Top 10 Marine Corps Jobs in 2019

Marine and Army “bomb squad” guys arrange unexploded ordnance for demolition in Fallujah, Iraq. Credit: Defense.gov.

The Marine Corps offers over 180 different jobs, known as Military Occupational Specialities (MOSs), for its Marines. This can make it hard to narrow down the top 10 Marine Corps jobs. 

Of course, the higher score you get on your ASVAB and the more schooling you have under your belt, the greater your opportunities are. But what makes these 10 Marine Corps jobs the best, anyway? Well, we used three factors to determine our final list.

  • Do Marines with the particular MOS enjoy it? For the most accurate information, we’re looking at Indeed.com, which has thousands of reviews for almost any job out there.
  • Is the position highly compensated? We’re using average salaries according to Glassdoor.com. These can range greatly based on a Marine’s rank and experience.
  • Does the job have a direct civilian equivalent? Are you gonna get hired when you leave the military? 

So based on enjoyment, compensation and civilian hireability, here are the top 10 Marine Corps jobs in 2019.

For more, read our top 10 Navy ratings

 

10. Supply Chain and Material Management Specialist (3043)

MOS 3043 is admin work; perhaps not as exciting as being on the frontlines or blowing things up, but on the flipside, it comes with a lot less risk. Every unit needs admin. MOS 3043 specifically works to make sure their unit is properly supplied at all times. 

Review: “Overall, after 23 years in the USMC, I can say that it has been both a rewarding and satisfying career path. I enlisted at the rank of Private and have advanced to the rank of Major. If you are willing to put in the effort, 100% consistency, have good management skills, and act ethically, this is a great career choice.”

Average compensation: $50,000-$65,000.

Civilian equivalent? YES. Management experience looks great on a resume, and they’ll be hard-pressed to find a company who doesn’t have a position similar to this one. 

 

9. Air Traffic Controller (7257) 

As this MOS made it into our top 10 for Army, Navy, Air Force, and now Marines, it’s safe to say it’s a solid choice. Being an Air Traffic Controller is a high-pressure job, but no one joined the Marine Corps for a cakewalk (or at least I hope not). These men and women are an integral part of safety and direction in military aviation. 

Review: “What can I say? The best organization and occupational field available, IMHO. Reached the maximum allowable age for ATC and had to retire. Otherwise, I’d still be there.”

Average compensation: $50,000-$60,000.

Civilian equivalent? YES. ATC is needed in every airport, and military experience will be valued there. 

 

8. Cyber Security Technician (0689)

Gotta love communications! But seriously, this is a cool job. 0689s make sure that vital data and info is available at all times for the good guy, and on lockdown for the bad guy. Tech wizards excel here and earn some major exp (experience) points. 

Review: “Fun work place with supportive management. Everyone carries their own weight and does what is expected of them. I would continue working here as a civilian if possible.”

Average compensation: $65,000. 

Civilian equivalent? YES. Communication guys and gals are some of the most hireable out of the military, and with their computer skills their resume is bound to garner a lot of attention. 

 

7. Counterintelligence/Human Intelligence Specialist (0211)

It’s no secret why CI is part of our top 10 Marine Corps jobs — this off-the-wall MOS is straight out of a James Bond movie. With the priorities of American safety and intel, CI and HI work against enemy combatants and intel organizations on the regular. They may even go undercover to achieve these goals. 

Review: “This is a commitment rather than just a job. Each MOS is just as different from the next. Being in the Intelligence field has developed my professionalism to heights that would not have been reached by other means, really a great lifestyle in itself.”

Average compensation: $95,000.

Civilian equivalent? YES. 0211s can expect to get out of the military and right into a government job. The CIA and FBI are prime targets. 


A USMC counterintelligence unit meets with infantry operations to engage an enemy. Credit: DVIDS.

6. Basic Engineer, Construction, Facilities, And Equipment (1300)

This guy or gal is trained in welding, carpentry, engineering, demolition, operation of heavy machinery… the works. They are truly a Jack of All Trades, and not in the “Master of None” way. MOS 1300 is great for those who love to work with their hands! 

Review: “A typical day in the Corp is like no other. It begins with a 7am start to your morning that can end anywhere from 4:30 to 6:30pm. You start each day not knowing what is going to happen. As Marines, one of our talents is that we are trained to adapt and overcome new obstacles every day. Working with other Marines is the best joy of all.”

