Serving in the military can lead to many exciting opportunities, both within the armed forces and after rejoining civilian life. But if you’ve finished serving in the military and aren’t sure what’s next in your career, consider some of the high demand occupations our economy needs, and also learn about educational opportunities the U.S. Department of Labor offers to veterans.
Mynextmove.org, a tool created for the Department of Labor to offer job seekers and students, has a specific part of their site dedicated to veterans and the employment resources available to them, called My Next Move for Veterans. Among these great resources is information about the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program, which offers up to 12 months of training assistance, to unemployed veterans between the ages of 35 and 60, towards an associate degree or certificate that leads to a high demand occupation.
Learn more about training opportunities for these in-demand jobs at VRAP, or browse openings for these jobs today:
Brickmasons and blockmasons*
2010 Median Pay: $46,930
Job outlook, 2010-20: 40 percent (much faster than average)
Description: Brickmasons and blockmasons use bricks and concrete blocks to build fences, walkways, walls and other structures. Although most masons learn through a formal apprenticeship, some learn informally on the job. Others learn through one- or two-year mason programs at technical colleges.
2010 Median Pay: $68,250
Job outlook, 2010-20: 38 percent (much faster than average)
Description: Dental hygienists clean teeth, examine patients for oral diseases such as gingivitis and provide other preventative dental care. They also educate patients on ways to improve and maintain good oral health. Dental hygienists typically need an associate’s degree in dental hygiene. Every state requires dental hygienists to be licensed.
Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics
2010 Median Pay: $30,360
Job outlook, 2010-20: 33 percent (much faster than average)
Description: EMTs and paramedics care for the sick or injured in emergency medical settings. People’s lives often depend on their quick reaction and competent care. EMTs and paramedics respond to emergency calls, performing medical services and transporting patients to medical facilities. All EMTs and paramedics must complete a formal training program and all states require EMTs and paramedics to be licensed.
Heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers
2010 Median Pay: $42,530
Job outlook, 2010-20: 34 percent (much faster than average)
Description: Heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers–often referred to as HVACR technicians–work on heating, ventilation, cooling and refrigeration systems that control the air quality in many types of buildings. Because HVACR systems are increasingly complex, employers generally prefer applicants with postsecondary education or those who have completed a formal apprenticeship. Some states and localities require technicians to be licensed.
Medical equipment repairers
2010 Median Pay: $44,490
Job outlook, 2010-20: 31 percent (much faster than average)
Description: Medical equipment repairers install, maintain and repair patient care equipment. Employers generally prefer candidates who have an associate’s degree in biomedical technology or engineering. Depending on the area of specialization, a bachelor’s degree may be needed, especially for advancement.
2010 Median Pay: $34,660
Job outlook, 2010-20: 12 percent for all secretaries and administrative assistants (although medical secretaries are expected to have much-faster-than-average employment growth)
Description: Medical secretaries perform routine clerical and organizational tasks and organize files, draft messages, schedule appointments and support other staff. High school graduates with basic office and computer skills usually qualify for entry-level secretarial positions.
Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors
2010 Median Pay: $38,120
Job outlook, 2010-20: 27 percent (faster than average)
Description: Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors advise people who have alcoholism or other types of addiction, eating disorders or other behavioral problems. They provide treatment and support to help the client recover from addiction or modify problem behaviors. Educational requirements range from a high school diploma to a master’s degree, depending on the setting, type of work, state regulations and level of responsibility.
*All median annual pay figures, job descriptions and job growth levels are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook.