Last Updated on August 29, 2022 by
Changing jobs from one career to another requires clarity. You must understand the changes that come along with this significant career change. Your goals, plans, remuneration packages, and work responsibilities also change.
If you want a career change from the existing one, you must ensure that the career change brings monetary benefits. Risking your work profile and career is useless if you do not make good money. And yet, you need to consider other benefits when on a job search.
This article will discuss the 21 best and highest paying jobs for a career change. These options will help career changers plan and grow in a better industry if you want to move.
Top 21 Highest Paying Jobs for Career Changers
To help career changers find the best possible career options, we have devised a list of best jobs to change careers from just about every industry. If any of the career changers wishes to find the best second career jobs, they can consider one of these options to find a better opportunity.
1. Data Scientist
If you have good analytical skills, pursuing a career as a data scientist might be a good choice. As a data scientist, your principal job is to collect, manipulate and analyze data. This data is then used to create efficient solutions to address business challenges.
Depending on your client’s requirement, the usage of data analytics can also differ. Data scientists are helpful in businesses that run on analytics and figure-based information.
On average, data scientists make between $81k and $165k per year.
You can apply for this job by getting certified as a data scientist. Hence, having a college degree in this field is not necessary, and you can apply for jobs right after the certification is completed.
Interestingly, this job profile does not require you to work out of an office either and can be done remotely.
2. Software Engineer
For tech geeks, changing to a career in software development is the best option. Software engineers and computer support specialists mainly function on creating different types of computer programs that work as the solution to help companies run smoothly.
Since this field requires technical expertise, you would require a degree in software engineering or computer science to apply for a job in a company.
And yet, several small companies do not ask for a college degree but only want the desired skill set from a software developer.
With remote working as an option, a software developer can earn up to $137k. The average salary is $96k annually.
3. Financial Planner
For a person who has experience in financial services such as financial planning or has worked as a financial advisor, this can be the go-to option for a long-term career as a certified Finn. Even if not, if you are good with numbers and have a thing for making budgets or plans.
As a financial planner, your job is to help clients plan their financial assets and offer them profitable investment solutions.
Although you do not require a college degree for this job, you will need a license to practice as a certified financial planner.
The pay scale for financial planners ranges between $30k and $111k a year. On average, financial planners make $57k per year.
4. Social Media Director
For social media enthusiasts, changing careers to pursue a job in social media can be pretty interesting. As a social media manager or director, your job description includes developing strategies to market the products or services on online platforms.
You get to handle the brand’s account, from online advertisements and banners to social posts about a collaboration or product launch. As the account manager, you are responsible for its presence and social media marketing online.
You will need a degree in marketing and communications to find the right opportunity in this field.
The average salary of a social media director is between $37k and $70k.
5. Director of Development
For people interested in a career that enables them to teach a specific skill, learning and development are the correct fields to choose. As a Director of Development, you can manage development programs and create content manuals and guidebooks.
The primary job description for the development head profile is helping employees grow and become better, productive professionals.
While there is an option to be working on this profile from home, you would still require a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business administration, or any other field related to this job.
The development director is eligible for an annual salary of up to $87k.
6. Market Research Manager
As a market research manager, your job would be to learn about the existing market trends and consumer trends. It requires you to understand and identify the type of market you are dealing in, the needs, size, and competitors available in the market.
With an average salary of $66k, this marketing department job is one of the highest-paying careers. However, you would require a degree in marketing or mathematics to apply for a job in this field.
A similar profile in this field, a market research analyst, is a part of the marketing team and is responsible for creating marketing strategies in sync with the market research manager.
7. Marketing Manager
A marketing manager job profile is another good choice for those who are inclined toward jobs that allow them to persuade people to consider their product or services. You can easily apply for this or a similar position with a degree in marketing.
The job profile requires the candidate to manage business operations, specifically the company’s marketing. The marketing manager’s core job description includes working on strategies that best suit the company’s value and attract the customer’s attention.
While an average salary of $102k, marketing managers can earn between $60k and $176k.
8. HR Manager
Human resources managers are the best-suited job profiles for those interested in interacting with people regularly and with appropriate soft skills.
The job description of an HR manager includes ensuring the employees are heard and receive necessary support against their requests or grievances. The HR managers also help with the recruitment process and salary distribution work.
You will require a degree in human resources to apply for this position and can easily make up to $63k.
