Top Civilian Job to Look at After Leaving the Navy


Part of the allure of the military service lifestyle for many is the job security and consistency that it offers. For years, prior to retiring, military men and women are assured jobs and they have plenty of opportunity for advancement within the ranks.

But then, for many, that consistency eventually comes to an end - leaving feelings of confusion, and misdirection. The civilian career field can be difficult to navigate, inaccessible, and tricky for those leaving military service. An additional layer of difficulty arises when dependents of veterans attempt to enter the career field as well.

There are however, many firms out there that are suited perfectly for life after the military. Additionally, in the modern era, there are groups looking to serve the interests of veterans and their dependents who are striving to adjust to civilian life.

In this guide, we’ll look at an overview of some of the best jobs – post service in the Navy.


What Specifically Qualifies as Navy Jobs?


The Navy is a unique branch of the U.S. military in the various different field of work that soldiers can take part in. Jobs in the U.S. Navy are known as “ratings” and are largely determined by performance on the ASVAB test.

The ASVAB is an aptitude test that has been developed by the Department of Defense. The test covers areas including arithmetic, reasoning, word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, numerical Operations, coding speed, auto and shop information, mathematics knowledge, mechanical comprehension, electronics information, and more.

From their performance on the test, participants are assigned an Armed Forces Qualifying Test Score.

This score received on each subsection of the ASVAB determines which Navy jobs the soldier is qualified for. These jobs range from Aviation Electronics Mate to Journalist to Torpedoman's Mate. Each of these Navy jobs has specific challenges and opportunities.

Just in like the civilian job market, experience in a Navy job qualifies you for related or subsequent jobs in the future. The job you complete in the Navy is great preparation for a career after service.


Are Some Navy Jobs Better Than Others?


There is no doubt that some ratings in the Navy will be more easily translatable to the civilian workforce. But, even that is not a constant.

As the job market shifts, skills gain and lose relevance. However, it’s important to take a look at some of the Navy jobs with the highest opportunity for employment after service life.

One of the most accessible opportunities for Navy jobs is in the utility sector – specifically in electricity plants. Many ratings in the U.S. Navy are easily applicable to both fossil fuel and nuclear power plants.

Some of these ratings include: Machinist Mate, Electricians Mate and Electronics Technician. The Navy even works alongside the Nuclear Energy Institute to pair nuclear power-trained personnel with jobs within the civilian nuclear energy field.

Outside of working for an energy utility or production plant, retiring members of the Navy also have exaggerated opportunity if they are leaving a computer or communications rating when entering the civilian workforce.

Experience in these ratings translates directly to the civilian sector. However, there are reports that Navy technology lags behind civilian technology by a few years, so there may be a need for further education to maintain relevancy in the civilian sector.

Many Navy jobs also create a very reliable management sense in workers. It is not uncommon by any means for career placement firms to recruit retiring Navy officers for operations management positions given their experience with management while in the Navy. Retiring Naval officers also typically possess strong reasoning and organizational abilities.

The U.S. Navy provides an adept working knowledge of Aviation for many of its dedicated service men and women that helps aid in building a career after service life. Particularly, experience in aviation mechanics is in high demand in the civilian sector, though demand for pilots does exist to some degree.

Helicopter Maintenance Magazine exp​​​​lains some of the hardships of applying Navy aviation job skills to a civilian aviation job.

“There is a big difference between military aviation and civilian aviation. Military aviation is a government-funded, non-commercial enterprise that is not concerned with profits, customer satisfaction, competition or labor issues.

Uncle Sam has deep pockets, and depending on the mission, monetary returns on his investment aren’t really his goal. He can afford to take completely untrained men and women straight out of high school and give them an education and train them for one specific mission.

Unfortunately, many of these missions are unrelated to normal civilian aviation missions.”

After aviation jobs, a field of work in the Navy that can be used in the civilian job sector is the electronic warfare category of Navy jobs. These are positions relating to the operation and maintenance of radar, sonar, and radio equipment. Though there are limited positions in the civilian sector that require working knowledge of radar and sonar operation, the electronics knowledge alone will open up some great doors.

One of the most difficult Navy job categories to apply to civilian life is the weapons category of Navy jobs. Try as you may, you will likely have a hard time finding a civilian torpedoman or gunman position.

Positions as a Hospital Corpsman in the navy are fantastic as well for those looking to have an easy time transitioning to a civilian career because of the high demand for medical professionals. Though they are not the easiest Navy jobs to get, working in the medical sector of the Navy can be quite fruitful post-service.

American Flag Military Salute

IT is currently one of the hottest job markets, regardless of civilian or military consideration. Because of this, there is certainly opportunity for a retiring member of the Navy whose Navy job was in information technology.

 IT specialist in the Navy has a special advantage in that they get the same IT certifications and in many cases are working the same equipment.

As the field of Human Resources continues to advance in prominence in the civilian job sector, the prominence of post-service Navy workers will increase as well. Several ratings in the Navy translate to HR, both directly and indirectly.

While all higher-level officers will have inherent experience with personnel, Personnel Specialists and Yeomen will have direct and verifiable HR experience that hiring managers will love.

Chron reiterates this same notion.

“Enlisted sailors serving as human resources specialists can earn credits that might transfer to a university should they wish to pursue a degree. Both officers and enlisted sailors can acquire skills that can help them secure civilian jobs as recruiters, efficiency engineers, human resources specialists, employment counselors or office managers.”

Many enlisted sailors and officers end up working as an information analyst after their time serving in the U.S. Navy. Any role in the Navy that involved analyzing information for reliability and accuracy can easily be translated to the civilian workforce.


However, Even if You Don’t Have Highly-Desirable Skills from a Navy Job, You Aren’t Out of Luck Entirely


If you’re reading along and thinking that you made a poor decision regarding your Navy job and that you’ll never be able to find a job in the civilian sector, you need to keep reading – you’re never out of luck entirely.

Because of advocacy and interest groups, both public and private, across the U.S. there is now more opportunity than ever for retired or discharged service members and their dependents. For example, numerous nonprofits as well as public government institutions offer educational and entrepreneurial scholarships to help military service members adjust to civilian life.

Take for example Wings Over America. Wings Over America is a group vested in the interests of dependents of active-duty, retired, and deceased members of the U.S. Navy. The foundation is funded privately and through corporate contributions.

Wings Over America offers educational scholarships to the dependents of fallen, disabled, honorably discharged, or retired members of the U.S. Navy. The group even has specific scholarships that are designated for specific communities within the larger network of the U.S. Navy community.

If you retired from the navy or were honorably discharged and are having difficulty transitioning your Navy job skills to the civilian sector, you may want to begin to consider further education as an option.


To better your chances at a high-paying, desirable civilian job you could earn a trade certificate, an undergraduate degree, or take part in various other programs available to you.

However, given the soft skills, technical abilities, and positive personal characteristics that a Navy job creates, hiring after leaving the Navy seems inevitable. Regardless of your past, be optimistic and confident about your future.

After service, service men and women have been, “Forged by the sea,” as the Navy’s slogan says. Veterans are some of the most proven and enduring employees in the job market, and as such, their work ethic and dedication will speak for itself.

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