After a long, eventful, and outstanding military career, what to do next? This is a big question for a lot of veterans. After dedicating most of their life to national service, transitioning to a civilian workplace can be challenging. As this phase of their life draws close, they must start embracing a new phase and adapt to its changing demands.

While there are plenty of career options for veterans, many of them show interest in skilled trades. While tech requires extensive training, entrepreneurship requires a substantial bank balance, chances of getting a job in skilled trades stand comparatively much easier, and its training programs are also short-term (ranging from 3-6 months). The good news is that many organizations offer free training in skilled trades, and some also offer placement assistance.

In this blog, we have listed four ways veterans can build a career in skilled trades.

1) Choose a Trade that You Like

How Can Veterans start their Career in Skilled Trades?

The first step is to recognize a particular trade that you like from various trades. If you like it, chances are you’ll be good at it. Some popular options include machinists, flooring, welders, glazing, piping, painting, etc. You can also go to famous job boards like Indeed and Monster to see the pay scale for these professions, that’ll help you make a better decision. There are many diverse job boards that you can check, including:

  • Hispanic Today

  • Vet Jobs

  • Recruit Military

  • PDN Recruits

  • Black Career Network etc.

2) Enroll in a Training Program

How Can Veterans start their Career in Skilled Trades?

Once you have identified the trade you are interested in, the next step would be enrolling in a training program that teaches that skilled trade. You can start by enrolling in local schools or professional certification programs that charge a nominal fee. There are many professional pieces of training specially developed for veterans. We have listed some of them below.

  • Troops to Trades: It has tie-ups with firms looking to hire electricians and plumbers. And it also offers scholarships for service and technical training programs.

  • Painters and Allied Trades Veterans Training Program: This program is for you if you are interested in drywall finishing, industrial painting, and floor installation.

  • United Associations Veterans in Piping: Their idea is to open another career option for veterans once their service is over. They offer officers training in sprinkler fitting, HVAC-R, welding, etc.


3) Become an Apprentice

How Can Veterans start their Career in Skilled Trades?

You can become an apprentice and slog it out if going to school is not your type. If you are disciplined and dedicated, you will garner enough knowledge to kick start your career in the skilled trade you have chosen. Some of the companies that hire veterans are:

  • Walgreens

  • Schneider Electric

  • Northrop Grumman

  • Booz Allen Hamilton

  • Southwest Airlines

  • Boeing

  • Raytheon

  • UPS

4) Professional Certifications

How Can Veterans start their Career in Skilled Trades?

Almost all skilled trades have professional bodies that organize certified courses. These are paid courses but give you good standing in front of the prospective employer. It shows that you are qualified and serious about your tasks. Below are some of the leading certifications in skilled trades:

  • Introduction to Plumbing

  • Maintaining and Servicing Home Appliances

  • Understanding Drainage and Water Distribution Systems

  • Carpentry – Advanced

  • Machining Technician – Lathe

  • Certification in Plumbing Pipes and Fixtures

  • Introduction to Formwork and Joinery etc.

Transitioning from military to civil life is not easy, as it requires hard work and patience. Training and up-skilling is the best way for veterans to start their new careers. With more and more companies now showing interest in hiring veterans and many staffing firms collaborating with local training schools for their clients, opportunities are immense.

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