Average compensation: $90,000-$100,000.

Civilian equivalent? YES. 1300s can take these skills and be a tradesman pretty much anywhere in the civilian world. Picking their trade is a whole other can of worms. 

 

5. Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (2336)

Being an EOD technician isn’t something to take lightly. More popular since The Hurt Locker, MOS 2336 is extremely dangerous, yet fulfilling work. These Marines work on identifying and neutralizing all sorts of harmful situations — from unstable chemical or nuclear weapons, to IEDs and other bombs. 

Review: “Doing more with less, all day every day. The ultimate leadership training school, mixed with one of the greatest in-house fitness programs. Truly the few and the proud.”

Average compensation: $55,000.

Civilian equivalent? YES. The military isn’t the only entity in need of bomb pick-up. Working for civilian EOD or even on SWAT will suit 2336s well. 

 

4. Fiscal Management Resource Analyst (3451)

These Marines are the accountants of the military. They do a lot of fiscal bookkeeping; crunching numbers and budgeting to make sure everything looks good on paper. Resource allocation – especially with money – will make or break a unit’s success, which is why they land in our top 10 Marine Corps jobs. 

Review: “I was head Comptroller who oversaw a 7+ million dollar budget. I feel the reason I accelerated so quickly was due to my interest in the job along with my learning curve. There were many life lessons learned during my time as a Comptroller and I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.”

Average compensation: $80,000-$90,000.

Civilian equivalent? YES. 3451s should look for accountant or financial analyst positions, and likely won’t be hurting for money themselves. 

 

3. Combat Photographer (4641)

There’s not many jobs in the military that rank high in the “creative” category. MOS 4641 does. It’s dangerous, but showing people what happens on the other side of the world – in some of the most gruesome conflicts imaginable – is important work. It’s a job where you can not only educate people, but inspire emotion… sympathy, pain, anger… which is the basis of every important movement in history. 

Review: “It’s a lot of work but it’s a lot of fun. Every day was spent with the Marines in my shop, and you eventually become a family. Unfortunately, sometimes our job is also very sad. Being in a combat zone we do lose people. I’ve had to photograph gruesome situations and several memorials. The Marine Corps has given me much more than just a portfolio. I’ve learned to be fast and adaptable under high stress situations for long hours while following orders. I’ve never quit on the job and I can’t imagine doing it.” From an article by Tammy Hineline. 

Average compensation: $45,000.

Civilian equivalent? YES. Photographers with a solid resume and published work can look into employment with magazines and online media companies, or even strike out as freelancers. 


Photo taken by USMC Combat Photographer Tammy Hineline.

2. Avionics Maintenance Chief (6391)

MOS 6391 repairs and maintains all aircraft avionics systems. These NCOs are a little higher on the food chain, but you can start small in this field as well. Not only is their job vitally important, but it’s a great industry with lots of learning and advancement opportunities. 

Review: “Great work experience – would recommend it to anyone willing to handle stress and travel. There is no other job like it and the camaraderie is something that you will never forget.”

Average compensation: $70,000-$80,000.

Civilian equivalent? YES. Aviation maintenance is a quick-growing and lucrative field; no shortage of jobs there. 

 

1. Rifleman (0311)

Every Marine is a rifleman first — and for good reason. Yes, all jarheads are expected to know the basics of modern military weaponry. But MOS 0311 – Infantry Riflemen – are true marksmen. This job embodies what it means to be a Marine. First to fight, last out, and always working 1,000x harder than the next guy. 

Review: “If you’re young and want to see what you are truly capable of doing, then the U.S. Marines are the way to find out. I was 17 when I enlisted and had to have my mother sign me in. The following 5 years made me who I am today at the age of 47, and I can tell you I regret nothing. Physical training, leadership training, self confidence, a family of friends like no other. I could write a book on what I experienced. Yes there was danger and combat. It is not for everyone. But it was brilliant!”

Average compensation: $25,000-$35,000.

Civilian equivalent? YES and NO. Unfortunately, Infantrymen tend to have the hardest time finding civilian employment. While there’s no real equivalent to frontline combat, they can pursue careers as police or security officers with great success. Many also choose to go into hands-on employment with a higher pay grade, like logging or working on railroads. 

 

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