Military Spouses and Portable Careers

National Military Spouse Appreciation Day is celebrated on the Friday before Mother’s Day in May.  This year it will be celebrated on Friday, May 6. The day was designated by President Reagan in 1984 to celebrate military spouses, the heart of the families who support troops during mission, deployment, and return to civilian life.

Military spouses face unique challenges in find employment. It’s not uncommon for Navy members to be transferred every three or four years, so spouses often have work histories that look like job hopping. Spouses with portable skills find employment more quickly. Souses who work for companies with a national presence can sometimes transfer within the company, especially in the retail and hospitality industries.

Here are some of the most portable careers for anyone who may move frequently to follow a spouse.

  1. Therapeutic Careers. Healthcare professionals are in demand across the nation, and spouses may also be able to work in military facilities on bases across the globe. Spouse will need to research state licensing requirements before moving; they may need to take course or certification exams to be able to practice in another state. Many states offer support and waivers of fees, including Florida. The Florida Department of Health licensure offers support including an opportunity to receive a temporary certificate to practice in areas of critical need, licensure fee waivers, renewal exemptions and professional examination fee reimbursements for honorable discharged veterans and spouses with valid licenses from other states.

 Independent workers such massage therapists can set up in a new city quickly after  obtaining the proper credentials and licensing. Other healthcare professionals may  first choose to work through a medical staffing agency or home healthcare company  until they’re able to find a full time job. The good news is that healthcare  professionals are always in demand; work is plentiful in most cities, and companies  may be willing to help pay for licensing and exam fees for transferring spouses. Most  healthcare organizations offer flex and PRN (on demand) shifts for spouses who are  single parenting while their spouse is deployed.

  1. Teaching is also a portable career, since education exists in every community and most overseas bases. Spouses can research and apply for jobs before they transfer, although they may also have to invest in recertification and other state requirements. School systems offer the option of substitute teaching as a flexible option. Today, teachers also have many opportunities to teach or tutor online or in private learning centers.
  2. Information Technology is a very portable career, since every industry uses IT. IT workers also have the option to work through staffing companies or on contract while looking for a full time opportunity.

According Computerworld’s Forecast 2016 survey, the hottest and most portable skills right now in IT include cyber security, helpdesk support, web and application development, cloud and network management and database administration. Project management and business analytics also appear in the top 10 skills that employer indicate they’ll be seeking this year.

For more information on portable careers, visit these resources: (portable





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