What Sort of Jobs Do Veterans Excel At? The Top 10 Part 2

The troubles that veterans have translating their military experience over their career into civilian jobs and civilian terms is not a new one, but that makes it no less difficult to figure out for a veteran just after discharge. Most veterans have years of experience under their belts, and are very qualified for a large number of jobs, but can have a hard time making the transition to a civilian career. It’s not uncommon for a veteran to have up to 10 years experience in a certain field but have not degree in it. Many veterans shoulder more responsibility in their military career than any of their degree-bearing civilian counterparts, but have a difficult time applying their skills in the civilian job market.


CareerCast.com, a website that provides detailed career information and job listings has found that most veterans are far more qualified than they realize, and can get very well-paying jobs. Tony Lee, the publisher of CareerCast.com, says that as many as 100 veterans a month send emails to CareerCast looking for help with their job search. While most veterans have no idea how qualified they are for great jobs, most employers also don’t realize just how great of candidates many veterans are. According to Lee, “There’s a real perception among employers that veterans are very difficult to hire,” but the opposite is true; when matched with the correct jobs, veterans are often even more qualified than civilians.

CareerCast has put together a list of what it considers to be the 10 best jobs for veterans to look for. They made this list in an effort to help veterans that are seeking jobs find one that works for them and that they will successfully fill and be able to move up from. CareerCast used the resources and data already at its disposal to compile the list, drawing from their annual best and worst job listing (which ranks 200 jobs on 100 different criteria). CareerCast then evaluated the skills and experience that vets are statistically likely to bring to a job and try to match those skills with in-demand jobs. One thing you’ll notice as you read the list, is that four of the ten jobs have the word “manager” in them. That is because veterans often have leadership experience that dwarfs a fresh civilian college grad.

The first job listed is an Administrative Services Manager. An ASM is much like a Chief Operating Officer on a lower level. An ASM deals heads up the facilities management group, allocates office space, often oversees the mail department, schedules the use of materials, and does many other things related to the facilities. A veteran is often a good fit for this job because veterans bring significant team building experience and oversight qualities. CareerCast considers this job to be a natural fit for most veterans, and has an average annual median salary of $81,080, which makes it definitely sufficient to provide a decent life for a veteran and his or her family.

Job number 2 on the list is Construction Program Manager. CareerCast describes this job as follows: “An improvement in construction prospects around the nation coincides with increased demand for veteran hiring. The construction industry has been near the forefront of that push, recruiting construction program managers from such sources as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the implementation of the Final Rule for companies that accept government contracts will open further opportunities to veterans with disabilities in the construction industry.” A Construction Program Manager is responsible for overseeing workers at a construction site. He or she will read blueprints, order materials, supervise the overall construction and demolition, and is directly responsible for hiring, firing, and training workers as needed. The median annual salary for this job: $82,790, a very respectable living.

The third job on the list is an Emergency Medical Technician (more commonly known as an EMT). While an EMT only has an average annual salary of $31,020, it’s the type of job that most veterans thrive in, and does provide opportunities to advance. Even better, more than half of states offer a Military Skills Waiver Test for certification, so often a veteran does not even need to go through the hoops of certification. EMT jobs are fast-paced, high-pressure jobs, and a veteran’s discipline augments a veteran’s experience and training in regards to healthcare support. See Part 2 for the last seven jobs.



What Sort of Jobs Do Veterans Excel At? The Top 10

This list is continued from a previous article, where we covered the first three jobs on the list: Administrative Services Manager, Construction Program Manager, and Emergency Medical Technician. Here we’ll cover the last seven jobs in CareerCast.com’s list of best jobs for Veterans in 2014.


The fourth job is Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver. While not the most glamorous of jobs, many truck drivers thrive on the freedom that driving affords them. Truck Drivers have an average Annual salary of $38,200, which isn’t going to buy you that Lamborghini you’ve always wanted, but will be enough for you to enjoy a comfortable life with your family. CareerCast.com has the following to say about this job: “Many U.S. trucking companies are facing skills gaps, which makes filling vital positions increasingly difficult. Legislation passed in late 2012 is aimed to help the industry meet the 21% growth in trucking industry jobs that the BLS estimated by 2020. The legislation also eases licensing restrictions for service people who have frequently moved, and thus might not otherwise be able to receive state certification.”

Fifth in line we have the Industrial engineering Technician. An Industrial Engineering Technician applies engineering theory and principles to solve problems in an industrial layout or manufacturing production. The Technician is usually supervised by a member of the engineering staff, and often studies and records time, motion, method, and speed in regards to the operations of the factory or plant. The Technician plays an important role in establishing standard production rates and improving efficiency. An Industrial Engineering Technician provides an annual average salary of $50,890 and can also be great experience to leverage an engineering degree after you’ve completed school.

Number six is an Industrial Production Manager. According to America’s Job Exchange, An Industrial Production manager is “Responsible for managing and directing production activities within an industrial facility or organization. Coordinates the production of goods, ensures machines are repaired and running smoothly, and manages workers on production line.” This job makes the list because it’s compatible with many of the skills that veterans take with them after discharge, as well as the renewed emphasis on the manufacturing industry as part of the economic recovery, which makes for a good deal of openings in this industry. The average IPM makes $89,910 annually.

