MOS Options that transfer well to Civilian Life?
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  1. #1

    Lightbulb MOS Options that transfer well to Civilian Life?

    Hello everyone,

    My name is Zach Dames and I plan on enlisting soon. BUT, before I do I really want to have a MOS picked out. After taking the practice ASVAB test, the recruiter said I could do most MOS jobs.

    The two that I have in mind are:

    Combat Camera - the one I would enjoy the most, but not to sure about a career after Marine Corps

    Air Traffic Controler - according to my uncle (ex-commercial pilot), it's a great job to have. But is it very stressful?

    I will more than likely take advantage of the free schooling while I am active duty as well, I just want to have the MOS experience to fall back on as plan B, or if I really enjoy it vice versa.

    Also, I took a test at a technical school (Ranken) and apparently I did very well in the Mechanical and Spacial portion of the test, they said usually nobody finishes in the alloted time and I got a high score. Maybe Engineering would be a good MOS option?

    Would love to hear all of your opinions and advice.


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  2. #2
    I was about to say welcome to the site, but you joined in Feb of last year. But, just a few thoughts-----first, as I say to others, you never know about MOSs. That is, you may not know enough, or ever know enough, about a particular MOS to say whether you will like it or not. I was handed my MOS, as we all were way back when, and it turned out to be the best job I ever had, before or after the Corps, including my present one. So, you can be pleasantly surprised sometimes.

    Also, please PM fl1946, Frank Lee. He is the only one I know of who WAS a combat cameraman. He will have good advice and insights for you to consider.

    I would think that quite a few MOSs translate well to civilian life. But others who were in more recently will be along to give you some info. Good luck! Keep us posted right here on this same thread.

  3. #3
    Also, if you have any recruiter questions, a former recruiter is on here, and if you PM him, he can help you along those particular lines----

    Kamauxx is the former recruiter, and is very helpful.

  4. #4
    Yes I was interested in enlisting last year when two of my buddies enlisted, but I let fear hold me back; not gonna happen this time.

    I'm open to a lot of different MOSs, I just don't want to pick something that turns out to be not what I thought it was.

    I'll PM Frank.


  5. #5
    You're welcome. Maybe you were just not ready to enlist before. That's fine. People are ready for things at different times and in different ways. You'll do fine. Just continue to do your research about these various MOSs.

  6. #6
    My advice: Pick a job you will be happy doing for the next 4 years. If you are joining the military for critical civilian skills, consider another branch. You'll have a much higher quality of life and more technical opportunities. I think one of the best combinations of technical skills and adventure coupled with quality of life IN THE MARINE CORPS is probably on the aviation side of the fence as a crew chief.

    Engineering in the military isn't really engineering. It's rudimentary construction or blowing stuff up. Unfortunately, the field also includes the possibility you get stuck servicing toilets for 4 years.

    If you have a passion for photography, combat camera may be a good MOS. As for air traffic control, it is true that you can get out of the military and make good money doing it for the government, and I'm sure some of your time in service carries over for pension purposes. This all may change if it gets privatized. It is supposedly a very stressful job.

    Don't worry to much about "learning skills," worry more about having a good experience. When you get out, you have a free ride to pretty much 10 semesters of college including a healthy living stipend. You can pursue any undergraduate and some graduate education debt free, and get paid to do it.


  7. #7
    The reason I want to become a Marine is because I want to do something with my life that I will be proud of, I'm just trying to be more strategic with my MOS option so that away its easier on me when go into civilian life afterwards.

    Photography is a huge passion of mine, I think Combat Camera is the one I'm gonna go with. I think I would enjoy it the most.

    I'm also looking into some degree options, figured I better take advantage of the free schooling while I'm active duty.


  8. #8
    fl1946 should be getting back to you. He doesn't wander in this section all that often, which is why I advised PMing him, as you did.

  9. #9
    Off duty education is "possible" but there are a lot of factors involved (mostly if, and how often, you get deployed). Some commands take education seriously while others just pay it lip service; a few will even throw roadblocks in your way making it nearly impossible. Impossible to say how your command(s) will look at it obviously. Off duty education is never guaranteed and it is not an earned benefit like your Post 911 education benefits like Mike is talking about (after you get out). Free education on active duty is tied to Tuition Assistance (TA). One must apply for TA and there is no guarantee that application will be approved. Or, it may be approved for the spring semester but not the summer semester. Only so much money is allocated to TA; once that money is gone, it's gone. You can GOOGLE "tuition assistance" to learn more about it.

    I finished both my AA and BS degrees on active duty but it took me 10 years to do it and I lost some credits transferring schools which is inevitable longer you stay in and change duty stations (not a factor with online courses from the same school). I did use tuition assistance when it was authorized. Had a secondary MOS of 8015 (enlisted Marine with a 4 year degree) and it did help when it came promotion time - never got passed over for promotion.

    Combat camera. As the title implies, expect to be deployed and attached to infantry units. Means fewer opportunities to attend classes or have access to the internet for online class work.

    Air Traffic Controller. Less chance to be deployed. There are expeditionary airfields in combat zones overseas but majority of the ATC jobs are located at one of our permanent Air Stations. It is a high-stress job obviously (people's lives depend on you not making a mistake - ever).

    Combat engineer. Construction engineers and heavy equipment operators transfer well to civilian jobs. Both of these MOS's have apprenticeship programs that transfer with you when you leave active duty so your civilian employee does not have to pay for you to attain your apprentice certificate (saves them a bunch of money so makes you more valuable to them). But, like Mike said, this MOS group also contains ground electricians, water purifiers, etc so you may never see construction engineer or heavy equipment operator. Talk to your recruiter about how that works.

    Good luck.

  10. #10
    If you are passionate about photography I'd say go Combat Camera. Maybe you'll get some education done on active duty, maybe you won't. Either way, if/when you get out, that is taken care of for you with the GI bill.

    With these being the days of social media, I think combat camera is a pretty good gig. I see tons of amazing photographs all over facebook from combat camera guys, both of training at home and overseas. Also, some of the professional photographers I know make a good deal of money on the civilian side. Hopefully you'll get very good at photography over your time in.


  11. #11
    What the hell ever happened to joining the Corps to be a Marine? Sounds like a bunch of sh*t heads want yo use the Corps as a trade school.

  12. #12
    I don't look at them as sh*t heads. I look at them as young people wanting to serve their country as a Marine, while thinking about their future. Seems kind of rational to me. Leaders of Marines do the same thing when they talk to their Marines about career opportunities both inside and outside of the Corps. Some of my Marines talked to the Career Planner about making a lateral move into a different MOS for myriad reasons (a large reenlistment bonus for example). In no way did that make them a sh*t head in my eyes. As their leader, their future was just as important to ma as it was to them.

  13. #13
    Yeah, all these ****heads joining the MARINE CORPS in a time of war. Unbelievable!


  14. #14
    And let's remember our 11 Troop Leading Steps. One of which is "know your people and look out for their welfare".

  15. #15
    Worked a good amount with Combat Camera it is pretty legit. The Marine Corps is big into documenting every aspect of the Corps so Combat Camera is always busy. Everything from Combat Patrols, to VBSS with Recon, to promotion ceremonies.

    Never worked with ATC but the skills defiantly transition.

    Anything in the intel field always translates well to the civilian sector both due to the security clearance and skill set. Even more so SIGINT, thats a guaranteed government job right there after you get out. That is, if you're qualified for it.

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