While working a job -- in the military or anywhere else -- it can seem at times like the task you do is so specific and limited that you'll never be qualified for anything else. Thankfully, while prevalent in the minds of many Americans, this is only a myth.
For the military specifically, the U.S. Department of Labor has set up a very handy conversion tool to help veterans see exactly what kinds of civilian jobs their military skills match up to. Through its Career One Stop website, the Department of Labor has set up a Military to Civilian Occupation Translator that aids those who want a civilian career similar to the one they had in the army, navy, air force or marines. Here are a few examples:
Military occupation: Information Security Technician (Marines)
Civilian job match: Network Systems and Data Communications Analyst
What they do: Network systems and data communications analysts are IT people whose responsibilities include designing, testing and analyzing communications systems, such as Internet, intranet, local-area networks (LANs) and wide-area networks (WANs). Tasks include monitoring system performance, adapting software and hardware, creating procedural instructions and setting up user accounts, among many others.
What they earn: $90,797 annual salary*
Job outlook: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for this occupation will increase a whopping 53% for the period 2008-2018.
Military occupation: Broadcast Operations Specialist (Navy)
Civilian job match: Radio and Television Announcer
What they do: Believe it or not, you don't have to go to a performing arts school to become a radio or television announcer. Military training can prepare you for this exciting -- though very competitive -- occupation. Duties include anything from reading news reports and conducting interviews to acting as master of ceremonies for live public events.
What they earn: $38,976 annual salary*
Job outlook: The BLS predicts that employment in this field will dip slightly, about 6%, for the period 2008-2018.
Military occupation: Mental Health Nurse (Air Force)
Civilian job match: Registered Nurse
What they do: Registered nurses (RNs) cover the gamut of duties associated with healing and health maintenance. They generally work alongside doctors but can perform numerous tasks for patients on their own. With regard to mental health in particular, registered nurses can become certified Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurses through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, but such credentialing is not necessary to work in the field.
What they earn: $71,692 annual salary*
Job outlook: The BLS predicts an employment increase for RNs of 22% for the period 2008-2018.
Military occupation: Acquisition Management Professional (Marines)
Civilian job match: Purchasing Manager
What they do: Purchasing managers oversee buyers of materials, products or services in a range of industries and for a range of purposes. Examples of responsibilities include analyzing market conditions to assess material availability; locating vendors and negotiating sale terms; reviewing purchases to ensure compliance with company policy; and directing the activities of other employees involved in the buying, selling and distributing of the materials or goods the company handles.
What they earn: $91,714 annual salary*
Job outlook: The need for purchasing managers is expected to remain about the same, increasing just 2% for the 2008-2018 period, according to the BLS.
*Represents the average annual salary listed on CBSalary.com
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