The seventh job in the list is a Paralegal and legal Assistant. These make an average salary of $46,990 and are often a great fit for veterans because of a good deal of on-the-job training during military service and because the field is expected to grow by 17% by the year 2020. Paralegals are the direct assistants to an attorney, and their main job is to assist the lawyer however necessary. Paralegal’s carry out legal research, draft legal documents, prepare cases when assigned, and can assist in carrying out investigations in relation to a case. A paralegal may also interview witnesses and also perform administrative duties.

Job number eight is a Software Engineer. Software Engineers make a good deal of money with an average annual salary of $85,430, and often love their job quite a bit. With the growth of information technology, computer science, software development, and other technology-related jobs in the armed forces, more and more veterans are leaving the military with extensive experience and training that many software companies find extremely valuable.

Number nine is a Telecommunications Equipment Installer and Repairer. This job has a very long name, but it is very appropriate to many veterans leaving the military. It has a fair average salary of $54,530, and veterans with telecommunications experience are a shoe-in. CareerCast offers this to say about this job: “Each branch of the military deal
s with the most sophisticated telecommunications equipment in the world. The technicians charged with installing and maintaining this equipment enter the workforce with unparalleled insight and applied knowledge which typically exceeds the skills offered by recent college graduates who lack this real-world experience.”

And last but not least, number 10 is a Training and Development Manager. America’s Job Exchange describes a TDM as follows: “Responsible for creating and implementing training programs and overseeing the development of careers. Sets performance metrics, evaluates productivity, and helps workers create long-term career plans within an organization.” A TDM has an average annual salary of $95,400, making it the most lucrative job in the list.

Top 5 Reasons to Choose Mortgage Broker as a Career

Why on earth would anyone choose to be a mortgage broker in these hard economic times? If given the choice with all the issues in the housing market, you might think me or anyone else a fool to get started in this industry.

But I am here to dispel this myth and shed some light on why mortgage brokering can be a great employment choice.

My Path to a Secure Job in the Mortgage Industry

I have been doing loans since 2001. In fact, it was right after the 9/11 tragedy that I started. Before becoming a mortgage broker, I managed financial accounts with companies like Sprint, American Express, and Fleet credit cards. I worked for a company that handled these accounts, which seemed to be good for me at the time.

I thought that I must work for the “MAN” to be successful and earn a decent wage, but I was wrong. The company started downsizing, and I took a 50% pay cut on my salary. This was extremely bad for me financially because my wife stopped working and we had just had our first child. Because job security working for corporate America was not secure anymore, I figured I must make a change.

Through a family member, I started working as a loan officer for a company that specialized in nothing but government loans (FHA, VA).

I have since stayed on that career path, and it’s proven to be more stable than any other job. I have found out that if you have a niche market and a good business model, you can be successful in the industry.

Being a mortgage broker has its benefits over working for a lender. Look at Countrywide, Taylor Bean & Whitaker, etc. They serviced mortgage loans and they are out of business. Being a mortgage broker, you don’t service your own loans and you are set up with multiple lenders, which makes brokering loans more flexible and adaptable to an ever-changing market.

Top 5 Best Things about a Career as a Mortgage Broker:

The following are some of the top reasons to choose mortgage brokering as a career:

1.  Job Security – You are not a liability to the company (salaried employee). If you don’t close loans, then you don’t make money (and you end up by costing the company nothing). No one goes to work and says, “I’m not going to make any money today.” Work hard and you’ll likely find success.

2.  Schedule – You can make your own schedule. It’s up to you. If you take more time off you make less money due to a lack of prospects. The difference is you are in control, not your boss.

3.  Satisfaction of doing good – Seriously, it’s been great, in my situation, to get to help Veterans and other families obtain homes. Homeownership is much better than paying rent, and it’s something people can call their own. Whether or not you get to help veterans, knowing you played an important part of helping someone get a home gives a certain sense of purpose and satisfaction.

4.  Money opportunity – Once again this is not like a salaried job where no matter how many hours you put in and how hard you work you end up by making the same. Actually in a salaried position the longer hours you work the less you are actually making per hour. Being a Loan Officer the harder I work the more opportunity there is to make money. There is no ceiling, no cap on how much you can make.

5.  Industry Knowledge – Having a full understanding of how mortgages work can actually save you a lot of mortgage interest money. If you understand how interest works, escrow and your loan program on your own home loan then you can apply the principles you learn and probably tell others to your own loan.

But aren’t Mortgage Brokers the Bad Guys?

I have recently read on other blogs that mortgage brokers contributed to this housing mess and that we have no place in the industry.

I will admit that there were probably many brokers who engaged in predatory lending, but to say that all mortgage brokers caused this would be ignorant. There are many actions, people, and systems to blame, and mortgage brokering as a whole can’t be blamed.

After this mess, I hope that all homebuyers, especially Veterans, do their due diligence to avoid brokers who are less than reputable. I sincerely hope for the best for homebuyers and owe a lot to this industry and Veterans. My company specializes in VA home loans, and this has been able to keep us busy and in business through all the difficult and uncertain times.

In summary, I would not have changed my career path whatsoever. The last 7 years have been very rewarding.

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