What Education Do I Need For a Civilian Career?
Secondary education, which is comprised of post-high school programs, can be a great way to adjust back to civilian life and transition military skills to skills needed for civilian careers. Trade school, specifically, may be the optimal next step for the transition to a civilian career, especially if you want to pursue a career in cosmetology, HVAC, allied health, or truck driving. Plus, when compared to a four-year degree, trade schools offer shorter timeframes and lower tuitions. And, as a veteran, you may be able to receive credits for military training, service, and experience, though credit rewarding and transfer policies vary by state and institution.
If you’re thinking about going back to school to help with your transition to civilian life, look for a school that has earned the Military Friendly School designation, like MTI. This designation is given to schools based on an evaluation of retention rates, graduation rates, job placement rates, loan repayment rates, persistence (degree advancement or transfer) rates, and loan default rates.
Veterans, like you, should also find schools participating in the Principles of Excellence program. To participate in the Principles of Excellence program, institutions must agree to follow specific guidelines meant to aid students as they complete secondary education.
You should also look for a school that is accredited. Midwest Technical Institute, is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, the ACCSC serves  as the designated institutional accrediting agency for hundreds of trade and technical schools that offer quality vocational education.
Lastly, make sure the school you select matches your desired training style and allows for significant interaction between you and the instructors. MTI’s trade programs include hands-on training, minimal classroom time, small class sizes, in-field preparation, instructors with real-world experience, and job placement assistance. MTI can even help with resume workshops and career and job fairs.
Can I Get Financial Aid to Pay For My Education?
Some veterans may receive financial support for education. MTI supports the following aid programs for individuals who qualify:
- The Post-9/11 GI Bill can aid military students in paying for their education. This bill reimburses your tuition and fees directly to your school, and makes housing and other payments directly to you. Your school receives a percentage, as determined by the length of your active duty service.
- Montgomery GI Bill provides education benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to assist in paying for education. This benefit is available for those who have enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Read “Trade School Scholarship and Tips: How to Get Free Money to Study a Trade” to learn more.
Other scholarship opportunities like the following may be available, depending on your school and desired program. See MTI’s financial aid page for more information.
- The American Welding Society offers scholarships available for the Journeyman Welder Program only.
- Nexstar Legacy Foundation offers aid available for the HVAC/R-MAR Technician Program only.
- The HVACR Workforce Development Foundation provides scholarships, which are available for the HVAC/R-MAR Technician Program only.
- The Fast Web Scholarship Foundation provides scholarships to students regardless of their desired program.
- The Work Ethic Scholarship Program is available for mechanical trades programs only.
What Careers Are a Good Fit For Skills Learned in The Military?
There are many careers that fit well with the skills you obtained during your time in the military. The industries and positions listed below are just the beginning of what you can do with your skills.
Mechanical trade professionals supply, install, maintain, service, and repair electrical motors, inverter drives, HV machines, pumps, gearboxes, instrumentation and electronics, building panels, transformers and HV switchgear, turbines, and motors.
At Midwest Technical Institute (MTI), students can train for mechanical trade careers. The MTI HVAC/R-MAR Technician Program teaches students the skills they need to pursue entry-level careers in HVAC. This program provides knowledge of installation, repair, and maintenance training for the heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and refrigeration industry. Students will also learn installation and proceed through repair training for the major appliance industry.
Welding, which is another mechanical trade, is listed as GiJobs’  19th top job for veterans. The Journeyman Welder Program at MTI teaches skills and provides hands-on training to prepare students for entry-level employment in the welding field.
The Journeyman Welder II Program at MTI expands on hands-on pipe fitting training and includes more hands-on fitting and rigging. This training provides students with the skills and hands-on experience needed to become proficient pipe welders.
Allied health professions  fall within health or related services, and involve measures to identify, treat, and prevent diseases and disorders. Allied health professionals include certified nursing assistants, dental assistants, massage therapists, pharmacy technicians, medical assistants, and medical coding specialists. All of these careers can be launched through training at MTI:
- Certified Nursing Assistants: Nurses can start their allied health careers as certified nursing assistants (CNAs). The Basic Nursing Assistant Course at MTI prepares qualified individuals to be safe, caring, and effective nursing assistants who work under the supervision of qualified healthcare professionals.
