Many of the Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs) easily cross over to the civilian world, for military members thinking of transitioning out and staying in their same field. For those who want to go to school and learn a new career field, GI Bill education benefits can help launch a new career of the service member’s choosing. Regardless of whether you decide to pursue something you know or learn something new, there is likely one factor you’ve consider – how much you’ll make in that after the military job.

Here are four career paths to consider that continually top the list of fast-growing and in-demand occupations across the country.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects these four career fields will have great projected growth through 2028, and they pay very well.

Physician’s Assistant (PA)

It is no surprise this career made this list. As the population in the U.S. grows older, more people each year will need the services of a healthcare professional. Physician’s assistants work in physician offices, hospitals and outpatient clinics, and just like physicians, many of them specialize in a particular aspect of healthcare. To work in this field requires a P.A. master’s degree from an accredited school, along with passing a licensing exam in the state where practicing. Credentials for PA’s transitioning out of the military in most cases cross right over to the civilian world, except for getting licensed.

  • Projected Growth – 31%
  • Median Salary – $108,610
  • Number of Jobs – 118,800
  • Employment Change – 37,000

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

Similar to a Physician’s assistant, nurse practitioners provide primary and specialty care to patients. Many of them also specialize in an area like geriatrics, pediatrics or mental health. They, too, need a master’s degree, but in an advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) field, and licensed in the state where they practice. As with PA’s, military NP’s credentials would most likely cross over to the civilian healthcare field, too.

  • Projected Growth – 28%
  • Median Salary – $107,030
  • Number of Jobs – 240,700
  • Employment Change – 62,000

Software Developer

The work in this field can range from developing software applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or mobile device to developing systems that run or control entire computer systems or networks. Typically, at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering or a related field is required to get hired in this field; depending on the job, certain certifications may also be required. MOSs like communications, information technology (IT) and information systems (IS) come across nicely.

In some cases, a security clearance may also be required; it is especially desirable if working for a government contractor is on your radar. If you’ve left the military with a current security clearance, this is a valuable credential to help advance your career prospects as a software developer.

  • Projected Growth – 26%
  • Median Salary – $103,620
  • Number of Jobs – 1,365,500
  • Employment Change – 284,100

Information Security Analyst

As cybersecurity threats increase across the world, the demand for IS analysts is rapidly increasing. People working in this job plan and carry out security measures to prevent unauthorized access to computer networks and systems. Normally, at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information assurance or programming is required. Some employers require an MBA in information systems to fill certain jobs. The closest military field that would transition over would be anything cyber or IS-related. As with software developers, a security clearance may be needed for certain positions, and a current clearance is absolutely an asset.

  • Projected Growth – 32%
  • Median Salary – $98,350
  • Number of jobs – 112,300
  • Employment Change – 35,500

If transitioning out within the next year or two, now is not too soon to start considering what civilian field you want to work in and to start preparing to meet the requirements of that field if you have not already.

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Kness retired in November 2007 as a Senior Noncommissioned Officer after serving 36 years of service with the Minnesota Army National Guard of which 32 of those years were in a full-time status along with being a traditional guardsman. Kness takes pride in being able to still help veterans, military members, and families as they struggle through veteran and dependent education issues.