Today’s blog post is by Jericho Urmenita, an Orion Talent Recruiter, USMC Veteran, and USNA graduate. Jericho discusses the most common job types by MOS. Check out Jericho’s other blog posts on PMP Certification and How to Succeed in Business Consulting.
A friend of mine from school asked me the other day what jobs might make sense for transition. I got to thinking, perhaps I’ll make a cheat sheet. Here it is! Below are the most common fitments I can make for our fresh transitioning military officers based on what makes them unique among their respective fields.
Keep in mind these are general trends I see and are not intended as law, i.e. these are not the only places I’ve seen these MOSs land a job. They are merely the most common, and these suggestions are more like guidelines. There are many fitments I can make depending on various combinations of your MOS, military schooling, billets, degree, or even odd jobs you had before military service (construction laborer at your dad general contracting company? I’ve used that to make a placement!).
Again, the attributes below are what makes you unique among your peers and to the industries I list as “Likely Fits.” Your leadership, speed to action, and ability to operate under extreme pressure still count, but over 1.3 million of your brothers and sisters in the Armed Forces have it too, don’t they? For this reason, you will not see broad terms like Program Analyst, Business Development, or Consultant in the list below, because there is no one MOS that lends itself particularly well to those types of fields.
Use this not as a limiter, but as a jump off point for your transition career search to see where you might really stand out, even among your military peers!
USMC or Army Ground Combat Officers
You are boots on the ground leaders who literally get in the trenches with your troops. We generally find that when a hiring manager is looking for that “blue collar mindset”, they are usually wanting someone who’s not afraid of a little heat or noise. What better place to look than our modern day Spartans! These positions are generally in a field environment where boots/hardhats are the uniform of the day. Keep in mind that these blue collar types of jobs are beneath no one. America is fed, built, and transported by these industries.
Likely Fits for USMC or Army Ground Combat Officers:
Production Operations Manager, Field Engineer Manager, Field Services Manager, Site Superintendent, Foreman, Site Operations Manager, District Service Manager
Navy Surface Warfare Officers or Coast Guard Engineer Officers
This is our number one place to go for technical leaders who know how to operate in an industrial environment. Your time on ship working in the engine spaces, leading maintenance cycles, and conducting overhauls and refits lends itself particularly well to companies seeking “technical background.” On top of that, you know a thing or two about industrial safety with respect to LOTO, hearing protection, fall hazards, and/or confined spaces, among many other things. Places where large machinery exists tends to be your strength.
Likely Fits for Navy Surface Warfare Officers or Coast Guard Engineer Officers:
Maintenance Manager, Facilities Manager/Engineer, Services/Repairs Program Manager, Plant Engineering Manager, Installation Project Manager
USAF/Army/USMC Ground Maintenance Officers
You are our technical leaders with some field flavor. Your particular uniqueness lies in your ability to manage fleets, as opposed to one large system like Navy folks. Whether that is aircraft, Humvees or generators, you typically know how to manage teams that are out operating in the battle space not directly supervised by you, and you are used to juggling multiple teams in multiple different places.
Likely Fits for USAF/Army/USMC Ground Maintenance Officers:
Services Manager, Site Manager, Maintenance Manager, Maintenance Planner, Program Manager (upgrades, repairs, service contracts etc.)
This is one of my easiest direct skill translations. At the end of the day, you moved assets in the military, and there are assets to be moved in the civilian world, too. It is also possible to fit you in this category if you had S-4/G-4 time, even if not a logistician by trade. Many of my Infantry folks have some of this logistics staff-O flavor.
Likely Fits for Logistics/Supply/Ordnance Officers:
Logistics or Supply Chain Manager, Warehouse Manager, Supply Chain Analyst, Shipping Manager, Materials Manager, Production Planner, Area Manager, Acquisitions Manager, Transportation Manager
You are builders and planners that know how to put a structure on the deck. If anyone has a direct line to the mythical Project Manager world, it’s you! Managing a job site is your bread and butter, and you’ll bring particular direct knowledge with the “trades” and know how to manage carpenters, HVAC, electricians, plumbers, masons, or any number of other types of contractors your MOS has worked with.
Likely Fits for SeaBee/Sapper/CEC Officers:
Construction Project Manager, Construction Superintendent, Field Engineer, Project Engineer, Facilities Manager, Construction Estimator
In today's world of high connectivity, you will find that your ability to manage military networks and data systems is directly translatable to its civilian counterpart. Among all MOSs, yours is one of the most unique in that no other MOS has significant overlap, or knowledge, of your specific technical skills. We have all heard you at least once: “Sir, comm is down because we have an unusually refractive ionosphere today but I can have my team reconfigure our array for a better propagation pattern.” We then look on with envy as the CO, (without question), says, “very well.” Well, you can use that wizardry in the civilian world!