- Dental Assistants: The Dental Assisting Program at MTI provides entry-level theory and hands-on training in basic and routine clinical and office tasks.
- Massage Therapists: The Massage Therapy Program at MTI provides the skills and hands-on clinical training needed to perform therapeutic massage utilizing a variety of techniques.
- Pharmacy Technicians: The MTI Pharmacy Technician Program is designed to prepare students to enter the pharmacy field in entry-level positions, working in hospitals, community (retail) pharmacies, clinics, and non-traditional settings.
- Medical Assistants: The Medical Assisting Program at MTI provides entry-level theory and hands-on training in basic and routine clinical and administrative tasks. Enrolled students are taught the skills required to perform in clinical and office settings.
- Medical Coding Specialists: The MTI Medical Coding Specialist Program provides the skills and knowledge required for entry-level positions normally available in medical offices, clinics, hospitals, and insurance companies as a part of healthcare teams. This MTI program instructs students in the analysis of medical records (charts) and the assignment of codes for indexing diagnoses and procedures to provide information for reimbursement purposes.
In the beauty industry, individuals can become hair stylists, colorists, nail technicians, estheticians, and makeup artists. To get started in the world of beauty, most positions require cosmetology training.
At MTI, the Cosmetology Program provides students with entry-level skills relating to hair, nails, and skin with an emphasis on hygiene, sanitation, customer relations, and salon management. This program provides students with theory and skills training in basic hair cutting, hair styling, and hair coloring. Graduates should be able to perform the basic facial, including but not limited to, masks, specialized facials, and manual care.
Forbes  included heavy tractor-trailer truck driver in their top-10 best jobs for veterans in 2014, and GiJobs  lists CDL Driver as the 15th top job for veterans, clearly indicating truck driving is an appealing option for many veterans.
At MTI, the Professional Truck Driving Program prepares students for CDL Class A license exams and entry-level truck driving careers. Students complete the Professional Truck Driving Program with forklift certifications, load securement, and cargo handling certifications, preventative maintenance certifications, and entry-level driver training (ELDT) certifications. To learn more about truck driving, read “4 Reasons to Consider Truck Driving in 2018.”
The MTI CDL Training Course teaches students procedures and techniques through hands-on experience and classroom theory. The 20-day CDL Training Course is designed for those with prior trucking experience, and helps prepare the student to pass the state licensing exam and obtain a CDL with the issuing state.
Midwest Technical Institute (MTI)
MTI values skills veterans learn during military service and helps veterans visualize how military skills translate into the civilian workplace.
Veterans possess transferable skills that complement the hands-on training required for some MTI skilled trades vocational programs, including welding, HVAC/R-MAR, and commercial truck driving. Plus, most of the available MTI programs, like the following, can be completed in less than a year:
- CDL Training Course – 20 days
- Basic Nursing Assistant – 7 weeks
- Professional Truck Driving – 5 months
- Journeyman Welder Program – 7 months
- HVAC/R-MAR Technician – 9 months
- Massage Therapy – 9 months
- Medical Assisting – 9 months
- Medical Coding Specialist – 9 months
- Pharmacy Technician – 9 months
- Journeyman Welder II Program – 10 months
Military Skills Can Translate to Many Civilian Careers
While transitioning from a military position to a civilian career may be nerve-wracking, you already have plenty of skills that can help you in a trade field like welding, cosmetology, or allied health. From your military experience, you possess teamwork, dedication, focus, communication, and respect, which can aid nearly any position in trade industries. Once you have identified the industry you feel is the best fit for your skills and passions, it’s important to also consider the education and training required. Military experience can also potentially lead to additional scholarship opportunities, and many schools, like MTI, offer resources like job placement assistance to those who qualify. Contact the Admissions Team at MTI today to learn more about our programs.
Sources https://www.berkshireassociates.com/balanceview/skills-translation-crucial-for-hiring-veterans  https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/vet.pdf [page 5]  http://soldierforlife.army.mil/  https://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2014/02/04/the-10-best-jobs-for-veterans/#6d32bd5c1f08  https://www.gijobs.com/2018-hot-jobs-for-veterans/  https://www.military.com/military-transition/transition-assistance-program-overview.html  http://www.asahp.org/what-is/  http://www.accsc.org/