Read About Healthcare Careers with the Flexibility and Mobility Military Spouses Need
Jobs for military spouses are important to the financial stability of military families. The unique challenges faced by spouses of military personnel, such as frequent moves due to deployments or relocations, can make it challenging to build a long-term career.
As a result, the unemployment rate of military spouses is almost three times the national average. These military spouses often look for flexible careers that can travel with them when they move.
A good number of healthcare careers check that box for military families. In fact, about 1 in 10 military spouses are employed in the healthcare field. Many healthcare careers provide meaningful work, financial stability, and long-term success.
In this article, we’ll explore 11 of the best healthcare jobs for military spouses, some of the benefits each provides, and the skillsets that may be beneficial.
What Makes a Great Job for Military Spouses?
Military spouses face unique challenges in maintaining a career due to frequent moves, deployments, and other factors. As a result, having a portable career is essential for ensuring financial stability and a sense of purpose. But what exactly makes a good career for a military spouse?
First and foremost, a good career for a military spouse is one that is portable. This means that the job can be performed from anywhere, even if the military family moves frequently. In addition, a good career should be flexible, allowing the military spouse to work around the demands of military life, such as deployments and long hours.
Another important characteristic of a good career for military spouses is job security. Military life can be unpredictable, and having a stable job can provide a sense of stability and security. Finally, finding a career that aligns with the military spouse’s interests, skills, and education is essential for long-term job satisfaction.
Why Healthcare is a Great Career Choice for Military Spouses
Healthcare is a great career choice for military spouses for several reasons. First and foremost, there is a high demand for healthcare professionals in the U.S., which translates to job security for military spouses. This demand is expected to continue to grow as the population ages and healthcare needs increase.
Another advantage of healthcare careers is their portability. Many healthcare jobs can be performed remotely, which means that military spouses can continue to work in their field even if they move frequently. In addition, there is a wide variety of career paths available in healthcare, which means that military spouses can find a career that aligns with their interests, skills, and education.
Finally, many healthcare careers offer flexibility in terms of scheduling, which is ideal for military spouses who need to work around the demands of military life. For example, some healthcare jobs offer flexible schedules or the ability to work part-time, which can be helpful for military spouses who are also managing family responsibilities.
Overall, healthcare is a great career choice for military spouses due to its job security, portability, and variety of career paths available. Whether a military spouse is interested in nursing, medical laboratory technology, or any number of other healthcare careers, there is sure to be a job that is well-suited to their skills and interests.
Here is our list of the 11 best healthcare jobs for military spouses:
1. Registered Nurse
One of the best jobs for military spouses in healthcare is a Registered Nurse (RN). RNs work closely with supervising physicians to assess, care for, and educate patients. They coordinate patient care as part of a healthcare team of doctors, specialists, and technicians. They also provide emotional support to patients and their families.
A big advantage for military spouses is that RNs can choose to specialize in many areas of medicine—such as wound care or emergency care—and work in a variety of settings, like public and private hospitals, clinics, or private physician practices. A well-paying healthcare career, the BLS reports that the average salary* for all Registered Nurses is about $83,000 per year, or roughly $40 per hour.
Registered Nurses have finished their educational program, such as an associate degree in nursing or a Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN), and then passed the NCLEX-RN exam. This is the official exam that certifies and licenses a nurse as an RN.
Click here to learn more about How to Become a Registered Nurse.
If this healthcare career interests you, check out the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at Brookline College. You can complete the program and earn your BSN degree in as little as 32 months!
2. Licensed Practical Nurse
Another great nursing career for military spouses is a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). These nurses also help care for patients, performing tasks like checking blood pressure, changing bandages, discussing patient concerns, and recording patients’ vital signs. In this nursing role, you may also help patients with daily tasks such as bathing or dressing.
Because LPNs work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home healthcare settings, the chances for military spouses to find a variety of job opportunities across the country are strong.
An additional plus for LPNs is that a practical nursing diploma can be earned much faster than an RN degree. Students enrolled in these programs can earn their diplomas in as little as 48 weeks. Upon completion, graduates must pass the NCLEX-PN exam to show they are ready to work safely and effectively as an LPN.
Click here to learn more about How to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse.
If this healthcare career interests you, check out the Licensed Practical Nurse program at Brookline College. Through our LPN program, you can earn your diploma in as little as 48 weeks!
Phlebotomists, also called Phlebotomy Technicians, are familiar faces to any of us who have had blood drawn for some kind of laboratory testing or to donate blood. These healthcare workers help patients feel calm as their blood is collected, follow safe practices for drawing blood, label and track blood samples, and ensure medical records are properly updated.
Phlebotomy jobs are considered highly portable jobs. In other words, it’s a universal healthcare job that is needed in many locations, like diagnostic laboratories, hospitals, outpatient care centers, and doctor’s offices, On top of that, the BLS projects that this job will grow by a healthy 10% from 2021 to 2031.
