- The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

Imagine Your Civilian Career With Hitachi
by Janet Farley, Contributing Editor

Article Sponsored by:

The Hitachi Oasis

Radar systems. Avionics. Precision fire control.

If it’s high-speed, high-tech and cutting edge, then you have installed it, repaired it and maintained it in every situation imaginable, thanks to your military career.

But if you have doubts about finding a rewarding civilian career, don’t worry.  You have options.

A great one of these options is Hitachi Medical Systems America, Inc. (HMSA), a company that is responsible for the marketing and sales of all Hitachi diagnostic imaging products in the United States.

HMSA was founded in 1989 by Hitachi Medical Corporation, a full-line supplier of medical imaging equipment in Japan, when its flagship product, the Open MRI, was introduced in the United States.  Since then, HMSA has cornered the market in Open MRIs with over 1,500 installations of its unique product and its other hi-resolution ultrasound and computed tomography products. 

In short, business is booming.  As a result, physicians, patients and now qualified technicians and engineers (such as yourself perhaps?) may well benefit from Hitachi’s state-of-the-art medical imaging equipment.

“HMSA typically hires field service and installation technicians coming from a Navy fire control, avionics maintenance and radar systems background,” says Glenn Clark, a Bradley-Morris, Inc. (BMI) account executive who has helped HMSA hire 32 transitioning service members to date.

Having the right skills for the job will certainly help.  HMSA seeks candidates who have a strong technical aptitude and who are self-motivated to complete the job efficiently and accurately.

Installation technicians install and calibrate new super-conductive MRI systems across the entire United States.  Significant travel can be expected.

Another key position, the field service engineer, performs scheduled and corrective maintenance on systems in a set geographic area with some weekend and on-call work required.

A five-week training program for new technicians and engineers is held at the company’s headquarters in Twinsburg, Ohio.

According to Jim Confer, vice president - service for HMSA, the company offers more than just a competitive salary and very competitive benefits package (including such items as medical, dental, 401(k) plan with company match, life insurance, and tuition reimbursement).

“We offer the opportunity for [transitioning] service members to work on high-level medical equipment,” says Confer adding that this prospect is often appealing to those having worked on equally high-level weapons and communications systems.

“Plus, we are in the healthcare industry and are able to make a positive difference in the lives of others,” says Confer.

“The coast-to-coast BMI hiring conferences are an extremely productive way to see a lot of potential candidates in a short period of time,” says Confer who is grateful for the intensive pre-screening and briefing process that BMI conducts for them.

It is through one such conference that HMSA came to hire David Barr, a former U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt., as a field service engineer.

“I wanted to work with cutting-edge technology and I found it here where I get the best of both worlds. As a field service engineer, I get to work directly with the customers and maintain top-notch MRI systems,” says Barr.

“Prior service members bring a certain maturity and life experience to the job that isn’t seen in other candidates.  They have been tested under challenging conditions,” says Confer who also appreciates service members’ willingness to relocate for the job.

“In return for maturity, experience and willingness, HMSA offers a unique espirit de corps for its employees, similar to the one found in the military.

“The people here are caring and the support they provide each other is reminiscent of that military camaraderie,” said Barr.

Fellow HMSA employee and 20-year Navy veteran Kevin Coryell agrees.

“I can’t speak highly enough of working for Hitachi. It is a place where service, support, leadership and welfare aren’t just buzzwords” says Coryell who works as a service area manager.

“Whether on the national or local level, HMSA is a strong, close-knit team-focused organization.  At both the managerial and the technical levels, we promote from within wherever possible,” says Confer.

Both Barr and Coryell, having walked the military transition road before, offer advice to those in the process now or are considering a civilian career.

“The military will survive without you,” advises Barr adding that he had a hard time handing over the reigns of responsibility to his successor.

“Take opportunities to interview before your terminal leave; it will make the transition much easier. Not to mention, you could get hired and collect two pay checks during [that time]. So, do your research and plan ahead!” Barr says.

“My words of wisdom are simple. Go to hiring conferences, be enthusiastic and sell yourself during the interviews,” says Coryell.

Let’s think about it. Work in the dynamic field of medical imaging, making an immediate impact in the lives of  others by using your highly-honed technical abilities.

What could be better?


Janet Farley is the author of “The Military-to-Civilian Career Transition Guide and she writes the JobTalk column for the Stars and Stripes newspaper.  She can be reached at for comments and/or column suggestions.


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