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Top High Paying Jobs for Veterans after the Military

six-figure jobs for veterans

The Top High Paying Jobs for Veterans and the Degrees Needed for Them

Not sure what career field you want to enter after separating from the military? Want to find a job that compensates you well? Want to know the top high paying jobs for veterans?  

We’ve rounded up some of the best jobs for veterans like you. Take a look to see if any of them would be an interesting next step in your civilian career.

NOTE: Some schools listed below have paid for promotional consideration.

Human Resources Manager

Median Pay: $104,440

Human Resources Managers direct an organization’s recruiting, hiring, and administration functions, including the administration of benefits. They serve as the link between senior leaders and employees. This is a great position for those who:

  • Are good listeners
  • Have experience managing others
  • Enjoy dealing with people daily

Human Resources Manager is a high paying job for veterans with a bachelor’s degree.  Also, a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources is currently one of the hot degrees to get! Read more on why, here.

VA-Approved Schools Offering Human Resources Degrees

Air Traffic Controller

Median Pay: $122,950

Air Traffic Controllers issue landing and takeoff instructions to pilots. They monitor and direct the movement of aircraft on the ground and in the air, using radar, computers, or visual references. Lastly, they control all ground traffic at airports, including baggage vehicles and airport workers. This extremely important job is reflected in its high paying salary. 

If you were an air traffic controller in the military then this would be an easy transition.  Please visit for more on aviation and aeronautics degrees.

VA-Approved Schools with Air Traffic Controller Programs

RELATED: Civilian Jobs After Serving In The Military in Aviation

Senior Program Manager, IT

Median Pay: $144,000

Lots of companies are putting the communications technology training that veterans have to good use.

Military veterans often have experience leading groups of troops at relatively young ages.  They can then transition those skills into leading an office team in charge of a specific project within an organization.

*Most senior program managers (especially in IT) have at least a bachelor’s degree.

VA-Approved Schools with IT Degree Programs

RELATED: Getting a Degree in Management Information SystemsGetting Your Computer Science Degree


Management Consultant

Median Pay: $92,600

Here’s another gig that is logistical. Management consultants are brought in to help companies operate more efficiently. They serve as guides and outside experts on everything from manufacturing efficiency and employee scheduling, to finances and supply-chain management. It’s a job for someone who is analytical and can think strategically.

*Management consultants typically have bachelor’s degrees in engineering, mathematics, finance or business.

Most consultants have a bachelor’s degree and experience in the field they are consulting on. If you liked the work you did in the military, consider that industry as a civilian side.  You could even be a consultant within that industry. An undergraduate degree in that field would boost the likelihood of getting the job over other applicants.

VA-Approved Schools with Business Administration Degree Programs

Real Estate Agent

Median Pay: $50,000, but the ability to make over $100,000

Real estate agents won’t need a college degree but they will need to be licensed in their state. They will need a high school diploma or a GED. As a real estate agent, they will be helping people buy and sell a home. Their pay will be commission and based on how many homes they able to sell during the month.

Real estate agents hours can be flexible. However, they will need to work those hours that work best for their clients. If someone enjoys helping others find their own home, and has an eye for business, being a real estate agent can be a great job.

Transportation Inspector

Median Pay: $73,780

Transportation inspectors make sure modes of transportation, such as airplanes, subways, trains, and buses are running properly. The education they need can vary by industry as well as the income. Working in the federal executive branch could mean making over six figures, with rail transportation and air transportation not far behind.

If someone has a mind for mechanical parts, and are able to pay attention to detail, this can be a good job for them.

Nurse Midwife

Median Pay: $100,590

A nurse midwife would be responsible for the care, both before and after as well as during childbirth and other areas of women’s health. They can work with a team or on their own. In order to work as a nurse midwife, someone would need to have their RN, as well as their master’s degree in midwifery. They do not have to attend medical school.

This job is good for those who have a desire to help women give birth and be okay working in that type of environment.

VA-Approved Schools with Registered Nursing Degree Programs

Schools with Midwife Nurse Degree Programs

Art Director

Median Pay: $92,500

An art director would oversee the art, photographs, graphics, and drawn images that are found in newspapers, magazines, ad campaigns, and even book covers. They would need a degree from art school where they could have studied graphic design, photography, and drawing.

A love of art and fine details would be perfect for this type of career.

Oil Rig Worker

Median Pay: $75,000 but some make up to $200,000 annually

Being an oil rig worker is a taxing, labor-intensive job, but can make for a steady career. It is lonely and can be potentially dangerous so that needs to be kept in mind. In this career, an oil rig worker would support oil and gas drilling and extraction operations on an offshore platform.

This type of job just requires a high school degree or GED. There also might be assistant positions for those who want to learn more.

Tax Manager

Median Pay: $104,740

A tax manager will be responsible for accurately preparing and filing state and federal tax documents. They will develop strategies and policies that help the client or business maintain compliance with local and federal tax laws and regulations.

They would work in-house for a business, or as a consultant for multiple clients. To be a tax manager, one would need to have a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in business, economics, or finance.

In some cases, the job may require a CPA license which would require education, accounting experience, and passing the examination.

Those who can be a team player, like numbers, and enjoy office work would be best for this type of job.

Sales Manager

Median Pay: $115,341

A sales manager would manage, mentor, and lead sales team members, create sales plans, and create new sales opportunities. They would recruit new sales representatives, and follow up on potential sales leads. They would need a bachelor’s degree in business, administration, or a related field.

A sales manager would need to have good computer skills, and be able to analyze data and sales statistics.

High Level Positions

These next two are career destinations and not jobs veterans could expect coming out of the military necessarily.  We’ve included these so that you could better understand longer term opportunities and possible education options to pursue.

Chief Information Officer (CIO)

Median Pay: $172,900

Veterans are often hired to direct a company’s IT strategies and manage its infrastructure.  This position pays extremely well. CIO’s can also be eligible for bonuses and profit sharing payouts between $49,000 and $73,000.

CIO is a top paying job for veterans with a bachelor’s degree.  Most companies prefer their executives to have an undergraduate degree in computer science or similar area and later acquire an MBA.

This isn’t necessarily a position you would hold coming out of the military.  However, with the right education and experience this can be a great career goal for you.

Schools with Computer Science Degree Programs

Listed schools may have paid for promotional consideration.

Chief Information Security Officer

Median Pay: $156,200

Major data breaches have become all too common these days. This makes the role of Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) more critical than ever. These executives generally oversee a team of employees.  The team is responsible for protecting a company’s information systems and evaluating its security strategies.

Thanks to their background, veterans are four times more likely to hold these positions than other American workers.

CISO is a high paying job for veterans with a bachelor’s degree.  Although there is no specific Chief Information Security Officer degree program, most companies look for those who have an undergraduate degree in Cyber Security or Computer Science and show a concentration in IT Security.

Schools with Cyber Security Degree Programs

Experience & An Education

A lot of high paying jobs for veterans draw heavily on having experience in the field. Some however do require at least a bachelor’s degree. If you are thinking of using your GI Bill, all of the schools mentioned above also have varying student veteran support and outreach. Start a conversation with the schools to see how else they can help support you.

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