According to Department of Defense statistics, 85% of military spouses want or need work, 84% have some college, 25% have a bachelor’s degree, and 10% have an advanced degree. Military spouses earn 25% less than their civilian counterparts and 1 in every 4 military spouses is unemployed and looking for work. Our Association surveys confirm these statistics and families tell us that they want more than a job to pay the bills; they want to be able to continue their professional career development. With this type of awareness, many federal and private sector initiatives have been developed over the past few years that can impact military spouses’ abilities to start and maintain careers of their own and still be “married to the military.”
Military spouses tell us they want a portable career. Some portable career professions have state licensing requirements which restrict career portability for military spouses. Since 2011, our Association has worked in partnership with the Department of Defense State Liaison Office to reduce state professional licensing barriers. Thanks to our efforts 36 states now provide licenses by endorsement, a provision license, or a temporary license to a military spouse.
Military spouses, who require a license to work, are encouraged to review the state licensing requirements before a move. Even though some states will honor a license from another state, the application process and requirements vary from state to state. Additionally, the legislation does not include every profession. For example, in some states attorneys or teachers may be excluded. Other states provide an endorsement only for military spouses in the health care profession.
Do you have a portable career experience you would like to share with other military spouses? If so, please email us.
Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
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