There are many ways for veterans and service personnel to make money other than wearing the uniform. Service members have several options when it comes to earning a living outside of active duty service.
If you have prior military experience, you are likely to excel in the following careers.
Small Business Ownership
To be a successful entrepreneur, you need great organizational skills, and a lot of internal drive and self-discipline, which makes small business ownership the perfect choice for those who have a military background. All you need is a great idea and some capital to get started building your business empire!
Successfully launching, and later managing, a business is a tough task for anyone. It’s especially difficult if you don’t have any previous business experience. To learn the ropes, novice entrepreneurs can take business courses at a local college.
The U.S. Government’s Small Business Administration (SBA). offers educational programs and a host of additional services to veterans and other small business owners, including acting as a guarantor for loans to help owners fund or expand their business venture.
Learn from the Success of Others
There are also several franchise opportunities for veterans that make it easy and lucrative to own and operate a business. Often, no prior business experience is necessary to successfully run a franchise operation; most franchises share their processes and best practices with their franchise owners. Many of the most profitable chain restaurants, delivery services, construction companies and movers are owned and operated by franchise owners.
Other options to make it easier to run a business include taking on a more experienced partner to help with the day-to-day operations, or to seek a mentor to act as a sounding board when developing strategic business plans and making decisions.
Veterans can share their expertise by getting into teaching. Certification requirements to teach in public k-12 schools vary widely from one state to the next.
Veterans that enjoy traveling should consider opportunities to share their knowledge and skills abroad. If you want to teach in a foreign country, an increasingly popular choice is to teach English as a foreign language.
Requirements will vary from one country to the next, but instructors generally do not need as much experience if they offer tutoring or private lessons rather than teaching classes through a school or university.
The demand for nurses remains high in many states. This makes it a relatively easy field to get started in, whether you were a nurse in the military, or have very limited nursing experience!
For example, many enter nursing by training to be a certified nursing assistant (CNA). Educational programs for this job are typically completed in 4 to 12 weeks of combined instruction and clinical practice. Other positions, such as licensed practical nurse (LPN) and registered nurse (RN), require hundreds of additional hours of training, clinical practice and testing before candidates can become licensed to practice.
While the overall shortage of nurses seems to be abating somewhat, the demand for RNs is expected to grow 15% from now until 2026. The need for registered nurses is so great that some medical facilities are assisting students with their educational costs in exchange for a signed commitment to work for them for a few years.
Putting Your Military Occupation Specialty to Work for You
Military personnel often have jobs with a direct civilian counterpart. Even when they don’t, they typically pick up a diverse range of skills during their service that makes them ideal candidates for most civilian occupations.
A popular choice for many servicemen and women is to choose a career as a first responder. This field includes positions in law enforcement, firefighting and others that typically respond to some kind of emergency situation as the primary source of help.
It requires a great deal of determination and personal responsibility to be successful in the military, which makes it easier to lead others in civilian life. Many veterans succeed in sales as well as management roles because of the leadership experience they gained in the military.
Of course, there are a host of other employment opportunities that are great career choices if you have a military background. For a perfect fit, focus on finding a job that involves using your personal skill set, as well as your interests and passions!