We have posted previous content about the different educational support services available to veterans, so today we want to focus on some specific ideas that veterans can work with to try and plan a future outside of the military.
A lot of people immediately jump on the idea that college is the best solution no matter what. However, for many people a college education is not the right option and it is not always the path to best results and highest income. And not all veterans are in the position to commit to 3 or 4 years of studying with little or no income.
So in this post we will focus on a few higher level trades that have great potential and are ideal for a lot of ex-military personnel.
One of our favorite recommendations for people is to look plan for a welding career. The best thing you can do is try and get into this area while in the military as it can open doors an awful lot quicker that way. There is also the opportunity for service men in the Navy to work towards a qualification from an underwater welding school, which includes commercial diving certification. There are specialised welding schools within the Navy that will cover such training.
For those close to leaving the military the question becomes: How do I become a certified welder? The answer to this is relatively simple: you need to sign up for a commercial welding course and the various education support services will cover the majority of programs available. However, before you sign up, make sure that the college or school is indeed covered.
Another option is to go through a union apprenticeship program, but this is not really ideal if you want to your qualification within a year or less. Union apprenticeships essentially pay for the education and provide for many great benefits, but you can always join a union once you finish your welding school program.
Education programs for electricians are available within the military and because of the length of time it takes to complete this training it is advisable to seek such qualification while still a member of the military.
However, many trade schools can be accessed with funds from the GI bill so it is not the end of the world if you are newly retired and looking for options. Training as an electrician is a great way to open many doors in commercial and residential construction as well as specialized fields in the automobile and aviation industries as well.
Most military personnel will have encounter some sort of need to fix machinery and may even have gone down the road of training a mechanic. It has saved many a soldier being able to fix broken down engines while on active duty!
Mechanics from the military are in very high demand as employers look for the high tech experience as well as ability to work on tough engines and in difficult conditions. All are things that come natural to a soldier, but are not common with regular civillians.
We need to reiterate that before you sign up for any course that you contact your local VA and make sure that the school and course you want to sign up for will indeed be covered by education support funding. In most cases this does apply, but you do not want to end up out of pocket when past military service entitles you to funding.