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The 13 Best Job Fields for Veterans in 2017

The 13 Best Job Fields for Veterans in 2017
Credit: Sean Locke Photography/Shutterstock

Many employers will continue their focus on hiring veterans in the coming year, new research finds.

A study from CareerBuilder revealed that 37 percent of businesses plan to actively recruit former military members for open positions over the next 12 months. Although that percentage remains unchanged from a year ago, it's up from 33 percent in 2014 and 27 percent in 2013.

In addition, the research revealed that 47 percent of the employers surveyed hired a veteran over the past year, and 31 percent hired a veteran within the past three years. [See Related Story: Hiring Veterans? What Employers Should Know]

The employers that are actively recruiting veterans said these are the top job fields for which they will be recruiting veterans:

  1. Customer service
  2. Information technology
  3. Sales
  4. Production
  5. Distribution and logistics
  6. Accounting and finance
  7. Human resources
  8. Business development
  9. Marketing
  10. Research and development
  11. Public relations
  12. Clinical
  13. Legal

Even if they already have a job, many veterans likely will be looking for a new employer in the coming year. The research found that just 57 percent of veterans are satisfied and enjoy their work — down from 65 percent in 2015. In addition, 20 percent said they are working in a low-paying job, and 22 percent said they are working in a job that is below their skill level.

When searching for work, it is critical that veterans highlight their military service, the research suggested. Nearly half of the hiring managers surveyed said they tend to pay more attention to resumes and applications that belong to veterans, and 68 percent said that if they had two equally qualified candidates for an open position — one veteran and one nonveteran — they would be more likely to hire the veteran.

"Our veterans bring a unique blend of discipline, leadership and problem-solving skills that employers would be foolish to pass up," Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder, said in a statement. "But it's also up to the employer to keep these workers involved and challenged to do their best work."

The employers surveyed said these are the most important qualities members of the armed forces bring to organizations after leaving active duty:

  1. Disciplined approach to work
  2. Ability to work as a team
  3. Respect and integrity
  4. Ability to perform under pressure
  5. Leadership skills
  6. Problem-solving skills
  7. Ability to adapt quickly
  8. Attitude of perseverance
  9. Communication skills
  10. Strong technical skills

The study was based on surveys of 2,587 hiring managers and human resources managers and 231 U.S. veteran employees ages 18 and older.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.