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Top Ten Jobs After Military Retirement

written by: ciel s cantoria•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 9/8/2011

The dominance of industries for aerospace & defense, as well as security & surveillance instruments and equipment, has opened up a wide-range of career posts after military life. Find out what, how, & why by exploring the information furnished in this list of top ten jobs after military retirement.

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    The Military Training and Experience for Civilian Careers

    800px-Flickr - The U.S. Army - www.Army.mil (177) 

    This article features a list of the top ten jobs after military retirement. Although they are civilian careers, most enlisted personnel have acquired the educational training and considerable work experience required by these currently prevalent businesses. Be it administrative or field occupations, there’s a job to land in these potential civilian career posts after military service.

    In line with this, enlisted servicemen can further boost their qualifications via the Post-9/11 GI Bill program. It is an educational program that encourages enlisted personnel to pursue college degrees by furnishing them with the tuition and other basic fees that they need.

    Take note that these high-paying jobs are currently experiencing growth in their respective industry sectors, and competition is expected to be keen. Many in the civilian sector are likewise vying for these positions. Explore the information provided in this career guide:

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    1. Program Manager – Aviation/Aerospace

    644px-X-31 Engine Fit Check 

    Candidates with military training in engineering, science, and technical operations, plus a bachelor’s degree related to aviation technologies like aerospace or mechanical engineering, are highly favored for these types of jobs.

    Most job postings require not only extensive aviation-related work experience for safety, maintenance, operations and quality control, but also the inter-personal and communications skills suitable for the aerospace and defense workplace.

    Some employers even require knowledge of another language, like French or Russian, since this position involves interfacing with multiple nationalities.

    Top Industry Hirers and Their Salary Offers:

    (1) Northrop Grumman Corporation - $103,612 - $170,326

    (2) Lockheed and Martin $111,910 - $153,590

    (3) The Boeing Company - $84,153- $131,831

    (4) L-3 Communications $111,910 - $153,590

    (5) USAF - $71,500 - $121,968

    US Cities Where This Job is Popular

    (1) San Diego, California; (2) Los Angeles, California; (3) Washington, District of Columbia; (4) Huntsville, Alabama; (5) Seattle, Washington; (6) Phoenix, Arizona; (7) El Segundo, California

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    2. Operations or Intelligence Analyst

    800px-Sense-making loop for analysts 

    This is another high-paying job where one’s military training, particularly in cryptology and counter proliferation, counter terrorism, and similar international issues will be harnessed. The intelligence analyst’s job takes into account not only current events but also their link to historical occurrences.

    Intelligence analysts are expected to have high levels of critical thinking abilities and a comprehensive understanding of what is currently taking place, in terms of geographical, environmental, social, economic, and political issues.

    A military retiree’s expertise in collecting, analyzing, and reporting geospatial metadata, combined with demonstrated working knowledge in network and telecommunication, will give the edge that would easily qualify a military retiree for this career.

    This profession is financially rewarding, but some employer’s require a Master’s degree in intelligence/security studies, aside from a BS degree in criminal justice, or a BA degree in history or political science. Due to the sensitivity of the position, government hirers require security background investigation and polygraph testing.

    Top Industry Hirers and Their Salary Offers:

    (1) Booz, Allen, and Hamilton $69,162 - $94,498

    (2) Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) $64,093 - $83,259

    (3) U.S. Air Force (USAF) $43,430 - $77,491

    (4) U.S. Army $35,925 - $72,930

    (5) U.S. Navy $30,631 - $70,194

    US Cities Where This Job is Popular

    (1) Washington, District of Columbia; (2) Tampa, Florida; (3) Arlington, Virginia; (4) San Antonio, Texas; (5) McLean, Virginia; (6) Fort Meade, Maryland; (7) Reston, Virginia

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    3. Operations Manager Logistics

    800px-US Army 53066 National Guardsman Keeps Ammo Moving 

    A veteran’s training and expertise in the movement of goods, equipment, and materials can make the military retiree function well in this career option. This managerial position involves directing a team of supervisors, who are in charge of handling the execution of schedules.

