Beginning your career in the military is a great way to earn a living while building your resume and skills. Not only does the military provide you with specialized training and the chance to travel to unique places, but it also provides you with leadership opportunities in a meaningful way. Life skills and experience acquired through the military also help build and strengthen your interpersonal relationships with family and friends. Here are five ways that military life prepares you for a great civilian career.

Technical Skills

During your time in the military, you’ll get paid to learn skills that are transferable to lucrative jobs in the civilian world. These include aircraft maintenance, flight control, logistics expertise and more. Service members get supervised training in various aspects of engineering and construction, and they’re put into environments where they must successfully manage personnel, according to This will allow you to claim management experience upon transition.

Soft Skills

When lives are at stake, clear and efficient communication is key to keeping your team safe and on track to accomplish its objective. According to Independence University, communication and team building are actually highly marketable skills. Many civilian jobs, whether in law enforcement, planning and logistics or engineering often require teamwork to tackle challenges and client projects. Showing how your military experience directly translates into these soft skills is an advantage that will set you apart from those fresh out of school with little to no practical background on their resumes.

Resource Management

Senior enlisted service members and officers will be put in charge of not only personnel but also lots of expensive equipment. Taking responsibility to ensure these assets stay intact is not only mission-critical, but it also reflects the maturity and responsibility desired in a leader. Much of this equipment requires specialized language and handling skills which translate well into jobs related to logistics planning such as fleet management, supply chain optimization and others.

Training and Teaching

Being a team leader means you’ll be held responsible for successful teaching and training of your teammates in various functions related to your mission. According to Reboot Camp, noncommissioned officers in transition have a perfect opportunity to move into a career field that depends heavily on teamwork. Their rank and level of responsibility put them in line with entry level to middle management roles in the civilian world. This experience directly translates into team leader positions whether they’re in sales, service, manufacturing or some other organizational structure.

You’re Incentivized to Keep Learning

While on active duty, service members are encouraged to continue taking classes and expand their education. In addition to being able to take various military specialty courses, they can also apply for tuition assistance to take classes offered by universities, according to Scholarship America. For these, they’ll receive credit toward a degree. Use your downtime during active duty to take online courses that can prepare you for your next career. Additionally, once you complete your time in active service, you may be eligible for GI Bill benefits that will pay for the completion of a four-year or advanced degree. Use this benefit to either enhance your current skill set or to begin an education in a new career track.

Beginning your career as part of our nation’s military is a great way to build valuable work experience while earning a living. Service in the military familiarizes you with a professional atmosphere where teamwork is critical to the successful completion of various objectives. Whether your military experience consists of building a bridge, refueling and resupplying a fleet or managing the maintenance of a squadron of planes, there are ways to decode it into highly desired skills and experience that are in demand in the civilian world.