Veterans Affairs Jobs (VA)
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) takes care of the needs of the men and women who have served in the nations armed forces. According to the Washington Post, “Officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs…said they expect to hire more than 17,000 new employees by the end of the year.” The agency’s budget grew by 11% to $56 billion; it added about 7,900 nurses, 3,800 clerks and 2,400 practical nurses (according to spokeswoman Josephine Schuda, as quoted in the Post).
With such a big agency and a big budget, there are all kinds of VA jobs. The main categories are:
- Health Care
- Engineering / Architecture/Technical Support
Following is a short sampling of a few jobs from the categories shown above. To find specific information about the jobs currently open in the VA, check USAJobs.gov.
Health Care Jobs at the VA
Audiologists specialize in helping people preserve their hearing. They also evaluate hearing conditions like tinnitus, or ringing of the ears, and help with hearing aids and cochlear implants. Becoming an audiologist takes a lot of planning. The profession requires at least a Master’s degree in audiology. It also requires a license through your state or commonwealth. Once you have completed all the relevant training, and passed a drug test (and provided you are a U.S. citizen, this job has a lot of benefits. There are positions all over the country. You get to work with people all day long, most of whom do not have scary infectious diseases, and very often, you get to help them improve their hearing. The pay range for this job varies with experience, but in general, it is around $56,000 – 85,000 per year.
Biomedical Engineer Jobs
Biomedical Engineers use their training in engineering concepts and methods to improve medical practices. They develop new materials and instruments to help VA patients. For example, a biomedical engineer might work on designing new wheelchairs that are easier for patients to use, or that are more maneuverable. This job requires an engineering degree, and also some background in physiology and anatomy and some experience working in the healthcare field. The salary range varies greatly depending on experience, but it starts in the $50,000 per year range and continues all the way up to $140,000, depending on education and experience. Positions are available in locations throughout the country.
Certified Registered Respiratory Therapist
In a nutshell, respiratory therapists help people breathe better. Their patients may have problems with asthma or emphysema, or a range of other issues.
Respiratory therapists use advanced technology and medicines to help open airways and get people breathing. This position does require certification. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook for certified respiratory therapists is very good, either with the VA or with other, independent hospitals.
The position requires a minimum of an associates’ degree and a certification from the National Board for Respiratory Care. To get certified, candidates usually complete a respiratory therapist course and take an exam. Most respiratory therapists are also required to maintain a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification.
For the job with the VA, applicants must be US citizens, must be drug-free, and must also be in good health. Due to the demand for this position, jobs are available at VA facilities across the country, and the pay ranges from $47,000 – 66,000 per year.