Free and Discounted Student Memberships to Professional Organizations

Professional organizations are a fantastic way to gain deeper understanding of a career that you wish to explore further. They exist to advocate for a specific profession and support their members in various ways.

  • Financial – Student membership are often free or significantly discounted and members are often eligible for scholarships.
  • Educational – Professional organizations contribute to guidelines, policies, and standards within a specific industry and work to keep members up to date with changes. They disseminate knowledge through continuing education opportunities and publications.
  • Career Development – Joining a professional organization comes with networking opportunities. Network through online communities, conferences, and seminars. Many organizations are accredited and offer certifications. Job postings, volunteer opportunities, and board leadership are also common.
  • Discounts – In addition to discounted rates to continuing education, conference attendance, and publications, many professional organizations offer discounts on things like insurance.

According to the Human Resources Professionals Association, there are four types of professional organizations.

  • Member Benefit professional associations – exist primarily to support and advocate for members
  • Designation-granting associations – a member benefit professional association that also offers voluntary designation to members that can set them apart from other professionals in their field
  • Certifying bodies – organization that issues some form of credential
  • Professional regulatory bodies – exist primarily to protect the public by exercising authorities delegated by law and enforcing standards

The following is a select list of member benefit professional associations and designation-granting associations available to military communities and students.

Professional Associations Designed for Military-Connected Individuals

 Air Force Association – $20 Electronic Membership for First-Time Members

This association exists to support and honor Airmen and their families through education, advocacy and support.

  • Scholarship and grant opportunities
  • Publications: podcast, magazine and scholarly research reports
  • Annual national convention, symposiums, and conferences
  • Networking opportunities, professional development, and job boards
  • Discounts on travel, legal services, insurance, and shopping

Air Force Sergeants Association – $36 Memberships for Active Duty and Family Members

This association advocates for the quality of life for Airmen and their families.

  • Scholarship opportunities
  • Employment and volunteer opportunities
  • Magazine publications and media library
  • JROTC and CAP award programs
  • Transition Support Services including mentoring

Association of Military Surgeons of the United States – Free Two-year Student Membership

Anyone from any healthcare discipline (dentists, physicians, nurses, allied health, students, enlisted and civilian) associated with DoD, VA, HHS, or DHS who is interested in improving healthcare is welcome to join this association.

  • Scholarship programs
  • Publications: Peer-reviewed Journal, e-Newsletters
  • Awards program
  • Continuing Education for 9 healthcare disciplines
  • Annual Meeting and Regional Seminar programs

Military Police Regimental Association – $40 memberships for Military or civilian law enforcement

This association works to promote and preserve the history and traditions of the Military Police Corps Regiment and supports police, soldiers, and their families.

  • Scholarship programs
  • Publications: magazine
  • Career opportunities

Student Veterans Association – Free Membership for Veterans

This association promotes success among veterans in higher education by providing resources, support and advocacy. Join an existing chapter or start your own.

  • Scholarship opportunities
  • Stewardship of the GI Bill
  • Leadership training programs
  • Networking opportunities among current members and alumni
  • Research initiatives
  • Annual National Conference

Professional Organization Memberships Designed for Students

There are countless professional organizations available and many have free or significantly discounted memberships for students.

American Concrete Institute – Free Student Membership

This institute is focused on developing standards and resources for those involved in concrete design, construction, and materials.

  • Scholarships and Fellowships
  • Continuing Education opportunities
  • Internships and a Career Center
  • Annual Conventions
  • Discounts on insurance and automobile rentals

American Dental Hygienists’ Association – Discount Student Membership with Free Professional Membership after graduation

This is the largest national organization of registered dental hygienists (RDH). They work to support dental hygienists in their careers and in providing the best possible dental care?

  • Scholarship and grant opportunities
  • Publications: magazine subscription, peer-review journal, exam preparation
  • Annual conference and online career center
  • Award and recognition programs

American Jails Association – $15 Student Membership

Full-time students interested in a career in corrections can take advantage of membership benefits at a significantly discounted rate. This association enhances public safety by leading, educating, and supporting corrections professionals.

  • Networking through online communities
  • Continuing education opportunities
  • Workshops and conferences
  • Publications: magazine and newsletter

American Massage Therapy Association – Free Student Membership

This membership is for massage therapy students who want to promote massage therapy and establish themselves within their profession.

  • Continuing education in the form of practice resources
  • Career guidance, mentoring program, and resume tools
  • Discounts on insurance

American Planning Association – Free Student Membership

This US-based international association supports city planners, commissioners, public officials, educators and students to plan, improve, and develop communities.

  • Publications and eBooks
  • Advocacy resources for quality planning
  • Career services
  • National Conference
  • Recognition programs

Oncology Nursing Society – Free Student Membership – The Oncology Nursing Society, founded over 40 years ago, supports nurses in improving cancer care. They offer a free student membership to nurses in a full-time pre-licensure program.

  • Scholarship and grant opportunities
  • Publications: podcast, peer-review journals, and magazine
  • Online communities, local, state, international events
  • Career center
  • Award programs

Stand out in your chosen profession by taking advantage of the resources available to military members and students through professional organizations.

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