What are the Best Civilian Jobs for a Military Finance Specialist?

As more military veterans are returning from overseas in the Middle East, they are unfortunately facing the same challenging job market as high school and college graduates nationwide. However, these veteran military members have gained significant knowledge and valuable skills that are sought after for many civilian careers. In particular, Finance Specialists in the United States Army have expertise in maintaining financial reports, reviewing contracts and invoices, posting documents in accounting systems, processing treasury checks for payment, and tracking resource statistics. Since Finance Specialists have been thoroughly trained in accounting principles, financial data, and budgeting, the following are some excellent civilian jobs that can lead to a fulfilling career after the military.

Accountant or Auditor

In order to ensure accurate finances or taxes, accountants and auditors are hired to prepare financial records and assess financial operations that will allow the organization to run smoothly. Depending on the employment position, accountants and auditors are generally responsible for examining financial statements, preparing tax returns, inspecting accounting systems to comply with regulations, organizing records, and suggesting methods to improve revenues. Former Finance Specialists are exceptional candidates for employment as Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), Management Accountants, Internal Auditors, and Government Accountants. Even more importantly, employment for accountants and auditors is currently predicted to grow rapidly at a rate of 16 percent from now until 2020.

Actuary

Actuaries are professionals employed by large corporations or organizations to mathematically evaluate and predict investment risks. More than just crunching numbers in a spreadsheet all day, the job description of an actuary also involves communicating with other agencies and brainstorming financial plans to minimize risks. In fact, the Wall Street Journal has named actuary as the best job of 2013 due to the work environment, low stress level, pleasing outlook, and the potential to earn a median salary of $87,650 or more. With the current shortage, actuarial positions are plentiful at many federal agencies, including the Social Security Administration (SSA), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Department of Defense, and Labor Department. Although most applicants for jobs as an actuary must have a bachelor’s degree, an appropriate combination of prior military experience and education are often sufficient.

Budget Analyst

Budget analysts are employed by public and private institutions in order to prepare budget reports, organize financial reports, and monitor the organization’s spending habits. Working alongside project managers, budget analysts are vital financial team members who are normally responsible for reviewing budget proposals, consolidating funding requests, providing recommendations for department budgets, informing the organization on the availability of funds, and estimating the future of financial needs. Since developing a budget requires solid numerical and analytical skills, former military Financial Specialists are ideal candidates for these positions. Although employment in the field is expected to grow by 10 percent, budget analysts often earn between $69,280 and $103,590 annually.

For military Finance Specialists, transitioning back into the civilian workplace after being discharged from active duty can be a disorienting and overwhelming process. While it may seem that these administrative veterans are on the same playing field as other job seekers, it is important to remember their highly valued skills that can help make the transition much smoother, even in a down economy. With the strong background in accounting, statistics, mathematics, and computer sciences, it is recommended that former Finance Specialists consider these rather in-demand civilian jobs.