How to Get a Job on Base: A Guide for who is hiring

Military Guide

If you're anything like me, I knew nothing about my husband's installation..

 I just knew ‘cool, I go to the commissary to save some money on groceries’ and ‘nice, a free gym’. But joining in for the long haul you start to realize the benefit on sticking to your military community and that every time you move, it’s essentially a restart on your career. So I chose to start working on post and I never regret it!

NAF/MWR jobs

If you look on USAjobs these positions will show up as something like “NAF GS-0303”. It’s important to know that these job opportunities aren’t updated heavily. So I would recommend going to your posts NAF office and talking to them directly with resume in hand. The positions are with the gym, hotel/lodging, and even lifeguard positions. NAF meaning Nonapprioated Funds is the community/wellbeing outlet of the military. They handle most of the family orientated events and facilities so many of the jobs are shift work making it considerably easier for many spouses to join! For more info on how to apply please click here. I would recommend this job if you’re more of the outdoors type!

PX & AFEES

These jobs are great for people with a retail and customer service background. I’m sure you’ve been to one the exchanges before and have seen most of the employees are military spouses. Many of the jobs are cashiers, retail counters, and management positions so check them out! I would definitely recommend these jobs for people who are very energetic and love to chitchat. I will say that these jobs are usually shift-related work and that you will likely be pretty busy depending on the post and lunch hours. Here’s their website.

Childcare related jobs

There are so many different options for childcare related activities on post. There’s Children Youth Services (CYS) for people who enjoy recreational activities with kids and being active. If you’re going through the hiring process, CYS will usually ask if you’re familiar with many team sports. They are looking for candidates who can be active and want to motivate kids, so be prepared to answer any questions related to this topic when applying.

Also, don’t be afraid to go into these offices and ask questions. Most government employees are super open and understanding if you tell them your a military spouse or ex-military.

Depending on the post, The Child Development Center (CDC) is usually looking for all the help they can get. Simply drop by their building with your resume and give them a chat. Also depending on the base, some employees are entitled priority on the waiting list for childcare and some even give small discounts per child registered.

Lastly, there are other options like simply asking neighbors or other military couples if they need someone to look after their children. A great way to find opportunities like this is by posting on a military spouse Facebook groups or joining an app like Care.com.

Post Office

The Post Office usually has multiple jobs to fill and being on post it’s harder to find people who have access to the base. If you’re looking for a job that’s open virtually everywhere with job security I would recommend the Post Office. I believe their benefits and retirement plan aren’t too shabby. I would recommend this job to people who enjoy ‘busy work’ or love to be on their feet more often than not or to people who just want to retire as soon as possible.

Commissary

So I imagine I don’t need to underline what exactly this job entails, the commissary is my favorite grocery store! These are government jobs if you’re applying for cashier or management. Positions like cashier require minimal customer service experience and which is easily attainable for those of us with little background experience. To apply check out their website and USAjobs for more info. 

Military HR department / Contract opportunities

So I actually started off as a contractor under Skyline Ultd. which I loved and gained a lot of experience from! I enjoyed learning more about resources on post and having coworkers from all types of backgrounds. This job is definitely for people who enjoy customer service and office work. Through Skyline you’ll likely be put in a job like DEERs, Travel Office, Reenlistments, etc.

The benefits are pretty good as well because the salaries are based on your region. So say you live somewhere like Hawaii where a gallon of milk costs 7 dollars, they’ll increase your salary to compensate for the difference. To learn more about openings you can always check here or simply walk into your posts Solider Support Center and ask for their hiring manager. They have openings all over the country and they’re looking for people who have a customer service background with some form of military affiliation.

So these are the list of opportunities I found on post and honestly, I was a little intimidated to work here. I have great work experience on the outside I knew all the tricks to get hired but everything on post seems counter-intuitive and it is! If you’re going through the hiring process it’s not about what you know or what sets you apart, it’s about commitment to the job and great sense of hospitality. Always, thank you for reading and hopefully this helps!

Also check out this post on how to create a federal resume and get started on the Priority Placement program here! 

Good luck,

-Rose

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