    The job also involves overseeing coordination with third-party logisticians, to identify the critical points to be considered in schedule executions. That way, timely deliveries and movement of goods are ensured. Hence, the leadership qualities of ex-military servicemen are highly regarded in this key position for the manufacturers and vendors of products in the commercial sector.

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    More of the Top Jobs After Military Retirement

    Operations Manager Logistics (continuatiion)

    Candidates with a Bachelor’s degree in logistics and supply chain management or business management and equivalent experience are highly qualified for this post-military career. Although the government sector is still the top employer for this particular job, employment opportunities are high in other industries involved in shipping, transportation, manufacturing, and distribution.

    Top Industry Hirers and Their Salary Offers:

    (1) U.S. Air Force (USAF) $49,480 - $83,581

    (2) U.S. Navy $51,395 - $88,437

    (3) U.S. Army $52,903 - $77,081

    (4) Target Corporation $49,392 - $72,908

    (5) Ryder Integrated Logistics Inc $41,312 - $58,448

    US Cities Where This Job is Popular

    (1) Houston, Texas; (2) Atlanta, Georgia; (3) New York, New York; (4) Chicago, Illinois; (5) Washington, District of Columbia; (6) Los Angeles, California and (7) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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    4. IT Program Manager

    Satellite TV channel demonstration at Camp America, Guantanamo 

    A military retiree’s exposure to high technology and its continuing advancements is largely associated with exposure to state-of-the art systems and equipment. Veterans who have had at least eight years of actual experience in the development, installation, and modification of computer operating systems will find themselves well-equipped to assume corporate key positions.

    As managers, they will be expected to lead and direct the work performed by those who are into exploring future operating systems needed by the organization, aside from contributing technical expertise to different teams.

    Those with BS degrees in computer science, information technology, or related technological courses are highly considered for this position. Since most civilian job hunters with these college degrees have become equally competitive in vying for these positions, a Master’s degree in computer science would give the military retiree an edge over his competitors.

    Top Industry Hirers and Their Salary Offers:

    (1) Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) $98,731 - $176,948

    (2) Hewlett-Packard Company $63,077 - $128,731

    (3) Government Contractors $84,923 - $115,436

    (4) Microsoft Corp $78,666 - $106,113

    (5) IBM Global Services $87,792 - $111,931

    (6) International Business Machines (IBM) Corp.$86,227 - $111,910

    US Cities Where This Job is Popular

    (1) Washington, District of Columbia (2) New York, New York (3) Dallas, Texas; (4) San Jose, California (5) Atlanta, Georgia (6) Chicago, Illinois (7) Houston, Texas

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    5. Pilot - Corporate Jet

    400px-US Navy 020511-N-1058W-515 A T-45 Goshawk launches from USS Harry S. Truman 

    Retired Air Force servicemen are highly trained in aircraft communication, safety awareness, and critical decision making; hence they are likely candidates for the job position of pilot-in-command of multiple types of jet aircraft. The discipline they have acquired in implementing plans and their rigid observance of conduct for safe flights based on ground and flight operational directives would meet a corporate hirer’s high standards for these types of responsibilities.

    All of these, of course, require a good working knowledge of federal aviation as well as domestic and international regulations and requirements. Air force veterans with BS degrees in aeronautical science or management combined with at least ten years of related experience are considered highly qualified for these jobs. Certifications and accreditations for related computer systems offer additional advantages.

    Top Industry Hirers (Salary Data are not available at this writing but Payscale’s National Salary Data for this job’s average annual salaries, including bonuses and profit sharing, range from $58,085 to $103,286.)

