STEM in the Guard: A Focus on Science

STEM_ScienceThe U.S. Department of Commerce has predicted that by 2018, occupations that rely on proficiency in science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) will grow by 17 percent, much faster than the growth that’s anticipated for non-STEM jobs.

Over the last few years, the Federal Government has been actively encouraging schools, employers, and Government agencies to bolster interest in STEM. The Department of Defense (DoD), including the Army National Guard, is no exception.

The Guard offers military occupational specialties (MOS) in all four of these fast-growing disciplines that translate directly into civilian careers. One of the advantages of pursuing a STEM occupation in the Guard is that your military service is only part-time. That gives Soldiers the freedom to attend college or work full-time, plus the Guard offers money for college and other great benefits like affordable healthcare.

Over the summer, during the first week of every month, On Your Guard will take a closer look at Guard careers in each of the four STEM disciplines.

First up: Science

Science jobs in the Guard require an interest in fields like biology, chemistry, or medicine. An aptitude for solving problems, logical thinking, and good math skills are also very helpful. Here are some of the specific military occupational specialties available in science (click to view nationwide job openings and read a more detailed description):

12Y Geospatial Engineer – Using satellite imagery, aerial photography, and field reconnaissance, these engineers collect, analyze, and distribute data to assist with missions.

74D Chemical Operations Specialist – These specialists handle chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear detection and decontamination equipment.

92L Petroleum Lab Specialist – Soldiers who specialize in this job analyze fuel, oil, and grease for purity and quality to keep vehicles moving.

94H Test, Measurement, and Diagnostic Equipment (TMDE) Maintenance Support Specialist – Guard equipment needs to be ready to go at any time; therefore, these specialists calibrate and repair measurement and diagnostic equipment, ranging from aircraft and weather instruments to weapon-aiming devices.

The medical field also needs Soldiers who have an aptitude for science. If that’s the kind of work that’s more up your alley, here’s a listing of Guard medical services careers to explore:

68A Medical Equipment Repairer

68D Operating Room Specialist

68E Dental Specialist

68G Patient Administrator Specialist

68H Optical Laboratory Specialist

68J Medical Logistics Specialist

68K Medical Laboratory Specialist

68M Nutrition Care Specialist

68P Radiology Specialist

68Q Pharmacy Specialist

68S Preventive Medicine Specialist

68V Respiratory Specialist

68W Health Care Specialist

68X Mental Health Specialist

If you feel a bit overwhelmed trying to figure out which of these career paths is best for you, don’t fret. One way to narrow it all down is the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test. The ASVAB is administered to all Guard applicants. It’s designed to help applicants determine their strengths and match them to an MOS that capitalizes on those skills.

To learn more about STEM careers in the National Guard, check out our STEM Career Guide, visit our jobs board, and contact a recruiter today.

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