One of the military jobs that can translate quite easily to civilian life are automotive or vehicle repair jobs; in fact, this is something you can do after you leave the armed services and return to civilian life, in some cases with some additional training.
Because military job openings are filled from within the ranks of those enlisted in the armed forces, these jobs are not something you're going to be able to find in job banks or classified ads. Instead, you join the military and then you are given assignments based upon your aptitude and/or the need of the military at the moment.
Getting automotive jobs
Once you have left the military and are looking for work in civilian life once again, becoming an auto mechanic or assuming a similar position is one good way to use the skills you've acquired in the military. If you have an aptitude for mechanics and fixing things, this is always an area of the job market that looks for good people. Because so many people drive cars, they're always going to need to have them fixed. This makes you, the auto mechanic, in great demand.
Auto mechanic or auto technician?
Actually, today, increasingly, auto mechanics have to have an ever-growing knowledge of how complex components work together and interact. Today's cars work by having complex computers and integrated circuitry regulate vehicles' performance while they're on the road. Because of this, you as a mechanic must know how these components work and how to fix them if they go awry. One of the ways you do this is to work with diagnostic electronic equipment and reference materials that are digitally enhanced and often online or on the computer. Because of this, you are probably going to have to have at least basic computer and Internet skills.
Your first area of investigation when it comes to finding a car's problem is to ask the car's owner what's happening. If the place you work at is particularly6 large, you may also ask the person who wrote the service order up. You'll test whether various components and systems are working properly and then isolate those that may not be. As you advance your career, you may specialize in a particular area of diagnosis and repair, such as electrical work, hydraulics, or transmission work.
Getting the job
Of course, your best bet to getting automotive military jobs in your area is to sign up for the armed services after you graduate from high school. Alternatively, you can get a GED and then join the military. You can learn much of what you need to know about being an auto technician or mechanic in the military; if you work on vehicles in the military, much of which you learn will translate to civilian cars.
Of course, you also have to have an aptitude for fixing mechanical things. Sometimes, you may wish to go to trade school or vocational school at a community college to learn what you need to for a particular area of auto repair you want to work in. If your military training does not teach you everything you need to know, you may also work under the tutelage of a more experienced technician to learn the skills of the trade in regard to what you need to know about civilian cars.
One of the ways to show that you are indeed and experienced and excellent automotive technician or mechanic is to get certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. This is especially important if you want to work in a large city or for a large business where you may not find someone who's willing to take you under his or her wing and teach you the trade.
Another way to get a job as an automotive technician is to contact car manufacturers or franchised dealers, some of whom sponsor two-year associate degree programs for on-site mechanics or technicians to work on customers' cars at the dealership. In these programs, you'll typically spend between 6 and 12 weeks attending classes full-time, alternated with working in the service departments of dealers who sponsor you in your schooling. In this case, you'll work under the supervision of someone who's more experienced and can show you what to do on a practical level, to go along with your schooling.
Besides a high degree of mechanical aptitude, you'll also need to be able to quickly pinpoint and diagnose problems so that they can be fixed quickly.
Compensation and job outlook
Currently, of course, the armed services are continually looking for new recruits in every area, including automotive repair. In civilian life, automotive service technicians are also in continued demand for the near future. This is especially true as people may decide to hang onto their cars and keep them in good working order instead of getting new cars every couple of years as often happens in a good economy.
Average hourly wages for automotive mechanics or service technicians were about $16 as of May 2006.