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A veteran’s unique skill set is sought after by many employers. From strategic planning to the demonstration of leadership, veterans can rely on skills they gained in the military transferring to a variety of industries. But the transition from the military into a civilian career can be an overwhelming experience. To help jump-start the process, we’ve compiled a list of common career paths and salary information in the top industries for veterans, according to Military.com.

Industry: Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, Emergency Responders

A career in criminal justice and law enforcement is a good fit for someone with the ability to work well under stress. Preventing crime, enforcing legal regulations, and providing support for victims are some of the components that encompass careers in this field.

Job titles include: Police officer, state trooper, corrections officer, deputy sheriff, bailiff, security guard, private detective, criminal investigator.

Median annual wages 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018 national median annual wages for careers in criminal justice, law enforcement and emergency responders include:

  • Security guards – $28,530
  • EMTs and Paramedics – $34,320
  • Public Safety Telecommunicators – $40,660
  • Corrections officers and jailers – $44,330
  • Bailiffs – $45,760 
  • Firefighters – $49,620 
  • Private investigators and detectives – $50,090
  • Forensic Science Technicians – $58,230
  • Fire Inspectors – $60,200
  • Police and detectives – $63,380 

Education requirements

Entry-level positions generally require a high school diploma or GED. Most law enforcement careers require advanced coursework and training, including an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

Take the next step 

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Career Test Prep

Police Officer Practice Tests Plus+

Corrections Officer Practice Tests Plus+

State Trooper Exam Practice Tests Plus+

Court Officer Practice Tests Plus+

Parole Officer Exam Practice Tests Plus+

Probation Officer Exam Practice Tests Plus+

Police Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Caption Promotion Practice Tests Plus+

Firefighter Exam Practice Tests Plus+

EMT Exam Practice Tests Plus+

Industry: Construction and Extraction

The construction industry is ever-evolving, and requires skilled craftspersons to build and maintain our infrastructure. Careers in this field require leadership skills and are ideal for those who enjoy working with their hands. 

Job duties may include: Installation of materials, maintenance, or repair, project scheduling, cost estimating, and safety planning. 

National median annual wages

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018 national median annual wages for careers in construction and extraction include:

  • Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers – $41,380
  • Carpenters –  $46,590
  • Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers – $47,610
  • Plumbers, pipefitters, & steamfitters – $53,910
  • Electricians – $55,190
  • Construction and Building Inspectors – $59,700
  • Boilmakers – $62,150
  • Landscape architects – $68,230
  • Civil Engineers – $86,640
  • Construction managers – $93,370

Education requirements

Construction equipment operators, laborers, and helpers are known to learn on the job as apprentices and may require a high school diploma or equivalent. Construction managers generally require a bachelor’s degree.

Take the next step

Careers in this field may require the use of mathematics, computer skills, and the understanding of business fundamentals.

Colleges with construction programs

Colleges with civil engineering programs

Industry: Transportation and Logistics

Careers in transportation or logistics require strategic planning, the ability to think on your feet and attention to detail.

Job duties may include: the analysis of an organization’s supply chain or data; the safe transportation of consumers or of goods; the coordination of aircraft movements

National median annual wages

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018 national median annual wages for careers in transportation and logistics include:

  • Automotive and watercraft service attendants – $24,200
  • Quality Control Inspectors – $38,250
  • Traffic technicians – $46,570
  • Rail transportation workers – $55,410
  • Cost Estimators – $64,040
  • Logisticians – $74,600
  • Commercial Airline Pilots – $82,240
  • Management Analysts – $83,610
  • Industrial Production Managers – $103,380
  • Air Traffic Controller – $124,540

Education requirements

Entry-level quality control inspectors require a high school diploma or equivalent. Commercial pilots require training and licensure from the Federal Aviation Administration. Logisticians, cost estimator, and management analysts require a bachelor’s degree.

Take the next step

Careers in this field may require the use of mathematics, computer skills, and the understanding of business fundamentals.

Colleges with logistics management programs

Colleges with manufacturing programs

Many colleges offer services on campus to help veterans find the right career path. If you need guidance with finding the right college, our College Search Tool will help you find the best fit. In addition, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs offers resources on career and employment assistance.