If you are looking for a long and fulfilling career after your military service, then engineering may be the right choice. You will need to earn at least a bachelor’s degree, and the specific field of engineering you choose will determine the degree you pursue. If you want to design and develop aircraft systems, you’ll want a degree in aerospace engineering. If you are interested in creating new and improved medical devices, then you’ll want to focus on biomedical engineering.
Let’s take a look at how you can navigate the path to an engineering career, what engineering majors are out there for you, what makes a school military-friendly, and some exciting jobs that veterans can pursue in the engineering field.
Pathways to a Degree in Engineering
Nearly 110,000 students get their bachelor’s degree in engineering every year, and an engineering degree, post-military, can secure your place in this dynamic and rewarding field. Good News! If you are working in an engineering-type job while in the military, you may already have earned some college credits that you can apply towards your degree. Many branches of the military have degree-bearing institutions (like the Community College of the Air Force) where you can earn your associate’s degree.
Where can I go to get help in getting my engineering degree?
Your GI Bill: All branches of the service offer active-duty tuition assistance to help you on your path to an engineering degree, plus The Forever GI Bill and the Post-911 GI Bill are there for you after you get out. Also, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) scholarships were created to encourage veterans like you to pursue fields (like engineering) that often require more resources than the 36 months of benefits the Post-9/11 GI Bill allocates. Check out this article on the GI Bill Stem Extension to find out more.
Other Tuition Help: There are also many federal and state scholarships (such as FAFSA) out there to help you with financial assistance to help you pursue your dream job as an engineer. There are also other forms of Veterans Affairs benefits and military discounts offered by colleges and universities to help you on your way to earning an engineering degree.
How do I know if a school is veteran friendly?
If you are interested in an engineering degree, you’ll want to find military friendly schools that will support you all the way to graduation. So, what makes a school military friendly?
They should have:
- signed the VA Principles of Excellence.
- a chapter of the Student Veterans of America.
- a full-time veteran’s counselor.
- campus clubs or associations for veterans.
- accept Credit for Military Experience and CLEP Exams.
Your future as an engineer has never been brighter. There are many opportunities for veterans to snag a top engineering job after you leave the military. Let’s take a look at some of the best engineering job prospects for veterans.
Best Engineering Degree Programs For Veterans
To help you decide what engineering pathway may be right for you, we have come up with a list of engineering majors that are the best options for veterans. Veteran’s like you have skills you have gained through your military service that are easily transferred to engineering degrees.
Here are some engineering degree options that are the best fit for veterans:
With an Aerospace Engineering degree, you’ll be designing, developing, and testing aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles, as well as supervising the production of these products. You can specialize as an Aeronautical Engineer and work with aircraft or as an Astronautical Engineer and work with spacecraft.
The healthcare field is booming, and biomedical engineers can be in the forefront of finding technological solutions to problems in healthcare. This can include working and designing new biomedical equipment, artificial internal organs, and other body parts.
With your Civil Engineering degree, you’ll be designing, constructing, and maintaining our world’s infrastructure, such as buildings, bridges, roads, airports, dams, water supplies, and environmental systems. Civil engineering is one of the oldest engineering disciplines, and you’ll work with local, state, and federal governments on infrastructure projects.
Civil engineering is growing at a predicted rate of 20 percent, making it a very secure career path for the future. Civil engineers design and build the world. They work on public and private infrastructure projects from airports to skyscrapers to sports stadiums.
Computer Software/Systems Engineering
A Computer Software/Systems Engineering degree will allow you to develop software applications, from video games to business applications. You can specialize in one of two areas. Applications Engineers use different programming languages to develop and maintain software applications. Systems Engineers focus on an organization’s internal computer systems.
Armed with a degree in Electrical Engineering, you’ll be on the cutting edge of emerging technological developments. You could help develop the engines for electric vehicles or turbines for new breeds of wind power systems. If you choose the Electrical Engineer path, you’ll be designing, developing, testing, and supervising the production of electrical equipment and systems. Electronics engineers focus more on communications, signal processing, and other electronics systems.
With a degree in Environmental Engineering, you’ll be involved in the growing green-jobs field. Environmental engineers use science and technology to prevent or fix the harm to the environment. You would address a wide range of environmental problems from waste management and disposal, to recycling, pollution control, and public health
If you want to work towards making the world a better and safer place to live, then a career in environmental engineering is for you. You would collaborate with others to identify, analyze, and solve problems that affect the natural world around us. You can specialize in areas that interest you like pollution control and providing safe water for developing countries.
With your Materials Engineering degree, you would be studying, developing, and testing materials required in a wide range of manufactured products. You would also be finding new uses for basic materials like metals, plastics, ceramics, or semiconductors. You could even be involved in creating brand new substances.
With your Mechanical Engineering degree, you’ll get the chance to design and manufacture of mechanical devices from basic tools to complex machinery. You would work in a variety of industries that will put your drafting and design skills to use by creating products and equipment. You could also work in research and development and manufacturing.
Working as a nuclear engineer can be a very satisfying career. Job growth in this field is not as high as say civil engineering, but you would carry a lot of responsibly as part of this exciting filed, Making nuclear energy safer and cleaner benefits the entire world. However, keep in mind that expected job.
We all know how vital gas and oil are to fueling the world, and people who know how to get these valuable raw materials out of the ground are richly rewarded. With a bachelor’s degree in engineering, this field is very attractive to future engineers.
Other Engineering Fields
There are a myriad of other careers in engineering that are just as exciting and rewarding. Here is a more extensive list of jobs in engineering that you may want to consider:
- Acoustical engineering
- Sports engineering
- Energy engineering
- Vehicle engineering
- Power plant engineering
- Mining engineering
- Structural engineering
- Water resources engineering
- Transport engineering
- Biomolecular engineering
- Molecular engineering
- Corrosion engineering
- Power engineering
- Electronic engineering
- Computer engineering
- Thermal engineering
- Biomedical nanoengineering
- Agricultural engineering
- Railway engineering
- Mechatronics engineering
- Military engineering
- Textile engineering
- Software engineering
A degree in engineering post-military can lead to an exciting and fulfilling career for veterans. There are many pathways to getting there. Using your veteran’s benefits, state/local financial aid, and the help of military-friendly college and universities, a bachelor’s degree in engineering is definitely within your grasp.
Jim spent 22 years on active duty, climbing the ranks from Airman Basic to a decorated Air Force Major. Stationed all over the world, he held many high-level posts, including Chief of Foreign Military Sales at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Jim earned his Ph.D. through the Montgomery Era GI Bill and spent 13 years teaching African Studies in Pennsylvania. Jim is also an award-winning travel writer.