9 quick-change career options
Feeling stuck? Just want to explore your passion through a different career? Transitioning to a new career is easier in these jobs.
American workers are a fickle bunch: The average job tenure for a U.S. employee continues to dip. The median number of years that workers had been with their current employer was 4.2 years in January 2016, down from 4.6 years in January 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) last reported. Furthermore, if you're thinking, "I need a new career," you're not alone. For many, changing jobs means switching their career path, according to a recent national survey by University of Phoenix School of Business. The poll found that 59% of US workers want to shift careers. Reasons include getting a raise, following their passion, or simply looking for a different experience.
Whatever the reason, there are plenty of positions for job searchers that don’t require years of experience (though most require additional education and/or certification). Using data from BLS, Monster rounded up some top quick-change career options. Check them out and ask yourself if you’re ready for a new experience.
What you’d do: Dental assistants do exactly what you might think—they assist dentists in keeping mouths clean, as well as educate patients on proper oral hygiene. They may also assist dentists with procedures and do administrative work such as maintaining dentistry supplies and medical records.
What you need: Dental assistants work with their hands, so dexterity (and diligence!) are key traits to success. Some states require dental assistant candidates to get a license while others do not. Check out a sample resume for a dental assistant.
What you’d make: $36,940 per year, and the field is expected to grow 19% from 2016 to 2026 according to BLS. We’ll always need clean teeth!
Find dental assistant jobs on Monster.
What you’d do: It’s impossible to know exactly when natural and man-made disasters will strike, but it is possible to be prepared for them. Emergency managers do just that: develop and coordinate response recovery programs in conjunction with federal, state and local governments, as well as hospitals, universities, and businesses. Emergency managers work closely with governments, pulling together key stakeholders in meetings to make sure everyone is aware of mitigation plans and assembling all regulatory and compliance documents that are required by law.
What you need: A bachelor’s degree plus experience in emergency response, disaster planning, or public administration are typically required.
What you’d make: $70,500 per year, with an 8% projected job growth from 2016 to 2026
Find emergency manager jobs on Monster.
What you’d do: Financial planners help others make important financial decisions, such as reviewing their portfolio, personal financial goals, and advising how to invest their money. The job may also involve resolving tax issues for clients, researching new, potential investment streams, and some administrative tasks.
What you need: Financial analysts typically have a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) or CFP (Certified Financial Planner) degree on top of a bachelor’s degree. Since you’ll be in charge of making decisions about other people’s money, analytical and communication skills are paramount.
What you’d make: $90,530 per year, with a 14% projected job growth from 2016 to 2026
Find financial planner jobs on Monster.
What you’d do: Being a line cook is a little like being part of a football team: The job is fast-paced, physically demanding, and requires constant communication with others. But it can be fun, especially if you love being in the kitchen. Line cooks prepare ingredients and cook a variety of dishes, from appetizers to desserts. While the starting pay may seem low, if you prove yourself, there’s opportunity to advance in the kitchen and up the ranks of the restaurant.
What you need: No formal education is required to become a line cook; plenty of people get on-the-job training, though some have completed culinary school. View a sample resume for a line cook.
What you’d make: $10.99 per hour, with a 6% projected job growth from 2016 to 2026
Find line cook jobs on Monster.
What you’d do: Patient advocates often work for a variety of businesses (hospitals, clinics, insurers) or are self-employed and provide a link between patients and health care systems. Usually the job involves selling health care plans to new and existing patients of physicians, updating the doctors on progress, as well as answering any questions the patients may have.
What you need: A bachelor’s degree is usually required. As a liaison between patient and health care system, and sometimes insurers, understanding and communicating the goals of each party is key. Experience in fields like public relations is often a plus, and organizational skills are important (for example, filling out a patients’ Electronic Health Care Record).
What you’d make: $44,390 per year, with a 16% projected job growth from 2016 to 2026
Find patient advocate jobs on Monster.
What you’d do: Most nonprofits depend on donations to stay in business, and it’s the job of the prospect researcher to help organizations find likely donors and set up long-term strategies to make sure the pipeline of donors can sustain the nonprofit’s mission. Researchers uncover actionable information about prospects, such as donation history and demographic details, and try to personalize outreach in order to maximize likelihood they’ll give money. Another common task is to update constituent records regularly.
What you need: A bachelor’s degree is usually required, and it helps to have volunteered for a nonprofit. If you have a strong record of business development, or if you've done political-campaign research and outreach, you'll have a leg up. Strong research, communication, and social media skills are required.
What you’d make: $55,397 per year (salary.com)
Find prospect researcher jobs on Monster.
Social media specialist
What you’d do: Social media specialists may work for brands, agencies, nonprofits, media companies, and other organizations. With people spending almost two hours every day browsing social media, companies have realized that they need to be where the customers are.
The job of the social media specialist is to engage online audiences, promote products, and build a following through social channels, with popular channels including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
What you need: A bachelor’s degree is typical, and experience using a variety of social media platforms, personally and professionally, will help your candidacy. Writing and communication skills are also important, as are photo and video editing skills since most social channels are multimedia. View a sample resume for a social media manager.
What you’d make: $56,770 per year
Find social media specialist jobs on Monster.
Solar energy system installer
What you’d do: With the rise of the renewable energy industry, solar-energy system installers has become a new job that’s popping up across the country. The basic responsibilities entail loading and unloading tools, installing and removing residential service panels, and testing for desired performance.
What you need: Since most of the work will be done outside, installers need solid physical stamina. Any roofing or green-energy industry experience will help you land the job, but it’s not required. The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners offers classes and certification.
What you’d make: $39,240 per year, with a whopping 105% projected job growth from 2016 to 2026
Find solar energy system installer jobs on Monster.
What you’d do: Less than 3% of American citizens follow a basic “healthy lifestyle,” according to a recent study by Mayo Clinic Proceedings. When people need help getting their health (and lives) back on track, wellness coaches are there to assist. The basic task of a wellness coach is to help clients meet their health goals, whether that’s losing weight, boosting their immune system, quitting smoking, or something else entirely.
What you need: Wellness coaches don’t need any particular degree or certification to get the job; instead, many build their practices through a passion for fitness, nutrition, and community health. Most of the work is done in person, with individuals or in groups, so strong interpersonal and communication skills are required.
What you’d make: $44,390 per year, with a 16% projected job growth from 2016 to 2026
Find wellness coach jobs on Monster.
Ready to make the switch? Do this next
Are you ready to explore a new career path, but aren't sure where to find your next opportunity? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you’ll be able to upload up to five versions of your resume, each highlighting a different facet of your skill set, and make your resumes discoverable by recruiters who are looking for job seekers just like you. Your next amazing career move might just find you first.