Best Jobs For Retired Military Personnel

Best Jobs For Retired Military Personnel


John E Chambers
August 26, 2021

With over a quarter of a million ex-servicemen exchanging their uniforms and boots for civil duties every year in the United States alone, it is certain that retired military personnel often embrace the opportunity to seek other types of employment.

Veterans naturally make the best employees. They are trained for challenging assignments while also displaying values like problem-solving skills, hard work, leadership, and motivation.

Many employers prefer to hire vets because of their special training. However, transitioning from the military to the civilian setting may be quite challenging for some officers.

Perhaps what gives vets the greatest edge over other sets of workers is the multidisciplinary nature of the military. There’s hardly any sector that is not well represented in the military. And since only the “best” go on to serve; they naturally replicate excellence when given challenges to solve in civilian terrains.

With many soldiers working till they are 62, many soldiers may never contemplate taking up any kind of employment after retirement. However, active service years soon gives way to boring days and nights, and the thought of a form of employment crosses the mind.

Otherwise, a vet may retire early and wish to pursue another career. With the experience and training received from the service years, veterans have unique advantages over other categories of jobseekers. We’ll explore most of the jobs that retired military personnel are best suited for and how much veterans stand to make.

Some jobs may require the soldier to get an additional degree or further qualification. It is expected that the soldier who is about to retire takes advantage of several available opportunities for serving military personnel in pursuing any further education that may be required to secure jobs after service.

There are many jobs/sectors where veterans can work in. So we’ll look at the some of them below:



During natural emergencies, soldiers are always on the ground to coordinate the medical response as part of their training.

Many soldiers served in medical units delivering much-needed aid to patients. Many soldiers were medical practitioners before joining the military, while some studied medical-related courses while in service.

With the value of their experience, veterans make the best employees in the healthcare sector. 

From logistics to nursing and surgeries, veterans with medical training are well suited to deliver in the healthcare industry. Soldiers who have worked through dangerous situations, including natural and artificial disasters, are already conditioned to work under pressure.

For those without any medical qualifications, veterans could fit into other equally critical healthcare industry sectors like records and administration.

How much can be made?

The healthcare industry is a well-paying industry. Veterans who have registered nursing certificates or more stand to earn an average of $113,000/ year.

If the vet has no medical degree but is working as support staff, as a veteran, the average pay is $67,000/year.

It involves the process of saving lives, which soldiers are already used to. It gives the veteran the opportunity of working in a less risky environment while also making good money.

To do well in this field, it is best to pursue medical certifications, which could take longer. The best option would be to study for the degree while in active service.

Defense contractors

Defense contractors

Once a soldier, always a soldier, goes the saying. While many veterans would prefer to spend their retirement in sectors that do not necessarily involve national defense, others find it challenging to spend their time on something else. 

Soldiers represent one leg of any nation’s defense. The other leg involves the weapons, tools and equipment used in sustaining national territorial integrity. 

The production of these materials used by military personnel involves defense contracting. These multi-billion dollar companies help develop and sell these materials, not just necessarily weapons, which the soldiers then use.

Such contractors prefer to employ and work with veterans. The reasons are apparent. Veterans can quickly assimilate into the system, being already involved in the use of the products. 

There are many departments where veterans can fit into defense contracting, including quality assurance and marketing.

How much can be made?

As the staff of defense contractors, veterans stand to make an average of $74,500 annually.

It is a very lucrative business with lots of prospects. As veterans, there’s little difficulty in settling into the system. It also does not require additional degrees.

The job could be pretty demanding as it involves the production of sophisticated weapons and equipment. But it shouldn’t be a significant problem for a veteran.

Law enforcement

Law enforcement

It is not unusual to find one out of three soldiers retiring to employment as law enforcement officers. That’s because while military personnel enforce the law against foreign threats, law enforcement primarily involves civilians.

As soldiers, their job takes them on deployments to several places away from home. They face risks and uncertainties.

But being away from family for so long takes a toll on many of them. By serving in the local law enforcement, veterans have the opportunity to maintain the law in a more civilian setting and without staying away from home for so long.

Retired military personnel do not need any further training to handle law enforcement. Whether as a police officer, a corrections officer, an investigator or a sheriff, retired military personnel are always favorites to land the job whenever there are openings.

Their experience in handling weapons and quelling insurrections make them ideal for serving as cops. Some may also choose to work behind the scene as emergency dispatchers.

How much can be made?

As law enforcement officers, veterans stand to make about $57,000 annually.

The job requires no additional training for the officers. It is familiar terrain for retired military personnel.

It is not a well-paying job, and could be very demanding.

Veterans soon learn that law enforcement officers, especially in large cities, have so much work to do with very little manpower. Politicians also love to interfere with the work of law enforcement officers, making their job even more difficult.



