Administrative Occupations

Each job description is preceded by an indication of which branches of the service the job is available in, as not all branches of the service offer the same careers. For additional information beyond what we offer here, you can also visit: careersinthemilitary.com and todaysmilitary.com/careers.

Administrative Support Specialists

Army
Navy
Air Force
Marine Corps
Coast Guard

The military must keep accurate information for planning and managing its operations. Paper and electronic records are kept on equipment, funds, personnel, supplies, and all other aspects of the military. Administrative support specialists record information, type reports, and maintain files to assist in the operation of military offices.

What They Do

Administrative support specialists in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Type letters, reports, requisition (order) forms, and official orders
  • Proofread written material for spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors
  • Organize and maintain files and publications
  • Order office supplies
  • Greet and direct office visitors
  • Sort and deliver mail to office workers
  • Schedule training and leave for unit personnel
  • Answer phones and provide general information
  • Take meeting notes

Where They Work

Administrative support specialists work in office settings, both on land and aboard ships.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian administrative support specialists work in most business, government, and legal offices. They perform duties similar to those of military administrative support specialists and are called clerk typists, secretaries, general office clerks, administrative assistants, or office managers.

Computer Systems Specialists

Army
Navy
Air Force
Marine Corps
Coast Guard

The military services use computers to store and process data on personnel, weather, finances, and many other operations. Before any information can be processed, computer systems must be set up, data entered, and computers operated. Computer systems specialists ensure information is entered, stored, processed, and retrieved in a way that meets the military services' needs.

What They Do

Computer systems specialists in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Identify computer user problems and coordinate to resolve them
  • Install, configure, and monitor local and wide area networks, hardware, and software
  • Compile, enter, and process information
  • Provide customer and network administration services, such as passwords, electronic mail accounts, security, and troubleshooting

Where They Work

Computer systems specialists work in offices or at computer sites on military bases or aboard ships.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian computer systems specialists work for a wide variety of employers, such as banks, hospitals, retail firms, manufacturers, government agencies, and firms that design and test computer systems. They perform duties similar to those performed in the military. They may also be called network support technicians, computer operators, or data-processing technicians. Most civilian computer systems specialist positions require a four-year college degree.

Physical Requirements

Computer systems specialists may sit and key information for long periods.

Finance and Accounting Specialists

Army
Navy
Air Force
Marine Corps
Coast Guard

Millions of paychecks are issued and large amounts of materials are purchased by the services each year. To account for military spending, exact financial records of these transactions must be kept. Finance and accounting specialists organize and keep track of financial records. They also compute payrolls and other allowances, audit accounting records, and prepare payments for military personnel.

What They Do

Finance and accounting specialists in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Record details of financial transactions on accounting forms
  • Audit financial records
  • Prepare pay and travel vouchers (checks), earnings and deductions statements, bills, and financial accounts and reports
  • Disburse cash, checks, advance pay, and bonds
  • Organize information on past expenses to help plan budgets for future expenses

Where They Work

Finance and accounting specialists work in offices on land or aboard ships.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian finance and accounting specialists work for all types of businesses and government agencies. They perform duties similar to military finance and accounting specialists. Civilian finance and accounting specialists are also called accounting clerks, audit clerks, bookkeepers, or payroll clerks.

Special Qualifications

Depending on the specialty, entry into this occupation may require courses in mathematics, bookkeeping, or accounting.

Flight Operations Specialists

Army
Navy
Air Force
Marine Corps
Coast Guard

The services operate one of the largest fleets of aircraft in the world. Hundreds of transport, passenger, and combat airplanes and helicopters fly missions every day. Accurate flight information keeps operations safe and efficient. Flight operations specialists prepare and provide flight information for air and ground crews.

What They Do

Flight operations specialists in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Help plan flight schedules and air crew assignments
  • Keep flight logs on incoming and outgoing flights
  • Keep air crew flying records and flight operations records
  • Receive and post weather information and flight plan data, such as air routes and arrival and departure times
  • Coordinate air crew needs, such as ground transportation
  • Plan aircraft equipment needs for air evacuation and dangerous cargo flights
  • Check military flight plans with civilian agencies

Where They Work

Flight operations specialists work indoors in flight control centers or air terminals.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian flight operations specialists work for commercial and private airlines and air transport companies. They perform duties similar to military flight operations specialists.

Physical Requirements

The ability to speak clearly and distinctly is required.

Legal Specialists and Court Reporters

Army
Navy
Air Force
Marine Corps
Coast Guard

The military has its own judicial system for prosecuting lawbreakers and handling disputes. Legal specialists and court reporters assist military lawyers and judges in the performance of legal and judicial work. They perform legal research, prepare legal documents, and record legal proceedings.

