The roots of the National Guard reach back to nearly 400 years ago, when citizens banded together in militias to defend their homes. Today, the National Guard performs much the same function. Those enlisted, as part of either the Air Force or Army Reserve, train regularly so they are always ready to defend the country in times of need. The training fills one weekend every month and two weeks every year.
Members of the National Guard receive training in a variety of areas, and often those skills transcend the military and can help members procure solid jobs in the civilian world. However, Guard members must always be ready to leap into action if an emergency -- such as civil unrest or a terrorist attack -- occurs.
National Guard Job Education Requirements
The military's standard for enlistment is higher than that of other security jobs, such as civilian security officer jobs and detention officer jobs. Members of the National Guard must demonstrate a high level of physical and mental acuity, and they must have a strong sense of commitment.
If an individual does not have a record of military service, he or she must be between 17 and 35 years old, be a citizen of the U.S. or a permanent resident and have a high diploma or equivalent to enlist. Recruiters also pay attention to a person's skills as highlighted by ASVAB test results.
The National Guard sometimes seeks people with particular skills and experience, depending on the Guard's fluctuating personnel needs.
National Guard Job Market
Because the National Guard is part of the military reserve system, demand for people to join does not change as much as it does in other employment sectors. The job outlook for positions in the National Guard is likely to remain steady during upcoming years. Currently, the Guard recruits roughly 155,000 people each year to replace retirees and those who decide not to renew their commitment.
National Guard Job Salary Information
As is the case within any career path, salary for National Guard members varies depending on experience and how much time they spend on duty. Individuals just starting out in the guard who have no particular specialties may make just a few thousand dollars a year. However, people with a high military rank and/or a high level of education have greater earning potential.
The National Guard does offer tuition assistance to its members, thus opening up the opportunity to advance in rank and skills and earn more money.