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The hottest jobs for military veterans

Margarita Angelo (R) of Zions Bank talks to Veteran Robert Ryan (L) who is looking for a job at the "Hiring Our Heroes" job fair November 4, 2011 at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy, Utah. (George Frey/GETTY IMAGES)

However generous Wal-Mart’s much-publicized move back in January to hire veterans may be, stocking shelves or warehouses at the retail behemoth may not sound like much of a career for many of the more than 1 million service members projected to leave the armed forces between 2011 and 2016 as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan come to an end.

Those needing other ideas might want to check out the list of the hottest jobs for veterans released Wednesday by the Web site G.I. Jobs. The list, excerpted below, ranks technicians, engineers and IT professionals as the top three most attractive careers for veterans. G.I. Jobs shares average salaries in the field, links to jobs and career descriptions that may help some translate their military experience into skills the corporate world will understand.

Jena McGregor writes a daily column analyzing leadership in the news for the Washington Post’s On Leadership section. View Archive

That, after all, is the No. 1 reason employers don’t hire more veterans, according to a report released last year by the Center for a New American Security. Companies, the report said, have trouble deciphering the acronyms on veterans’ resumes or understanding how their military experience could help in the business world. If more veterans can translate their skills to growing occupations, perhaps fewer will become yet another data point in the dishearteningly high unemployment figures for vets, which — as of the end of 2012 — was nearly 10 percent, compared with 7.9 percent for non-veterans.

Here are the positions that military-friendly employers most frequently listed as ‘expanding areas of business’ when surveyed by G.I. Jobs:

Job (and average salary)

1.Technician ($57,444)

2.Engineer ($81,966)

3.IT professional ($62,299)

4.Mechanic ($52,230)

5.Sales rep ($56,390)

6.Logistician ($70,800)

7.Project manager ($64,412)

8.Operations manager ($87,550)

9.Finances services ($75,436)

10.Customer service manager/representative ($53,600)

11.Security officer ($54,300)

12.Driver ($53,000)

13.Power plant operator ($77,748)

14.Retail store manager ($55,000)

15.Human resources manager ($87,674)

16.Intelligence analyst ($84,000)

17.Banking branch manager ($64,757)

18.Conductor/train crew trainee ($68,000)

19.Construction worker ($42,951)

20.Lineman ($58,440)

Data: G.I. Jobs



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