Soldiers are trained in various disciplines, which is enough to make them fit into any civilian sector. However, many employers place premiums on additional degrees and certifications regardless of the military career. 

The manufacturing industry is not that “discriminatory”. There is so much a veteran can do without having to get extra qualifications in manufacturing. Employers also prefer veterans for their unique skills like mental and physical strength.

The manufacturing industry allows the veteran to try their hands on different machines while producing various goods.

As the veteran progresses in the industry, he may be promoted from operations to management. As supervisors, the employer stands even to make more money.

How much can be made?

It requires no special certification, so it pays as little as $28,000 annually. Supervisors make much more than that, though.

As said earlier, it is a job that requires no further educational qualifications. It also allows the veteran to enjoy working in another kind of exciting environment.

It is not a well-paying sector.



Veterans make great Government workers. The federal government also specially creates openings for veterans whose experience and expertise often come in handy in solving bureaucratic challenges.

Their years of service in the military can easily be used as a springboard for a stellar career in public administration or other forms of government service.

Most federal government openings advertised already create special considerations for veterans. The advantage of working in such government employment is that it offers lots of flexibility and benefits.

A career in government service also allows the veteran to work in such departments as national security, foreign affairs, defense and even veteran affairs, where the issues that involve serving troops can be positively influenced.

A successful career in government service is an excellent achievement for a veteran, added to services rendered as a soldier. 

How much can be made?

For beginners, an average of $46,000 is on offer annually.

Working for the government is an excellent step towards making positive changes in society.

As veterans who get to see things from the background, the job is ideal. It is also quite flexible, giving the veteran lots of time to invest in other things. The position also comes with many paid benefits. 

The job involves dealing with and implementing policies that veterans may disagree with. It could also be quite boring for those used to active operations. 



This is a straightforward job for retired military pilots. It’s just the natural thing to do.

The advantage of hiring soldier pilots is that they come into the job with lots of experience flying all kinds of jets.

Many retired soldiers who are certified to fly make the best pilots.

How much can be made?

An average annual salary of $90,000 is available for military pilots.


It’s a job that allows the soldier to continue flying planes while making more money.


It is strictly limited to only military personnel who fly planes already.

Security Manager/Consultant

Security Manager

Having retired military personnel handle your security is ideal. They have the experience and skills needed to do a successful job.

Whether at a private or public facility; residential or commercial, the need for competent security officers makes the choice of available veterans a no-brainer. 

Years of experience dealing with high-level security threats and combating terror make soldiers the ideal candidate to manage security. They also know the necessary equipment needed to enhance safety.

And when law and order break down or there is an attack, trust a soldier on deploying required strategies to prevent a disaster.

Most employers expressly reserve the role of security managers for retired military personnel.

How much can be made?

An average salary of $70,000/ year is available for officers who take on this role.


This job allows the officer to manage the security of lives and property without any government constraints, as applicable to law enforcement. It is also less stressful and offers more pay.


The job is not ideal for soldiers above 60 years.



The military performs wonders with logistics. With their training, they can move large consignments at short notice.

Whenever government needs to get essential things moved, they call on the military. When there are emergencies, and there needs to be a seamless transfer of goods and services from one place to another, the military steps into action.

When retired military personnel are hired as logistics officers, such employers want a smooth procedure.

By their training, soldiers are experts at handling even the most complex logistics.

For retired military personnel who want to simply consult for big corporations on how to solve their logistics problems, this job is also ideal.

How much can be made?

Logistics officers make an average of $61,000/annum.


It involves a job that soldiers are already familiar with. There is no need for any additional degrees.


It could be very stressful and demanding.



From the warfront to the classroom?

Not bad. Many ex-troops relish the opportunity of standing before pupils to teach various disciplines.

The federal government already encourages this transition.

While many soldiers already have the requisite certification to teach students, there are many things a veteran could teach without further certification.

Many schools also employ retired soldiers to help train their students on many things they can’t learn in the classroom. 

How much can be made?

Teachers stand to make an average of $55,000 every year.


Teaching is a profession that allows the soldier to explore new territories. 


The job may require further certification in education.


Regardless of how long a soldier has served, so much could be achieved with the experience and training military personnel received during service. 


John E Chambers

John E Chambers is an experienced financial advice expert. Born in Chicago, he has a master's in Industrial Finance, but he has spent decades offering investment advice to businesses and individuals alike. He is the founder of and wants the website to be valuable for retirement advice. In addition, he writes articles that help users jump-start their retirement plans and choose the best investment options. If not pondering over stock market statistics or reading some magazines, you can find John spending time with his family. As an early retiree, John also offers unique insights into what post-retirement life is like.