Veterans can think outside the box about their civilian careers
When it comes to transitioning into civilian careers, veterans have a range of options. Some career paths, such as security, counseling and law enforcement, are obvious choices for former military personnel. However, individuals completing active duty in the armed forces have other choices. Burgeoning fields such as alternative energy provide veterans with a wealth of employment opportunities that may prove lucrative and abundant in today’s challenging job market.
The future of power
Just like any military operation, the energy sector needs people with a wide variety of skills and expertise. From communications specialists and electrical workers to engineers and infrastructure experts, the rapidly growing field of renewable energy is set to become one of the nation’s largest employment sectors in the next 20 years.
For example, wind energy has the potential to outpace power generated by fossil fuels in the coming years, especially as the U.S. seeks to reduce its dependency on foreign oil. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the nation’s wind energy capacity increased by 39 percent per year between 2004 and 2009, and is expected to grow even further in the future. Individuals with military experience, particularly those with logistics, infrastructure and engineering experience, may find employment prospects in renewable power to be plentiful in the coming years.
A growing need
According to Military.com, careers in wind energy are among the hottest jobs for veterans. Individuals pursuing jobs as wind turbine mechanical engineers can expect to earn around $61,300 per year, due to the level of technical skill and expertise involved. These professionals interpret schematics and blueprints, maintain turbine installations and equipment and work closely with engineers to ensure that turbine facilities remain operational and performing at optimal capacity – skills that former military personnel may find align with their background and experience.
A smooth transition
Even former servicemen and women without formal engineering backgrounds in the military can get in at the ground floor of this rapidly expanding industry by enrolling in engineering degree programs at Christian colleges and universities. According to U.S. News and World Report, the unemployment rate for engineers was around 6.4 percent earlier this year, compared to the double-digit rate observed in other sectors, and the need for skilled, qualified engineering personnel is likely to intensify in the coming years.
For former military personnel, a career in green energy could be the ideal way to leverage their skills and background to secure an exciting, fast-paced and satisfying career in the civilian sector.