The transition from military to civilian life can be tough. The military is a way of life, not just a job. It’s a way of life that comes with great purpose, passion, belonging, and pride that can be difficult to replicate in a civilian career. And while they are highly trained, experienced, and skilled, transitioning veterans may find it difficult to secure a career where they feel like their unique talents can be put to good use. Many say they feel like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.
There’s one industry, though, that is a natural fit for veterans and transitioning military: the construction trades. Between the hands-on, goal-oriented nature of the work, the deep camaraderie among team members, and the celebration of skills like handiness, strategic thinking, leadership, adaptability, problem-solving, and more, it should come as no surprise that tens of thousands of veterans have found fulfilling and successful careers in the trades.
How did they find that success and make the transition? Through a registered apprenticeship program!
An apprenticeship is a program where workers learn a skilled trade through a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction. Apprenticeship is similar to college in that it offers advanced instruction from an accredited program that prepares you for your career. Unlike college, however, apprentices earn while they learn and get paid while they’re on the job site. It’s certainly a great choice compared to sitting in a lecture hall for 4 years, especially for transitioning military who are used to a much more active, engaged, and hands-on way of life.
Not only do apprenticeships pay, but veterans can also can use their GI Bill benefits to supplement their income while completing a registered apprenticeship program. Many transitioning from the military don’t realize that GI Bill benefits can be used outside of more traditional education routes, including registered apprenticeships approved by the federal government. What’s great is that this is in addition to the income earned from on-the-job training!
The support for veterans in the building trade apprenticeship programs is unparalleled. Few industries have the reverence and respect for veterans and transitioning military like the construction trades. In fact, many have designed specific initiatives and programs to help veterans make a successful transition. A great example of this is The Veteran’s Electrical Entry Program (VEEP) by the electrical training ALLIANCE, which provides transitioning service members and recently separated veterans a more streamlined way to enter an apprenticeship in the high-demand field of electrical work.
If you’re an active service member who is about to transition or a veteran looking for a mission-focused and purpose-driven career - one where you feel like you fit in and your talents can be fully used and celebrated - we encourage you to explore a career in the construction trades. Learn more about apprenticeships, and get started today.
Veterans and active duty service members, we honor you and would be honored to work beside you.