Do I Have to Pick My Job at MEPS?

by | Joining the Military | 1 comment

If you’re considering joining the military, you’re probably wondering about the process at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). One of the most common questions recruits have is whether they need to pick their job right then and there. Understanding this step is crucial as it can shape your entire military career.

At MEPS, you’ll undergo a series of medical exams, aptitude tests, and interviews to determine your eligibility and best fit for various roles. Knowing what to expect can help you make informed decisions and ease any anxiety you might have about choosing your job. Let’s jump into what happens at MEPS and how it impacts your job selection.

Understanding MEPS: What Is It?

The Role of MEPS in Military Recruitment

MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) determines your fitness for military service. Each station evaluates whether you meet the medical, physical, and aptitude standards required. Military personnel, healthcare professionals, and administrative staff collaborate to ensure the process is thorough. MEPS filters eligible candidates, maintaining the quality and readiness of the U.S. Armed Forces.

What to Expect During Your Visit to MEPS

Visits to MEPS include several key steps: medical evaluations, aptitude tests, and interviews. The medical exam checks vision, hearing, blood pressure, and overall health. Aptitude tests, like the ASVAB, gauge specific skills and knowledge. Interviews assess your background and intentions for service. Understanding these steps helps you prepare, ensuring a smoother enlistment process.

Do I Have to Pick My Job at MEPS?

At the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), understanding job selection is crucial. You might wonder if you need to choose your job here.

How Job Selection Works at MEPS

Job selection at MEPS isn’t a strict requirement. While you can pick your job, many recruits receive their job assignment based on the needs of the military. MEPS evaluates your qualifications through the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and medical exams. If you qualify, you can discuss job options with a career counselor. But, final job assignment considers availability and the military’s current needs.

Factors Influencing Job Availability

Several factors influence job availability for recruits. Your ASVAB scores determine the range of jobs you’re eligible for. Higher scores open up more opportunities. Medical evaluations also impact job options; certain conditions may disqualify you from specific roles. Military needs fluctuate, affecting job availability. Popular jobs might have limited slots, while others may seek more recruits. Your willingness to be flexible can play a significant role in securing your desired position.

The Importance of ASVAB Scores

Your ASVAB scores play a crucial role in determining the career options available to you in the military. These scores assess your mental aptitude across various domains relevant to military occupations.

How ASVAB Scores Determine Job Qualifications

ASVAB scores categorize your strengths and aptitudes in specific areas. Each segment of the ASVAB evaluates a different skill, such as arithmetic reasoning, word knowledge, and mechanical comprehension. High scores in certain sections open up advanced and specialized career fields, while lower scores might limit your options to more general roles.

For example:

  • Combat Roles: High scores in physical and mechanical sections.
  • Technical Roles: High scores in mathematics and electronics.
  • Administrative Roles: Strong verbal and clerical scores.

These categories help the military align your capabilities with the right job. If you excel in technical areas, you might qualify for roles in engineering or IT. If your strengths lie in verbal skills, you could be better suited for administrative or clerical positions.

MEPS uses these scores to match you with positions that fit both your skills and the needs of the military. Although you might have a preference, your ASVAB scores ensure you’re placed in a role where you’ll most likely succeed and contribute effectively.

Exploring Your Options: What If You Don’t Choose at MEPS?

If you don’t pick a job at MEPS, there are still several paths to explore. Understanding these options helps you find the best fit for your military career.

Delayed Entry Program and Job Selection

Joining the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) offers a valuable opportunity to delay your entry into active duty. Participating in the DEP allows you extra time to consider your options without the immediate pressure to choose a job at MEPS. This time can be used to improve ASVAB scores, research career fields, and consult with senior service members.

In DEP, you can leverage additional resources for job selection. These resources include enhanced job counseling sessions and mentorship programs. Examples are detailed job descriptions and access to advanced career assessment tools. Utilizing the DEP can optimize alignment between your qualifications and military needs.

Consulting with a Recruiter Post-MEPS

Consulting with a recruiter after MEPS can be beneficial. Recruiters possess detailed knowledge about available roles and can offer personalized guidance. They can also provide updates about new job openings, eligibility changes, and critical requirements.

Effective communication with recruiters might uncover career fields previously overlooked. For instance, you might discover specialized roles or emerging fields within the military. This consultation can maximize opportunities and better align your skills with military demands.

Exploring your options post-MEPS ensures you make informed decisions, optimizing your military career path.


Choosing your military job at MEPS isn’t your only option. The Delayed Entry Program offers valuable time and resources to help you make an well-informed choice. Take advantage of job counseling and mentorship to align your skills with military needs. Don’t hesitate to consult with recruiters post-MEPS to explore all available career fields. By leveraging these opportunities you can ensure a fulfilling and strategic military career path.


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