What They Do

Legal specialists and court reporters in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Research court decisions and military regulations
  • Process legal claims and appeals
  • Interview clients and take statements
  • Prepare trial requests and make arrangements for courtrooms
  • Maintain law libraries and trial case files
  • Type text from stenotyped records, shorthand notes, or taped records of court proceedings
  • Prepare records of hearings, investigations, court-martials, and courts of inquiry

Where They Work

Legal specialists and court reporters work in military law offices and courtrooms.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian legal specialists and court reporters work for private law firms, banks, insurance companies, government agencies, and local, state, and federal courts. They perform duties similar to those of military legal specialists and court reporters. Civilian legal specialists and court reporters may also be called legal assistants, clerks, paralegal assistants, and court clerks or recorders.

Personnel Specialists

Army
Navy
Air Force
Marine Corps
Coast Guard

Personnel management helps individuals develop their military careers. It also serves the military's need to fill jobs with qualified workers. Personnel specialists collect and store information about the people in the military, such as training, job assignment, promotion, and health information. They work directly with service personnel and their families.

What They Do

Personnel specialists in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Organize, maintain, and review personnel records
  • Enter and retrieve personnel information using computer terminals
  • Assign personnel to jobs
  • Prepare organizational charts, write official correspondence, and prepare reports
  • Provide career guidance
  • Assist personnel and their families who have special needs
  • Provide information about personnel programs and procedures to servicemen and -women

Where They Work

Personnel specialists normally work in office settings on land or aboard ships.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian personnel specialists work for all types of organizations, including industrial firms, retail establishments, and government agencies. They perform duties similar to those of military personnel clerks. However, specific jobs vary from company to company.

Postal Specialists

Army
Navy
Air Force
Marine Corps
Coast Guard

The military operates its own postal service for official military communications and messages. In addition, it delivers mail to thousands of servicemen and -women all over the world. Postal specialists process incoming and outgoing mail between military and civilian postal systems. They also sell stamps and money orders and provide services to postal customers.

What They Do

Postal specialists in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Process mail using metering and stamp-canceling machines
  • Weigh packages, using scales, to determine postage due
  • Examine packages to ensure that they meet mailing standards
  • Process and sort registered, certified, and insured mail
  • Receive payments and issue money orders and stamps
  • Prepare postal reports and claims for lost or damaged mail

Where They Work

Postal specialists work in post offices and mailrooms on land or aboard ships.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian postal specialists work for the United States Postal Service and for private courier or express-mail firms. They perform many of the same duties as military postal specialists. They are usually called postal clerks.

Preventive Maintenance Analysts

Army
Navy
Air Force
Marine Corps
Coast Guard

Regular maintenance extends the time aircraft, vehicles, and machinery can be used. To make sure military equipment is well maintained, the services prepare detailed maintenance schedules. Preventive maintenance analysts promote equipment maintenance. They watch schedules and notify mechanics about upcoming maintenance needs.

What They Do

Preventive maintenance analysts in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Review maintenance schedules and notify mechanics about the types of service needed
  • Compare schedules to records of maintenance work actually performed
  • Prepare charts and reports on maintenance activities
  • Calculate how many mechanics and spare parts are needed to maintain equipment
  • Operate computers and calculators to enter or retrieve maintenance data

Where They Work

Preventive maintenance analysts usually work in office settings.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian preventive maintenance analysts work for government agencies, airlines, and large transportation firms. They also work for firms with large numbers of machines. They perform duties similar to those of military preventive maintenance analysts.

Physical Requirements

Normal color vision is required to read and interpret maintenance charts and graphs in some specialties.
Some specialties require the ability to speak clearly.

Recruiting Specialists

Army
Navy
Air Force
Marine Corps
Coast Guard

Each year, the military services enlist approximately 200,000 young men and women. Attracting young people with the kinds of talent needed to succeed in today's military is a large task. Recruiting specialists provide information about military careers to young people, parents, schools, and local communities. They explain service employment and training opportunities, pay and benefits, and service life.

What They Do

Recruiting specialists in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Interview civilians interested in military careers
  • Describe military careers to groups of high school students
  • Explain the purpose of the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) and test results to students and counselors
  • Participate in local job fairs and career-day programs
  • Talk about the military to community groups
  • Counsel military personnel about career opportunities and benefits

Where They Work

Recruiting specialists work in local recruiting offices, on high school campuses and in career centers, and in local communities. They may have to travel often.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian recruiting specialists work for businesses of all kinds searching for talented people to hire. Recruiters also work for colleges seeking to attract and enroll talented high school students.

