Finding a Job Overseas As a Military Spouse

Military spouse greets mom and baby at child development center

Depending on your individual interests and skills, there are many job opportunities available to you. Get your resume ready and explore what's out there!

On the installation

  • Check the installation website for job listings. This is a great place to get started and see what's out there.
  • Look for civil service or appropriated funds positions. Getting into federal civil service may be easier overseas than in the United States, but the process takes time. Most federal jobs are posted on the Office of Personnel Management site.
  • Consider nonappropriated funds positions. Nonappropriated fund employees support installation services through programs, such as Morale, Welfare and Recreation and Marine Corps Community Services.
  • Work at your installation exchange and commissary. These positions can provide a similar working experience to those available at comparable facilities in the United States, such as grocery store cashiers or stockers. Check out the Defense Commissary Agency to learn more.
  • Be a defense contractor. Defense contractors provide a wide variety of services on overseas installations. Check with the installation's Family Employment Readiness Program for more information.

Off the installation


sure your resume is in good shape before you start applying to jobs.

You will likely have the option to find jobs in the local economy also. Do these two things first:

  • Check the Status of Forces Agreement. In some foreign countries, the Status of Forces Agreement allows military spouses to work in the local economy.
  • Consider taxes and fees. Before starting work in the local economy, make sure you have a clear understanding of what local taxes or other fees you may have to pay.

Nontraditional opportunities


800-342-9647 or visit the Military Spouse Employment Partnership Career Portal to research and connect with employers worldwide who are interested in providing long-term, meaningful employment opportunities to military spouses.

  • A home business. This may be the perfect time to begin the home business you've been thinking about. Be sure to consider any licenses, permits or housing requirements you may need. Meet with the Family Service Center or Legal Assistance Office at your installation to make sure you're covering all your bases.
  • Virtual work. Computer-based businesses have become more common with faster Internet connections and better computer technologies. This growing field may be a perfect opportunity to connect with a former employer or step into a new portable career.
  • Volunteer work. Volunteering is a great way to test out new career tracks and learn about your new community. It can often be a great way to break into a new field and potentially earn a paying position.

Above all, remember to give yourself time to get settled and investigate all the options. The right situation may not appear overnight, but you'll figure out the best choice for you.


Find programs and services at your local installation.

View a directory of installations