To get started, the first step is to enroll in an accredited Phlebotomy Technician program and earn your diploma. You’ll learn about advanced phlebotomy techniques, medical office administration, and infection control. After graduation, most employers will prefer that you’ve completed a professional certification such as the one offered by the National Phlebotomy Association.
Click here to learn more about How to Become a Phlebotomist.
If you’re ready to pursue this healthcare job, check out the Phlebotomy Technician program at Brookline College. We offer an accelerated program that will allow you to earn your diploma in as little as 34 weeks.
4. Surgical Technologist
A healthcare role that you’ll find in every operating room is a Surgical Technologist. These techs are important members of the surgical team, ensuring that every surgery is safe, sterile, and adequately prepared for the procedure. They not only prepare the operating room and stock the necessary tools and supplies, but they also hand sterile instruments directly to surgeons during procedures. Plus, they help patients to prepare and recover from their surgeries.
This highly disciplined, detail-oriented career makes a great companion to a spouse’s military career. It’s a fast-paced job—available at any medical facility that performs surgeries—that offers an attractive compensation that the BLS estimates at about $53,000 per year.
To go after this job, you should complete an associate degree program at an accredited college or university. You’ll learn about all of the fundamentals of various surgical procedures, commonly used operating room equipment, and how instruments are used. After graduating, nearly all Surgical Tech jobs require certification from one of two organizations—the NBSTA or the NCCT.
Read our career guide to learn more about How to Become a Surgical Technologist.
If an operating room career interests you, check out the Surgical Technology program at Brookline College. By enrolling in our Surgical Technology program, you can earn your associate degree in less than two years!
5. Physical Therapy Assistant
Good jobs for military spouses can also include stretching and massage—while working as a Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA). In this role, you’ll support a Physical Therapist as you help people recover from injuries and illnesses. You’ll provide hands-on care to help patients with treatment and exercises to restore motion, manage pain, and improve motor skills. You’ll also educate them on how to do exercises and follow a treatment plan.
Why is this a good job for military spouses? Many PT patients are older patients, including military veterans. Helping veterans and others recover from injuries, extend ranges of motion, or regain strength can be extremely rewarding.
Earning a PTA degree from an accredited institution usually takes about two years to complete. You’ll study topics like anatomy and physiology as you learn about the body’s systems. Once you’ve earned your degree, you can take the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) in order to gain certification and licensing in the state you plan to work.
Read our comprehensive career guide to learn more about How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant.
6. Occupational Therapy Assistant
Some people need help to develop and maintain the skills, strength, and abilities they need for daily living. Occupational Therapy Assistants (OTAs) help these patients who are sometimes recovering from injuries or dealing with chronic medical conditions. Under the direction of an Occupational Therapist, they assist patients with therapeutic activities, help them regain strength, and provide encouragement and support.
Military spouses who work as OTAs work with a variety of people—those with injuries, developmental disabilities, or chronic health conditions. Sometimes these patients can be military family members or veterans. They have the opportunity to work in numerous settings, including schools, hospitals, clinics, home health, skilled nursing, mental health, dementia care, private practice, travel therapy, and community settings. This wide range of possible work environments provides added flexibility in the type of work an OTA chooses to pursue.
This career requires that you earn an associate degree by enrolling in an accredited OTA program. Programs like this one usually take about 2 years to complete. You’ll study subjects like psychology, communications, anatomy, and physiology while learning how the human body and its systems function. You’ll also take part in hands-on fieldwork.
Once you graduate, you’ll become a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) by passing an exam offered by NBCOT. Once certified, you’ll be eligible to work just about anywhere in the United States, which is good news for military spouses.
Click here to learn more about How to Become an Occupational Therapy Assistant.
If this healthcare career interests you, check out the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Brookline College, which can be completed in as little as 96 weeks.
7. Medical Lab Technician
Medical Lab Technicians play an important role in helping to keep patients healthy by collecting bodily fluid or tissue samples and running lab tests to determine the presence (or cause) of diseases. They also ensure treatments like blood transfusions are properly categorized and safe for patients. Techs who work in this role may be employed in diagnostic labs, clinics, hospitals, or blood banks. They will also analyze samples, log data into medical records, and share findings with physicians or other health professionals.
Working as a Medical Lab Technician can help military spouses to earn a competitive salary* in many parts of the country. The BLS reports that, on average, these technicians earn an average salary* of about $57,000 per year.
After earning an associate degree at a school with an accredited Medical Laboratory Technician program, you’ll develop skills and knowledge about topics like hematology, chemistry, and microbiology. With your education, you’ll be prepared to obtain certification from one of the MLT credentialing organizations, which include ASCP and AMT.
Click here to learn more about How to Become a Medical Laboratory Technician.
