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Build Your Career Get the Job

The 8 Best Jobs for Veterans

Credit: Malasha/Shutterstock

Opportunities for veterans looking to transition into civilian work appear to be growing.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the unemployment rate of veterans was 10 percent in 2016, half of what it was in 2009.

According to the job search site CareerCast, both public and private employers are taking a number of initiatives to add more former military members to their organizations. One such program is the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act, which matches veterans with career paths based on their responsibilities in the service.   

Based on its research of the best jobs for veterans, CareerCast said former service members are seeing their technological skills, such as information security, fit in well in a growing market for IT professionals. [See Related Story: Job Interview Advice for Veterans: Practice]

"Veterans who work specifically in IT security during their service can effectively translate their skills into government positions of the same nature," CareerCast wrote in its research.

Health care positions are also popular options for veterans. According to the CareerCast report, nursing positions are among those most in-demand for enlisted personnel, with many states allowing veterans with experience as nurses in the military to apply that experience to civilian certification.

Financial advisor tops CareerCast's list of the best jobs for veterans for the second year in a row.

"Veterans with a background in mathematics and finance can work directly with military families to help them protect their investments and savings," CareerCast wrote in its report.

Regardless of the position they are being hired for, there is a number of benefits to hiring veterans, said Kyle Kensing, online content editor for CareerCast.

"The discipline, teamwork and leadership qualities emphasized in the military directly translate to the civilian workforce," Kensing said in a statement. "Skills gained during military service are in high demand."

Based on the CareerCast research, these are this year's eight best jobs for veterans, their projected job growth and median annual salaries:

  1. Financial advisor – 30 percent projected growth; $89,160 median salary
  2. Information security analyst – 18 percent projected growth; $90,120 median salary
  3. Management consultant – 14 percent projected growth; $81,320 median salary
  4. Nurse practitioner – 31 percent projected growth; $104,740 median salary
  5. Operations research analyst – 30 percent projected growth; $78,630 median salary
  6. Registered nurse – 16 percent projected growth; $67,490 median salary
  7. Sales manager – 5 percent projected growth; $113,860 median salary
  8. Software engineer – 17 percent projected growth; $100,690 median salary

The best jobs for veterans were selected from the 200 professions covered in CareerCast's Jobs Rated report as a good match based on their responsibilities and skills gained while in service.

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.