Every year, 200,000 veterans leave the military to begin their civilian careers. But what many find is that it can be difficult to know where to land. They ask questions like, “What industry should I pursue?” “What roles do I have the necessary skills for?” “Is this just a job or is there room to grow into a career?”

If these questions sound familiar and you’re struggling to find answers, the environmental services industry may be a great fit. In this blog post, we’ll cover four reasons why.


Environmental services is a stable industry

Unlike in the military, layoffs are common in the private sector. When deciding on a career path, it may be worth considering the volatility and/or stability of the industry before jumping in.

Environmental services is a $10 billion industry that is powered by the need for safe soils and water. Government regulations and requirements are what keep companies toeing the line when it comes to environmental safety issues. Those requirements are typically why property owners are compelled to test for contamination and, if found, to clean it up.

Unlike other industries that are affected by product demand, world events and supply chain issues, the environmental services industry is fairly stable. As long as there are contaminated areas that are potentially hazardous to humans, property owners will be required to address them and people in our industry will continue to work.


Similar culture

Many veterans lament the company culture they experience in private sector roles—but veterans working in environmental services rarely have those complaints. They report experiencing similar elements, such as…

  • A sense of purpose and camaraderie
  • An expectation of structure, discipline and motivation
  • Valuable on-the-job training
  • Pride in the work being completed as part of a team

If those are things you valued during your service, you may be delighted to find a similar culture in the environmental services industry. 


Many skills transfer

Job descriptions in the military and civilian worlds sometimes seem like they’re written in different languages—and in many ways, they are! That makes it difficult to know when you’re a qualified candidate—or if you know you are, how to show that to the hiring manager.

Many veterans are highly qualified for environmental services roles. Think about it—do you have experience with…

  • Construction design or building?
  • Vehicle/equipment maintenance and repair?
  • Heavy equipment operation?
  • Plumbing, electrical or HVAC installation?
  • Welding or fabrication?
  • Utility maintenance?
  • Leadership or project management?

These are all skills and experiences that are prized in the environmental services industry (though the list is far from exhaustive). If you can identify your transferrable skills and align them with an open role, there’s a good chance you’ll be one of the top candidates for that job.


Many roles are learned on the job

During your service, you probably learned a lot just by doing the work. You may even prefer to learn that way, rather than in a classroom or from a book.

In the environmental services industry, that is a common practice. There are very few ways to pick up the skills needed for field service work other than through the teaching and mentorship of more experienced drillers and probe operators.

This means you can learn the skills you need without paying a dime—in fact, you’ll be getting paid as you soak up new information and grow your skill set!


If you’re interested in learning more about a career in environmental services or about how to get started, download your free copy of our ebook, Your Next Assignment: A Military-to-Civilian Transition Guide for Launching a Career in Environmental Services.

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