Military Jobs that Prepare you for Civilian Careers


As potential recruits, it’s important for you to choose military jobs that prepare you for future civilian careers. This may be difficult to do since there are many options available. However, a service person can’t easily change his or her assigned job merely due to job dissatisfaction so it’s essential to make the right choices before enlisting. Therefore, it’s very beneficial to choose your potential future civilian careers before choosing your military occupations.

Common Errors

Many people make the mistake of choosing an occupation based on the current job outlook instead of the future job outlook. Others make the mistake of only choosing from the more traditional jobs without even taking into consideration the other choices available. However, it’s best to select specialty occupations that can lead into acquiring civilian jobs that have bright future outlooks with rapid growth expectations.

Currently, government officials are encouraging military personnel and their spouses to prepare for careers primarily in the healthcare and manufacturing industries. They are also highly recommending careers in the fields of emergency response, transportation and logistics. Additionally, service personnel are being advised to prepare themselves for careers as entrepreneurs and small business owners. There are several military jobs that prepare individuals for these civilian careers with the best outlooks and growth expectations.

Civilian Title vs. Military Title and Code

Potential enlistees may find it very beneficial to conduct comparisons of military job titles and civilian job titles. However, there may be several confusing issues that arise during this comparison. Much confusion is created due to the military’s use of a different set of job titles and job descriptions than those utilized by civilian employers. Many of the military occupations combine the duties and job descriptions of several civilian jobs all into a single military job title. Service personnel frequently do work that would typically cross into other occupational fields or other jobs in the same field if they were working in related civilian jobs.

To aid in distinguishing the various jobs within an occupational field, each branch of the service utilizes their own set of specific military codes and job titles. The Army and Marine Corps uses the term “Military Occupational Specialty “or “MOS” for these codes. The Navy and Coast Guard utilize the term “ratings” and the Air Force calls the codes “Air Force Specialty Codes” or “AFSC” for short.

Military Jobs that can Prepare you for a Civilian Career

Anyone can check into the desired job position’s specific military code. The code will help to identify any special requirements. Some fields are strictly limited to certain ranks or a specific branch of the service. Others may require serving an extended tour of duty. Some may offer assignments to a very limited number of duty stations. Since the enlistee will be holding the job for several years, all these factors should be considered when selecting a military career or occupation.

For instance, the Navy is the only service to offer a similar occupation as Cost Estimator to enlisted personnel. The Army is the only service that offers enlistees the choice of a MOS that is similar to Market Research Analyst. The Coast Guard is the only branch that provides enlistees jobs related to the Medical Assistants field, while the Air Force is the only branch that offers them employment as Dispensing Opticians.

There are too many civilian jobs and military specialty occupations to present them all in one article. However, here is a partial list of civilian jobs with bright outlooks and rapid growth that several military branches have similar occupations for. All of them are available to enlisted personnel:

  • Brick Mason/Block Mason (avg. annual salary: $46,800) – offered by the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy
  • Cargo & Freight Agents (avg. annual salary: $38,210) – offered by the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps
  • Cement Masons/Finishers (avg. annual salary: $35,600) – offered by the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy
  • Dental Assistant (avg. annual salary: $34,140) – offered by the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard and Navy
  • Dental Hygienist (avg. annual salary: $69,280) – offered by the Army, Air Force and Navy
  • Emergency Medical Technician/Paramedic (avg. annual salary: $30,710) – offered by the Army, Air Force and Navy
  • Interpreters/Translators (avg. annual salary: $44,160) – offered by the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy
  • Medical Equipment Repairer (avg. annual salary: $44,870) – offered by the Army, Air Force and Navy
  • Mental Health & Substance Abuse Social Workers (avg. annual salary: $39,230) – offered by the Army, Marine Corps and Navy
  • Radio, Cellular & Tower Equipment Installer ((avg. annual salary: $42,160) – offered by the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy
  • Refrigeration Mechanics & Installers (avg. annual salary: $43,380) – offered by the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy
  • Please note that the average salary given is for civilian pay rates and is not military pay rates. All military pay rates are based on rank and active duty status.

Available Resources

There are numerous sources online and offline that provide information about the various civilian jobs and career fields which also provide personality tests and skill assessments. Taking time for a bit of introspection and seeking advice from close family and friends may also help in this area. There are also many websites that offer information about the military specialties and choices available to service personnel. Some of these sites, such as and, allow people to compare civilian and military occupations. The potential enlistee will also be administered a series of aptitude and skills tests that will help match the person to the various military occupations available at the time of enlistment. Utilizing these various sources of information should provide all enlistees with sufficient information for choosing military jobs that prepare them for future civilian careers.

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