10 Hot Jobs for Military Spouses

Tue, Jan 13, 2015 @ 08:01 AM Jen McDonald Military Life


Any military spouse can tell you how challenging it is to find a job that is not only portable, but which also includes potential for advancement. Factor in a still-struggling economy, and spouses can find themselves frustrated at a perceived lack of job opportunities. And consider that many of us end up with several different career paths over the course of our adult lives—I can attest to this, as I’ve worked as a Registered Nurse, musician, stay-at-home mom, writer, and editor!

I once dreaded job interviews where I was inevitably asked the often make-or-break question, “How long will you live here?” But with telecommuting becoming commonplace and a more mobile society than ever before, the outlook is bright. There are even companies like AAFES which specifically recruit military spouses. So what are these jobs and what sort of training do you need? Read on!

I considered the following factors when compiling this list:

  • potential for growth
  • perceived job satisfaction
  • unemployment rate
  • how easily transferrable any required licensing or certification would be with a military relocation
  • jobs given to telecommuting, which is ideal for a mobile lifestyle

Not surprisingly, there’s a good representation from the healthcare and education fields, and three hot jobs come straight out of the expanding world of technology. Jobs range from those needing no specialized training to those requiring degrees and certifications. And don’t forget to consider jobs that tend to be “recession proof,” i.e. the basics of life we can’t live without such as healthcare, education, water treatment, and the food industry.

Who knows? Maybe you just might find your dream job on this list! Here, in no particular order, are:

10 Hot Jobs for Military Spouses in 2015

1. Recreation and fitness worker

Education: Certification related to specialty, with those in managerial positions requiring at least an associate degree in business administration, public administration, or parks and recreation.

This is a quickly growing field, and opportunities abound on or near military installations. Positions include work in fitness centers, as personal or corporate trainers, or in positions as swim instructors and coaches.

2. Web developer

Education: Employers generally prefer a bachelor's degree in a computer-related area such as computer science or information technology, but you may be able to snag a web developer position if you have technical skills and practical experience, with some experts admitting that experience in this field can be more valuable than certification.

Web development is one of the fastest growing jobs with a projected 20.1% employment growth over the next ten years. There is often the option to work remotely.

3. Dental hygienist

Education: associate or bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene, as well as state licensing.

Dental hygiene is one of the top rated healthcare jobs and often allows for part-time work, with employment for dental hygienists projected to grow faster than any other healthcare field. More than half of all dental hygienists work part-time. Military spouses cite the flexible hours and opportunity to exercise people skills as a major draw.

4. Registered nurse

Education: associate or bachelor’s in nursing and passing national licensing exam.

Nursing is experiencing unprecedented growth, with the Bureau of Labor anticipating 526,800 brand new jobs by 2022. This is accompanied by a low unemployment rate of 2.6%, making it easier for experienced nurses to find positions when relocating, whether in hospitals, community clinics, schools, or camps.

5. Direct sales

Education: training set by company.

If you’ve experienced a home party for boutique jewelry, cosmetics, skin care, or food products, then this option might interest you. Low start-up costs and brand recognition with its built-in customer base make this appealing to many military spouses, along with flexible hours and a portable business model.

6. Childcare

Education: high school diploma, along with certifications required by employer or state. Management levels may require degree in early childhood education or other field.

Many spouses find working in their installation’s childcare center or as an in-home provider a good fit, as certifications and background clearances usually transfer, along with the benefit of spousal hiring preference. Those employed as in-home childcare providers must meet state and local requirements, and may find the ability to set their own hours and care for their own children a draw.

7. Software developer

Education: A bachelor’s degree in Computer Science is often required, though practical experience may land an entry-level job. Continuing education a must.

With software and apps affecting nearly every part of our lives, it’s no surprise that software developers are in high demand. This occupation was at or near the top of every list surveyed. With a projected job growth rate higher than any other occupation, opportunities spread far and wide across the U.S., and many companies hiring remotely, this is an exciting field for the qualified.

8. Graphic designer

Education: associate or bachelor’s degree often required.

Across all the design careers, graphic design is expected to have the greatest growth in the coming year, with opportunities in print, electronic, and film media. Three out of ten graphic designers work as freelancers.

9. Teacher

Education: bachelor’s in education, as well as state certification for those teaching in public schools.

Education has been a perennial career favorite for military spouses, as even the most remote locations usually have schools! Considering that school teachers are the most quickly aging workforce, teaching positions are projected to grow 17% between now and 2020.

10. Public Relations Specialist

Education: Some companies require a bachelor’s degree, with the following fields an especially good fit: public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business.

PR specialists enhance and provide positive publicity for a company’s public image. With the explosion of social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest reaching potential customers, PR specialists are in high demand and are often able to telecommute. PR folks need good communication skills and thick skins—assets that many military spouses already possess!

Both the DoD and private companies offer career, employment, and education resources for spouses and veterans. Click below to download your FREE career resource guide to connect! 

Career Resources for Veterans and Military Spouses

All statistics taken from the U.S. Department of Labor