If you served in the infantry, you know that physical and mental strength and endurance along with being a team player are critical to getting the job done. Falling short of the mark can result in the loss of life and failure to complete the mission. These attributes will serve you well in your transition to the civilian workforce.
Civilian Jobs After the Infantry
Although some MOS’s translate directly to civilian jobs, such as medic, information technology specialists, and mechanical jobs, infantry occupations are not always as obvious. At first glance Infantry jobs seem limited to a handful of civilian jobs in law enforcement and truck driving, there are actually several other options for transitioning infantrymen.
Let’s take a look at some of the options you might want to explore. First the obvious options:
Becoming a police officer after the infantry can be a good fit. There are several different types of police work that you could go into, such as game wardens, Corrections Officers, Customs and Border Patrol, Drug Enforcement (DEA), Marshals, FBI, and the Secret Service.
Let’s examine some of the LE jobs that traditionally have the most opportunities.
To become a police officer you probably just need a high school diploma. There will be training involved, but that is usually done through the police academy. This means that you could start the road to becoming a police officer soon after you get out of the military.
Your military service can help you find a job as well as prepare you for the day to day of a police officer. As an infantryman, you will already be familiar with firearms as well as having the mental and physical strength for a law enforcement job. Even some of the skills you picked up during deployments can help.
Even though you might need a high school diploma to start, having more education wouldn’t be a bad thing. Using your GI Bill or other VA funding you could go to a local community college to take law enforcement classes, receive a certificate, or even go for your Associate degree. See what is in your local area and what might be possible for you to do before you start your career as a police officer. Having that extra education can only help you in your future career.
According to Salary.com, the average salary of a police officer in April 2018 is $53,109.
NOTE: You can search for Criminal Justice degrees with CollegeRecon’s Search tool. There are over 1,400 schools with Criminal Justice degrees at CollegeRecon. Just go to Filters and search for Criminal Justice degrees under Degrees Offered.
Border Patrol Agent
If you are looking for a job after your time in the infantry that will be a good fit, you could look into working as a border patrol agent through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP.) As an agent, you will be working to secure the international land border as well as the coastal waters. You would be safeguarding the American people from terrorists, their weapons, drug smuggling, as well as illegal entry into the country.
As a border patrol agent, you can work in a variety of ways. You can work in areas such as horse patrol, bike patrol, a K-9 unit, Riverine operations, a off-road vehicle unit, BORTAC, BORSTAR, mobile response team, the chaplaincy, a peer support program or the honor guard.
As a veteran of the military, you can also receive veterans preference. This is when they give qualified, eligible veterans an advantage over others when recruiting under competitive external procedures. If you are working for CBP, you will also be able to use your military service towards your retirement and leave accrual.
As a former infantryman, you can use your skills from your deployments and training to help you guard the borders and help protect the citizens of the United States.
In order to work for the CBP, you will most likely need a degree. You may be able to use your GI Bill during On-the-Job training to receive a monthly housing allowance. This can make transitioning to this career possible and allow you to continue in a job that helps protect the citizens of your country.
Starting pay is about $52,583 with the ability to make a lot more as you move up in your career.
As a personal trainer or fitness instructor you will guide and motivate clients as they work toward their weight loss, muscle building and fitness goals. You will work with clients to create individualized plans for achieving their fitness goals and provide supplemental nutritional information. Personal trainers lead clients through exercise routines while offering words of encouragement during training sessions.
Most trainers and instructors work in facilities such as health clubs, fitness or recreation centers, gyms, and yoga and Pilates studios. But there is also an opportunity for concierge services – fancy word for house calls, where you can train people in their own homes.
As a former infantryman, you can use your skills from your training and PT experience to help you train and motivate your clients.
The education and training required for fitness trainers and instructors varies by type of specialty, and employers prefer to hire those with certification or a degree in Kinesiology or physical education.
You may be able to use your GI Bill to pursue certification or a degree related to this field. A degree will certainly help increase your opportunities and salary level.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the median pay is about $39,820 with the ability to make a lot more as build your client list.
As you are wrapping up your career in the infantry, think about what you might want to do after you ETS. These are just a few career fields that might work for you but don’t be afraid to go back to school and work towards something else. With your GI Bill and other funding from the military, cost shouldn’t be an issue when it comes to going back to school to start another career after your time in the military is over.
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