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5 Jobs For Retired Naval Officers

Micah Fikes
Micah Fikes on May 6, 2024

You’ve served your country, but you’re not quite ready to kick up your feet and enjoy retired life. 


If you’re looking to continue making an impact while leveraging your skills and experience, here are five jobs for retired naval officers:


  1. Teacher
  2. Defense Contractor
  3. Maritime Safety Inspector
  4. Logistics Manager
  5. Cruise Ship Captain Or Officer






After leaving the military, where you’ve spent years serving, you may be wondering how you can still experience that feeling of giving back andjobs for retired naval officers making a difference in your community.


Teaching is an excellent way to help others, whether it’s through teaching and training roles in public schools, academic institutions, military academies or vocational training centers.


In Texas, there is a critical teacher shortage that needs upstanding individuals with experience in leadership. And you don’t need a bachelor’s degree in education to take on this new challenge.


Educator preparation programs (EPP) in the state allow you to earn your Texas teaching credential, and it typically only takes 4 to 6 months to complete an alternative teacher certification program.


If you earned a bachelor’s degree in any subject before you entered the military or while you served, you can enroll in an EPP where you’ll receive the training needed to become a teacher. These programs train teachers in all grades and subjects, whether your goal is to be an elementary school teacher, middle school teacher or high school teacher. 


The Texas Education Agency (TEA) can also issue a standard Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) teaching certificate. Many instructors in this program are retired naval officers or served in the U.S. Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and National Guard. This teaching certificate requires completion of an approved EPP and a bachelor’s degree.


However, if you do not have a bachelor’s degree, you can still take advantage of an educator preparation program through Health Science or Trade and Industrial Education (TIE) certification. Eligible military experience may be used to meet the experience and license requirements for this type of certification. 


As a retired naval officer, you may be able to have your fees waived for several of the steps you must take to earn your teacher certification if you meet eligibility requirements. The TEA will waive certain fees for eligible military service members, military veterans and military spouses.


To read more about these fees, as well as the steps you need to take to earn a teaching certificate in Texas, check out our article, Leaving the Military? Education Wants You!

Defense Contractor



Defense contractors play a crucial role in supporting military operations by providing products, services and technology to armed forces around the world. These companies are responsible for developing, manufacturing and maintaining equipment and systems essential for national defense, ranging from weapons and vehicles to communication systems and logistical support. 


Working in defense contracting involves collaborating with government agencies, military branches and other stakeholders to meet the needs of the defense industry and ensure the readiness and effectiveness of military forces.


For someone with a naval background, transitioning to a career in defense contracting offers a natural fit and an opportunity to leverage their expertise and experience gained from years of service in the Navy. 


Naval officers bring a deep understanding of military operations, logistics and technology, making them invaluable assets to defense contractors. Their firsthand knowledge of naval systems, procedures and protocols allows them to contribute to the development and improvement of maritime-related products and services. 


So, what does a defense contractor's role look like? In roles within defense contracting firms, retired military officers may find themselves involved in various aspects of the product life cycle, from initial concept and design to testing, production and deployment. They may work on projects related to shipbuilding, maritime surveillance, naval weaponry or cybersecurity. 


Their familiarity with military procurement processes and regulations also enables them to navigate complex contracting procedures and effectively communicate with government clients and subcontractors.


For retired naval officers seeking to continue their service to the defense sector in a civilian capacity, pursuing a career in defense contracting offers a rewarding opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge to support the mission readiness and capabilities of the armed forces.

Maritime Safety Inspector



Maritime safety inspectors ensure the safety and security of maritime transportation systems, vessels and crew members. These professionals arejobs for retire responsible for conducting inspections, audits and surveys to verify compliance with international maritime regulations, industry standards and safety protocols. 


They assess the condition of ships, equipment and facilities, identify potential hazards and risks, and recommend corrective actions to mitigate safety concerns and prevent accidents at sea. 


Maritime safety inspectors may also investigate maritime incidents, accidents and pollution incidents and enforce regulations to promote environmental protection and maritime security.


For someone with a naval background, transitioning to a career as a maritime safety inspector offers a logical progression as well. Retired naval officers bring a wealth of knowledge in ship operations, navigation, seamanship and maritime regulations, making them well-suited for roles in maritime safety and compliance. 


Behind this experience is a deep understanding of ship systems, safety procedures and emergency response protocols, which allows them to conduct thorough inspections and assessments of vessels and maritime infrastructure, identifying potential risks and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.

Logistics Manager



Logistics managers help to ensure the efficient movement of goods and materials throughout the supply chain. The goal is timely delivery, cost-effectiveness and customer satisfaction. 


In the maritime industry, logistics managers are responsible for overseeing the transportation, storage and distribution of goods via sea routes, coordinating with shipping companies, ports and other stakeholders to optimize cargo flow and minimize disruptions. 


They manage inventory levels, negotiate freight rates and implement logistics strategies to streamline operations and meet the unique challenges of maritime logistics, such as navigating international regulations and managing port congestion.


For someone with a naval background, moving to a career as a logistics manager offers an opportunity to apply their experience in managing complex operations and resources during your military career. Retired naval officers often understand how maritime logistics, vessel operations and port facilities can impact supply chain management. Their proficiency in navigating diverse environments, adapting to changing conditions and optimizing resources makes them well-equipped to excel in logistics project management roles within the maritime industry.


Beyond the maritime sector, the skills and knowledge acquired by retired naval officers are highly transferable to logistics management roles in general industries, from manufacturing to retail and distribution. Whether overseeing warehouse operations, coordinating transportation networks or implementing inventory management systems, retired naval officers bring a unique perspective and skill set to logistics management roles across diverse industries.

Cruise Ship Captain Or Officer



Becoming a cruise ship captain or officer can be a great second career choice for those who aren't quite ready to give up life at sea.


Cruise ship captains and officers are responsible for the safe and efficient operation of cruise vessels, ensuring the well-being of passengers and crew members while navigating through various maritime environments. They oversee all aspects of ship operations, including navigation, safety procedures and emergency response protocols, while also managing onboard activities, guest services and logistics. 


Cruise ship captains and officers must possess strong leadership skills, navigational expertise, and a keen understanding of maritime regulations to effectively manage the complexities of operating a cruise ship and provide a memorable experience for passengers.


An ability to navigate complex environments, adapt to changing conditions and prioritize safety aligns closely with the responsibilities of operating a cruise ship in various weather conditions and geographic locations. Their familiarity with international maritime regulations and protocols enables them to uphold industry standards and ensure compliance with safety regulations and procedures.


Whether leading a crew through the open seas or providing exceptional service to passengers on board, their dedication to excellence and commitment to safety make them valued leaders in the cruise ship industry.


10 jobs for retired military officers

Written by Micah Fikes

Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank. In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.

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