(NEXSTAR) — Military spouses looking for work often encounter obstacles that other job seekers don’t, like a prospective employer worried about how long they will live in the area.
The Navy Federal Credit Union found that the unemployment rate for military spouses is nearly three times the national average at 13%, with 43% under-employed.
After interviewing 2,000 military spouses who are part of the credit union, as well as others in the general population, the bank and Hire Heroes USA compiled a list of the top 10 industries for military spouses.
“As a military spouse myself, I know that military spouses face unique employment challenges that make securing a sustainable, long-term career very difficult,” said Matt Vean, Commercial Banking Lead at Navy Federal Credit Union.
Vean told Nexstar that despite the pandemic’s “huge impact on employment across the board” a silver lining has been the creation of so many work-from-home jobs.
He suggests the following for anyone looking to ease their career journey:
First, embodying social media is a must. LinkedIn and other social media platforms are great tools to help build your network virtually. Make your profile stick out and don’t be afraid to reach out to other people.
I’d also suggest examining transferable skills. For me personally, earning an MBA and working in banking are two key factors that keep my skills very transferable from one city to another. Our hope with this resource is that through the careers presented in the Best Careers list, military spouses will also be able to find a career path that can follow them throughout any changes in location or situation.
What makes these 10 industries good for military spouses? Important benefits that surfaced during interviews included flexible scheduling, competitive compensation, a clear advancement path, a consistent work location and a team-oriented work environment.
The study identified the following industries as the best career paths:
- Government & public administration
- Stability is a standout quality with 46% saying they’ll continue to work until they retire.
- Popular jobs include analyst, lawyer, manager and support worker.
2. Business support & human resources
- Workers in this field reported flexibility with childcare options and the ability to relocate as benefits. The popularity of this career path among military spouses is relatively new, with two-thirds of interviewees saying they had been in their position for two years or less.
- Jobs include administrative assistant, analyst, support worker or recruiter.
3. Health care & social assistance
- Common pros among interviewees were a meaningful career, stability and compensation
- Jobs include nurse, therapist, health care giver, dental hygienist, pharmacy technician and medical assisting personnel.
4. Educational services
- The study cited “mission-driven environments,” work-life balance and stable careers as attractive aspects of the field.
- Jobs include teacher, education counselor, support worker, manager or supervisor in education administration.
5. Information technology
- These jobs come with stability, location flexibility and stability, the study found.
- Positions include software or web developer, manager or supervisor, computer programmer, network analyst, database administrator or information security personnel.
6. Financial services
- Respondents said careers in financial services offered stability, good compensation and a clear path to advancement.
- Jobs include accountant, bank teller, service representative, project manager, claim adjuster or credit analyst.
7. Defense contracting
- Jobs in defense contracting can be a good fit for military spouses thanks to flexible hours and meaningful work, the credit union found.
- Positions include architect, analyst, project manager or engineer.
8. Community-based services
- This field is popular among military spouses who are 55 and up, the interviews revealed. Work-life balance and positive contributions are part of the perks.
- Jobs include working in social services, administrative support, religious services, program management, training or teaching.
9. Retail & customer service
- For those seeking a flexible work schedule, a team-oriented environment and creative or strategic opportunities, retail & customer service may be a good fit.
- Jobs include cashier, salesperson or customer service representative.
- Interviewees said they enjoyed the manufacturing field for the compensation, flexibility and creative or strategic opportunities.
- Some of the roles include assembler, brazer or welder, machinist or operator, production manager, or quality control inspector.
For more job hunting information see the Navy Federal Credit Union’s resources.