VETERAN’S NEWS from the Internet
Gathered by Bob Kinsler, SSG (ret), US Army, DAV, VFW Dept. of Oklahoma, PRO/Editor
Four Skilled Trade Jobs That Allow for a Smooth Military Career Transition By Audrey Jenkins
Few careers carry the weight and recognition of those who serve in the military, but not all members of the military elect to serve for their entire career. There are currently 1,465,068 active duty military members in the US, and many choose to enter the civilian workforce upon completing their service. The skills and values found in the military are also found within a number of skilled trade professions, which makes transitioning from a military to a civilian career much easier. Here, we have compiled four of the most accessible careers for military veterans transitioning back into civilian life.
1. Electricians According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the need for electricians is expected to grow by 20% by 2022, which is twice as much as the average growth rate for all occupations. In addition, those pursuing this trade career usually only need a high school diploma or an equivalent degree to begin training for this career, which makes for a quick transition. Moreover, military personnel who work in utilities equipment repair are familiar with inspecting and maintaining electrical systems onsite, which helps develop the skills needed to thrive as an electrician in a civilian work environment.
2. HVAC Technicians The aforementioned utilities equipment repairer is also responsible for the maintenance and supervision of air conditioning and refrigeration systems. This on-the-job training during active duty provides an excellent foundation for those wanting to work as an HVAC technician after leaving the military. Furthermore, former service members often have experience working under harsh conditions, which will help them in the HVAC profession, as technicians sometimes work in extreme weather or confined spaces. The employment outlook for HVAC techs is excellent, with an expected growth rate of 21% by 2022.
3. Welders There are many different scenarios where welding skills are needed in the armed forces. Typically, an allied trade specialist is responsible for completing welding tasks. After leaving the military, an allied trade specialist can pursue a certification in welding to advance his or her career in the civilian workforce. According to Tulsa Welding School, veterans can benefit from investigating how their experiences and credentials earned during their service may be used towards a degree. Some skills may be translated into class credits, while others may pose a significant advantage when applying for competitive training schools.
4. Automotive Technicians The military uses a fleet of vehicles during both training and combat, and in times of peace. However, all machinery is susceptible to wear and tear, especially considering the inhospitable terrain that troops often find themselves in. Wheeled vehicle mechanics are responsible for ensuring that all wheeled vehicles operate appropriately and are properly maintained. As a result, a civilian career as an automotive technician is an excellent choice for transitioning post-active service if you worked as a wheeled vehicle mechanic. Those skilled in installation, maintenance, and repair make a little over $41,000 per year on average, the BLS reports.
A Bright Future Rather than worrying about unemployment as a veteran, it can be more productive to look into what trade jobs match the skill set you acquired while on duty. In addition to the dozens of scholarships offered by various organizations to members of the military, all servicemen and -women are eligible to use the GI Bill for funding their education. A skilled trade career permits you to easily transfer the skills and knowledge you gained in service to the noncombatant workforce, thus allowing for a quick and smooth transition from military to civilian life.
June 9 through 12 the VFW Department of Oklahoma conference will be held at the Biltmore Hotel in Oklahoma City, OK. Room rates are $59 a night plus applicable fees and taxes. Formal Business activities will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Awards Banquet will be on Saturday Night, June 11 costing $30 a person. It is suggested that if you are going you better get your reservation NOW.
The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) International Security Program hosted an engaging discussion on Veteran’s health policy with VA Secretary Bob McDonald. During the session moderated by CSIS president and CEO John J. Hamre, McDonald discussed some of the challenges the VA has faced within the past few years, what has already been done during his time in office and his plan for the future of VA.
“We’re trying to use this crisis to take advantage of this great opportunity that we have in the history of our department, so that we can better deliver outcomes for Veterans and families,” said McDonald speaking about the 2014 access crisis.
He delved deeper into the latest updates on the MyVA transformation, including:
- In the first 12 months after the access crisis VA completed seven million more appointments than in the prior year. Of those appointments, 2.5 million were at VA and 4.5 million were in the community.
- Last fiscal year, VA completed nearly two million appointments more than the prior fiscal year, including 57 million appointments inside VA and over 21 million in communities.
- From March 2015 to this past February, Veterans received 10 percent more authorizations for care in the community than the same period last year
- Over the last 12 months, VA completed 1.6 million appointments than the year before.
- In February 2016, VA completed over 96 percent of appointments within 30 days of the clinically indicated or preferred date.
In addition, the clinical workload is up more than 20 percent, giving more than seven million additional hours of care for Veterans. VA has also hired 18,000 medical staff over the last year and a half and has built nearly four million square feet of clinical space within the past two years.
McDonald’s vision is to make VA the number one customer service agency in the federal government. A key part of that is improving the employee experience and giving them the tools and resources they need so that they can better serve Veterans. VA is also working with the MyVA Advisory Committee, a group of business leaders, medical professionals, government executives and Veteran advocates to get feedback throughout the process.
The secretary hopes that the steps put in place by the MyVA transformation process will put VA on a path towards success.
“President Reagan gave Veterans ‘a seat at the table of our national affairs nearly three decades ago. MyVA is about keeping Veterans at the table, in control of how, when, and where they wish to be served,” he said.