Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Researching Civilian Industries

Determining the potential industries you would like to enter upon exiting the military not only helps direct your search, but can also helps your Orion recruiter closely match job openings to your preferences. Some people choose to look for a career in equivalent to their military occupation, while others are interested in trying something completely different. Because your job search with Orion begins long before your first interview and includes decisions like what industry to target, Orion provides job seekers with extensive information on industry descriptions, MOC/MOS-industry conversion resources, what types of positions are available in these industries, and how our veterans typically fare in these industries.

For many veterans, their civilian career is an extension of their military career, although this may not always be easily translatable. There are excellent resources out there to help you directly translate your MOS or MOC into a civilian job title. The Occupational Information Network is a very useful resource where you can enter your MOC and translate it directly to a DOT (Dictionary of Occupational Titles) code.

For instance, if you were a Sonar Subsystem Level II Technician in the Navy, O*Net will tell you that your civilian counterpart code is 49-2094.00, which is “Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment.” By clicking on the civilian job title, you will find more job titles, such as “I&C Tech (Instrument and Control Technician), Electrical Repairman, Electronic Mechanic, Hydro Maintenance Technician, Hydro Plant Technician,” among many others.

When running a search for any MOC on this site, be sure to check out the Wage & Employment Trends section. This feature will provide good insight into what you can expect to be paid and how in demand that occupation is. For the Sonar Subsystem Level II Technician, the median wage is $24.39 hourly or $50,730 annually, with an average projected growth of 3% to 6% over the next eight years. This section will also list the top industries in which this position is found.

Even if your MOS does not directly translate into a civilian occupation, this website is a good place to begin your research as it can give you keywords related to your MOS that might point you in the direction of your new career. And, while there may not be as much guidance as far as a directly translating your skills, remember that have many intangibles that are very attractive to hiring managers, including leadership, focus on accountability, work ethic, and performance under the most difficult of circumstances.

Once you have an idea of which positions and/or industries interest you, check out our Industries & Positions page to learn more about what industries we represent and what positions we typically recruit for in these industries. Additionally, Orion has also compiled a Military Job Seeker Success Stories database. Here you can search by industry, branch, pay grade, location, company, or job title to find testimonials from veterans with a similar background as you. Interested in HVAC/Building Controls? Peruse the 24 testimonials we have listed to read about these veterans’ experience in transitioning into their new field.

Finally, don’t forget to read up on your industry of choice. This can be done through various industry publications. Industry-specific books are also useful. You can find a list of some of these books on our Suggested Reading List.

There are many decisions to be made as your choose your civilian career. Choosing an industry to target is an important decision that can often demand thinking outside of the box. Whether you find a direct translation of your military skills or find yourself in a completely new field, don’t forget that your breadth of experience complements many industries.

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