9. Product Manager
Another job profile that requires market research is of product manager. As a product manager, your job requires you to research and identify the product or services the company should sell. You are also required to check other companies’ pricing and sales management.
With a maximum pay scale of $173k a year, you will require a business administration or marketing degree to achieve this salary package as a product manager.
10. Project Manager
Project managers are mainly responsible for an entire project. As a part of project management, the job description for this role includes supervising the deal through different stages to make the project successful, client management, and handling the contract files.
You will need a bachelor’s degree to apply for this job. Having an added certification in project management helps better. On average, you can make up to $108k as a project manager.
11. User Experience Designer
A UX designer job requires participating in all phases of a project. One of the most sought-after technology-based jobs, the user experience designer creates an interactive and user-friendly setup online to allow people to easily access a product or service on the web.
With a specialization degree in technology, you can easily make up to $89k a year as a user experience designer.
12. Brand Strategist
The job description of a brand strategist is to create a plan for an organization to help market its products and services to a larger audience. Business expansion and grabbing customers’ attention is the key focus area for these strategists.
Many market researchers also move to brand strategy as a career option.
You would require a degree in brand and communications or marketing to apply for this job.
The average salary of a brand strategist is $65k annually.
13. Sales Engineer
As part of the sales team, the job of a sales engineer is to create selling solutions to support the sales associates. They also help with price negotiations, sales follow-up, and product delivery.
The sales engineer also checks the customer’s technical requirements and modifies the product or services accordingly. A sales engineer is also responsible for helping sales executives work on strong communication skills and persuasive sales skills to get the job done.
The salary of a sales engineer ranges between $32k and $360k annually.
14. Real Estate Manager
As a real estate manager, your job is to take care of the daily operations of real estate property, including the maintenance, administrative activities, and finances. The profile also includes leading a team of real estate agents with an overview of the clients handled by them.
Under the guidance of the real estate manager, a real estate agent keeps information on property rates and shares the rate details with potential tenants or buyers.
To work as a real estate manager, you can start with a high school diploma and can easily earn between $19k and $515k a year.
15. Technical Writer
This one may be the right choice for those interested in writing and who have knowledge of software development. Writing for technical products, creating user manuals, and understanding various software and gadgets, requires a definite skill set.
You can work as a technical writer if you have a bachelor’s degree in a technical field. While the average salary is $57k a year, technical writers can make up to $103k a year.
16. Web Designer
If you are a technical geek with the skills to do creative work, working as a web designer should be your go-to option. Web designers create websites and design them using codes based on the client’s requirements.
They also ensure time-to-time updates to keep the websites from crashing or getting outdated. Ensuring that the websites get the right traffic with aesthetically pleasing layouts and an easy-to-understand user interface is also a crucial part of their job.
You can become a web designer with a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a short-term course in web designing. You can take advanced courses alongside your degree to get into this field.
With an average salary of $69k annually, you can make between $44k and $110k annually.
17. Management Analyst
For those with a background in business management or interest in this field, finding a job as a management analyst is the best option. The main job of a management analyst is to ensure operations are managed in line with the approved standard operating manuals.
These operations manuals are prepared by the management analysts only, which helps the management ensure the smooth functioning of their department.
Management analysts also perform studies to evaluate the efficiency of a working system being followed by employees. It helps improve the work structure, enabling employees to perform better.
You would require a bachelor’s degree in finance, business administration, public services, or any related field for a management analyst position.
As a management analyst, you can make an average salary of $87k. The highest paid salary in this job profile is $116k annually.
18. Public Relations Manager
Public relations manager is a job profile you’d like for those interested in media-related fields or are extroverts with a knack for socializing.
Part of the job responsibilities of a public relations manager includes building positive professional connections with media houses, consumers, a wider audience, and government officials on behalf of the company.
This job also involves managing and creating appropriate content for press releases, promotional content for any product or service launch, etc.
You would require a bachelor’s or master’s degree in public relations, journalism, communications, or marketing to get a job as a public relations manager.
As a public relations manager, you can earn an average salary of $51k a year, while the range is between $37k and $71k per year.
19. Retail Merchandiser
If you are into retail and love helping people shop from physical stores over online shopping websites, you can be an excellent retail merchandiser. This job role would require you to manage the store for a brand and ensure proper support to visiting prospective customers.
