Military careers all have one thing common – at some point they end. And when that time comes, it’s helpful to be ready to enter the civilian job marketplace and start a new career. Selecting a post-military career with several years of military service left allows a service member to take advantage of their branch’s Tuition Assistance program and get a start on the education requirements they will need to the job after they get out…but without using their GI Bill.

seven of the fastest growing careers

In regard to selecting a second career, here are seven of the fastest growing careers to consider. In creating this list, one of the primary considerations was to have varying education requirements – anywhere from a two-year technical school to a master’s degree because college isn’t for everyone. No matter what level of college you want to go after, you can start preparing today for a career tomorrow!

1. Wind Turbine Service Technician

Because the work involves high places, those afraid of heights might want to look for a different line of work. But it’s one that doesn’t require much schooling.

Usually a course in wind energy technology from a community college or technical school is enough to get into the field; the rest is learned through a 12-month on-the-job training, manufacturer’s training, or through an internship. Alternative energy is here to stay as we move away from fossil fuels, so it is a great line of work to get into.

2. Nurse Practitioner/ Physician’s Assistant

As the U.S. population ages and the demand for preventative care continues to grow, these two similar professional healthcare fields will continue to grow as well -just look at the projected growth and employment numbers in the chart below. However, like most professional fields, the education component is greater – usually a six-year master’s program at an approved school or a two-year master’s program, if already in possession of a bachelor’s degree in healthcare science and some patient care work experience. NPs and PAs usually work in a clinical or hospital setting with many specializing in a healthcare field such as nurse midwife, dermatology, or orthopedics. The main difference between the two is NPs usually have prior nursing experience whereas PAs do not.

3. Solar Photovoltaic Installer

This is another alternative energy field if you like working closer to the ground. Turning sunlight into energy is big business right now and into the forecasted future. Learning how to install solar panels and get a system up and running usually requires a community college or technical school course in addition to an on-the-job training or apprenticeship. One organization – Solar Ready Vets – connects highly qualified veterans with employers who in turn put newly-hired veterans into an on-the-job training program.

4. Statistician

If you like working with numbers, then this career field could be a great one to get into. Generally a master’s degree in mathematics, economics, computer science or another quantitative field is required. Typically, statisticians take collected data and apply mathematical theories and modeling programs to solve real-world problems. Work is usually with a government, healthcare, research and development or at a college or university

5. Physical Therapist Assistant

If you like working in the healthcare field but don’t want the extensive schooling most of those fields require, working as a Physical Therapist Assistant might be your ideal job. Usually all that is required is a two-year associate degree in physical therapy. Working under the supervision of a physical therapist, assistants work with injured patients to help them manage pain and regain movement.

6. Medical and Health Services Manager

Healthcare administrators or executives as they are also called, manage anywhere from a healthcare department to an entire facility, such as a hospital. It is a great job that allows you to work with healthcare professionals, but not actually perform healthcare duties. Job requirements usually means having at least a bachelor’s degree in health administration, health management, or business administration; some positions require a master’s degree.

7. Information Security Analyst

Entering this field usually takes having at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information assurance, programming, or a related field. Some employers prefer applicants to have an MBA in information systems, which is an additional two years of schooling.

Career Data

Career Field Median

Annual Salary



(2019 – 2029)

Projected Employment Change

(number of jobs in 2019)

Wind Turbine Service Technician $52,910 61% 4,300


Nurse Practitioner/

Physician’s Assistant





117,700 – (263,400)/

39,300 – (125,500)

Solar Photovoltaic Installer $44,890 51% 6,100
Statistician $92,030 33% 14,900


Physical Therapist Assistant $48,990 29% 43,000


Medical and Health Services Manager $100,980 32% 133, 200


Information Security Analyst $99,730 31% 40,900


Data courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics


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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.