5 Great Vocational Careers You Can Learn in the Army

Do you like to work with your hands? If so, the Army has thousands of jobs to choose from. While some of the jobs are more exciting than others, others have limited potential in the civilian job market. So, if you are thinking about enlisting, why not enlist in a Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) that trains you for a great profession in the skilled trades after you get out of the Army?
 
Most people agree that some people are not cut out to go to college--and many just don't want to attend four more years of school. While the Post 9/11 GI Bill, Tuition Assistance and Tuition Top-Up are all great programs if you're college-inclined, there are many who will never use these educational benefit programs to their advantage.
 
While there is something to be said about jobs requiring a college degree, there are also many valuable jobs that allow people to do something beneficial with their hands, such as:

  • Transport food to grocery stores
  • Fix automobiles
  • Cook a meal in a restaurant
  • Power homes
  • Build homes

 
This article highlights five careers requiring vocational training that you can get in the Army. The Bureau of Statistics reports these as having at least average or better growth potential through 2018.
 
1. Heavy Truck Driving
Have you ever thought about how groceries get to your supermarket? They are brought by truck. While the demand for truck drivers is steady right now, once the economy starts to pick up, so will the demand for professional drivers who can handle 18-wheelers, also known as semis. Civilian drivers must pass the Commercial Drivers License (CDL) test before getting a job driving. While you do not need a CDL to drive a rig in the Army, you will get the necessary education, training and experience, so you can pass the test once you are out of the military.
Military Occupational Specialty – 88M
Median Annual Pay - $53,000
Employment Outlook - +13 percent - 554,600 jobs
 
2. Auto Mechanic
Our automobiles are getting so complicated nowadays, that most of us can't work on them anymore, except to do the most simple things. If you have taken your car to an auto repair shop lately, then you know it doesn't take much work to run up a $1,000 bill. Car mechanics inspect, service and repair cars and light trucks. Some mechanics are generalists working on a variety of systems, while others specialize in areas such as transmissions. Other mechanics specialize in repairing heavy trucks and road equipment.
Military Occupational Specialty – 91B
Median Annual Pay - $42,800
Employment Outlook - +6 percent - 181,700 jobs
 
3. Culinary Arts
Culinary arts jobs can range from being a chef in a restaurant, at a resort, hotel or on a cruise ship, to specializing in one type of food, such as baking or pastry chef. Culinary Arts supervisors and specialists generally oversee the preparation of food, so they must have good communication, creativity and motivational skills.
Military Occupational Specialty – 92G
Median Annual Pay - $46,000
Employment Outlook - +13 percent - 134,400 jobs.
 
4. Electrician
Electrician jobs can vary from installing and maintaining electrical distribution systems, to wiring a new house, to replacing a light switch and everything in between. Highline work requires you to work outside in all types of weather, while an interior electrician performs his or her job inside commercial or residential buildings and spends little time in inclement weather.
Military Occupational Specialty – 12R
Median Annual Pay - $48,420
Employment Outlook - +12 percent - 250,900 jobs
 
5. Carpenter
Using a variety of tools and materials, carpenters either build new structures or remodel existing ones, such as houses or commercial and residential buildings. Framing and rough-in carpenters are more inclined to perform their duties in adverse weather conditions, as they usually work outside. A finish carpenter usually works inside after a house is framed, sheeted and the windows are installed.
Military Occupational Specialty – 12W
Median Annual Pay - $42,160
Employment Outlook - +13 percent - 325,400 jobs
 
If you considering a career working with your hands, a rewarding civilian career in any of these five fields could be waiting for you once you are out of the Army. Each requires vocational training that can be learned while serving your country. Enlist today and be prepared for a rewarding vocational career tomorrow.
 

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