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According to a chart published on The Washington Post, the Department of Defense is the largest employer in the world with over 2.13 million active duty soldiers, airmen, sailors, marine and civilian workers, and another 1.1 million national guardsmen and members of the navy, marine reserves, army, and air force. In other words, there are myriad career opportunities in the various branches of the U.S. Armed Forces including business, health care, engineering, education, legal and support profession, among others. Here are some of the high-level business career opportunities in the U.S. military.
Administrative Support Specialist
Similar to a well-run organization, the military must keep accurate records of both its personnel and operations. According to the US Department of Labor, the military has about 23,000 administrative support specialists and requires more each year due to changes in personnel and demand fields. To work for the U.S. Military as an administrative support specialist, you would have to undergo both classroom and practical training that typically lasts between 6 and 10 weeks to learn the various office functions. Upon completing the training, you would start working under close supervision as you develop core skills that would allow you to handle difficult tasks and potentially rise to become office manager. According to College Foundation of North Carolina, fresh recruits earn a basic pay of $17,611 every year, but the basic pay for fresh recruits with higher education qualifications or advanced skills may be as high as $22,993 per year. In addition, all recruits get to enjoy military privileges and allowances that could potentially bump one’s annual earnings to about $26,364.
Finance and Accounting Manager
The department of defense receives the highest level of budgetary resources among all federal agencies. As such, it requires qualified managers to manage all the billions it receives from the federal government. Currently, there are about 2,800 military finance and accounting managers who perform typical accounting tasks such as bookkeeping, payroll, audit, and budgeting. On the salary front, these professionals make between $17,622 and $22,993 annually, depending on one’s level of education and skills.
Management Analysts and Planners
Management analysts and planners assist the military to make the best use of its material and human resources. In addition to a 4-year college degree, you would need to undergo on-the-job training that normally involves about 10 weeks of classroom training, but the exact duration of such training may vary depending on the field of specialty. As a newly commissioned officer, your earnings would be well above the median US annual median salary, as you will start at pay grade O-1($33,396 per year basic pay), which could potentially rise to grade O-3($59,424/year) after four years of good job performance.
Of course, the U.S. Armed Forces aim to hire the best personnel and constantly encourages its employees to attain their full potential. To join the U.S. Military as a personnel manager, you need to have a 4-year college degree and be willing to attend on-the-job training that could last anywhere from five to 16 weeks. In general, a successful trainee starts working under experienced personnel managers before advancing to command positions or senior management. Depending on your skill set and academic qualifications, your annual pay will range between $17,661 and $22,993.
Purchasing and Contracting Managers
The DoD currently employs about 4,000 purchasing and contracting managers, and requires more each year due to changes in both personnel and demands on the field. To join this occupation, you would need to attend about 10 weeks of classroom training on the use of computers in supply and financial management, contract administration, and purchasing and accounting procedures. Your main task would be to make sure the military purchases are within budget requirements and meet military specifications. For doing your work, you can expect an annual basic pay package of between $17,661 and $22,993.
The aforementioned jobs are just some of the many career opportunities in the U.S. Military. In comparison to the annual average pay offered in the private sector for the same careers, the military pay is on the lower side. However, the U.S. Military caters to all its active employees basic needs including clothing, food, health care, housing, education, and legal assistance and vacation.