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Tips for Finding Jobs as a Veteran

Jul 21, 2022 ·

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Leaving the military and finding a new career is one of the most challenging life changes anyone can experience.

Sure, you’ve trudged through mud and rain in training, perhaps experienced combat in foreign countries, and maybe even put your life on the line to protect our country. But that can seem like child’s play compared to the transition into civilian life and finding veteran jobs, right?

Now that you’ve decided to hang up that uniform, it’s time to start looking for your next role. And at Universal Technical Institute (UTI), we’re here to help support you.

Read on for tips and advice to help you feel comfortable joining the workforce as a veteran.

Transitioning From the Military to Civilian Life

Leaving the military is an opportune time to find a career you’re passionate about, and trade school can help get you there faster with vocation-focused education.1

Learning a skilled trade can lead to work environments that many veterans typically enjoy and could provide the opportunity for steady, reliable income.

Attending a trade school like UTI can help you overcome some of the biggest challenges you’ll face when returning to civilian life, including:

  • Finding a new career: Going back to school gives you a chance to train in a field you’re interested in, learn new skills and leverage them in jobs for veterans.
  • Connecting to community: You can find community in the classroom among fellow students and mentorship with instructors. Military Friendly® schools like UTI even tailor programs for veterans so they can meet their peers from the military, who share similar life experiences.56
  • Creating a familiar structure: A trade school training program offers familiar structure for a transitioning veteran.
  • Preparing you to enter the workforce: Trade school helps set you up with skills and certifications that are in demand. A good school will also help you make industry connections, assist you in finding veteran jobs and even help you build your résumé.
  • Providing for yourself and your family: Many trade school programs take less than a year to complete, so you’ll be ready to enter the workforce and start earning sooner than if you chose a four-year school.4

How to Find the Right Veteran Jobs

The first step in finding the right veteran jobs is to get in touch with what you’re passionate about. Would you like to do the same type of work you performed in the military or try something completely new?

Once you decide what gets you excited, you can search for a career that matches your skills and interests. Here are some steps to help get you there.

Conduct Research

A little bit of research can take you a long way when it comes to finding jobs for veterans, especially when you’re not entirely sure what you want to do.

These steps from can help point you in the right direction:

  • Decide what you want to do and where: Begin with a thorough self-assessment to determine what you really want.
  • Get a read on your area of interest: Which industries are trending toward growth? Which are declining? Gather some general information online and check the Occupational Outlook Handbook provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for specific industry associations for future predictions.
  • Find a company you connect with: Search company websites for mission statements, product and service information, principals’ backgrounds and contact information. Check public company financials through the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Network like your job depends on it: Because sometimes it does! Any opportunity to talk to people who are in the know will benefit you.

Another important detail to research is how potential employers support their veteran employees throughout their careers. This can help tell you a great deal about how much they understand and value your military experience.

Take a Career Assessment

Once you have an idea of what you’d like to do, you can use these resources to help connect to a civilian career and veteran jobs that match your passion:

Leverage the Skills You Learned in the Military

Each skill you’ve learned during your time in the service has the potential to help you land a civilian job. Veterans often have experience in many areas, including:

  • Learning and practicing leadership and management
  • Teaching, training and mentoring
  • Communicating internally and externally, formally and informally
  • Documenting, reporting and writing
  • Emergency response, crisis management and strategic planning
  • Problem solving using cutting-edge technologies in areas like aerospace, intelligence, information technology, weapons and engineering

All these skills would make you a valuable addition to any team. To best leverage your hard-earned skills, however, you’ve got to be able to apply them in civilian roles.

Military Skills Translator can help match your experience to civilian jobs and translate your military skills into language that makes sense in civilian life.

Utilize Military Resources to Find Jobs for Veterans

The VA and Military OneSource are both great resources to start with for help finding a civilian job. You can also tap into these specific resources for help:

  • With your résumé and job applications: The Veterans Employment Center (VEC) is the federal government’s authoritative internet source for connecting transitioning service members, veterans and their families to meaningful career opportunities.
  • Finding job listings or career fairs to attend: Find a full listing of upcoming veteran career fairs on the Veterans Employment Center website.
  • With VA transition assistance: Explore your career options as you separate from the military.

Find even more resources in the Veterans Employment Toolkit.

Stay Positive

Starting to feel overwhelmed? Marine Corps Community Services lists five mindfulness steps to help veterans keep a positive outlook while finding civilian jobs:

  1. Don’t give negative thoughts more than 5 or 10 minutes of attention.
  2. Focus on the positive. This could be a new job, a good book or a great hike you’ve enjoyed recently.
  3. Change your activities. This could be as simple as moving from one room in the house to another. When you find yourself starting to think negatively, start washing the dishes or put a load of laundry in the washing machine. The idea is to remove yourself from the location where your negative thoughts occurred.
  4. Go for a walk. Nature walks are really good for defusing heightened reactions from a memory of your past.
  5. Talk to someone. Sometimes simply sharing your worries with another person can help you feel better. A trusted friend can provide support and help you focus on the present.

Prepare to Join the Civilian Workforce at UTI

At UTI, we provide military and veterans services designed especially for military personnel to help them successfully transition toward meaningful, relevant careers.1

Upon graduating from UTI, Motorcycle Mechanics Institute, Marine Mechanics Institute or NASCAR Tech, we make every effort to help students find jobs for veterans within the industry in the geographic area of their choice.

Request more information to discover the training and services we provide to help students with military backgrounds prepare for exciting futures.20

With classes starting every 3-6 weeks, no need to wait to start your career.
Hands-on training. Get hands on experience with the industry's leading brands.
No Pressure to commit. Get answers to your questions without any obligations.

1) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

2) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit

4) UTI’s Automotive Technology program is 51 weeks. Core program length varies by subject. For example, Diesel & Industrial Technology is 45 weeks and Automotive/Diesel Technology is 75 weeks.

20) VA benefits may not be available at all campus locations.

56) Military Friendly® Schools designation applies to specific campuses. Check with the campus for details.

Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.


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