4 Transitional Careers for Air Force Veterans

4 Transitional Careers for Air Force Veterans


If you are entering the Air Force, think about the type of career you would like to pursue when you finish your commitment. Some fields offer higher-paying jobs than others, so choose your specialty carefully. The Air Force is an excellent way to get free training and work experience that you can take with you into civilian life.


There is always a demand for qualified medical professionals, especially as the population continues to age. Medical careers require extensive training if you are going the civilian route. The Air Force can provide this training at no cost and give you hands-on experience with the latest medical technology. You will also have the opportunity to choose a specialized position within the field of medicine, such as allergist, nurse, lab specialist or physical therapist.

Aviation Engineering

The aviation engineering industry offers various careers for ex-Air Force personnel, such as aircraft engineer, civil engineer, service technician or safety inspector. Aircraft engineers and service technicians design and maintain aircraft to ensure passenger safety. Civil engineers work on the systems in and around the airport, such as runway lighting, parking areas and baggage carousels. After your commitment ends, you may already have the necessary work experience to qualify for FAA certification in your desired field.

Commercial Pilot

Commercial airlines often recruit from the Air Force because they know their pilots will be well-trained when they exit the service. Flying 747s and other commercial aircraft will seem much easier after you have mastered fighter jets. You should already have the required amount of flight hours for a trainee pilot job by the time you exit the Air Force. You can also choose to work as a flight school instructor if you do not want to fly full-time.

Information Technology

You will have an opportunity to work with state-of-the-art computer and electronic equipment in the Air Force. When you exit the service, you will have specialized experience that is in high demand in the civilian world, including work with audio-visual systems and radar systems at airports. However, a potential employer may still ask you to become certified as a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate, VMware Certified Professional or Certified Information Systems Security Professional as a prerequisite for the job. Your past security clearance may also open up additional opportunities to work on classified projects. The salary you will receive depends on the type of job you choose. IT support for a small office will pay far less than a programming job on a new government project.