Do you know any veterans who are currently looking for jobs?

The people who have given quite the sacrifice to serve our country are also in need of information as to what types of jobs they will do well in.

With a lot of military people coming out of the service, getting a civilian job can be quite competitive. Enter trade jobs.

Trade jobs are jobs like electrician work, plumbing, IT, and carpentry. These jobs usually involve some manner of working with your hands and pay quite well now.

Many veterans will enjoy how transferable their skills are from the service to trade jobs. Here are 5 of the best trade jobs for veterans.

How We Rate Trade Jobs

Trade jobs are increasing as baby boomers retire. These jobs can be filled by veterans who have many transferable skills including discipline, communication, cooperation, and time management.

In order to assist you with finding the best trade jobs for veterans, we rate trade jobs based on the following factors:

  • Training Programs/Pipelines
  • Transferable Skills
  • Market Size
  • Payment

Training Programs & Pipelines

There are a number of organizations that try to assist veterans by creating pipelines and programs to help land veterans land a trade job.

When we review the best trade jobs for veterans, we take into consideration whether or not there are organizations that can help the veteran to get into the trade. If there are, we mention the organizations requirements and provide background information for you.

This is an important factor as it can make transitioning into a job simpler, and more certain for veterans. For folks who have sacrificed much, we think it is important to know that there are others willing to assist.

Transferable Skills

Whether a veteran has served in the Navy, Air force, Marines, or Army, they have gained a large amount of skills that can be used in a number of trades. When rating each trade, we take into consideration the transferable skills that might assist the veteran in landing the job and working the job.

We consider the advantages a veteran would have over a regular civilian applicant.

Listing these advantages helps not only instill confidence in the veteran who may apply, but also reminds the veteran that they do have marketable skills that are highly desirable.

Longevity

We consider market size and market growth when rating the best trade jobs for veterans, because we want veterans to be aware of the trajectory that taking the trade may take.

When thinking about the future of a trade veterans can make, decisions as to whether or not the payoff of a trade is worth the possibility of that trade not existing in the future.

While we don’t see many trades not existing in the future, some trades may take on new shape. We will consider this when ranking the viability of certain trade jobs.

Payment

Finally, the important consideration of payment – we consider payment as a valuable metric to determine whether or not a job is a great trade job. At the end of the day, we want to make sure veterans feel they have the means to financially support themselves in the future.

Recommended Trade Jobs for Veterans

1. HVAC-R Technician

HVAC R Technician

HVAC-R Service Technicians cover the general responsibility for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration.  These systems usually control the temperature and air quality in a variety of buildings.

Training Programs & Pipelines

UA Veterans in Piping Program offers training through VIP programs at Joint Base Lewis-McChord  and Naval Station Norfolk. This is an 18 week accelerated course provided by UA Veterans that trains veterans and help them ease back into civilian life.

Probably one of the greatest pieces of information for this organization is that these 18-week training courses are provided free on military bases. With 0 cost down for the training, this is an excellent pathway to check out if you are interested in becoming an HVAC-R Technician.

The UA Veterans program has praise from Congress, the U.S Department of Labor, the military, and many sources in the media.

Transferrable Skills

The duties of HVAC-R Technicians are as follows:

  • Install, clean, and maintain HVAC-R systems
  • Install electrical components and wiring
  • Discuss system malfunctions with customers
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    Repair or replace worn parts
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    Recommend maintenance to improve system performance
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    Keep records of work done

There are many skills that veterans have that can be used in performing the duties of this job. First, as this job involves a certain level of maintenance and cleaning, working with one’s hands is going to be a skill that folks need to have.

We believe veterans will definitely have this skill.

However, manual labor is not the only skills necessary. The ability to critically think, communicate complex ideas to possibly uninformed people, and a sense of responsibility will definitely assist veterans in this role.

Longevity

In 2016, there were around 404,800 people employed in the HVAC-R landscape. This is intended to grow to 381,700 which is around a 15% increase. We believe this is a job that will remain stable in the future and ultimately remain employable.

Payment

You can expect to make $45,448/yr depending on your education and experience.

Rating

We think this is an excellent job for veterans as it pays well, has decent longevity, transferrable skills, and has an excellent training program provided by the military. We think that this is definitely a safe bet for veterans.

2. Welder

Welder

Welders work in a variety of construction situations. Anywhere where metals and alloys are used, welders are generally needed. Welders work with plumbers, pipefitters, sprinkler fitters, and HVAC-R workers.

Training Programs & Pipelines

UA Veterans in Piping Program offers training through VIP programs at Camp Lejeune, Camp Pendleton, Fort Campbell, Fort Carson, Fort Hood, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord. This is an 18-week accelerated course provided by UA Veterans that trains veterans and help them ease back into civilian life.

