Approximately 21.8 million veterans live in the U.S., and now, more than ever, it is important to find job settings for veterans counselors that will allow them to support themselves and their families. Helping those who have served in the military is this country’s responsibility and one that becomes more complex every year, and although there are many positions that support veterans, five jobs stand out from the rest.
The issues many veterans face often pose a challenge to healthcare providers. Adding professional veterans counselors to a healthcare team can help increase the chance of a successful treatment for those suffering from illnesses or living with physical disabilities. The Census Bureau indicates that veterans are more likely to suffer from chronic health issues and poor health at an earlier age than non-veterans. Although medically trained providers and doctors can focus on the physiological challenges veterans face, counselors are able to delve deep into the whole person and provide additional services and support when needed.
2. Higher Education
Most U.S. veterans have earned educational benefits through the GI Bill, meaning that higher education is more accessible to them than to their peers. Although universities and colleges already provide student counselors and academic support, many veterans have specific challenges that must be considered. Veterans counselors must understand housing funding and tuition as well as academic requirements for pre- and post-9/11 programs. Having a strong understanding of academic progress is critical when working with veterans as many of these individuals have surprising circumstances which may present obstacles to graduation regardless of the degree they are seeking.
3. Career Centers
One of the most difficult challenges a veteran may face is handling the transition from a military position to the private job sector. Vocational counselors who focus specifically on veterans are needed throughout the U.S., because veterans are trained for positions in the military that may not necessarily translate directly into a civilian career. A career counselor will help veterans hone in on their employment interests and find their strengths before translating these factors into gainful employment. The veterans’ counselor must focus on helping his or her clients use their soft skills, their military training and their talents to pursue interests in both higher education and employment.
4. Social Services
Although veterans utilize healthcare services more than other demographics, they may also seek out social services to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle. Housing and employment assistance, utility assistance and food assistance are all used by veterans outside of the VA. Veterans counselors who work within non-profit and government social service agencies can help to bring specific resources to veterans because they are trained to handle the specific challenges veterans face when returning to civilian life.
5. Mental Health Support Providers
In many cases, veterans may suffer injuries that are not readily apparent. Although anyone can see that a wheelchair-bound veteran is disabled, mental health disabilities are often perceived as invalid disabilities or completely overlooked. According to a VA study, an average 22 veterans commit suicide each day, and veterans counselors are an invaluable resource to helping veterans heal from the conditions that trigger suicidal thoughts and tendencies. Veterans mental health counselors are needed in all areas in which veterans interact with civilians, from social organizations to schools and hospitals.
Related Resource: 30 Most Affordable Christian Master’s in Counseling Online
Veterans and their families make astronomical sacrifices during their lives so that they may serve this country, and veterans counselors are qualified to pull together the resources and knowledge available so that society can better serve these individuals. There are a number of job settings for veterans counselors, but the above list are some of the most popular and helpful positions to pursue when entering this field.