Top Employers of Veterans

employing veterans

By Bridget Quigg

Once they've received their last paycheck from Uncle Sam, where do most military folks go to find the next one? It turns out that many don't travel far. Former military members often get picked up by companies that work directly with the federal government and the military.

Online salary database has come up with a list of the most common employers of former military service men and women. It turns out that companies who contract with the military or federal government prefer hiring workers who are familiar with those organizations. "A key skill that military people have going for them is that they understand how to work with the government and the military," say Katie Bardaro, lead data analyst at PayScale.For example, General Electric made jet engines for the military during World War II and has also been involved in nuclear weapons production. It would certainly make sense to have their production, engineering and logistics teams as military-savvy as they can be.

Bardaro says to keep in mind, too, that it's not just the engineering or technical jobs at these companies that benefit from military know-how. From human resources to finance and marketing, employing people who know how decisions are made and deals are cut for government agencies helps these companies succeed.

"These companies deal with big, complicated, international projects. People with military experience are well-equipped to handle that," says Bardaro.

Who are the big employers? Bardaro says that they fall into three categories: the aerospace industry, weapons and defense contracting, and working for the government directly.

Below are examples of jobs where employers might prefer military savvy and the average, annual salaries for those jobs, according to PayScale.

Aerospace Industry Companies:
The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation

Job TitleAverage Annual Salary
Senior Systems Engineer $85,800
Aerospace Engineer $79,400
Electrical Engineer $71,500

Weapons and Security Companies:
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Booz, Allen, and Hamilton, L-3 Communications

Job TitleAverage Annual Salary
Principal Systems Engineer $103,000
Imagery Analyst $68,900
Systems Engineer
(Computer Networking/IT)

Government Agencies:
Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Job TitleAverage Annual Salary
Government Program Manager $78,100
Budget Analyst $60,300
Contract Specialist $58,500

Source: All salary data is provided by Salaries listed are annual salaries for full-time workers with 5-8 years of experience and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing.

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