Top 10 Cities to Find a Job After the Military

job after military Finding a job after the military often involves both starting a new career and choosing a new location to call home.

We hope to make the task a little less daunting by providing a list of the top cities that not only have strong job markets*, but also provide easy access to military support and services, higher education opportunities, affordable living, rich culture and entertainment options, and (in most cases) pension-friendly local tax laws.

Here's our list of the top 10 cities to find a job after the military.

1. Austin, Texas

Unemployment rate: 6.9%

Why it's so great: Consistently ranked among the best cities for finding jobs and retiring, the state capital has a reputation for being trendy and progressive and is one of the greenest cities in the country. It enjoys a very low unemployment rate, is home to the prominent University of Texas, and Fort Hood is within 60 miles. Also Texas doesn't tax federal pensions.

2. Fayetteville, N.C.

Unemployment rate: 9.3%

Why it's so great: One of two military cities named by Forbes last year as being the best for finding a job (the other is Jacksonville, N.C.) Fayetteville is home to Fort Bragg, one of the largest military complexes in the world. In addition, Fayetteville State University is conveniently within city limits and Pope Air Force Base is just to the north.

3. Jacksonville, N.C.

Unemployment rate: 8.7%

Why it's so great: Named alongside Fayetteville as one of the best cities for finding a job, Jacksonville has a strong job market and is even expanding in some areas. It's home to Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River, the largest Marine force in the world, and offers educational opportunities in the form of several colleges and universities including the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.

4. Waco, Texas

Unemployment rate: 7.5%

Why it's so great: The city is full of small to mid-sized manufacturing plants offering jobs in a variety of industries, has an affordable housing market, and is home to Bayor University for cultural and re-education opportunities. In addition Fort Hood is within 50 miles. Texas does not tax federal pensions.

5. Oklahoma City, Okla.

Unemployment rate: 6.2%

Why it's so great: The city has maintained a steady economy in recent years and is known for its vibrant and engaging downtown area. It's home to Tinker Air Force base and has a VA hospital within the city limits, plus the University of Oklahoma is nearby in Norman. However, Oklahoma does tax federal pensions.

6. College Station-Bryan, Texas

Unemployment rate: 6.2%

Why it's so great: The College Station-Bryan metro area boasts an exceptionally low unemployment rate, affordable housing and an overall stable economy. It's also home to Texas A&M University for culture, education and sports opportunities, and Fort Hood is within 90 miles. Like all Texas cities on our list, it doesn't tax federal pensions.

7. Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pa.

Unemployment rate: 7.7%

Why it's so great: The Harrisburg-Carlisle metro has largely avoided the economic ups and downs of recent years and enjoys a solid job base and low unemployment rate. The state capital is home to the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks as well as a VA medical center within 30 miles. Pennsylvania doesn't tax federal pensions.

8. San Angelo, Texas

Unemployment rate: 6.4%

Why it's so great: The city is considered a commercial, health and cultural hub for the surrounding areas and enjoys a stable economy and low unemployment rate. It's home to Goodfellow Airforce Base for high-quality military amenities and the highly acclaimed Angelo State University. As mentioned earlier, Texas does not tax federal pensions.

9. Madison, Wis.

Unemployment rate: 6.0%

Why it's so great: Boasting the lowest unemployment rate on our list, Madison is home to the culture-rich University of Wisconsin and a VA medical center. Fort McCoy, the only military base in the state, is 90 miles away in Sparta. Wisconsin does not tax federal pensions.

10. Pittsburgh, Pa.

Unemployment rate: 7.9%

Why it's so great: Pittsburgh has a rich industrial history, solid economy and affordable cost of living. It's home to both the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University as well as a VA medical center. The nearest base is 150 miles away at Carlisle Barracks. Pennsylvania does not tax federal pensions.

Next: Military Families Week

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*Unemployment rates courtesy of and current as of February 2011

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Bifford J. Beluga Jr

Jacksonville, NC?.... Yeah right, there are no jobs to be had (I've even been to job fairs which had nothing to offer, just big PR stunts for the companies present). The buddy system has infiltrated the civilian job market (meaning if you are not born and raised here, good luck). Local Yokels have also infiltrated nearly every on base job (but J-Villains still despise the military despite all of the opportunities our presence has provided). Do not look in Fayetteville either, trust me the place is a slum. Also, look at the unemployment rates, obviously the ones with the lowest are the best. J-Ville and Fayetteville have some of the highest on this list (why they are higher on the list than others is beyond me.

December 29 2012 at 8:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Texas has a new motto: AT LEAST WE'RE NOT ARIZONA

April 16 2011 at 9:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am an alien and temporary resident in the land of promise,(Texas). No Iam not mexican. I am from New york, and I have been called a Yankee for 30+ years. If I had it to do over again I would leave, but I am too old now. I stay here to annoy the rednecks. It is just a little too hot.

April 16 2011 at 8:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

645 days until Obama is out of office

April 16 2011 at 8:53 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Texas is a GREAT state and place to live. No, I wasn't born here either! However the BIGGEST problem in Texas is that too many of the Texans believe everthing any Tea Party or Republican politician tells themm without thinking. For example, Governor Perry just won re-election by telling them that Texas does NOT need Government help! He won, now they're having to lay-off teachers in Dallas/Ft.Worth, Waco and Houston. Why? "cause they actually believed the Republicans . . . Texas is really great, but many, not all, of the people are suckers for hate and bigotry. Residents be ware!

April 16 2011 at 8:21 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Texas is a tough state, we didn't accept any bailout funds, we do not charge our Vets with federal tax, we could hold our own on the borders but we are not allowed to, we basically take care of ourselves, I guess in order to protect our state( the biggest one) we have to get a little crazy it makes it more interesting that way. We do have alot of illegals. The illegals do the work that the mosts people won't think of doing so we are still progressing they get food and we get progress. I do believe that the Deliverance movie could have been filmed here but these places I just drive thru fast. Hook 'em

April 16 2011 at 6:28 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

What a fabricated story, again. Where do you get your information, the White House?

April 15 2011 at 11:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


April 15 2011 at 12:47 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Tejas is the worst crap to live, I live there for 3 years and I was going nuts..Property taxes are enormous, I rather pay state tax and not those exorbitant property taxes that are used to pay the corrupt politicians. And by the way Tejanos still think the earth is flat... lets return Tejas to Mexico and let the CARTELS deal with the rednecks..and by the way keep all tejanos inside their oversize hole..

April 14 2011 at 1:14 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to HFGLENDALE's comment

After reading your biggoted posts its obvious you are a filthy mexican pos ! WE AREN'T GIVING MEXICO TO THE MAGGOTS SOUTH OF THE BORDER BUT YOU NEED TO MOVE BACK THERE NOW PEDRO !

April 14 2011 at 1:51 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply


April 14 2011 at 1:14 PM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply
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