Approximately 200,000 service members leave the military and return to civilian life every year. Civilian transition is a difficult time for many reasons but one of the biggest challenges facing veterans newly out of military service is finding employment. The good news is, many programs and organizations exist to help you find a job placement in your desired field.
When reentering civilian life many choices face you. One of the ways to ease back into the new lifestyle is to become an apprentice where you learn new skills to secure a job in a certain industry. Alternatively, find a career and services center to help you find a career through organizations like CareerOneStop, My Next Move for Veterans and Hire Heroes USA. If you are a veteran with a service-connected disability, find a job placement through Vocational Rehabilitation Programs. Find out more about these job placement opportunities in the following helpful overview. Then you are better equipped to begin your search for the right civilian career.
Learn About the Veteran and Military Transition Center
CareerOneStop is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor. Its online Veteran and Military Transition Center helps you find employment. You are then connected to a job matching the skills you acquired while in the military or find a job in another field. The Transition Center assists you with strategies for job searching, selecting the right training programs and obtaining copies of your military records.
The site offers easy-to-use tools to help you search for a job placement. Begin by simply entering your branch of the military and your military occupation to find a list of available suitable jobs. The Veteran and Military Transition Center assists you with:
- Finding job placements.
- Preparing for a job search.
- Networking to successfully find a job.
- Creating resumes and completing job applications.
- Advice on how to complete a successful interview.
What is My Next Move for Veterans?
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, the online My Next Move for Veterans site helps you find a new career matching the skills of your military occupation. In addition, search for other civilian careers and browse careers by industry, which includes over 900 different occupations. Use My Next Move for Veterans’ page on Careers with a Bright Outlook. This focuses on growing job sectors most likely to have career opportunities in the near future. Search for jobs by interest with My Next Move.
If you are looking for work back in the civilian world, consider becoming an apprentice. This allows you to get paid from an employer while you learn new skills for your chosen career. A number of resources are available from the federal government to help veterans and service members find good-paying, skilled jobs through apprenticeships. If you qualify for GI Bill benefits, you still receive those benefits while working as an apprentice.
Various job placements are available for veterans through apprenticeships. Three programs specifically for vets are:
- Veterans in Piping: This allows you to learn high-quality skills while working in pipe trades. The apprenticeship program is available to veterans and active duty service members who are preparing to leave the armed forces. Participants in this program complete an accelerated course lasting 18 weeks. Participants earn an industry-recognized certificate.
- Helmets to Hardhats: This nonprofit national program is available to Reserve, National Guard, transitioning and retired active-duty service members. Learn skills and find quality job opportunities within the construction industry. The Helmets to Hardhats program connects you to various federally approved apprenticeship programs.
- The Painters and Allied Trades Veterans Program: Under this apprenticeship program, veterans learn new skills and build a career in the industry of finishing trades. This federally-recognized program is operated by the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.
Other apprenticeship programs exist throughout the U.S. and veterans can apply at any of these programs. You have several options for finding apprenticeships. Search for apprenticeship programs through:
- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Talking to a state apprenticeship representative.
- Regular online job search sites.
What is Hire Heroes USA?
Find a job placement through Hire Heroes USA. The organization assists veterans, U.S. military service members and military spouses to succeed in finding work in the civilian world. Hire Heroes USA provides job sourcing, an excellent mentoring service and a personalized career coaching service. Once registered for Hire Heroes USA, you are partnered with an expert Transition Specialist. He or she works closely with you so you:
- Discover how to effectively search for jobs.
- Connect with companies who hire veterans and spouses of military members.
- Learn about interviewing techniques.
- Learn about networking techniques.
- Create a resume highlighting your achievements and skills.
- Translate your military skills to the civilian workforce.
Although you must register, all services provided by Hire Heroes USA are free. Most services are offered online. The job board lists tens of thousands of jobs at any one time. Hire Heroes USA have more than 750 volunteers to help you find a job placement and assist you in other areas of finding work.
Learn About Vocational Rehabilitation Programs for Veterans with Service-related Disabilities
Veterans and military service members who have a service-related disability can receive help to find work through the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program. The program provides several different support and services tracks. Each one assists you in finding a job and keeping a job, so you live as independently as possible.
Reemployment Track helps you to return to the career you had before you were deployed. A Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor assists you by providing a broad range of rehabilitation resources and by referring you directly to the Department of Labor. To qualify, you must have a service-related disability and a barrier to finding employment due to your disability.
Rapid Access to Employment Track helps you find a job that requires your existing skills. Rehabilitation and counseling services are used to find out your aptitudes, interests and abilities. You must have a service-connected disability and an employment handicap. In addition, you must have experience or education in your particular field.
Long-Term Services Track helps you to find employment through vocational training. You are provided with assistance to find a type of job that suits your current abilities. To be eligible, you must have a service-connected disability and a barrier to finding employment due to this disability.
Self-Employment Track is for veterans and military service members with a service-related disability who want to start their own businesses. Under this track, you develop a business plan that is reviewed and evaluated to see whether the plan is viable. Through the Self-Employment Track, you receive coordination services and training in operating a small business. You must have a service-related disability making it difficult to obtain employment.