Sales and Stock Specialists

Navy
Air Force
Marine Corps
Coast Guard

The military operates retail stores and snack bars for its personnel on bases and aboard ships in the United States and overseas. Military stores, called exchanges, sell merchandise similar to that sold in civilian stores, but at a discount. Sales and stock specialists operate retail food and merchandise stores for military personnel.

What They Do

Sales and stock specialists in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Operate snack bars, laundries, and dry-cleaning facilities
  • Order and receive merchandise and food for retail sales
  • Inspect food and merchandise for spoilage or damage
  • Price and mark retail sales items, using markers and stamping machines
  • Stock shelves and racks for the display of products
  • Count merchandise and supplies during inventories
  • Record and account for money received and prepare bank deposits

Where They Work

Sales and stock specialists work on land and aboard ships in retail stores, snack bars, and storerooms.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian sales and stock specialists work in many kinds of retail businesses, such as grocery stores and department stores. They perform duties similar to military sales and stock specialists. They may also be called sales clerks or stock clerks.

Physical Requirements

The ability to speak clearly is required. Sales and stock specialists may have to lift and carry heavy objects.

Supply and Warehousing Specialists

Army
Navy
Air Force
Marine Corps
Coast Guard

The military maintains a large inventory of food, medicines, ammunition, spare parts, and other supplies. Keeping the military's supply system operating smoothly is an important job. The lives of combat troops in the field may depend on receiving the right supplies on time. Supply and warehousing specialists receive, store, record, and issue military supplies.

What They Do

Supply and warehousing specialists in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Perform inventory and financial-management procedures, including ordering, receiving, and storing supplies
  • Locate and catalog stock
  • Give special handling to medicine, ammunition, and other delicate supplies
  • Select the correct stock for issue
  • Load, unload, and move stock using equipment such as forklifts and hand trucks
  • Keep records on incoming and outgoing stock

Where They Work

Supply and warehousing specialists work in large general supply centers, small specialized supply rooms, or ship storerooms.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian supply and warehousing specialists work for factories, parts departments in repair shops, department stores, and government warehouses and stockrooms. They perform duties similar to military supply and warehousing specialists. Civilian supply and warehousing specialists may also be called stock control clerks, parts clerks, or storekeepers.

Physical Requirements

Supply and warehousing specialists may have to lift and carry heavy boxes of ammunition and other supplies. Normal color vision is required for specialties that handle color-coded parts, supplies, and ammunition.

Training Specialists and Instructors

Navy
Air Force
Marine Corps
Coast Guard

The military trains new personnel in the job skills needed to begin their careers in the service. The military also offers advanced training and retraining to nearly all personnel. Instruction in electronics, health care, computer sciences, and aviation are just a few of the many vocational and technical areas for which the military has training programs. Training specialists and instructors teach classes and give demonstrations to provide military personnel with the knowledge needed to perform their jobs.

What They Do

Training specialists and instructors in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Prepare course outlines and materials to present during training
  • Select training materials, such as textbooks and films
  • Teach classes and give lectures in person, over closed-circuit TV, or on videotape
  • Work with students individually when necessary
  • Test and evaluate student progress

Where They Work

Training specialists and instructors in the military work either indoors or outdoors, depending on the type of training they provide and their specialty area.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian training specialists and instructors work for vocational and technical schools, high schools, colleges, businesses, and government agencies. Their duties are similar to those performed by military training specialists and instructors. Civilian training specialists and instructors may be called teachers, trainers, or training representatives.

Physical Requirements

Training specialists and instructors must be able to speak clearly and distinctly.

Transportation Specialists

Army
Navy
Marine Corps
Coast Guard

The military constantly moves passengers and cargo. Personnel often travel to meetings, training sessions, and new assignments. Supplies and equipment to support troops must be shipped regularly. Transportation specialists plan and assist in air, sea, and land transportation for people and cargo. Some assist passenger travel as gate agents and flight attendants.

What They Do

Transportation specialists in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Arrange for passenger travel via plane, bus, train, or boat
  • Arrange for shipment and delivery of household goods
  • Determine which vehicles to use based on freight or passenger movement requirements
  • Determine transportation and shipping routes
  • Prepare transportation requests and shipping documents
  • Check in passengers and baggage for military transport flights
  • Serve as military airplane flight attendants
  • Inspect cargo for proper packing, loading, and marking

Where They Work

Transportation specialists usually work in offices. They may work outdoors when escorting passengers or processing shipments. Flight attendants work on land and in airplanes.

Opportunities in Civilian Life

Civilian transportation specialists work for airlines, shipping firms, and commercial freight lines. They perform duties similar to those of military transportation specialists. Civilian transportation specialists may also be called travel clerks, reservation clerks, or transportation agents.