After the time, effort, sweat and thought that go into so much military training, it seems wasteful to return home and start all over on a different path.
But there are a lot of positions that don’t require starting from scratch. Specific training can lend itself well to civilian careers that build on your existing knowledge rather than replace it. By getting either state or federal mandated certificates, you can start a job right where you left off. There are even veteran programs in place to make the shift as painless as possible. Here are some careers that make for the smoothest transitions upon return.
Emergency Medical Services careers can grow from several different military medical training backgrounds. Hospital corpsman, medical service specialist, and healthcare specialists are all viable training options from which to start your civilian EMS career. The process for attaining the proper certificate to practice varies from state to state. Many states employ the same reciprocity application for veterans that is used for out-of-state re-certification, including Texas, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, and Oregon. Other avenues, like California’s, include passing a challenge exam and possibly enrolling in a refresher course. Check your state Department of Health website for the proper forms and tests necessary for your transition.
Also keep in mind other first responder jobs (municipal firefighters and policemen) that, while varied from area to area, often waive educational requirements depending on length of active duty or days in combat.
With the proper forms and records, veterans with military aeronautics training can work for commercial airlines or as flight instructors. Consult this list of locations that administer aeronautical knowledge tests. After testing, submit to the Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards District Office to receive a certificate.
Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver
To drive commercial vehicles (vehicles driven across state lines that weigh 26,000 pounds or more), you need your Commercial Driver’s License. A federal mandate allows states to substitute two years of CMV safe driving experience in the military for the skills test portion of the CDL test, as long as the applicant is no more than a year out of active duty (FDCA). Fill out this application to waive the skills test. Every state now offers the Military Skills Test Waiver.
Certified Nurse Aide
Many states consider the military medical training programs sufficient training to become a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA), and require only written tests and skills check-offs to complete the certification. California, Nebraska, Indiana, Maryland and Tennessee are among states that accept your DD-214 and proof of practice as equivalent training.