Best Paying Jobs for Retired Military

Updated on February 14, 2024

Transitioning from military service to civilian life is a significant shift, especially when it comes to career choices. For many retired military personnel, finding a job that leverages their unique skills, experiences, and work ethic is crucial. Fortunately, there are numerous high-paying career opportunities that are well-suited to individuals with a military background. Here’s a look at the top ten jobs for retired military members, highlighting the roles that offer rewarding salaries and professional fulfillment.

Health Care

  • Average Salary: Registered nurses can earn around $65,000, with potential for over $100,000 in specialized areas.
  • Job Description: Health care roles range from direct patient care to administrative and technical support positions.
  • Responsibilities: Patient care, medical support, healthcare management.
  • Required Education: Varies by role; nursing positions require a nursing license.

Government Jobs

  • Average Salary: Salaries vary widely depending on the role and level within the government.
  • Job Description: Roles include policy development, administration, security, and more, utilizing the skills and clearances gained in the military.
  • Responsibilities: Policy enforcement, administrative duties, security.
  • Required Education: Varies by position.

Defense Contracting

  • Average Salary: Competitive, reflecting experience and security clearance levels.
  • Job Description: Utilizing knowledge of defense technology and military experience in collaboration with defense contractors.
  • Responsibilities: Development and implementation of defense technologies.
  • Required Education: Often requires security clearance and specialized military training.

Information Technology

  • Average Salary: Entry-level salaries around $70,000, with potential for six-figure incomes.
  • Job Description: Positions in software development, network management, cybersecurity.
  • Responsibilities: IT infrastructure maintenance, software development, cybersecurity measures.
  • Required Education: Military IT experience plus additional certifications can be beneficial.

Financial Services

  • Average Salary: Financial advisors can earn a median income of about $90,000 annually.
  • Job Description: Roles in banking, investment, and financial planning.
  • Responsibilities: Financial analysis, client advisement, investment management.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree often preferred; certifications for advisory roles.


  • Average Salary: Varies by educational level and location.
  • Job Description: Teaching and educational roles at various levels, utilizing military experience for mentorship and discipline.
  • Responsibilities: Teaching, curriculum development, student assessment.
  • Required Education: Teaching certification required in many regions.

Law Enforcement

  • Average Salary: Competitive, with benefits.
  • Job Description: Positions in local, state, and federal law enforcement.
  • Responsibilities: Public safety, law enforcement, investigations.
  • Required Education: Law enforcement academy training; some roles may require degrees.

Manufacturing Technician

  • Average Salary: Salaries increase with experience; higher for managerial roles.
  • Job Description: Operating advanced manufacturing machinery and robotics.
  • Responsibilities: Production efficiency, quality control, equipment maintenance.
  • Required Education: Technical training or associate degrees; on-the-job training.

Business Administrator or Manager

  • Average Salary: Starting around $70,000, with potential for six figures.
  • Job Description: Leadership roles in business operations.
  • Responsibilities: Strategic planning, team management, operational oversight.
  • Required Education: Military leadership experience valued; business degrees advantageous.

Skilled Tradesman

  • Average Salary: At least $50,000, with potential for six figures in specialized trades.
  • Job Description: Trades such as plumbing, electrical, construction, and HVAC.
  • Responsibilities: Installation, maintenance, repair in specialized fields.
  • Required Education: Vocational training, apprenticeships, certifications.

Final Thoughts

The transition from military to civilian life opens a new chapter for retired service members, offering opportunities to apply their skills in various rewarding careers. From healthcare and education to information technology and skilled trades, numerous paths offer competitive salaries and the chance to continue making a significant impact. With the right guidance and resources, veterans can find fulfilling careers that honor their service and provide continued growth and satisfaction.


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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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