Likely Fits for Communications Officers:
Data Infrastructure Project Manager, Network Services Manager, IT Services Manager, Network Installation manager
My Navy nukes, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, but your skills are highly sought after! Good thing, since your schools are among the hardest in the fleet, and that pays off when you get out. Your ability to deal with highly complex critical machinery to a granular level is what sets you apart.
Likely Fits for Nuclear Officers:
Data Center Infrastructure Project Manager, Facilities Engineer, Critical Infrastructure Project Manager, Power Plant Engineering Manager
Comptroller/Financial Management Officers
The kings and queens of the coffers! You will find that there are many places for you out in the civilian world because at the end of the day, money is money. Any business needs someone to manage their cash flow, billings, and funds. You may find some positions wanting specific degrees, but, in your case, I have observed that your money managing skills, plus an MBA (which most Officers look to get anyway), is plenty enough to get you in the door.
Likely Fits for Comptroller/Financial Management Officers:
Financial Manager, Accounts Manager, Cost Estimator, Acquisitions Manager, Budget Analyst
Of course, you can go right to a hospital, but there are actually many other industries available to you, too! Medical Logistics Officers are included in this, as well.
Likely Fits for Medical Officers:
Doctor/Nurse, Clinical Site Manager (blood donation centers, imaging centers or similar), Medical Device Sales, Pharma Sales, Customer Success Manager (this tends to be specific to med device manufacturing companies that have standing relationships with hospitals and clinics)
MOSs that Have a Hurdle to Climb
My mom used to say, “Son, you might have to work a little harder than the rest of the kids for others to see your true potential,” and she was right! Sometimes how we look on paper doesn’t speak to our full picture, so we need to put in a little more effort to get some results. Some MOSs just don’t have as much widely translatable industry skill, but with a little polishing, there are still many avenues for you. Orion Talent can help you do that!
Pilots/NFOs are strong in technical backing, and sometimes those skills can be used for positions where one may have to read schematics or have general understanding of mechanical components. Your hurdle to clear is usually industry based as aircraft are so niche and unique that our hiring managers need a lot of convincing if they are outside of the aircraft industry. If you do not intend to fly outside of the military, this will tend to limit your prospects to use your skill. Generally though, you do stand out among your peers as able to operate under constant metrics and rankings.
Likely Fits for Pilot/NFOs:
I have seen a slight trend of particular success in Sales or Account Management.
Your ability to gather and arrange data is what sets you apart. Your hurdle to clear will be how to translate your methodology to a civilian company. Just as a civilian Business Intelligence Analyst would not be able to effectively advise your battalion how to maneuver their forces against the enemy like you do, you will be hard pressed to try and advise a board of directors on how you will strengthen their EBITDA in the 4th Quarter. You will find, however, that there are industries outside of direct intelligence type roles where you can still use your skills.
Likely Fits for Intelligence Officers:
Logistics Analyst, Operations Analyst or Process Improvement Analyst are all roles where you might advise the actions of one division or section. You can then work up from there.
Civil Affairs/Public Affairs Officers
Your ability to connect with people and convey a message is what makes you unique. While we do not work with many of these jobs directly (there are so few of you), I have seen success in marketing type work. Your hurdle to clear will be that the marketing industry is fairly narrow.
Likely Fits for Civil Affairs/Public Affairs Officers:
Marketing Manager or Sales type roles where you can directly use your skills are the best. Keep in mind also that you may have to get additional degrees to land some of these roles, as they tend to be a little more specific. Good thing there’s the GI Bill!
Air Traffic Control Officers and Space/Missile Defense Officers
Like pilots, your extreme specialty tends to limit you to a direct industry on the civilian side. Your hurdle to clear will be to find an industry outside of those to leverage your ability to manage world wide airborne assets.
Chemical Corps Officers
Your strength will lie in your ability to manage hazardous waste and environments. Your hurdle to clear will be that most safety jobs require specific certs/industry knowledge that you likely did not get while you were in the military. You might need to put in some extra leg work to get those before seeing some success.
Likely Fits for Chemical Corps Officers:
An EHS Manager role may be available to you, for example, but these jobs typically will ask for EHS degree, OSHA knowledge, EPA knowledge and/or USDA regulation knowledge.
Keep in mind that the likely fits for each military job title are just guidelines, and not meant to be taken as a rigid career path. If you are transitioning from the military soon and aren’t interested in any of the “usual” fits for your military MOS, don’t panic. Orion Talent can help you define the role that you would like and get you where you’re trying to go.
Orion Talent is here to smooth out your transition. If you’re ready to start your civilian career, register on our site or reach out to Jericho to get started on your military to civilian career transition today.
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