Military spouses move 14% more often than their civilian counterparts, making it difficult to maintain a career. As an active duty military spouse, I can certainly understand the challenges of frequently moving and finding a fulfilling career at a new duty station. The National Military Family Association hears from many military spouses who face career challenges, especially with professions that require a state license. Although state licenses and certifications are in place to meet a certain level of competency, the difficulties that spouses face in obtaining these credentials often mean a delay in employment, additional out-of-pocket costs, lengthy background checks…the list goes on!
Recently, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden announced renewed efforts to streamline state licensing requirements for returning veterans and mobile military spouses. To date, there are 28 states with legislation that assist military spouses with license portability, but there is still a long way to go. The National Military Family Association has provided several support letters urging states to pass this needed legislation.
Finding employment can positively affect not only a family’s financial situation, but also the professional development many spouses yearn for. Since PCS (Permanent Change of Station) season is right around the corner, here are a few tips and resources for military spouses who have a career that requires a license:
- Research to see if your state has legislation for military spouse license portability.
- Contact your state licensing board and inquire about the process to become licensed.
- The Military OneSource Spouse Education & Career Opportunities site lists popular occupations and specific licensing boards to contact (if applicable): Transferring your Occupational License or Certification.
- Department of Defense State Liaison Office addresses state licensing issues to ensure military spouses can pursue their careers regardless of the number of times they have to move.
Visit our website for more information on Spouse Employment.
Are there any additional resources you would add to the list?