of the business. They are responsible for the efficient and successful management of labor, productivity, quality control, and safety measures. Possible duties include; interviewing, training new employees, assigning and directing work; addressing employee performance, and employee motivation. Identifying inefficiencies and making recommendations for improvements is a necessary skill for this job that veterans likely have mastered.
Median Salary: $98,100
Customer Service Representative
Job Description: Customer Service Representatives are the face of the organization. They are usually the ones talking face-to-face with the customers, answering product and service questions, as well as providing alternative suggestions for products and services. They also are in charge of handling complaints and processing orders.
Median Salary: $34,230
Information Technology Systems Manager
Job Description: This position is in charge of overseeing the computer activities of the organization. They also identify the technology needed to operate the organization effectively, thus requiring them to frequently update the organization’s computer technology.
Median Salary: $134,000
Accountant / Auditor
Job Description: Typical duties for accountants include; preparing balance sheets, profit and loss statements and other financial reports, as well as analyzing various trends and obligations to predict future revenue and expenses.
Median Salary: $51,000
First-Line Supervisor: Mechanics, Installers & Repairers
Job Description: These individuals are usually very experienced in what they do and are in charge of other employees. Particular job titles can range from maintenance manager and crew leader to production supervisor.
Median Salary: $64,000
Information Security Analyst
Job Description: Information Security Analysts monitor computer networks for security issues, install security measures and operate company software. This usually requires knowledge of various systems and information infrastructure including firewalls and data encryption programs.
Median Salary: $58,000
Job Description: Management consultants assist companies in solving various issues and create plans to maximize growth and business performance. They can also assist in developing any skills the company may be lacking.
Median Salary: $82,000
Job Description: A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice nurse. Duties vary, but are generally the ones assisting in all aspects of patient care including; diagnosis, treatments, and consultations.
Median Salary: $103,800
Job Description: Generally, registered nurses monitor, record and report symptoms or changes in a patient’s condition. They are the ones who perform diagnostic tests, prepare patients for exams and treatment, and supervise newly certified nurses.
Median Salary: $67,000
Job Description: Software engineers usually specialize in various areas including networks, operating systems, databases or applications. This position requires a strong proficiency in computer science as they are responsible for the update and evaluation of software.
Median Salary: $100,000
TopResume, 2018. Topresume.com.
Salary.com, 2018. Salary.com.
“Great Jobs for Military Veterans in 2017.” Career Cast Veterans Network, Adicio Inc, 2018. veteran.careercast.com/jobs-rated/2017-great-jobs-veterans.
United States. Congress. House. Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity. Examining 21st Century Programs and Strategies for Veteran Job Seekers: Hearing before the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, Second Session, Wednesday, June 15, 2016. U.S. Government Publishing Office, Washington, 2018.
Business Insider, 2019. Businessinsider.com.
U.S. Department of Labor, 2020. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/vets/latest-numbers