Skills for a civilian career
Skills for a civilian career
The Military can be a lifelong career path, giving its members a structured environment in which to learn basic life skills, advance and succeed. Service can also act as a springboard to a later civilian career or any number of new opportunities. In each case, service members have access to resources to make a successful transition into life after serving.
Service in a National Guard or Reserve Component
Following their active-duty commitment, many service members choose to continue serving in the Reserve component of their Service or their home state’s National Guard unit. Both options allow an individual to train close to home while pursuing a civilian career. Reserve and Guard members traditionally commit one weekend per month and two weeks per year for training, standing ready until called into Active Duty. Many of the same benefits of active-duty service are available to reservists and guardsmen.
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Some service members may serve out part of their commitment in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). Individuals in the IRR are former active-duty, Reserve or Guard service members who may be called back into service if needed. While they retain their military IDs and uniforms, they are not required to drill or train and need only notify the Military if they move to a new address. Service members in IRR have limited benefits and are not paid unless they are called to serve.
College Degrees and Credentialing
Money for college has always been a big benefit of service. The Military offers many tuition support programs, most famously the GI Bill. But did you know that service members can receive college credit or professional credentials for the training they receive in the Military? The American Council on Education (ACE) reviews military training and experiences and awards equivalent college credit to service members. More than 2,300 colleges and universities recognize these credits.
Likewise, military experience can translate into civilian credentials. Certain jobs have professional and technical standards that workers must meet through licensing and certification (for example, electrical work or software engineering). Each branch of the Military has programs to ensure service members receive credentials for the training they completed in service.
Navigating military benefits after separating from service can be a challenge, but service members do not have to do it alone. The U.S. Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs run the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), which is designed to help veterans with all aspects of returning to civilian life. TAP provides financial and legal information and advice, access to transition counselors and assistance for job seekers. It is a great resource for Active Duty, Reserve, veterans and their families.
Military Friendly Employers
Service develops integrity, responsibility and perseverance — qualities that appeal to employers in the civilian world. In fact, many U.S. employers have recruiters who look specifically for candidates with military backgrounds. These companies understand that service members are prepared with the best possible training and work ethic and make an effort to employ those who have served.
Finding the Top Military Employers
Military Friendly® evaluates employers annually, based on specialized criteria, to determine which companies offer service members the best opportunities. Their website offers a searchable list of company profiles that show how each employer stacks up when it comes to meeting or exceeding the Military Friendly standard.
Skills For A Civilian Career Videos
Get an inside look at Civilian Careers with selections from our Civilian Career Videos collection.
Schedule a meeting with a recruiter and learn what to expect from your visit.
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View answers to commonly asked questions about the Military.
The Next Step: Living
It's not all about work in the Military. Learn about the benefits service members receive and what they do when off duty.