Leaving military service (or thinking about it) and transitioning to a civilian life and career can be a big challenge, especially for veterans who aren’t sure what they want to do or where they want to focus their professional efforts.
The IT field is well-suited to veterans. Not only does IT offer rapidly-growing opportunities and excellent compensation, it is also a good fit for veterans who are systematic, methodical, and used to working under pressure. Plus, having security clearance from your time in the military can help you get hired faster for compelling positions.
If you’re interested in cybersecurity, check out our post specifically about veterans and cybersecurity. If you’re interested in offering technical support, check out these jobs, descriptions, and average salaries to learn if it’s the right fit for you.
It’s also worth noting that these positions are mostly entry level. As you go up the IT food change, compensation increases demonstrably, and with a few more certifications and years of experience, you could easily double the range for these entry level positions.
Help desk technician
A help desk technician’s duties will vary depending on organization. The job will almost certainly include fulfilling telephone and help desk ticket requests, but it could also include some time doing desktop support administration. In desktop support administration, you help people fix their computer problems, from simple computer repairs for entry level admins to handling kernel extension compatibility issues for more seasoned techs.
The average salary for a help desk technician is $41,500 to $65,250, and as you grow in your role and knowledge, you could rise from help desk to cloud and systems administrator, a security expert, or even an IT manager. One of the best ways to get started on your path to a help desk technician is to complete your CompTIA A+ certification.
Technical support specialist
A technical support specialist works directly with people to solve their technical issues. Technical support specialists usually offer assistance for technical issues that require a level of expertise higher than the help desk.
The salary range for a technical support specialist goes up to $80,000 per year, with a median salary $52,000. Once you’ve completed your CompTIA A+ certification, you’ll also want to look at a certification for CompTIA Network+ to help you as you grow from technical support specialist to system administrator or IT manager.
System security specialist
A system security specialist helps configure, monitor and maintain overall security for a computer or computing system. They also create and set policies for computers that restrict communication with other machines websites, and services. On the flip side, if an issue with a machine accessing systems, information or services that should not be accessed, the system security specialist is likely to help create and maintain a configuration that can be applied across a broader set of machines.
System security specialist salaries range between $45,617 and $71,803 and is an excellent entry-level position for those interested in cybersecurity. A system security specialist could move up into system, security, or network administration. From there, they will be positioned for roles as a security manager, IT project manager, or security architect, and later, a security officer, director, or even chief information officer (CIO).
In addition to knowing some programming languages, a system security specialist will want to work toward a CompTIA A+ certification and CompTIA Security+ certification.
Field service technician
While many computer and support requests can be resolved remotely, there are some issues that still require a person in the field. Working “in the field” in IT means working on site in an office, data center, or similar company-owned facility. Field service technicians will unbox new servers, put them in rack mount systems, and hook up cables.
Field service technicians might also work in one or more office locations, depending on company size. They usually do physical work on a computer like memory (RAM) upgrades and replacements, troubleshooting ethernet ports and power outlets, or fix a paper jam on a printer.
A field service technician’s average salary is $47,128, and if you’re looking to progress from there, you can look into positions as a field engineer. For entering as a field service technician, you might look at your CompTIA A+ certification and Cisco CCNA certification.
If you’re looking to get on a career track for cybersecurity and IT, New Horizons Phoenix has a set of courses geared toward providing a balanced education in network, desktop, and security training. For more information about joining our IT career track and using your veteran benefits to do so, you can reach out to us here and read more about how your veteran benefits work with New Horizons Phoenix. We also offer career path consultations, which you can sign up for here.