Post 9-11 Veterans: Education, Civilian Credentials and Earnings
With approximately 20 million military veterans in the U.S. population, and with tens of thousands more leaving the military each year, it is important to understand who they are and how well they are doing in the civilian workforce.
We were particularly curious about veterans who served after September 11th, 2001 (“Post-9/11 veterans”). Many have exited military service and joined the civilian labor force. Most are younger than 55. This group is more racially diverse (23 percent are non-white) and has a higher percentage of women (18 percent are women) than previous cohorts of service members.
The CREC team compared this group of veterans to the non-veteran population (the rest of the labor force). We found that Post-9/11 veterans:
… Are More Educated
- Post-9/11 veterans outperform the non-veteran population in attaining a high school diploma, some college experience and associate degree completion.
… Obtain more professional credentials
- Post-9/11 veterans have a higher rate of certification and license attainment than non-veterans at every age level and across every racial and ethnic group.
- Hispanic or Latino post-9/11 veterans have attainment rates more than double that of non-veterans (24% versus 11%).
… Especially female veterans
- Female Post-9/11 veterans have higher rates of degree attainment (65% with a degree) than men (50% with a degree).
- Female Post 9/11 veterans also attain certifications and licenses at a higher rate (34% have a license or certification) than male Post-9/11 veterans (29%).
- 73% of female Post-9/11 veterans and 62% of male Post-9/11 veterans have a degree, certification, or license.
… Earn more with a certification or license.
- Post-9/11 veterans with a certification or license earned $151 (21%) more in median weekly earnings relative to those without a certification or license.
- Post-9/11 veterans with a certification but no license earned $194 (27%) more in median weekly earnings relative to those without a certification or license.
- Among Post-9/11 veterans without a degree, those with a certification or license earned an additional $111 (16%) per week than those without a certification or license; non-veterans with a certification or license earned an additional $81 (11%) per week than their counterparts without.
*Most statistics are for veterans and non-veterans that are employed.
Thanks to support from the Lumina Foundation, the Labor Market Information (LMI) Institute publishes statistics regarding attainment of occupation-specific credentials and associated earnings. This blog includes updated information from the Current Population Survey, released in early 2020. For more information on certifications and licenses, check out the LMI Institute’s page on State Certifications and Licenses Data.
In June 2019, the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) and Solutions for Information Design, LLC (SOLID) investigated whether veterans gain occupational certification or licenses. You can download the report here, Certifications and Licenses: Attainment and Earnings for the Veteran Workforce.