Transition from military to civilian medical jobsMedical service personnel have bright career prospects once they are discharged from the military.

One reason is that demand continues to outpace supply in the medical field.  For example, USA Today just reported that the VA has 41500 unfilled medical jobs.  Current openings include those for physical therapists, pharmacists, radiologic technologists, social workers, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, respiratory therapists and medical technologists.  The list goes on and on.

Another reason is that healthcare organizations recognize the value of veterans’ military backgrounds. They know these men and women can deal with high-stress environments.

In the armed forces, medical service personnel see some pretty strange things and the work environment is much more demanding. Anyone up for performing triage in the heat of battle?

But there are issues, and they revolve around job titles and the names for policies and procedures. This impacts the way that military veterans present themselves on their cover letters, within their resumes and during face-to-face interviews. 

For example, (according to a serviceman retiring as a Laboratory NCOIC (Noncommissioned Officer in Charge) would be known as a blood-bank supervisor in civilian healthcare.

To help with this, visit the MOS Code to Civilian Occupations Translator.  This tool helps you convert your MOS code to a civilian occupation. You will be presented with a list of civilian occupations that match your military skills. For example, a 68D Operating Room Specialist could find work as a surgical technician or anesthesia technician or operating room technician.

Successful transitions

Military doctors can seamlessly enter the civilian workforce, where they are considered doctor’s …no matter where they worked before. Other military healthcare professionals have help with the transition. For example, there are several nursing transition programs that help fast track medical personnel to a civilian nursing degree, giving them credit for their military experience and granting some leeway on GPA requirements.

Some transitioning veterans may choose (on their own) to update their skills or reach for a higher professional level as they make the transition.  There is financial assistance is available to for additional training / credential acquisition.

At Snelling, we are here to help.  We find nothing to be more rewarding than providing our returning veterans with civilian jobs.  So, let’s get started with your resume and interviewing skills.  Locate your local Snelling office, and contact us today!