The Best Bets for Military Spouses

Being part of a military family is a tremendous sacrifice, but that doesn’t mean sacrificing your career.

Published on Nov 12, 2022

Written by Tim Hatton

Between frequent moves, living in remote areas, and the challenges of deployment, it can be uniquely difficult for military spouses to find a job—but the good news is that it’s getting easier. 

This Veteran’s Day, we at Lightcast want to honor not only those who have served, but those who support them most: their partners and families. It’s a challenging environment, with countless obstacles that most other families never encounter: 

  • Military bases are often in rural areas that have fewer career options;

  • Moving between states may force people to change employers; and,

  • If one spouse is away for months at a time, the other has to take on more child-care and other responsibilities. 

Being part of a military family is a tremendous sacrifice, but that doesn’t mean sacrificing your career. Here are three trends in the labor market that show how career options for military spouses are expanding and improving. 

  1. Remote work is here to stay.

Nearly three years after the pandemic began, remote work has faded from the headlines, but its impact on the labor market has become permanent. According to Lightcast job posting analysis, the number of job postings for remote work has more than tripled—from less than 1.5% to over 5%—since the beginning of the pandemic, and it continues to climb.

Graph showing percentage of job postings offering remote work

2. Rural areas are on the rise economically.

Lightcast research shows that nine of the top ten counties for job posting growth are rural, and those postings are for a wide range of occupations and rely on new, high-tech skills, like cloud computing, brand management, online marketing, and web analytics. You can read more of that research in our "Rural’s Rise" report here. 

The skills required for new jobs are also changing fast, and this levels the playing field for new workers. In today’s job market, it can be better to come in fresh with the right skills than to have built up years of tenure doing work that’s no longer relevant. That’s a big help to people living in more remote areas, like military bases, and for those who might be moving around every few years.

3. A tight job market benefits workers.

Those looking for work have no shortage of opportunities in today’s labor market. The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey reports that there are 10.7 million openings to be filled in the US—almost twice as many as there are available workers. If you’re looking for a job, now is a good time to be finding one.

A few years ago, Lightcast (then Burning Glass Technologies) released a series of reports with the US Chamber of Commerce on the “best bets” for military spouses, including the best entry-level jobs, best jobs that don’t require a license, and the best jobs that do require a license. Many of the best-bet jobs require specialized skills but don’t require long formal training or state licenses—jobs like software developer, market research analyst, or human resources specialist, to name just a few. And they can be done from home.

You can also hear Bre House, who is married to a veteran and is also Lightcast’s VP of Client Services, talk through the labor market for military spouses in the Lightcast Three Good Things video series, available below or on YouTube.