Top Eight Business Careers for Military Veterans

If you are a military veteran, you may find that many of your skills are also transferrable to private sector office jobs.  According to lead analyst, Katie Bardaro, “People in the military attain valuable skills in information technology and leadership. They take that knowledge to the private sector”. She added that veterans have an advantage in the sense that the jobs which require these particular skills usually pay very well.

Recently, reported on a PayScale survey based upon information from responding veterans.  A list was comprised of eight jobs; all of which paid more than $70,000 annually.  (All of the jobs require a bachelor’s degree.)

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1.  Software Developer

$70,800: Annual Median Salary

Incorporating the problem solving skills necessary for military personnel with an aptitude for mathematical concepts and computer programming is a great head start toward developing a career in software development.

2.  Electrical Engineer

$72,800: Annual Median Salary

A career as an electrical engineer is a natural choice for military veterans who dealt in creating electrical test standards, researching/perfecting navigation systems, and developing weapons. Besides engineering firms, veterans can locate work at public utilities and government agencies.

3.  Intelligence Analyst

$73,100: Annual Median Salary

This professional allows veterans to continue serving their country, even after retiring from the military. Frequently an FBI position, intelligence analysts work toward protecting U.S. national security by analyzing intelligence that’s been gathered through field offices and identifying realistic threats.

4.  Business Development Manager

$77,100: Annual Median Salary

Proper leadership is a crucial part of being a valuable member of the military. Commanding respect of fellow service people while planning for missions is a skill that easily lends itself to many careers in the private sector. Business development is certainly one of these careers, as managers in this field must composite formulas and strategies to cultivate a business, while also motivating others.

5.  IT Project Manager

$81,000: Annual Median Salary

When assorted portions of a technology project must be accomplished accurately and on time, it is the job of the IT project manager to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Project managers assure that team members are working according to plan. Veterans who were responsible for a unit or worked with multifaceted technology, in the field or on base, would possess the accuracy, leadership and organizational skills necessary for a successful career as an IT Project Manager.

6.  Aviation/Aerospace Program Manager

$84,300: Annual Median Salary

Veterans with aviation experience would complement this field.  Excellent organizational skills, and the ability to direct projects from beginning to end via research, design, testing, and integration are all part of a career in aviation/aerospace program management.

7.  IT Program Manager

$96,300: Annual Median Salary

Military troops are often required by their commanding officers to know the job of the person higher than them. Therefore, if a member is injured during battle, another can swiftly step in and make necessary decisions. In the private sector, the IT program manager is depended upon to learn and understand the job duties of all his or her team members — from start to finish — to assure that the project is successfully completed on time.

8.  Management Consultant

$98,100: Annual Median Salary

Military members are known for their efficiency; as they learn to work under circumstances where time management is a must, and jobs and missions must be successfully completed. Likewise, management consultants must recognize a client’s inefficiencies, and devise a resolution strategy.

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Related: Choosing the Right Post-Military Career

Note: All listed salaries provided are the average annual for full-time employees possessing between five and eight years of job experience in the field. Figures include commissions, bonuses, and/or profit sharing, according to the PayScale Database. Survey respondents are five-plus year veterans who stated that they were active service members in the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, or Navy.


Fred Coon, CEO

Stewart Cooper & Coon specializes in career transition services for senior-level military decisions makers and government agency employees by assisting candidates in locating companies who welcome both their leadership and organizational talents.  


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