Veterans Employment in the Healthcare Industry

Some of our nation’s heroes transition out of the military to become heroes in the healthcare industry. In this third article in the NVTI series highlighting veteran employment in various industries, we identify why veterans may be great candidates for the healthcare industry. Additionally, we examine the benefits of working in this industry, positions and pay scales within it, and locations where the demand for this type of work is expanding.

The veteran population is superbly suited for jobs in the healthcare industry. Largely due to their intensive military training, veterans are able to handle high stress situations and react quickly, enabling them to make difficult decisions under duress. Military environments often translate well into civilian team environments that are able to effectively complete assignments; this means that a veteran’s experience is an asset to team-oriented environments such as the healthcare industry.

The healthcare industry has several characteristics that are attractive to veterans. Many healthcare workers find their jobs incredibly rewarding as they are helping others every day. Also, while healthcare positions are typically not 9-to-5 jobs with regular schedules, this flexibility is often seen as a benefit. Healthcare jobs often have good opportunities for career progression with additional training and education. Often, veterans already have transferable training. For example, U.S. Army Combat Medics (68W) have transferrable skills that make them qualified for various civilian medical positions immediately after transitioning out of the military. Combat Medics may choose a career path of an emergency medical technician, paramedic, medical assistant, or medication aide.

Below are the fastest growing healthcare jobs in the industry with the national average annual salaries:

  • Home health and personal care aides- $27,080
  • Massage therapists- $43,620
  • Medical and health services managers- $104,280
  • Nurse practitioners- $111,680
  • Occupational therapy assistants- $62,940
  • Physical therapist aides- $28,450
  • Physical therapist assistants- $59,770
  • Physician assistants- $115,390
  • Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors- $47,660

Another factor to think about is where in the country are the best places to live for someone looking for a healthcare position. The following are the top 10 cities for healthcare jobs:

  1. Pittsburgh, PA
  2. Cleveland, OH
  3. Providence, RI
  4. Indianapolis, IN
  5. Milwaukee, WI
  6. Philadelphia, PA
  7. Buffalo, NY
  8. Birmingham, AL
  9. Hartford, CT
  10. Jacksonville, FL
  11. Cincinnati, OH

Below are resources to assist veterans and military spouses gain access to the healthcare industry:

  • United Services Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP) is a U.S. Department of Defense apprenticeship program for Active Duty service members, National Guardsman and Reservists to gain a nationally recognized apprenticeship certification for their work while in the service.
  •, the official website of the Military Health System, is a site to search for civilian jobs available in the military health care system. Veterans from the Navy, Air Force, and the Army are given expedited hiring authority to shorten the often long government hiring process for certain critical health positions.