Joining the military is a huge commitment. New recruits often see the military as a way to get a college education or as a career path. However, it’s important to think about how the top military jobs convert to civilian careers unless you plan to spend your entire life in the military.
Understanding the top military jobs that transfer to civilian jobs can help set you up for a military career now and a civilian career later. Not all military jobs translate into a job once you decide it’s time to get out of the military. However, some of the jobs offered by the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force will lead to excellent jobs after military service.
Best Military Jobs Leading to Civilian Careers
Those looking to join the military and later continue their work as a civilian have a variety of great career choices. The military will provide excellent training, but some of the best military jobs leading to civilian jobs will require additional education.
A wide variety of job options are offered by the military including engineering, design, healthcare, and much more. Let’s look at five of the top military jobs for those looking to continue their career as a civilian.
As a translator or interpreter, you’ll be offered a civilian salary of about $46,000. This specific job is expected to see incredible growth over the next few years.
The U.S. Army offers training as a translator or interpreter. The duties of this job include providing or interpreting between military personnel and the local population, along with written translation services. As a civilian, you’d likely perform many of the same duties.
After enlisting in the Army, you will need to make sure you get the right training to become a translator or interpreter. The Army offers plenty of programs through the Defense Language Institute to ensure you have the foreign language skills necessary.
Multimedia Artist and Animator
With a median salary of around $65,000, becoming a multimedia artist and animator may be appealing when choosing to join the military. This specific military job translates well to civilian life and offers a decent amount of growth.
As a multimedia illustrator in the Army, you will create artwork and images used for posters, commercials, animations, and publications. You will gain training with specific digital graphics software programs and you may also learn traditional drawing methods.
Once you’ve completed your military service, this specific type of job translates into a career in the multimedia industry. In some cases, a bachelor’s degree in graphic arts, animation, or fine art will be required to land a civilian job in this field.
One of the highest paying jobs that translate from military to civilian is the Nurse Anesthetist. This job comes with a median salary of around $160K and offers a very high growth rate. It’s an advanced nursing position with job duties including administering anesthesia to patients before and during surgery. Military healthcare facilities employ nurse anesthetists and after military service, you’ll likely work at a hospital.
Military training won’t be enough to become a nurse anecdotist, however. You will need a master’s degree in nursing anesthesia. Those wanting to take this career path will need to be 21 to 42 years old before joining the military.
A well-paying civilian career the military can prepare you for, a civil engineer makes approximately $83K per year. This position does require a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Once you’ve obtained your degree, you can join the U.S. Air Force as a civil engineer and gain advanced training and experience. You’ll work with maintaining specific structures, such as buildings and bridges, along with drafting and designing new structures.
As a civilian, you’ll likely work with a company that builds bridges, roads, dams, airports, and other structures. With military experience and a bachelor’s degree, this can be a very rewarding civilian career.
Emergency Management Director
An Emergency Management Director makes about $70K per year and this is another job expected to grow over the next few years. You won’t need a college degree to pursue this position in the U.S. Air Force. As long as you have a high school diploma or your GED, you can enter the military and gain training to become an Emergency Management Director.
You’ll be trained to respond to disasters with the right plans as you lead a team through emergency operations. As a civilian, the tasks you will perform are very similar. Often, it can be hard to find a job as an Emergency Management Director in the civilian world without multiple years of training and experience. By joining the Air Force, you can gain the training and experience you need to succeed in this field.
Other military jobs that transfer to civilian jobs will include:
- Dental Assistant – Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard
- Cargo & Freight Agents – Marines, Air Force, and Army
- Medical Equipment Repairer – Navy, Army, and Air Force
- Paramedic – Navy, Army, and Air Force
- Radio, cellular & Tower Equipment Installer – Marines, Navy, Army, and Air Force
- Brick Mason/Block Mason – Marines, Navy, and Air Force
There are several great jobs in the military that translate well to civilian jobs after service. When you decide to enlist, make sure you consider what you will do after military service. The military can prepare you for a wonderful civilian career, but it starts with the military job you choose when you enlist.