The Best Careers for Military Wives

You can build a meaningful career while your husband serves his country.
You can build a meaningful career while your husband serves his country. (Image: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

If you watch the Lifetime TV drama "Army Wives," you know Roxie owns a bar and Claudia Joy is a lawyer. They belong to a family of working wives on a mythical South Carolina post. The show pays tribute to real Army wives whose careers revolve around their husbands' duty stations. According to The Employment and Earnings of Military Wives, a Rand study, “One in 4 military families move across county lines in a given year, compared with 1 in 12 civilian families.” Despite the challenge, savvy military wives can build meaningful careers thanks to great support networks.

Careers in the Health Care Industry

A career in health care can fit with a military lifestyle. Nurses, doctors, technicians, insurance claims processors and other health care occupations are possibilities. Apply to community hospitals, clinics and doctors offices. If your husband's post is large enough to support its own medical facilities, search there first. The Military Spouse Career Center, run by the Department of Defense, is eager to help.

Portable Careers for Military Wives

Develop a career and take it with you. Creative military wives have turned hobbies into careers. Establish an at-home invitation-printing service, bake exquisite cakes or sew personalized baby blankets. Keep the home fires burning with extra income, and if relocation orders arrive, maintain your ties to your old base community while developing new customers at your next duty station. The military wives’ network is so strong, your handmade products may be recommended to sisters you’ll never meet.

Develop a Career in Cyberspace

Embrace the Internet. Work-from-home jobs are plentiful as long as you apply due diligence and avoid scams that are too good to be true. Build a career writing and researching articles for web content studios and sites if you’re creative. Dive into transfers to exotic places and you’ll be positioned to write travel and destination pieces describing terrific places to vacation -- and those that leave something to be desired.

Work With Children in Myriad Capacities

Whether you possess a bachelor’s degree in education, have experience running a day-care center or you’ve coached girls basketball teams, you an fill an on-base job slot if there’s an opening when you arrive. Base day-care centers, schools, tutoring services plus schools located in nearby cities will allow you to continue your career as an educator and take in-service classes to boost your teaching credentials. It can’t hurt to hold teaching licenses in multiple states so you’re always employable.

Seek Employment With a National Chain

Work for a national chain store willing to re-employ you at other destinations should your husband receive transfer orders. Big box stores are everywhere – even in foreign countries – so if you take a job with Wal-Mart while your husband flies out of Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, for example, a transfer to Edwards Air Force Base in California, where Wal-Marts abound, could be seamless. Nearly 85 percent of military wives work to supplement their family's incomes and have overcome a variety of challenges to build careers. You can be one of them.

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