    (1) Netjets, Inc. $80,231 - $127,064

    (2) Flight Options, LLC. - No available data

    (3) Reading Bakery Systems - No available data

    (4) Hawker Beechcraft Corporation - No available data

    (5) West Coast Charters Inc. - No available data

    US Cities Where This Job is Popular:

    (1) Dallas, Texas (2) Houston, Texas (3) Chicago, Illinois (4) Miami, Florida (5) Los Angeles, California (6) Denver, Colorado (7) Charlotte, North Carolina

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    What other career posts after military retirement could an ex-serviceman land? Read this page for brief overviews of security manager jobs, training and development managers, and field engineer occupations. Find out if your seven-to-ten years of service in the military will fit these jobs. Learn how much you're bound to earn if your qualifications meet the job requirements.
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    6. Security Manager

    800px-FEMA - 40945 - Security Manager with Brantley Co.DRC Manager 

    One of the most in-demand jobs after military service is the security manager. The qualifications that would meet the specialized type of security being sought by certain government sectors and most industrial entities are often found among candidates with considerable military background.

    Manufacturers handling and dealing with highly restricted and monitored materials prefer security professional with wide-ranging knowledge in securing their company records and materials. There is also the matter of expertise in implementing effective systems that will allow limited access or permission to visit the company’s plants and offices.

    Hirers also consider those with in-depth skills for interpreting government regulations related to compliance concerns and possible deviations that may put the company in precarious situations.

    Military retirees who hold Bachelor's degrees in the science of criminal justice or business management combined with their related actual military experience have the highest potential for this position.

    Top Industry Hirers and Their Salary Offers:

    (1) Lockheed Martin Corp $51,225 - $94,615

    (2) U.S. Army - $51,815 - $75,310

    (3) U.S. Air Force (USAF) - $56,120 - $62,333

    (4) Alliedbarton $32,000 - $60,166

    (5) The Macerich Company - $42,249 - $57,391

    US Cities Where This Job is Popular:

    (1) Houston, Texas (2) Chicago, Illinois (3) Washington, District of Columbia (4) New York, New York (5) Orlando, Florida (6) Miami, Florida (7) Atlanta, Georgia

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    7. Senior Training and Development Manager

    2nd Class Athena Stovall, assigned to Commander U.S. 3rd Fleet in San Diego, scans the network on her computer for intrusions during a cyber war training course at the S 

    Industries involved in providing globally demanded innovations in systems, products, and solutions for shipbuilding, aerospace, defense, information systems, technical services, and electronic devices related to security of operations for both government and commercial organizations are among the top industries who seek highly qualified ex-military candidates for this job.

    The successful applicants hired for this particular profession will provide consulting services for the company’s clients related to cyber training and doctrines. As managers, they will be in charge of teams comprising cyber experts. As a team, they will identify the educational support and training needed by all personnel involved in the supervision and execution of the product or service provided by the employer-company.

    BS degree holders in organizational management, business administration or communication, with a Master’s degree and 10 years' experience related to Military Education Level (MEL) 3, Security + Top Secret Clearance (eligible for SCI access), Cyber Warfare, and Major Subordinate Command are the most basic requirements for this managerial job. Military retirees who have excellent communication and computer skills combined with these areas of knowledge and practical experience are likely choices for this post-military career.

    Top Industry Hirers (Salary Data are not available but Payscale’s National Salary Data for this job’s average annual salaries, including bonuses, commissions and profit sharing, range from $48,029 to $81,481.)

    (1) Northrop Grumman (2) AT&T Inc. (3) Schneider Electric Ltd (4) Astrazeneca, United States (5) Enterprise Rent-A-Car Co

    US Cities Where This Job is Popular:

    (1) Chicago, Illinois (2) New York, New York (3) Houston, Texas (4) Atlanta, Georgia (5) San Antonio Texas (6) Orlando, Florida (7) Dallas, Texas

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    8. Field Service Engineer

    800px-US Navy 030501-N-9999F-001 NAVAIR tactical acoustic measurement and decision aid sonobuoy system (known as TAMDA) team harvests oceanographic parameters in the Gulf of Mexico 

    Most military personnel have acquired training in installing and fixing equipment in various sites in and out of the country. Their wide range of expertise is considered a good resource for training and leadership, in industries with relatively similar concerns.

