Wednesday, February 19, 2014

CareerCast.com Releases 10 Best Jobs for Veterans in 2014

Civilian career paths for transitioning veterans are varied and do not necessarily correlate with your MOS. With so many options, it can be hard to choose a path. To help with this, CareerCast.com recently released its list of Best Jobs for Veterans 2014. The ten careers on the list represent everything from EMTs to Software Engineers and illustrate the breadth of skills veteran bring to the civilian workplace.

In an article in Forbes, Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast, tells author Susan Adams, “Most veterans are more qualified than they realize for well-paying jobs, ranging from training and development manager (average annual salary: $95,400) to construction project manager ($82,800). Veterans are often more qualified than civilians if they are matched with the right jobs.”

Among the higher paying jobs on the list is Industrial Production Manager, with an average salary of $89,900. It is no surprise that this career is on the list, as Industrial/Capital Equipment was one of the top 10 industries in which Orion candidates found careers in last quarter. Among the thousands of veterans in charge of production is Andrew Hamilton, a Marine Corps CH-46E pilot who is now a Production Supervisor with Owens Corning.

“My new position is Production Supervisor for Owens Corning, a Fortune 500 company. In the military, people looked to me to make decisions and ensure the job at hand was getting done in a safe and timely manner. I see my role at my new position facing those same types of situations,” explains Hamilton, “I received top notch mentoring and leadership training that gave me the skills and expertise I need to be successful as a Production Supervisor.”

Construction is also among the top 10 industries for Orion last quarter and is represented in CareerCast’s list by Construction Program Manager, with an average salary of $82,800. On Monday, February 10, First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez announced at the National Symposium: Veterans’ Employment in Construction that a coalition of construction employers and associations have collectively pledged to hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years.

Chris Canfield, a former Intelligence Officer in the Marine Corps, began his career with RQ Construction in 2008 as a Project Engineer working on a project for Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) at Camp Pendleton. At the end of 2009, he was promoted to Assistant Project Manager. He credits this rapid promotion to his leadership, management, and communication experience gained in the military. “During that time, I also helped write various parts of our company’s proposals, mainly because I was able to understand what the lingo was and how it applied to our projects,” recalls Canfield.

When the MARSOC ended in the summer of 2010, Canfield was again promoted to Project Manager and asked to take over another project. Canfield explains, “To be promoted in three years to a position like Project Manager and run two concurrent projects showed how much trust and confidence RQ had in my abilities. I attribute it to the competencies and values I learned while I was serving.” Want to know more about Canfield’s transition? Click here.

Telecommunications Equipment Installer and Repairer also occupies a spot in the list, with an average salary of $54,500. In the military, veterans are charged with installing and maintaining the most sophisticated equipment in the world, and this training is invaluable in the civilian world. Eldon Pavelka has found this to be true in his career as a Data Center Technician for an online services provider. Pavelka tells us, “My particular background as a Nuclear Electricians Mate was a near perfect fit. My site manager is a prior sub ET Nuke who did six years active and about 20 years reserve. He was very down to earth with me when he told me that what I would be doing is similar to what I do on the ship, but with newer technology and for a different purpose.”

Industrial Engineering Technicians claim another spot on the list with an average salary of $50,900, however salaries in Industrial Engineering vary greatly depending on position, education, and level of experience. CareerCast states that many of the nation’s top energy companies have expressed the greatest interest to the Veteran's Administration in hiring returning veterans making this particular career a hot one. While not a technician, Paul Miranda has found this to be the case in his new career as an Instrumentation and Controls Engineer with ConocoPhillips.

“Coming from the military, I was limiting myself to jobs within the Defense/Aerospace industry, and Orion helped me branch out to different industries. Being an Electrical Engineer, I did not know how in demand my skills were in the Oil and Gas industry, so once I pursued jobs in that area, I was astonished at how much companies were competing to get me to accept their offers,” Miranda recalls. Learn more about careers with ConocoPhillips here.

Also on the list were:
  • Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver
    • Average salary: $38,200
  • Emergency Medical Technician
    • Average salary: $31,000
  • Paralegal
    • Average salary: $47,000
  • Software Engineer
    • Average salary: $85,400
  • Training and Development Manager
    • Average salary: $95,400
  • Administrative Services Manager
    • Average salary: $81,100
As Susan Adams points out, “four jobs on the list have ‘manager’ in the title since many veterans have worked supervising troops in the field or on the base. Many have also done legal work, software programming and emergency medical work. All of that experience translates into civilian jobs that can have median pay of more than $80,000 a year.”

Want to get started looking for your next civilian career? Visit Orion International online to get started!

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