Career and Job Search Guide

Military, Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy Careers

To maintain an effective military, professionals are needed to work in hospitals, operate advanced computer systems, repair equipment, and perform other task essential for the military. Over 1.4 million people serve in the United States military, with 1.2 million in the reserves and state national guards.

Careers for officers and enlisted soldiers exist in the military. The majority of the military consists of enlisted personnel. Officers coordinate the duties of enlisted personnel.

Enlisted occupational groups. Since the military must coordinate several operations, there are ample opportunities in administration. Records of supplies, people, and finances must be maintained. Military personnel in administration could be accountants, lawyers, and transportation or supply specialists.

Those who specialize in combat operations work in Special Forces, infantry, and artillery. These professionals confront hostile forces and wipe out enemy positions using artillery and missiles. Additionally many combat specialists operate tanks and other combat machinery. Elite Special Forces units difficult small unit combat operations, being prepared at all times to perform their duties. Special Forces units gather intelligence, conduct demolitions, engage enemy forces, and conduct search and rescue.

Construction professionals build roads, bridges, dams, airports, etc. They use cranes, bulldozers, and other machinery to complete these tasks. Construction specialists also collaborate with engineers to complete construction projects. Other personnel specialize in plumbing and some work as electricians.

Electronic maintenance specialists repair damaged electronic equipment utilized by the military. They usually specialize in communications computer, and avionics equipment. Others specialize in repairing and maintaining weapon systems since most weapons systems are operated with electronics.

Engineering, science, and technical professionals provide technical information and solve technical problems. They usually specialize in intelligence, information technology, environmental protection, and numerous other technologies. Space operation specialists maintain control equipment and systems that monitor location. Information technology specialists design and create software. Those who specialize in environmental protection and human health specialists monitor facilities for germs and other harmful conditions for human health and the environment. Intelligence specialists collect intelligence by using radar and examining photos of enemy positions by examining pictures taken by aircraft.

Health care professionals provide health care services for members of the military. Specialists work in emergency rooms, operate diagnostic machines, for example x ray machines, examine blood samples in labs, and perform numerous other health care related duties.

Human resources specialists coordinate training and recruiting programs. Human resource professionals in the military usually specialize. Recruiting specialists, for example, answer questions for people interested in joining the military. Personnel specialists gather and organize health, job, and personal information about members of the military. Those specializing in training teach classes and train military personnel.

Machine operator professionals specialize in machinery, such as pumps, engines, and turbines, and their specialties are often determined by their job duties. Specialists could include welders and mechanics who maintain safety and survival equipment such parachutes.

Media and public affairs professionals specialize in military public relations and journalism. They provide information to the press, take pictures, and make video and audio recording. Some public affair professionals provide translation services.

Protective service professionals provide law enforcement and disaster assistance services. Some law enforcement specialists invest crimes committed at military bases and protect people incarcerated at military prisons. Firefighters are also employed by the military.

Support service specialists provide services necessary for the physical and mental wellbeing members of the military and their families. Food service workers prepare, cook, and serve food on bases and ships. Counselors assist people in the military and their families cope with mental health problems and stress. These professionals could include chaplains, psychologists, and social workers. Chaplain assistants assist chaplains with church services.

Transportation and material handling professionals coordinate the transport of people and supplies. People who work in aircrews work on planes. Drivers operate trucks and busses. Quartermasters, also referred to as boat operators, operate watercraft. Cargo specialists load and unload cargo.

Mechanics maintain airplanes, trucks, engines, and all other types of military machinery. Aircraft mechanics maintain planes, unmanned drones, and helicopters. Truck and heavy equipment mechanics repair combat vehicles, bulldozers, and other construction equipment. Marine engine mechanics maintain watercraft engines and electrical equipment. Powerhouse mechanics specialize in generators.

Officer occupational groups. Combat specialty officers plan and coordinate military operations. A combat specialist can include tank, armored vehicle, Special Forces, artillery, and infantry commanders. The type of unit combat specialists lead determines their specialty. In the unit, the type of weapon a combat specialist uses determines their responsibilities.

Technical, science, and engineering officers have many duties. For example, environmental safety and health officers specialize in environmental issues affecting human health. Aerospace engineers, for example, supervise the development of military planes.

Executive, administrative, and managerial officers supervise and coordinate administrative responsibilities, such as accounting, finance, health administration, as well as ordering supplies. Health services administrators supervise military hospitals. Certain officers are responsible for purchasing billions of dollars worth of supplies annually.

Health care officers specialize in health care services provided at military hospitals. Some officers are doctors, dentists, and nurses. Physical and occupational therapists assist soldiers who are recovering from injuries. Speech therapists assist people that have difficulties with speaking and hearing. Dietitians design special meals for soldiers needing special diets. The military employees numerous doctors and surgeons to provide health care to members of the military and their family. Since members of the military often experience emotional trauma, the military hires numerous psychologists.

Human resource development officers supervise recruitment, training, and placement programs. Recruiting officers coordinate recruiting programs in schools, and personnel managers are responsible for staff promotion and job counseling. Training and education directors coordinate training and education services for military service members.

Media and public affairs officers coordinate public relations and media services for the military. Some public affairs and media officers develop media productions used to train and entertain service members. Some work with military bands. Public relations and information officers respond to media requests and prepare press releases for the media.

Protective service officers must make sure troops and property are safe on military bases. Emergency preparation officers develop plans for disasters. Law enforcement officers investigate on-base crimes and make arrests when laws are broken.

Support services officers ensure the physical and emotional needs of service members and their families are met. Food services managers coordinate food preparation on base. Social workers seek to improve conditions on the base to prevent substance abuse. Chaplains attend to the spiritual needs of service members.

Transportation officers coordinate military transportation. They often specialize in a particular form of transportation since they often must be trained and certified. Pilots transport service members in planes and helicopters. Navigators use radar and other technology to decide travel paths. Officers stationed on battleships and submarines coordinate and supervise operations on these vessels. Ship engineering officers supervise maintenance, teams of engineers, and electricity generation onboard ships.

Work environment. The majority of military service members work and live on military bases. Military bases have modern living amenities with stores located on base. Members of the military are required to move frequently. Members of the military who specialize in combat and support operations are sometimes deployed to war zones. Service members must be in shape and be willing to leave home for long periods of time. Where a service member works depends on their military occupation.

Most the time, service members work regular hours, but they must be ready to work extended periods of time to meet mission requirements. Military personnel must follow strict rules and codes of conduct. The number of hours a member of the military work depends on their military occupation.