A retail merchandiser’s primary responsibilities include ensuring stock availability regarding product stock, sizes, color options, etc. The retail merchandiser also ensures the products are priced reasonably and help determine the correct pricing list.
You would also be required to deal with distributors regularly and help them with the stock requirements and necessary product invoicing.
You do not require any professional degree to find a job as a retail merchandiser. However, if you wish to move up the ladder in this job profile, you could pursue a degree in retail management or visual merchandising.
The average salary of a retail merchandiser is $29k, and you can earn up to $36k per year.
20. Wedding Planner
If you are a wedding enthusiast and are interested in event planning, you should try your hand as a wedding planner.
A wedding planner can be a good option for anyone who notices the creative things at a wedding and has made similar arrangements at in-house parties or family functions.
As a wedding planner, your main job is to take care of a wedding and manage all aspects of this auspicious event. You get to decide the food catering vendor, plan a menu to suit the guests, ensure proper decoration, and help find an appropriate venue for the bride and groom.
Wedding planners also offer entertainment services such as fun counters for kids, musical bands, DJs, etc., to make the event memorable.
You do not require a degree to become a wedding planner; just a knack for weddings will do.
As a self-employed professional, you can earn between $23k and $59k per year. You could also set up your own business and create a brand out of a fun career choice.
21. GYM Trainer
Working as a gym trainer can be an exciting choice for people who love to stay fit and are regular gym goers. As a gym trainer, your main job would be to stay fit and help your clients ensure the same. If you are not fit, you cannot help others do better.
Gym trainers majorly teach different exercises based on your body type, fitness requirement, and food diet to ensure you achieve your target and keep you motivated by keeping a fitness journal.
As a gym trainer, you can make an average salary of $27 an hour. Some of the best fitness brands offer their gym instructors an average annual salary of $56k yearly.
How to Change Careers?
If you are planning to make a change in your career and move to a different industry, you must follow a step-by-step guide.
Below are some essential tips and a guide to help you change your career without much hassle.
1. Research Your Desired Industry
Before you make a move, take a good look at your interests and which one of the interests you can consider for a long-term job opportunity. Once decided, go on and find out more about the industry of your choice.
It is essential to learn as much as possible before you decide. You should know about the future jobs available in this industry and whether these jobs require a specific qualification or have a criterion for you to work on being eligible to apply.
It would be best if you also learned about the possible risks of moving into the said field. There is always a downside to all fields. You just need to know whether it is worth the risk.
2. Inventory Your Skills
Take a count of your existing skills. You must know the advantages and disadvantages of having the current skill set if your skill set is enough to find an excellent job in a different career field.
3. Improve Your Skills
If the career choice makes your existing skill set inadmissible or does not fulfill the eligibility to find a job, you must work on your skills. Find a suitable skill set that matches the new career choice.
You must look for the right skills in the new field and get to work to acquire these skills. Without improving your skill set, you cannot survive in a field that is different from your existing field.
Remember to read about the required skills for the job you aspire for, and landing a job in the new field will become easier. If you are looking for a managerial position, you will require organizational skills, and for a writer’s job, you would need apt writing skills.
Hence, consider the skills required for a job before you change your career plans.
4. Talk to People
It is crucial to discuss your plans with people you trust or consider taking guidance from peers. It can include people from the same career you wish to move to or those with the skills that apply to the same field.
Changing a career is a big move; without proper guidance, it may not turn out well. So, always ask around, talk to people, and ask questions to find suitable job postings for yourself.
5. Determine Why You Want to Change
It helps if you understand why you want to switch from one career to another. It could be your current job that is not fulfilling, or there is not ample professional growth.
Determining why the change is essential to you would help you make the final call about changing your career. If your current job underutilized your skills, you could ask your manager to give you more responsibilities.
However, if you are unsatisfied with your job, you could try to find a better job in the same field.
6. Find Out if a Transfer is an Option
If you think finding a better job is not required but would like to move to another location for a change of scenery or start fresh within the same company, check with your manager.
Several companies over the same role transfer if a vacancy arises at another location. You could also try for another job role in another city or state that allows you to try your hand at a field of your choice without risking an existing job.
7. Consider Making an Industry Change
If a lateral movement or transfer is not helping your situation, you should know that it is not the job but the career that needs to change. You should start looking for opportunities matching your personality and skills.
If you have an option in mind, try to find opportunities in the field. You can use your skills to find a new job in a new industry with the guidance of your peers.
