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Transitioning to Healthcare Careers for Veterans

April 21, 2024

Based on the 2021 Census of Population, there were 461,240 Canadians counted as veterans in the spring of 2021. Of these, nearly 60% are of working age (aged 17 to 64), indicating that a substantial number of veterans possess valuable skills, experience, and adaptability that make them a great asset to the workforce. One of the most popular civilian career options for vets is in healthcare.

In this article, we will explore why healthcare is a good career path for veterans after the military and highlight some examples of healthcare professions that might be a good fit for military veterans.

Why is Healthcare a Good Career Path for Veterans Post-Military?

Healthcare is a compelling career path for veterans post-military due to the alignment of their acquired skills, dedication, and commitment with the demands of the healthcare profession. The transition into healthcare allows veterans to continue their noble service by serving others in a meaningful and impactful way. Here are specific reasons why becoming a healthcare worker is an ideal fit for former military members:

A list summarizing the reasons why healthcare is a good career path for veterans post-military.

A Good Opportunity to Continue Rendering Service to Others

One of the main reasons why healthcare is a natural fit for vets is the opportunity to continue serving others. Many veterans seek the sense of purpose and fulfillment that comes from helping those in need after leaving the military. Whether it's caring for patients in a hospital setting or providing medical assistance in underserved communities, healthcare careers allow veterans to make a positive impact on people's lives.

Scholarships and Financial Aid are Available

Another advantage of pursuing a healthcare career is the availability of scholarships and financial aid specifically tailored for veterans. These opportunities can alleviate the financial burden of furthering your education and make the transition to a healthcare career more accessible.

Many organizations and institutions offer grants and programs designed to support veterans and their families in their educational pursuits. One such organization is Veterans Affairs Canada, a department in the Canadian government mandated to assist and support military veterans and their families, including in the successful reintegration of veterans into civilian life. It provides the Education and Training Benefit (ETB), which provides funding for any post-secondary education that a veteran would want to pursue, provided that they satisfy the requirements and were approved to be the recipient of the said funding.

Transferable Skills and Training

The skills and training acquired during active duty in the military are highly transferable to the healthcare field. Veterans possess strong leadership abilities, teamwork skills, and the ability to work well under pressure – all qualities that are highly valued in healthcare professions. Additionally, many military roles involve medical training and experience, which can be directly applied to healthcare careers such as nursing or medical assisting.

Good Benefits and Decent Salary

Healthcare careers often come with excellent benefits and a decent salary. Veterans who have served their country deserve to be rewarded for their dedication and sacrifice, and a career in healthcare can provide the stability and financial security they seek. Furthermore, healthcare professions offer opportunities for advancement and increased earning potential as you gain experience and expertise in your chosen field.

Opportunity for Career Progression and Growth

Unlike some other industries, the healthcare field provides ample opportunities for career progression and growth. As a veteran, you are accustomed to constantly improving your skills and seeking new challenges. Whether it's through advanced certifications, higher education, or specialized training, healthcare careers offer a clear path for professional development and the chance to continually expand your knowledge and expertise.

7 Healthcare Professions that Might Be a Good Fit for Military Veterans

There is a wide range of healthcare professions in which military veterans' skills and experiences can be an excellent fit. Here are some examples of roles within the healthcare settings where military veterans can thrive and excel:

A list summarizing healthcare jobs that might be a good fit for veterans.


Nursing is a versatile and rewarding career that aligns well with the values and skills of veterans. From providing direct patient care and collaborating with other healthcare providers to assuming leadership roles, nurses play an important role in healthcare settings. As a nurse, you can choose a workplace setting that suits your interests and ambitions, whether it's working in a hospital or other acute care settings where everything is fast-paced or in long-term care where the environment is more intimate and calmer.

Nursing is also an ideal choice for those who want to see themselves progressing career-wise. Nursing has a hierarchy where the extent of your practice may widen, and your annual salary may increase as you go up another level. Levels include nursing assistants (CNAs) and practical nurses (LPNs/RPNs) who are under the direct supervision of registered nurses (RNs) and nurse practitioners (NPs), with the latter being those with master’s degree or doctorate who may practice without supervision of physicians.

