Finding a job in the civilian world as a veteran can be tough, but sometimes it's better to take time to prepare before leaping into a career. A little bit of planning and education can make all the difference in a job search. If you're not quite sure which profession to aim for, take a look at the list of top 10 fastest-growing jobs.
These are all occupations that the Department of Labor has predicted will experience a heightened need for skilled workers. Their projections reach as far as 2020, so you'll have plenty of time to prepare.
1. Personal Care Aides
Many U.S. citizens are in need of daily, professional attention. Whether they're elderly or disabled, personal care aides ensure that they enjoy a decent quality of life. The job requires large reserves of patience and empathy, so it is best suited to the inherently altruistic.
- Average salary: $19,640
2. Home Health Aides
Some people suffer from conditions, diseases or injuries that make it difficult or impossible to function daily. Home health aides ensure that all of their medical needs are met. This job requires a combination of medical knowledge, caring and patience.
- Average salary: $20,560
3. Biomedical Engineers
Biotechnology is rapidly changing, and the relatively new field of biomedical engineering is growing. Aside from traditional equipment, biomedical engineers design systems such as artificial organs, body-part replacements and diagnostic devices. This position requires many years of post-secondary education, so success will require a lot of planning and work.
- Average salary: $81,540
4. Brick/Block/Stonemasons and Tile/Marble Setters
It may seem counterintuitive considering the economy, but many skilled-labor positions are experiencing shortages. This position requires a professional attitude, a strong back and the ability to work as part of a team.
- Average salary: $27,780
Whether it's erecting buildings or fixing them, good carpentry skills do not go amiss. The job requires some training and requires good health and hand-eye coordination. A good carpenter is a valuable asset, and building something with your own hands can be immensely satisfying.
- Average salary: $25,760
6. Veterinary Technologists and Technicians
If you love animals and have an aptitude or interest in medical technology, becoming a veterinary technologist or technician might be the perfect job for you. Caring for pets can be expensive, and professionals in the veterinary field can earn a good living.
- Average salary: $29,710
7. Reinforcing Iron and Rebar Workers
America's infrastructure is not a matter to be taken lightly, and reinforcing iron and rebar workers are professionally responsible for a part of it. This job requires fitness, dexterity, communication and teamwork.
- Average salary: $38,430
8. Physical Therapist Assistants
There's no limit to the number of activities that can damage muscles, tendons and joints, and Americans excel at figuring them all out. It takes a skilled professional to rehabilitate an injured athlete or office worker, and assisting them can be rewarding and lucrative.
- Average salary: $49,690
9. Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters
Working with the piping of American towns and cities can be as simple as fixing a sink or as involved as installing new sewer lines. Whatever the specialty, these jobs are best suited to those with weak noses and strong arms.
- Average salary: $26,740
10. Meeting, Convention and Event Planners
Sorting out logistical problems isn't easy, and large organizations often require specialists to work them out. Meeting, convention and event planners need to know how people think and move in order to plan out large gatherings. Post-secondary education is usually required, but there are different paths to getting there.
- Average salary: $45,260
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