If this healthcare career interests you, check out the Medical Laboratory Technician program at Brookline College. In as little as 64 weeks, you can earn your Associate of Applied Science degree and begin your career as a Medical Laboratory Technician.
8. Medical Assistant
Medical Assistants (MAs) complete administrative and clinical tasks in hospitals, offices of physicians, and other healthcare facilities. They handle both administrative and an increasing number of clinical tasks as part of their day-to-day responsibilities. This includes common tasks like updating patient’s medical records, assisting during medical examinations, and even administering medication under the supervision of a physician.
When it comes to mobile healthcare jobs, working as a Medical Assistant may be one of the most versatile jobs for military spouses. Not only does the BLS project that the employment of Medical Assistants is projected to grow by 16 percent from 2021 to 2031, but MAs can choose a number of popular certifications depending on their career goals and the state they work in.
Most Medical Assistants must not only complete an educational program accredited by an approved regional or national accreditation agency but also become certified. You can earn a diploma in less than a year, or you can enroll in an associate degree program, which can take about 2 years.
After you graduate, you can choose from a number of certifications to pursue, including Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) and Registered Medical Assistant (RMA). To learn more about MA certifications, read The Best Medical Assisting Certification for Your Career.
Click here to learn more about How to Become a Medical Assistant.
If this healthcare career interests you, check out the Medical Assisting program at Brookline College. Through our program, you can earn your MA diploma in as little as 9 months!
9. Dental Assistant
Another healthcare job you shouldn’t overlook as a military spouse is Dental Assistant. Dental Assistants perform clerical duties like record-keeping and appointment-setting while also helping prepare dental patients for treatment from a dentist. They sterilize dental instruments, instruct patients on dental hygiene, and assist with dental procedures.
Just like some of the other mobile medical jobs in our list, Dental Assistants have the flexibility to work in any dental office, which can be highly beneficial as a military family when getting deployed or transferred to a new area. On top of that, the BLS projects the job outlook for Dental Assistants to grow by 8% from 2021 to 2031.
The first step to working in this field is to enroll in a Dental Assisting program from an accredited institution. Graduates earn a diploma after studying the fundamentals of microbiology, pathology, and learning about common dental procedures. Just like Medical Assistants, Dental Assistants can also choose to pursue certification and become a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA). Some employers may require this credential.
Click here to learn more about How to Become a Dental Assistant.
If this healthcare career interests you, check out the Dental Assisting program at Brookline College. Our program offers all of the facilities, dental labs, and training equipment and materials you need to prepare for this noble and rewarding profession.
10. Patient Care Technician
In this entry-level healthcare career, a Patient Care Technician assists doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals in providing basic medical care like taking and recording patients’ vital signs or drawing blood for testing. They may also assist patients with daily living activities—like getting dressed—or helping to transport them to a medical appointment.
In this role, you can work just about anywhere you’ll find sick, injured, or elderly people who need extra help. This means you could work in nursing homes, retirement communities, hospitals, home care, or outpatient care. You may find many of these settings near a military base.
Most employers will prefer that you earn a Patient Care Technician diploma from an accredited college and then become a Certified Patient Care Technician by obtaining this credential from NCCT.
Click here to learn more about How to Become a Patient Care Technician.
If this healthcare career interests you, check out the Patient Care Technician program at Brookline College. In as little as 34 weeks, you can earn your diploma and be prepared for the National Certified Patient Care Technician Exam (NCPCT).
11. Sterile Processing Technician
Preventing the spread of infection is important with any medical procedure. Sterile Processing Technicians ensure that medical instruments and other medical equipment are properly cleaned, sterilized, inventoried, and maintained. They help prepare tools that will be used in surgeries or other medical procedures. They also keep track of supplies and inventory.
With this healthcare career, you may have the opportunity for a regular schedule during standard business hours working in a hospital, outpatient clinic, or private physician’s office. Some facilities may also have the option of working night shifts or weekends.
Although on-the-job training is available in certain states, most prepare for this career by completing a Sterile Processing Technician program from an accredited college. With your diploma, you’ll be prepared to get certified by one of two credentialing organizations, HSPA or CBSPD.
Click here to learn more about How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician.
If this healthcare career interests you, check out the Sterile Processing Technician program at Brookline College. In less than a year, you can earn your diploma in this highly fulfilling and rewarding career path.
Get the Credentials that Will Travel with You
Now that you’ve read about 11 of the best military spouse careers in healthcare, take some time to read through the career guides that interest you most. With a diploma or degree in the healthcare field of your preference, you’ll be prepared to obtain certification and start working in your career.
As a military spouse, you’ll appreciate that your skills and credentials will travel with you to other cities or states you may live in during your career.
Click here to find more employment resources for military spouses. Or check into the Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program for education on good careers for military spouses, career guidance, job listings, or to connect with other military spouses.