Healthcare Administrator

If you have a knack for organization, problem-solving, and strategic planning, a career as a healthcare administrator might be a good fit for you. Healthcare administrators concern themselves with performing effective decision-making and overseeing the operations of various healthcare settings to ensure the effective delivery of high-quality patient care. This role is especially ideal for those with a military background in leadership and management who can apply their prior experience in the military, this time to a healthcare setting, to excel in the position and contribute to the overall improvement of healthcare systems.

Medical Assistant

Medical assistants provide essential support to healthcare professionals, performing both administrative and clinical tasks. They assist with patient intake, schedule appointments, take vital signs, and even perform basic medical procedures under the supervision of a physician. For veterans who possess a strong sense of empathy and enjoy working directly with patients, becoming a medical assistant can be a fulfilling career choice.

Dental Assistant

Similar to medical assistants, dental assistants provide support in dental clinics and offices. They assist dentists during procedures, take X-rays, maintain patient records, and ensure the smooth running of dental practices. Veterans who appreciate attention to detail, have good manual dexterity, and enjoy working in a specialized healthcare field may find dental assisting to be a rewarding career path.

Physiotherapist Assistant

If you have a passion for physical fitness and helping others recover from injuries, a career as a physiotherapist assistant might be a great fit. Physiotherapist assistants work closely with physiotherapists or physical therapists to implement treatment plans and assist patients in their rehabilitation journey. With the discipline and perseverance you developed during military service, you can surely excel in this role and make a positive impact on patients' lives.

Surgical Assistant

For veterans who thrive in high-pressure environments and have a keen interest in surgery, becoming a surgical assistant can be a challenging and fulfilling career choice. Surgical assistants provide support during surgical procedures, ensuring that the operating room runs smoothly and assisting surgeons with various tasks. Their role is critical in maintaining patient safety and facilitating successful surgeries.


If you are seeking a healthcare career that allows you to be on the front lines, making a difference in life-or-death situations, becoming a paramedic could be the perfect fit. Paramedics are trained to provide emergency medical care in various settings, from accident scenes to ambulances. With the quick decision-making and adaptability that you developed during military service, you can undoubtedly thrive in this fast-paced and critical role.

Tips On Choosing Your Preferred Career Path in the Healthcare Field

Healthcare organizations appreciate employing military veterans due to their exceptional skills, discipline, and dedication. Veterans bring valuable attributes such as adaptability, teamwork, leadership, and a strong sense of service, which align well with the demands of the healthcare profession. The ability of military people to work effectively under pressure and their commitment to precision and excellence make them valuable assets to healthcare organizations.

As such, it's then just a matter of understanding which healthcare career to pursue based on your interests and passion, taking up the required level of education and licensure, and communicating to prospective employers the skills you have acquired during your military training and service, which can also make you an invaluable member of the healthcare team. Here are some other tips to set yourself up for success in this new field:

Start your transition to healthcare as your civilian career with the help of Caring Support.

Easier Transition to Civilian Workforce Through Caring Support

Transitioning to a healthcare career after military service can be a challenging yet rewarding journey. The healthcare field offers veterans a chance to continue serving others, utilize their transferable skills, and embark on a path of personal growth and fulfillment.

Whatever healthcare profession you may choose, know that your military experience has prepared you for success. With determination, research, and support, you can navigate the transition and build a fulfilling healthcare career that honours your service and makes a positive impact on the lives of others.

At Caring Support, we recognize the contributions and sacrifices that military veterans have made to Canada. As such, we're committed to assisting military veterans more easily in transitioning to their chosen healthcare career and helping them more easily transition to a meaningful civilian life. Our comprehensive services within our healthcare-focused platform ensure effective healthcare job search, resume building, and networking with other healthcare professionals.

Create your free account with us today to experience the benefits of our services.

About The Author
Cam Adajar
Content Writer

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