Probably one of the greatest pieces of information for this organization is that these 18-week training courses are provided free on military bases. With 0 cost down for the training this is an excellent pathway to check out if you are interested in becoming an HVAC-R Technician.

The UA Veterans program has praise from Congress, the U.S Department of Labor, the military, and many sources in the media.

Transferrable Skills

As a welder you usually have the following responsibilities:

  • Study Blueprints
  • Draw Blueprints
  • Measure cut and weld using multiple tools

Understanding math and proportions is going to be important for the veteran who wants to become a welder. We believe self discipline, and being able to communicate will assist welders with their jobs.

Longevity

In 2016, there were around 404,800 people employed as welders. This career field is looking to grow 6% to 427,300 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We believe this is a job that will remain stable in the future and ultimately remain employable.

Payment

You can expect to make about $44,525  in this position.

Rating

Given the mixture of training provided, possibility of income, longevity, and transferrable skills, we think this is a decent job for veterans to get after their service.

3. Electrician

Electrician

Electricians install, maintain and repair electrical power, communications, and control systems in a variety of different locations.

Training Programs & Pipelines

Helmets to Hardhats is an organization that helps prepare veterans for work in a variety of civilian jobs. Thankfully they have a 14-week program that can help train veterans into specific Electrician roles.

The Puget Sound Electrical JATC (PSEJATC) is an organization located in the Puget Sound region of Washington. Through their partnership with the National Electrical Contractors Association, they run a 14-week intensive program that exceeds at placing veterans in positions.

Transferrable Skills

As an Electrician, you will have the following responsibilities:

  • Read blueprints or technical diagrams
  • Install and maintain wiring, cooling, and lighting systems
  • Inspect electrical components
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    Follow State and Local Building Regulations
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    Direct and train Worker on Job Functions.

There are many transferrable skills that a veteran would have who is trying to become an electrician. The ability to follow directions and understand blueprints will go a long way with this role.

Leadership skills are also easily transferrable and useful as Electricians will have to communicate to with other Electricians, and possibly teach installation or repair work to new Electricians.

Longevity

In 2016, there were 666,900 electricians employed in the United States. By 2026 that number is projected to grow by 9% to 726,500.

When there are high levels of construction occurring, electricians are usually able to find jobs. When large scale construction projects end is when electricians may have difficulty finding work.

Payment

The median wage for electricians is around $52,720.

Rating

We think electricians are in demand jobs that have a number of pipeline programs for veterans to enter the market.

While there is possibility for high-payment, the time investment that it takes to become an electrician is somewhat steep. Oftentimes requiring long 14-week courses, this is a position that a veteran should take if they have the patience to get through certification.

4. Coating Application Specialist

Coating Application Specialist

Coating Application Specialist deals with painting and coating a variety of surfaces.

Training Programs & Pipelines

Painters and Allied Trades Veteran Program has a veterans program that trains veterans for a number of positions that can be taken in coating. This program is free of charge for veterans.

Transferrable Skills

The duty of a Coating Application Specialist is as follows:

  • Set up and operate machines that paint or coat products
  • Select paint or coating needed for the job
  • Clean and prepare products to be painted or coated
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    Apply paint or coating

As with the other jobs listed here, there are definitely skills that should be transferrable that veterans already have. Leadership skills and attention to detail will be important for the Coating Application Specialist.

Longevity

In 2016, there were around 164,200 Coating Application Specialist in the United States. That number is projected to increase by 2 percent to 168,200 by 2026.

The job growth for individuals that are Coating Application Specialists is usually in the automotive repair shop industry, where cars enter to be detailed. There is fear that these jobs will ultimately be replaced by robots in the future, but for the time being there is still a demand for this job.

Payment

Coating Application Specialists can usually make about $52,851.

Rating

While jobs that involve painting can be stress releasing and creative, the current demand for the job is not high. Out of most of the careers we listed, the Coating Application Specialist has the lowest job growth in the next 10 years. We think this is a good option for a veteran looking for a low stress creative trade.

Trade Jobs Are Excellent for Veterans 

Trade jobs are an excellent choice for veterans because there are a lot of programs in place that veterans can take advantage of.

Most civilians have to go through a series of high school courses and trade schools to take on certain trade jobs at some level of cost to them. Veterans are in a position where they can have most of the fees waived for learning a trade through joining a pipeline or trade program for Veterans.

In addition to pipeline programs, veterans usually have skills that pair well with trade jobs. Attention to detail, leadership skills, and the ability to follow directions and communicate effectively will help make learning a new trade that much easier.

One of the final reasons trade jobs are excellent for veterans is the job stability that comes with learning a trade. Trades are projected to grow in the future, and the trades we listed still have year over year growth. A trade is a stable way to keep employment for years to come.

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