Civilian Jobs After Serving In The Military in Aviation


Joining the military and working in aviation can be a smart choice. Not only can you have a successful career while serving in the military, but you can take your experience and the skills you learned to the civilian world.

Civilian Jobs After Serving In The Military in Aviation

If you have served in Aviation, depending on what your job was, you may have learned how to fly a airplane, how to maintain an airplane, or other skills that can help in a post-military career in aviation. Here are a few career paths you might want to choose to pursue, depending on your skills and career plans.

>> Use our Veteran Job Matcher to find job opportunities with companies looking to hire veterans and transitioning military.  Click here to get started.

Program Manager in Aviation/Aerospace

If you are interested in the engineering side of aviation, becoming a Program Manager in Aviation/Aerospace would be ideal. To work in this type of job you would be responsible for preparing proposals, and leading projects in aviation and aerospace. Knowing the fundamentals of air transport, airport operations, and airline revenue management would be important. You would work with engineers, civic planners, environmental science professionals, as well as government officials. You should also have some leadership skills to bring to the job.

In order to have this type of job, you would need a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or a related subject. You also will need to be registered as a professional engineer in their respective state.

According to, the average salary of a Program Manager in Aviation/Aerospace would be $108,917 as of May 16th, 2019.

Commercial Airline Pilot

If you were a pilot in the military, becoming a commercial airline pilot once you get out of the military can be a good idea. You will already have experience flying planes and will have flight hours you can put towards your commercial pilot licence. Working as a pilot, you should have good depth perception, and quick reaction time, as well as problem solving skills. Because you have flown in the military you would be familiar with flying a plane, but will need extra training on commercial flying.

To become a pilot it would be a good idea to have an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s. However, having flight training in the military can take the place of that. You will need 250 flight hours for your commercial pilot licence, and those you have flown during your time in the military will count towards that. You can get a job flying passengers or even cargo.

According to, the average salary of a Commercial Airline Pilot would be $72,327 as of May 16th, 2019.

Aircraft Mechanic

If you worked as an aircraft mechanic in the military, that can carry over into a civilian job. As an aircraft mechanic, you would perform repairs, and do preventative routine maintenance on aircraft and helicopters. You would need an eye for detail, and have a basic understanding of how things work. You would be responsible for making sure the aircraft is safe, and that any issues are repaired and fixed as soon as possible.

While you can become an Aircraft Mechanic by going to a FAA approved AMT training school or by having on-the-job training, the FAA also gives credit for time spent in aviation maintenance while serving in the military. Colleges and other AMT training programs will also give that credit too.

According to, the average salary of an Aircraft Mechanic would be $49,727 as of May 16th, 2019.

Aviation Meteorologist

If you are interested in meteorology, or have worked as a flight meteorologist, weather officer, or other related job in the military, working as an aviation meteorologist can be the right for for you.

In this type of job you would provide weather information to airline flight dispatchers and pilots. You would determine current weather conditions for all altitudes and take into account what conditions may affect a flight, such as what can cause heavy turbulence.

You would rely on weather radar, computers, weather stations information, and other tools. Additionally, you would also need to be able to work under pressure and have a familiarity with aviation.

Commercial airlines will probably want you to have a bachelor’s degree in meteorology, aviation meteorology, or even another type of science.

Your training and skills in the military can also count towards your education and the experience companies are looking for. Beyond working for a commercial airline, you could work for a private company, which might do work for the government or even the military.

According to, the average salary of a Aviation Meteorologist would be $53,241 as of May 20th, 2019.

If continuing in the aviation field is important to you after you finish your time in the military, make plans for the career you want to pursue, and work to start any education or training you might need before you would start applying for those jobs.

Aviation Jobs Across the Different Branches

All five branches do have a form of Aviation. The Air Force has the biggest about of aviation type jobs with 43 different careers.

The Army has 21 different Aviation MOS. While the Marine Corps and the Navy also have many different options to serve in an aviation combat role.

The Coast Guard offers jobs such as Aviation Maintenance Technician, Aviation Survival Technician, and Avionics Electrical Technician.


Civilian Jobs “After the Military” For:

>> Use our Veteran Job Matcher to find job opportunities with companies looking to hire veterans and transitioning military.  Click here to get started.


About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.