The Coolest Army Jobs for Civilians This Memorial Day

The Army Is Calling

NEW YORK (MainStreet)—Memorial Day isn't just about barbecues and super sales - it's a time to reflect on the valuable contributions of the United States Armed Forces. The holiday is also a reminder that even if you're not an active-duty military member you can still support the military's mission as a civilian. In fact, the Army hires more than 330,000 civilian employees in a variety of fields, from information technology to engineering to public affairs. Curious to discover which specific Army jobs are available for civilians these days, we recently searched through the Army's jobs database. Though we came across many interesting civilian positions, five in particular stuck out to us as the coolest on the site. Here are the details on each, including job descriptions, salary ranges and any work-related dangers you might encounter.


Chemist (Forensic Examiner - Explosives)

As we learned from the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon, explosives can be a deadly threat to public safety. Of course, part of eliminating that threat involves understanding it. To that end, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory (USACIL) is currently looking to hire chemists to act as technical authorities in forensic analyses of explosives, a job that entails examining complex physical evidence to form opinions regarding professional and scientific work in forensic explosives chemistry and well as drug chemistry and other trace evidence materials. The chemists are also expected to testify as expert witnesses and present technical testimony during legal proceedings. The salary range for this particular opening at the USACIL is $49,581 to $111,148.


Munitions Destroyer

The Army doesn't just stockpile weapons and ammo - it also gets rid of them. According to a recent job posting seeking munitions destroyers to work at the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant in McAlester, Okla., responsibilities for the position include identifying and removing material such as projectiles, cartridges, propelling charges, mines, bombs, grenades and incendiary and chemical ammunition from magazines or production areas, as well as loading and unloading material on trucks and transporting it to disposal areas. If you're interested in working as a munitions destroyer, be aware that you may face certain dangers on the job, including exposure to dangerous and deteriorated explosives that could result in possible toxic smoke inhalation, cuts, bruises, sprains or burns. To guard against these dangers, workers must wear protective clothing such as specially treated coveralls, gloves and respirator protectors. The salary range for the McAlester position is $18.51 to $21.57 per hour.


Nondestructive Tester

Like munitions destroyers, nondestructive testers must work in hazardous conditions - an important point to keep in mind if you're considering this position. According to a recent job posting for an opening at the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, nondestructive testers perform radiographic and other nondestructive testing on ammunition, ammunition components and other explosives to determine functionality and acceptability. Not for the faint of heart, the job requires handling or association with toxic and skin-irritating chemicals, explosive munitions and harmful rays (X-ray and laser), though workers wear protective devices. While most of the work takes place indoors, some work is performed outdoors on a live fire test range. The job at McAlester pays $24.38 to $28.46 per hour. Is the money worth the risk of bodily harm? You'll have to decide that for yourself.


Intelligence Specialist

Intelligence specialists are responsible for analyzing regional and transnational threats to our country's national security. A recently posted job listing for an opening at the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS) in Washington, D.C., calls for a civilian who can solve difficult and complex analytical problems and conduct in-depth research and analysis using state-of-the-art research tools and automated data processing equipment. The job opening at the DCIPS pays well, with salaries ranging from $84,317 to $109,611 per year.


Biological Science Technician

If you have a strong science background and aren't afraid to get your hands dirty, this could be the job for you. According a recent job posting for a biological science technician in Bismarck, N.D., for the Oahe Project Office, job duties include helping map, identify, count and collect plant or animal species, and preparing maps for environmental reports that depict habitat delineations or species locations. In addition to office work, the job will take you outdoors, requiring some physical activity such as walking, bending, climbing and carrying. The salary for the Oahe Project Office position ranges from $31,315 to $40,706 per year.


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