    Multinational companies dealing with medical equipment, electrical, electronic, and engineering equipment, the gas and oil industries, and the telecommunications sector are only some of the commercial areas where this job is highly in demand.

    Ex-military personnel who are graduates with BS degrees in mechanical engineering, electronics engineering, electrical engineering, and aerospace engineering have a large potential to land on this job.

    Top Industry Hirers (Salary Data are not available but Payscale’s National Salary Data for this job’s average annual salaries, including bonuses, commissions and profit sharing, range from $46,488 to $68,594.)

    (1) Siemens

    (2) Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation

    (3) Eastman Kodak Company

    (4) ALSTOM Power, Inc

    (5) L-3 Communications

    US Cities Where This Job is Popular:

    (1) Houston, Texas (2) Atlanta, Georgia (3) Orlando, Florida (4)San Diego, California (5) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (6) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (7) Chicago, Illinois

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    9. Instrumentation Engineering Technician/Technologist

    800px-S104e5092 

    Military training and background in maintaining, calibrating, repairing, and troubleshooting industrial instruments and equipment would qualify an ex-serviceman for this job. Commercial industrial companies have to conform to high standards in the practices and procedures involved in carrying out various phases of manufacture. Thus they need to rely on individuals with high levels of training and expertise to ensure that the decisions and judgments applied by the support team will ensure that operational tasks are accomplished with considerable efficiency.

    The eligible candidate is a holder of a BS degrees in electrical engineering and duly certified as a Professional Engineer; or someone with certification as an Electrical Technologist combined with at least 10 years' experience in PLC, DCS, and instrumentation skills for heavy industries, particularly those that make use of plants for chemical technology.

    Top Industry Hirers (Salary Data are not available but Payscale’s National Salary Data for this job’s average annual salaries, including bonuses and profit sharing, range from $45, 596 to $76,420.)

    (1) British Petroleum (BP) (2) International Paper Co (3) ExxonMobil Corporation (4) American Electric Power (AEP) (5) Valero Energy Corp.

    US Cities Where This Job is Popular:

    (1) Farmington, New Mexico (2) Houston, Texas (3) Fort Worth, Texas (4) Dallas, Texas

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    10. Traffic Manager-Logistics

    800px-NASA New Virtual Airport - GPN-2000-001770 

    Transport and logistics are the most common training skills acquired by military servicemen; hence their capabilities are considered highly suitable for tasks that involve maintaining mobility in transport and distribution procedures. High levels of efficiency in delivering goods that result in minimization of delivery costs are expected to optimize customer satisfaction at the greatest heights possible.

    Competition among commercial wholesaling and retailing is stiff, thus the need for a traffic manager who can efficiently handle the flow of merchandise distribution.

    Most hirers require that candidates should have earned BS degrees in logistic and supply chain management or business management with at least seven years' experience in the related concepts, practices, and procedures in the logistics field.

    Top Industry Hirers (Salary Data are not available but Payscale’s National Salary Data for this job’s average annual salaries, including bonuses and profit sharing, range from $40,130 - $66,538.)

    (1) U.S. Air Force (USAF) (2) Harold's Stores, Inc. (3) Johnson Controls Inc

    US Cities Where This Job is Popular:

    (1) New York, New York (2) San Diego, California (3) Houston, Texas (4) Minneapolis, Minnesota (5) Chicago, Illinois (6) Atlanta, Georgia

    Explore other career posts after military service aside from these top ten jobs after military retirement. The career opportunities included in this list are based on salary offers, indicated job growth, and popular demand for the position.

    Looking for more options? Check out the rest of Bright Hub's collection of career guides and profiles.






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