Translating Job Titles

One issue you may wrestle with during the transition process is the translation of your military job titles into equivalent civilian titles.

We suggest using your knowledge of the civilian marketplace to help you convey the title in terms that a civilian hiring manager in your desired line of work would understand.

For each job you held in the military, you should carefully think about the level of responsibility you had in the military and, based on your research of the civilian marketplace, choose words that correspond to your level of responsibility in the civilian workplace.

At times, however, you may want to use your military title in lieu of a functional job title.

As a starting point, use the following table showing equivalent titles.

Military TitleCivilian Title
General Officer / Admiral
(O-7 to O-10)
Senior Director
Managing Director
Field Grade Officer
(O-4 to O-6)
Program Director
Program Manager
Company Grade Officer
(O-1 to O-3)
Project Officer
Warrant Officer
(WO1 to CWO)
Technical Manager
Technical Specialist
Senior NCO / Senior Chief
(E-7 to E-9)
Operations Manager
Senior Advisor
Platoon Sergeant (E6-E7)Supervisor
Squad Leader (E5-E6)First Line Supervisor
Asst. Squad Leader
(E-3 to E-4)
Section Leader
Task Leader
Crew Member (E-1 to E-2)Team Member

SOURCE: Adapted from Carl S. Savino, Major, USAR (Ret.), and Ronald L. Krannich, Ph.D., Military-to-Civilian Resumes and Letters (Impact Publications) pages 83-84. Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.