8. Get Career Change Help from a Professional
Seeking help from a professional regarding career change advice can prove beneficial. Reaching out to a professional career coach can help answer several of your queries about the career change and whether the options you are looking at are good enough for you.
Remember that taking advice can help you make a wise choice. When discussing such matters with an expert, you will get insights into the field of your interest, making the decision easier for you.
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions by career changers planning for a second career. Read these to understand better things to consider when switching careers.
How Do I Know if Changing Careers is Right for Me?
To evaluate whether it is time for a career change for you, look out for the below signs:
- Your body is not cooperating with your work requirements. If you don’t feel like getting up in the morning and have been fatigued, you should know that the reason for this might be your job.
- If your self-esteem has reduced, and you cannot give your 100% at work anymore, it may be because you do not feel valued. It can happen if you don’t feel recognized or seem overburdened with work below your grade.
- It could be a sign that money seems to be the only reason you go to work. We often start prioritizing money as the only motivation to work, which can harm our mental health. Your work should make you happy and be your motivation to go to work.
- Your career aspirations do not align with your work anymore, or you don’t feel connected to your job anymore. It might be time to make a change. Sometimes, we believe that our job can be our career aspiration.
However, when work starts looking like a burden, these aspirations change. If your aspirations seem to be in a different direction, you might want to look for an opportunity.
- If you don’t feel energetic at work and work seems monotonous, you should consider changing your job. Once the job starts feeling boring, there is no going back from it. If you do the same job for a long time and don’t see any additions happening to work, it might be time to decide.
- If there is no connection between your work and your passion, it will impact your productivity. Hence, you must find a new career opportunity that elevates you and allows you to be passionate about your work.
- If you have been thinking about leaving your job a lot, it can signify that you need to change your career and find a new job.
Several times, this feeling of wanting to leave the job comes out of work dissatisfaction. Hence, if something needs to be addressed at your current workplace, try to discuss it with your manager.
What Are the Risks of Changing Careers?
When planning for a career change, below are some potential risks to keep in mind.
Doing thorough research about the company you wish to join is a calculated risk you will take by changing careers. Even though it is calculated, there are chances that things may not turn out as expected.
- Starting over in a new field is another risk you will be taken when changing careers. You may have been in a good position in your last job, but a new field would require you to work as a fresher.
- You will risk your current skills in the new field. The same skills that helped you you’re your professional growth in the last company may become unimportant and irrelevant in the new job.
You can work on your skills by taking on-the-job training, but it will take time before you are ready to move on to the next level or earn the respect of your colleagues and seniors.
- Starting a new job in a new field could mean less money than your last job. However, since it is a new field, you can accept the risk involved and consider the salary offered in a new field.
How Do I Go About Changing Careers?
If you are unhappy with your current job, it may be time that you go on a job search for a career change. Now, to switch career paths, you must follow the below steps diligently:
- The first is to decide if job satisfaction exists in your current role. If you do not feel motivated to work in your job, you should start planning to switch careers.
- After deciding on a career change, think about your interests and passion. Considering your passion and your best skills, choose a career that matches your interests.
- You can choose between several industries that allow you to use the same skill set. Also, take advice from your peers and family members on the possible options. You can also reach out to a professional counselor for career advice.
- Based on the chosen field, look out for job opportunities that allow you to start your career again. It can be an entry-level job or an internship that offers money. Anything that gives you good work experience and a taste of the industry to start is a good option.
- Create a plan to land a job. If you need to up your skills, you should start working towards it. Make sure that you meet the eligibility criteria for the job you want.
- Go for as many interviews as possible. It will give you insights into what is required for the new job. You will also feel confident about yourself once you go through these interviews and may find the perfect match.
What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make When Changing Careers?
Some of the most common mistakes that people have made when changing careers are:
- Most people make the mistake of leaving the industry entirely instead of moving from one job to another. Finding the right opportunity in a new career may be a good thing, but it is also challenging to ensure it.
- Accepting a job offer without background checks about the company and its culture can also be a mistake that may become a problem later on.
- Considering others’ opinions and not checking facts about an industry or a company. It can be a harmful thing to just go by word of mouth. You should always check with experts or reach out to people who have worked in the company before deciding.
- Sometimes people also mistake money benefits as a good option. In the end, the money will be worthless if the job is unsatisfactory or helps you live up to your career aspirations.