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United States Navy
Family Employment Readiness Program (FERP) – Navy
Military and Family Support Center - Navy
4827 Bougainville Drive
Honolulu, HI 96818-3174
It’s likely that employment will change when a move occurs, especially for military spouses. The information below will provide you with employment assistance information and resources available such as SECO, MyCAA and MSEP Portals.
Because of the higher cost of living in Hawaii, many military spouses choose to work. We recommend you start your job search prior to arriving by utilizing the employment counselor at your current Military and Family Support Center location. There are many internet job banks, hiring-event opportunities and job listings, both in the private sector as well as state and federal sectors.
Prior to arriving in Hawaii, you are welcome to email or call the Military and Family Support Center at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to request employment advice. Options include individual appointments and email/phone advisement. Call the center’s front desk at 808-474-1999 to request the service you prefer or schedule an appointment at 808-474-0126/0129. The Transition/Employment Team is here to support you.
Our employment counselors are available to assist newcomers with their job search, provide information about the Hawaii job market, and assess their work history and job skills. There is a highly competitive job market in Hawaii. Here are some state statistics for your review:
Minimum Wage: $10.10 in 2020
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% in March 2019
The state’s unemployment rate is below the national average at 2.8% in March 2019 and usually remains lower, historically, than 5%. Most employment opportunities are in government, leisure and hospitality, and trade, transportation and utilities. This is due to Hawaii’s economic dependence on tourism, which results in many jobs in the transportation, hospitality and leisure trades. Government employment supports not only the state functionality in these categories but also the large military presence on the Hawaiian Islands.
Good Prospects: Government (state, federal or federal contracting), hotel and restaurant positions in any area, and retail sales
Fair Prospects: Trade, information technology, customer service and administrative assistance
Be aware that the island of Oahu vies with Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., in having traffic issues that greatly impact residents’ decisions about where they live, work and relax. If you choose to work away from where you live, explore the commute requirements. If you choose to work in downtown Honolulu, ensure parking is addressed as the monthly cost can range from $100-$150.
Those interested in Hawaii state jobs may visit the Department of Human Resources Development website or call 808-587-1111, Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time. Be aware that state government offices observe all state and federal holidays.
Remember to hand carry your employment history (resume, addresses of personal and professional references, letters of recommendation, etc.), along with other important records such as your most recent SF-50 (if you are a current/former federal employee), DD-214 (if you are a veteran), college transcripts, certificates, licenses, travel orders and transportation agreement, and other important documents with you.
Transition Assistance for active duty personnel leaving the Navy and Air Force is offered regularly at the Military and Family Support Center. Contact the Transition Office at 808-474-1999 or DSN 315-474-1999 for schedules, class registration and more information.
Air Force Reserve Opportunities
If your family member is a reservist and is interested in a reassignment to PACAF or work short-term active duty Monday tours, contact the HQ RIO Support IMA Reserve Support Office at 808-449-0585 or DSN 315-449-0585.
The My Career Advancement Account scholarship is a workforce development program that provides eligible military spouses with financial assistance up to $4,000 per academic year for licenses, certifications or associate degrees to pursue an occupation or career field. Spouses may use their MyCAA funds at any academic institution approved for participation in the scholarship. Please visit MyCAA on the Military OneSource website for more information.
Spouses will work with their Spouse Education and Career Opportunities career coach to:
Explore career paths
Create a plan of action towards their education, training and/or licensing requirements
Gain career readiness through resume writing, learning interview skills and much more
Make effective career connections through established networks built through the MyCAA programs as well as others available in the federal and state governments and private sector
For information, please visit MyCAA on the Military OneSource website.
Spouses of service members on active duty in pay grades E-1 to E-5, W-1 to W-2 and O-1 to O-2 who have successfully completed high school and have the ability to request tuition assistance while their military sponsor is on Title 10 military orders are eligible. Spouses married to members of the National Guard and reserves in these same pay grades are also eligible.
Spouses who have financial assistance document(s) approved before the active-duty service member's date of separation or the active-duty service member's release from Title 10 military orders are eligible. The authorization of the fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act allows military spouses to remain eligible for the financial assistance offered through the MyCAA scholarship if their sponsor is promoted above the eligible ranks as long as the spouse has an approved education and training plan in place.
Those Who are Not Eligible:
Spouses who are married but legally separated, or are under court order or statute of any state or U. S. territory, from a member of the armed forces on Title 10 orders are not eligible.
Spouses whose National Guard or reserves military sponsor is in a warning orders or alert, post-deployment, demobilization or transition status are not eligible.
Spouses who are members of the armed forces themselves currently on Title 10 orders are not eligible.
Spouses who are unable to apply for financial assistance while the military sponsor is on Title 10 orders or before the sponsor's date of separation are not eligible.
What Does MyCAA Pay For?
The MyCAA scholarship only pays for tuition for associate degrees and examination leading to a recognized license or industry certification. The license, certification or associate degree must align with the spouse's career goal as determined through advisement with SECO career coach.
How to Establish an Account with MyCAA:
Spouses can visit MyCAA on the Military OneSource website and provide the required spouse profile information. All scholarship participants are required to use their Department of Defense self-service logon to access accounts. All military spouses enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System are eligible for a DS logon account. For more information about creating a DS logon account, access the How do I use DS logon to create and access My Career Advancement Account? guide on the Military OneSource Resources page.
Where to Get Additional Information or Assistance:
Contact a SECO career coach by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647. Spouses with an established account with MyCAA may use the message box feature to receive information and assistance quickly.
Coaches are available at the following times:
Monday through Friday: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET
For further information, visit the MyCAA Frequently Asked Questions page on the Military OneSource website.
Unemployment compensation may be available for the spouse of a newly assigned military member or civilian employee. For more information please contact Hawaii's Department of Labor and Industrial Relations toll-free at 1-877-215-5793 if outside of Hawaii or go online.
Because of the high cost of living in Hawaii, many military spouses work. We recommend that you start your job search before arriving in Hawaii by making use of the employment counselor at your current Military and Family Support Center. There are many internet job banks, hiring events and job listings both in the private sector, as well as state and federal sectors.
Prior to arriving in Hawaii, you are welcome to email or call Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam’s MFSC to request employment advice. Individual appointments and email/phone advice is possible. Call the main MFSC JBPHH front desk at 808-474-1999 to request the service you would prefer, or you can schedule an appointment by calling 808-474-0126/0129.
Employment counselors are available to assist with job searches, employment information about the Hawaii job market, and assessing client work history and job skills. The Hawaii state minimum wage has been $10.10 per hour since 2018. The unemployment rate was 2.7% in March 2019, which was lower than the national average of 3.8%. Since the onset of the coronavirus 2019 pandemic, the unemployment rate has jumped to 22.3% (as of April 2020). Most employment is found in government, hospitality and trade areas.
If the military spouse was made to leave a position due to permanent change of station orders, unemployment compensation may be an option.
Median household income was $80,212 in 2018 (the most current information), which is $18,275 higher than the U.S. average.
If located on the island of Oahu, be aware of Hawaii's special designation of vying with Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., in having traffic issues that greatly impact residents' decisions on where they live, work and relax. If you should choose to work away from where you live, explore the length of your commute. If you should choose to work in downtown Honolulu, make sure parking is addressed as the cost for parking downtown can cost $200-$300 per month.