It’s tough to follow your professional dreams if you’re a military spouse. Most traditional professions require workers to remain in a fixed location, reporting to an office daily. The unpredictability of life with the military can make holding a job for extended periods of time easier said than done. With multiple PCS moves, special assignments, and deployments to go through, it’s essential that today’s modern military spouses are finding job opportunities that work with their unique lifestyle. Fortunately, there are certain careers that don’t require you to stick to one place. These jobs can be performed from anywhere in the world, and are irrelevant to most geographical locations. These are called portable careers.
What is a Portable Career?
Careers that don’t require you to get tied with a single company or location necessarily are considered portable careers. This means that the profession relies more on a person’s skills and isn’t impacted by an individual’s ability to report to an office or abide by ‘typical’ work hours. For instance, a web designer can work from any location in the world. An article on military.com writes, “Portable careers are a growing trend among military spouses. Frequent relocation that once caused career havoc for spouses can now involve little or no career upheaval.” This goes to show just how important portable careers are for military spouses specifically.
Why Are Portable Careers Important for Military Spouses?
Military spouses have their passions too. Most of these passions, however, seem out of reach once they are unable to give their passions the proper time needed to succeed due to the professional requirements of their spouses. Additionally, many military couples marry young. This means that in numerous cases, the partners are unable to complete their education. Therefore, it’s essential for them to find careers that don’t have strict requirements for formal education and can also be pursued from anywhere in the world. To give you some examples, we’ve created a list of the top five most trending and in-demand portable careers out there.
Top 5 Portable Careers for Military Spouses
It’s hard to stick around and focus on your ambitions when you are on the move every couple of years. Long-term attention to one of the more conventional careers is out of the question when you would have to quit it in a couple of months and relocate, sometimes to places where your skill set may no longer be relevant. Thankfully though, certain professions are not limited to geographic locations
Customer Service/ Support A business always has customers that require product or service assistance. Specialized or technical departments don’t usually have time to take all these calls. Therefore, most businesses have dedicated customer support sections that handle all these affairs. Being an employee in such a department, a customer service representative handles customer complaints, provides product related assistance or any other information to customers, and even takes their feedback on the products. According to Payscale.com, the wage rate in a customer service job can vary between $9.19 to $17.50/hr for entry level employees. This number is obviously subject to growth as employees gain experience and connections. Additionally, there are goal specific bonuses and commissions as well for such an employee to earn. The fact that most businesses have customer calls to deal with at some end makes the customer service job relevant to nearly every industry. The most common places for a customer service representative to work at are call centers, retail stores, banks, and IT companies. The widespread industry relevance and the fact that you can find employment in this field almost anywhere in the country makes it one of the most ideal career options for military spouses. While a lot of companies have in-house departments for this job, a lot of them outsource it overseas. Therefore, you can find employment in this field even when your spouses are on foreign deputations. You would typically require a high-school diploma, excellent communication skills along with basic computer knowledge, and specialized training to make it your career.
Graphic Designer With technology advancing fast and becoming more portable day by day, a number of portable professions are in demand. Graphic designing is one such profession. The job relies more on your skills and creativity rather than your geographic location. Besides no geographical restrictions, there is also no education requirements needed to have a successful career in graphic design. All you need is a creative eye and a proficiency in various software programs. You can work for yourself as a freelancer with various companies, or find remote work with a single employer. If you are working as a graphic designer for someone else, you can earn an average of $52,589 per year. But since the nature of the job is such that you can work even from home and as a freelancer as well, the remunerations can vary from project to project. The highly fluid nature of the job makes it a great career option for military spouses. Furthermore, since a lot of detailing goes into this kind of work, it requires a lot of patience and time. In a new place where you may not have friends or any idea about other leisure activities, time is all most military spouses have, and they can put it to good use. A person’s natural talent counts more than any formal education in such professions. If, however, you are starting out, some courses can train you in different graphic designing software like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.
Photographer Photography is another portable career for military spouses that is ideal for creatives or those with an eye for art. Many military spouses have created strong business models through photography. All that’s really needed is a DSLR camera, editing software, lighting, and a few basic accessories. Besides its mobile nature, the photography career especially suits military spouses because there are numerous photography related jobs even in the military itself. This includes homecoming or pre-deployment photo shoots for military families and even the digital coverage of official events. Additionally, you can always seek employment at one of the local dailies, or simply get self-employed. Whichever the case may be, the average hourly rate for photographers is $16.04. In terms of education, while most photographers are self-taught, there are courses you can take not only to hone your skills but also to improve your resume.
Personal Trainer Unlike even some of the portable careers, if a personal trainer relocates, they don’t need to move any equipment with them. It’s their knowledge of the human body and fitness methods that most employers seek. Therefore, if you are a military spouse and a personal trainer, you can easily seek employment wherever you move. Furthermore, since fitness is a common need of most people, you can even have other military spouses as clients. To be a certified fitness trainer, however, you need to complete the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) training. You can either join a school to obtain this training or take an online courses. Once you are a certified trainer, you can earn an average of income of $30,000 a year.
Pharmacist and Pharmacy Technicians Pharmacy technicians are an essential part of the healthcare industry. This is because they aid in the process of preparing prescription medicines for customers. And since health care is one of the necessities of life, the industry exists almost everywhere. Since it is everywhere and finding employment in the profession is comparatively easy, it is one of the most suitable career options for military spouses. It is, however, a technical job and requires specialized training to get employed in the field anywhere. Once you are qualified, you can earn an average income of $31,716 a year. That wraps up our list of top five portable careers for military spouses. Be sure to check out Meditec for information on MyCAA and other career paths.