Military spouses often times need degrees that provide for a life of relocation in support of their spouses’ careers before their own. Portable careers are one option, but it isn’t for everybody.
Ideal Degrees for Military Spouses who PCS
Pharmacy Tech Degree/Certificate
Pharmacy Technicians help licensed pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals. There are pharmacies everywhere and according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for this position is expected to grow 20% by 2022. Average median pay for this position in 2012 was approximately $30,000.
Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVNs) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPNs) Programs
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses practice under the direction of a physician or registered nurse. They are entry-level health care providers who are responsible for rendering basic nursing care. A full time program can be completed in 12-14 months and part-time in about 18-20 months. Salary is typically in the $26,000 – $46,000 range.
Many states have “reciprocity” arrangements where one state will accept the licensing requirements of another. There are also many states that accept national teacher certification. Employment options include many areas that are in abundance no matter where you live.
- Online teacher or faculty member
- Teach with the Department of Defense Dependent School System (DoDDS) – Located on most military installations
- Substitute teaching
- Public or Private school teacher
What to Consider
Several factors need to be considered to make the best choice. College can be expensive and time-consuming, so having a solid plan can save time and money. While there are so many profitable and good career paths, military spouses require specific considerations:
- State Certifications – Some fields, such as legal, accounting and K-12 education, require state-certification. This can be problematic for a military spouse whose partner receives orders of a PCS. Certain states do offer reciprocity, especially for military spouses, but not all. Do your homework.
- Scheduling/Vacation – Make sure the degree you’re seeking will match you and your family’s lifestyle. Will a 9 – 5 job be best or being a nurse working the graveyard shift?
- Choose a Career Where You Can Be Happy – Optimal career paths are those that lead to self-fulfillment.
Getting a degree is a great way to create a professional niche, no matter where your family is stationed. A PCS brings about change for anyone, but you can be sure to secure work anywhere when you choose a degree that is in high demand and has global demand for employment.