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Licensed Professions for Military Spouses

Holding a license or certification is critical for employment in many career fields. Learn about types of licenses, advantages of having a license and military spouse license portability. See if holding a license or certification is a good career step for you.

A postsecondary degree, license or certification can have a dramatic impact on your lifetime earning potential. The Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles information on workers' earnings by education attainment. Below are the median salaries for all occupations and workers by highest degree level earned.

  • High school diploma: $41,028 per year
  • Associate degree: $47,008 per year
  • Bachelor's degree: $64,896 per year
  • Master's degree: $77,844 per year

Below you can review some of the top careers for military spouses that require a license or certification and meet the portability needs of the mobile military life. You can use the MySECO Research Occupations tool to research these occupations and more.

OccupationEducation RequirementMedian Salary
Elementary school teachersBachelor's degree$59,420
Child care workersHigh school diploma or equivalent$24,230
Registered nursesBachelor's degree$73,300
Licensed clinical social workersMaster's degree$50,470
Occupational therapistsMaster's degree $84,950
Postsecondary teachersDoctoral or professional degree$79,540
Pharmacy techniciansHigh school diploma or equivalent$33,950

One of the challenges you may face when pursuing an occupation that requires a license or certification is maintaining your state licensure as you move. You can review the Military State Policy Source website to see if your new state has special regulations in place to make the transferring process easier. This website contains information about key issues that affect service members and military families and a Status Tracker that highlights efforts being made to address those issues on a state level. Visit the Department of Labor Military Spouse License Recognition Map for up-to-date legislation and licensure information for your specific state.

Choosing a highly portable career as a licensed professional can be rewarding and offer you financial stability and vast opportunities for growth. To explore additional information related to choosing a licensed profession, check out the article on Highly Portable Degrees for Military Spouses. You may also use the CareerOneStop License Finder to research your state's rules and regulations for licensed occupations in your area.

If you move due to a PCS, your service branch can now help reimburse licensure and certification costs up to $1,000. Each service has its own procedures for reimbursement, so be sure you know what your branch requires. Learn more.

Visit the Licensures and Certifications section of the Education, Training and Licensing lifecycle stage of MySECO or speak with a SECO career coach by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 for more information. You can speak with a SECO career coach about your unique career or education needs by clicking the ‘Live Chat’ link at the top of the page.

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