Veterans, Build a Future in the Construction Industry

Get civilian credentials for the construction and maintenance skills you gained in the military and start working in the construction industry

Did you know that you can receive professional construction industry credentials for training you received during your military service? The National Center for Education and Research (NCCER), the accrediting body for the construction and maintenance industries, develops curriculum and assessments, and also provides credentials and certifications that companies look for when hiring and determining salary levels and promotions.

The NCCER’s Build Your Future and Hard Hat Heroes initiatives help veterans make a smooth transition into civilian life and build a successful career in the construction field.

33% of employers currently have open construction positions they cannot fill and NCCER helps veterans open the door to these jobs.

Military Work and Construction Industry Needs: A Perfect Match

Tens of thousands of veterans are discharged from the service every year and many are ideally suited for jobs in skilled trades within the construction industry that employers have a hard time filling.

Trae Dupre, a U.S. Marine veteran who is now a construction Project Manager, emphasizes the natural fit between the backgrounds and attributes of former members of the military and the skills required for working construction jobs: “When I look at my workforce, I want guys and girls out there who take pride in what they do. When they take pride in what they do, they tend to work safely and productively. You find a lot of that in the military. You find men and women who take pride in what they do and perform quality work each and every day.

“If someone has leadership skills and the ability to be responsible, which a lot of our veterans have, they can potentially be a foreman or a supervisor and lead one of our project sites. So the opportunity to not only get paid but to advance is strong.”

Chad Hall, a U.S. Marine veteran and construction Supervisor found that there are many similarities between construction and military work. “In the military you have a mission, you have an intent, you have the orders given,” he says. “In construction, it’s a project and the concept is the same—a mission with steps and objectives. The transition is super easy.”

Benefits of a Career in the Construction Industry

The construction industry offers high wages, competitive benefits, and requires technical expertise. Best of all, major industrial and commercial construction companies are eager to hire and train veterans for craft professional positions today. Visit this Build Your Future web page to see companies that have demonstrated a strong commitment to support military service members by giving them hiring preference as they transition into construction careers.

How Veterans Can Apply For and Receive NCCER Credentials

Veterans can translate their skills perfectly to NCCER’s craft training using Hard Hat Heroes’ new credentialing portal. Hard Hat Heroes has worked directly with military trainers and industry representatives to develop task-based alignments for each branch of the service and allow eligible veterans to receive credit for the training they obtained while serving.

To apply for NCCER credentials, access the application page for your branch through the branch links listed below. Then, identify your specialty code, review the NCCER modules that align to your military training and submit the requested documentation.

Air Force



If your branch is not listed above, submit training information here for possible alignments to other crafts.

Additional Resources: How Service-Related Skill Sets Can Translate Into the Construction Industry

To learn more about how a service member’s construction-related skill sets can translate into construction industry jobs, refer to the Hard Hat Heroes website resource section, which features printable materials detailing what you need to know.

“We’d love to have transitioning veterans work in our business. There are plenty of opportunities out there.…The construction industry needs help and you’re the ones who can really help us move forward.”  —Trae Dupre, Project Manager and former U.S. Marine

Training Programs Through Online Core Curriculum

Hard Hat Heroes offers veterans who are new to the construction industry the opportunity to take NCCER’s training programs for free through their online Core Curriculum, which covers a wide variety of topics, from Construction Site Safety and Construction Math to Power and Hand Tools, Construction Drawings and many more.

Says Will Devening, a U.S. Marine veteran now working in Field Training in the construction industry: “I did four years in an infantry unit. The transition from military to civilian life was the hardest thing I’ve done. It was harder than going to boot camp. You go home and you sit on the couch and you’re like, now what? What applicable job skills do I have? The NCCER training made sense. It was a clear progression again. It gave me an opportunity to get my certification and craft. Now I’m skilled. I have a craft I can do something with.”

Rudy Duran, a U.S. Army veteran who is now a pipe fitter, works alongside his son who he says is “learning everything about blueprints, he’s going to classes—NCCER pipefitting,” says Duran. “It’s a great career. You can come out here, do the job, complete it, then look back and see what you’ve built and be proud of it. Just like when you served proudly wearing a uniform.”

To learn more about the core curriculum that NCCER offers, check out the Hard Hat Heroes credential portal: Apply for the complimentary instruction here: