Licensing + Certification 

Military Spouses by the Numbers

Income lost per year by spouses trying to relicense or find work in a new state


Have jobs requiring a license or certification


Are female


Have a four-year degree


Are unemployed, compared to 3.6% nationwide pre-pandemic

Wondering how moving affects a military spouses’s career?

Relicensing is a Barrier for Working Military Spouses

Most military families will move every three years. The result for working military spouses? Time gaps and employment lapses on their resumes. Of the many military spouses in the workforce, more than 30% are in careers that require a state-based professional license or certification to practice.

And these credentials are rarely transferable when a military spouse moves to a new state. Despite many legislative and grassroots efforts, time-consuming and expensive upkeep of licenses and certifications remains a barrier for working military spouses everywhere.


Military spouses are no strangers to being their own best advocates. Licensing and certification is no different. Our Take Action Guide provides a step-by-step process for how to get involved.

Why Relicensing Is a Problem


It's time consuming

Researching a new state’s eligibility and other requirements; studying for and taking tests to obtain a new license (then waiting for results); taking additional required courses before being eligible to apply for a license: the process for a spouse to stay current with professional credentials is daunting.

Military spouses earn 26.8% less in income than their non-military counterparts, which adds up to $12,374 per year in lost wages. These licensing and credentialing barriers keep military spouses out of the job market longer and can negatively affect future employment.

It's expensive

The barriers faced by military spouses trying to obtain a new license or certification in each new state is not only damaging to his or her career, it hurts the entire military family by eroding the financial stability that comes with a second income.

Costly fees associated with additional courses, renewing, testing, and transferring professional licenses and certifications range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, making it difficult for military spouses to enter the workforce in their new state, and ultimately provide needed income for their families.

Interstate Compacts Provide Relief

Occupational interstate compacts are agreements between professional associations, occupational licensing boards, and other state boards designed to ease the burden on transient professionals, like military spouses, who want to stay employed even after a required military move across state lines.

Interstate compacts allow a military spouse with an occupational license or certification in one compact state to practice in another participating state through “privilege to practice” policies. States can voluntarily sign onto each compact to allow spouses to take advantage of the state-to-state reciprocity.

Child received injection from nurse

Current Occupational Interstate Compacts

Advanced Practice RN Compact

Licensing + Certification Resources

More than 30% of military spouses are in an occupation requiring a license or certification. Here are some resources to help along your career path.

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National Military Family Association
2800 Eisenhower Avenue, Suite 250
Alexandria, VA 22314

[email protected]

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Operation Purple Camp

Eastern 4-H Center is owned and operated by NC State University. The Center's staff is dedicated to providing every camper an opportunity to feel accepted, valued, and cared about as a member of the summer camp community. Creating friendships and a sense of safety are as important to us as the activities we teach. Our vision is to establish an enjoyable and exciting summer camp program that contributes to the development of each camper's character, along with the development of important life skills. Our summer camp experience enables campers to learn these skills while doing a variety of traditional summer camp activities, such as kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, learning about nature, team challenge course, sports and games, arts and crafts, and archery. Eastern 4-H Center is also outfitted with modern recreational facilities and lodgings to make campers feel comfortable during their stay. We hope your camper will join us for a fun filled week.

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Camper Ages

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Camp Contact

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Camp Applications Open March 2