5 great jobs for veterans

PayScale's list of the best jobs for veterans, based on median pay with 10 years of experience and worker satisfaction

Veteran handshake

If you’re a veteran transitioning from active duty or returning from a deployment, you’re probably thinking about your future, and that means a job. You may even be looking for something that takes advantage of your military service.

PayScale pulled together a list of the best jobs for veterans, based on median pay with 10 years of experience and worker satisfaction.

Intelligence analyst


Intel analysts spend much of their time assessing matters of important strategic value and forming contingency plans and response actions. Not surprisingly, intelligence agencies employ these types of jobs and 70 percent of intel analysts are former military members. Seventy percent of people report good job satisfaction, PayScale found.

Retired Lt. Col. John Phillips (@jpredleg) believes that military experience lends itself to this type of job because you have to have an attention-to-detail. “Think of all the inspections you have.” This eye for detail, Phillips says, has to be demonstrated to potential employers. He believes that carrying that level of observation to the civilian world can an immense help to civilian businesses.

Aerospace program manager


Forty percent of all program managers in the aerospace sector are former members of the military. With a median pay of $117,300 and an overall job satisfaction of 92 percent, this job is attractive to folks who have worked on aircraft while in the military. Whether it is designing a new and technical product or modifying the current means of production, program management is a complex and rewarding field.

While heading up a project may be intimidating to some, don’t undersell yourself. Phillips believes that military members are more qualified than they believe. “When you’re shooting artillery, you have to coordinate with everyone,” he says. Those same skills can transfer to the business world. “You have to coordinate sales, operations, finance, building a budget, a capital budget.”

Information systems security engineer


It is no surprise that veterans of our military are often assumed to be competent in security protocol and procedure. “(Veterans are) dependable, responsible, accountable. Those are big words,” says Phillips. It is natural to think that former military members can excel in a field that is dedicated to protecting vital information of a business. Our third choice is information systems security engineer because they receive great pay at around $113,300 after working in the field for 10 years. Twenty-six percent of people in this field served in the armed forces at one point and overall job satisfaction was listed high at 73 percent.

Safety manager


Safety managers have an important role in the overall productivity of the companies for which they work and are fourth on PayScale’s list. With a median pay of $76,800 and a job satisfaction of 80 percent, it may be easy to see why some veterans may want to end up in this job. As a safety manager, it is your responsibility to author, implement or oversee safety programs in the company for which you work.

IT network engineer


Rounding out our list at No. 5 is information technology network engineer. As the U.S. military remains at the forefront of many technical and computer advancements, veterans are leaving with pertinent jobs skills. IT network engineers are paid around $76,100 after 10 years in the field and 23 percent of them have military experience. According to an article from CNN listing this as a top growing job, “They are the plumbers of the computer world. Network engineers design and install the high-tech pipes that keep information flowing and then stick around to fix leaks and clogs.” These dedicated tech professionals manage companies’ network infrastructure and are the trusted in-house professional.

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