Many veterans who consider going to college are advised to study engineering or computer science. You may have been assigned a job in the military that could fall under these fields, and because of the troubleshooting skills and initiative you have developed during your service, you’ll find that quite a few jobs in these industries that you are well-suited for.
To help guide you on your journey into the civilian work force, here are the 10 fastest growing jobs in IT and engineering, as laid out by www.CIO.com. The data comes from CareerCast, PayScale, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Top 10 Growing IT and Engineering Jobs
1. Biomedical Engineer: With an expected job growth of 27 percent by the year 2022, Biomedical engineering comes in at number 1. The average pay is $62,986, but ranges from $45,414 to $98,694, and, like many of these jobs, is influenced by location and experience. The job requires you to develop and design biomedical equipment, as well as writing reports as you design and test the equipment. Most veterans considering this job would likely require additional education before being eligible.
2. Petroleum Engineer: Growing at 26 percent by 2022, petroleum engineer jobs have a growth slightly lower than biomedical engineers. This job field has an average pay of $99,546, with a range from $64,114 to $195,448, and generally means working for oil companies and at research laboratories.
3. Software Engineer: With a predicted growth rate of 22 percent, Software engineers earn an average pay of $78,669, with a range of $54,300 to $121,697. Examples of work in this job include writing code, creating applications, and debugging programs. As you might expect, Software engineers in the Silicon Valley area of California report the highest salaries.
4. Civil Engineer: If you helped build bridges and worked on other construction projects in the military, this job may be a good fit for you; this field is expected to grow by 20 percent in the coming years. Civil engineers are responsible for the construction of buildings, airports, and the like, and it's the kind of job that isn’t vanishing anytime soon. Civil engineers make an average pay of $61,795 and have a range of $46,196 to $93,182.
5. Web Developers: Just like the civil engineer field, web developers are predicted to have a growth rate of 20 percent. Their average pay is $55,542, and have a range of $33,459 to $85,605. Service members that ran their units’ websites and know HTML, CSS, and other programming languages can jump right in. Otherwise, it's a skill that can be learned through development centers or through part of a degree program, likely in computer science.
6. Data Scientist: The data science field is expected to grow 15 percent by the year 2022, and the average pay is $93.338, with a range of $63,092 to $137,712. Anyone who has worked with data science in the military should find it relatively easy to transfer their skills to this occupation.
7. Environmental Engineer: The second field with a 15 percent growth, environmental engineers make an average salary of $62,463, with a range of $48,938 to $97,720. This is the job for you if you're interested in dealing with such issues as recycling, waste disposal, air pollution, and water quality. This is likely a career field that will require additional education following the military.
8. Technical Writer: While the technical writing field has a 15 percent growth estimate, similar to the data scientist and environmental engineer job fields, it was ranked lower due to lower salaries. Technical writers have an average pay of $54,357, with a range of $36,147 to $85,217. Many service members have experience writing standard operating procedures and the like, so if this is of interest to you, it might be a good job to pursue without requiring additional education.
9. Network and Computer Systems Administrators: This occupation is relevant to many veterans, as it directly correlates with similar work in the military. Network and computer systems administrator jobs are estimated to grow by 12 percent. This job field has an average pay of $57,542 and a range of $37,356 to $88,000. If you worked as a systems administrator in the military, keep up on your computer networking and related skills, and consider a degree in computer science if you plan on obtaining a degree along the way.
10. Computer Programmer: With a growth rate of 8 percent, computer programmers have an average pay of $58,426, with a range of $34,465 to $90,211. If you are the type to write code, this is a skill you can certainly learn on your own, or attend college for. You can focus on coding for proprietary software and really find a valuable niche as companies grow.